Summer means lazy days lounging around the pool and heading to the beach
with friends. But those activities can cause some summertime blues. Weeks
– and even months – before the sun reaches scorching temperatures,
some people start to worry about putting on swimsuits.
“Many women (and some men) start to panic as summer gets close and
become preoccupied with how they’ll look in a swimsuit,” said
Diane Kim, MD, an internal medicine physician with
St. Joseph Heritage Medical Group. “I always tell my patients that they should focus on their overall
health, rather than on losing that last five to 10 pounds. You can’t
kick healthy habits to the curb during the winter, fall and spring and
expect to be in top shape for summer.”
But Dr. Kim says she knows that’s not always practical. She advises
against following fad diets that promise quick weight loss in a last-ditch
effort to look a certain way.
With many of the popular weight loss programs, you’ll lose pounds
initially, Dr. Kim said. “But many people don’t realize that
sustaining the weight loss is often more challenging than losing the weight
itself. What we see happening all the time is pounds creeping on when
people go back to their regular habits.”
What does work? Dr. Kim suggests these tips:
Move more. Take your dog for a long walk. Go for a quick jog before you leave for
work. Ride your bike to the park with the kids. Turn on some music and
dance. You’re burning calories and all of that activity will get
you closer to your swimsuit goals. “It sounds simple but it works,”
Dr. Kim said. “Even adding 10 to 15 more minutes a day helps.”
Skip the salt. Salt can make you look and feel bloated. Choose fresh veggies over canned
and stay away from high-sodium foods like soup, deli meats and bread.
Another way to reduce bloating? Say no to beer. It’s called a beer
belly for a reason.
Cut the calories. Burn more calories than you take in. Say no to seconds to start. Eat half
of your meal and save the rest for later instead of cleaning your plate.
Cut out or reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates such as white bread,
white pasta and sugar.
Grab the weights. When you lift weights, your body burns calories even when you’re not doing anything. If
you’ve never worked with weights before, consider getting a personal
trainer for a session or two so you can learn the proper technique. Try
working with weights at least twice a week, with a day of rest in between.
(Your body needs time to recover.) And women don’t need to worry
about becoming too bulky. Most women don’t make enough testosterone
to build bulging muscles.
Try interval training. You can do interval training with almost any kind of exercise. The idea
is to do quick bursts of high-intensity exercises – running fast
on the treadmill, for example – followed by periods of low-intensity
exercise (walking on the treadmill.) Studies show that when you do interval
training, your body can burn calories for up to 48 hours after your workout.
As you become fitter, you’ll be able to work out longer at a higher
intensity. And that means you’ll be burning more calories quicker.
For more information about St. Joseph Heritage Medical Group, please click
here. For more information about Dr. Kim, please click