Shrink a Size for Summer



April showers bring not only May flowers but bikini insecurities for the upcoming summer. It’s easy to cover up a few extra pounds with a sweater. But when the temperatures – and hemlines and shirt sleeves – rise, there are few places for the pudge to hide. The Rec is packed with students hoping to lose a couple of pounds in the final month that separates us from summer. Here, some tips to help you get in summer shape!

Lifestyle Tips

  1. Control your snacking. It’s okay to watch some TV every now and then, but eating while watching is not going to help. Multitasking while you eat means you won’t be as satisfied, a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found. You’re also less likely to realize how much food you actually consume.
  2. Get some sleep. If you’re not getting enough hours every night, you are more likely to be overweight. In a recent study at the University of California, sixteen people slept for comfortable for a week and then restricted to five hours of sleep for the following week. During both weeks, unlimited access to food was given. Despite burning more calories during the sleep-deprived week, participants in the study gained, on average, two pounds during the sleep-deprived week because they ate far more. Sleep researchers also noticed a change in eating pattern during the sleep-deprived week. They found participants to be grabbing more snacks, skipping breakfast, and overeating carbohydrates.
  3. Spice up your life. Cayenne pepper has been proven to be a natural appetite suppressant. It seems contradictory: eating more of a certain food will cause you to lose weight? But it’s true. Another spice, capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their heat, speeds metabolism, according to a recent study led by David Heber, a professor of medicine and director of the Center for Human Nutrition at UCLA. Bonus: Spicy foods may trigger a feeling of fullness sooner than bland foods.
  4. Show your curves. “Studies show that women who wear loose-fitting clothes eat more,” says nutritionist Jana Klauer. Break out that micromini, ladies!
  5. Write it down. Keeping a food journal leads to weight loss because you are less likely to snitch a Snickers every now and then. Be honest. Take note of portion sizes, read food labels, and write down both your slipups as well as your more helathy meals.

Exercise Tips

  1. Mix up your workouts. I make this mistake every time I go to the gym.  I always jump on an elliptical and go for a half hour and then complete a ten-minute ab workout. Your body gets too used to this workout and you won’t feel the burn as much as you keep doing the same routine day after day. This is known as the “principle of adaptation.” Adaptation refers to the body’s ability to adjust to increased or decreased physical demands. Over time, your body becomes efficient at these same repeated movements and thus allows you to expend less energy. This reinforces the need to vary a workout routine if you want to see continued improvement. Use different exercise machines, work different muscle groups, throw in some different ab techniques and your body will feel it after every workout.
  2. Download apps. There are some great fitness apps, especially for running.
  3. Try a mini-workout. Do this before you jump in the shower: 50 jumping jacks, 5 pushups, 20 crunches, 20 mountain climbers, and a 30 second plank. Enjoy the perk of showering off immediately after this impromptu workout.
  4. Create a “Fitness” board on Pinterest. There are some great exercise schedules, mini workouts, even running playlists. Some people also pin fitness clothing and shoes to their board as an incentive to work out. It’s a good way to try out different routines and not get bored with working out.
  5. Ditch the scale. These devices are not always accurate and can be misread because muscle weighs more than fat. If you have strict exercise schedule, you may be gaining muscle which will not translate well on the scale. Don’t get discouraged! To find out what your body mass index (BMI) is, go to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Web page. This will be a much better indicator of your health than a number on a scale.

By following these tips, your body will be beach-ready in no time. Here’s a couple of quotes to get you motivated:

See you at the Rec!