Ready to wear a bikini again? Caitlin Reid, dietitian and exercise physiologist from Healthy & The City gives us her top tips for slimming down over the summer.

1. Be calorie-wise when drinking

Summer isn’t summer without a Sunday barbecue and drinks with friends, but guzzling down too much alcohol leads to excess kilojoules and poor food choices, both of which contribute to weight gain. Choose drinks lower in kilojoules such as a shot of spirits mixed with soda water or diet soft drink. Alternating your alcoholic beverage with water is also a great way to lower the number of kilojoules you consume from alcohol.

2. Have protein at every meal

Protein-rich foods such as beef and lamb, dairy foods, eggs etc. provide critical nutrients such as iron, vitamin B12, zinc and calcium which may be lacking in your diet. Being low in iron can lead to feelings of fatigue and reduce your motivation to exercise and eat healthily. Eat iron rich foods such as beef and lamb 3-4 times a week to help meet your iron requirements. Protein-rich foods also help to keep you feeling fuller for longer, reducing the likely hood of overeating. Spread your protein intake out evenly throughout the day and include a protein serve such as beef, lamb, chicken, fish, eggs or dairy at each meal and snack.

3. Cut 420 kilojoules each day

Trim just 420 kilojoules from your daily food plan and your brain won’t even realise that you’re eating less. American Professor Brian Wansink calls this the ‘mindless margin’ and by making this small reduction to your daily kilojoule intake can equate to more than 4kg of weight loss over the year. Easy ways to trim 420 kilojoules from your daily intake include cutting out one glass of wine, or skipping the 20g of chocolate or avoiding 20g of potato crisps.

4. Sit down to eat

If you eat while you’re walking, watching television, sitting at the computer or driving, then this tip is for you! Multitasking while eating makes you overeat, as you’re not paying attention to your hunger levels or how much food you’re putting into your mouth. Overcome this by sitting down each time you eat. Slow down your eating and pay attention to taste and texture of the food, as well as your satiety levels (how full you feel). You’ll enjoy your food more and end up eating only what you need.

5. Get active outdoors to boost weight loss and feel great

Sunny skies are the perfect excuse to get active. Head to the beach for a soft sand run, go for a coastal walk or organise a game of tennis with friends. All are a great way to get some vitamin D while burning kilojoules. Aim to get outside for an hour exercise session everyday and you’ll not only lose weight, you’ll also feel better for it.

How are you planning to look good and feel great this year?