Do the words “bikini season” strike fear and angst into your heart? It doesn’t have to be that way, says Sydney dietitian, nutritionist and author Susie Burrell.
Susie (pictured), who’s pregnant with twins due in early 2016, says you can develop better body confidence via a healthy spring diet plan which will not only see you look and feel better, but you’ll lose kilos fast in the process. And if, like me, you’re looking at dropping winter weight in the lead-up to Christmas, Susie says you can do it simply and effectively. The secret? Delicious and nutritious salads are your summer diet go-to.
Susie has just released a new Shape Me Salads e-book via her new program, Shape Me, The 30 Day Plan, via shapeme.com.au which now includes a new free trial offer. Here, Susie dispenses her usual wise and pragmatic diet and weight-loss advice as the warmer weather approaches.
What are your top spring diet and weight loss tips?
The key is to pace yourself, there is still plenty of time to lose 5-10kg before Christmas – but you must do it the right way without resorting to unrealistic fads and extreme diets. The first rule of thumb is to look for diet options which are sustainable. This way, you will not waste your time and money on short-term programs and options. Next, look for options you like – if you do not like the food, you will not continue it. Finally, simply focus on eating less and more vegetables: smaller dinners, more salad and vegetables at lunch and dinner and exercise most days, it really is that simple.
What are some quick and easy food hacks to lose a few winter kilos?
Have an early protein-rich breakfast, for example: an omelette, Greek yogurt, protein shake by 8am. Next, have a salad-based lunch by 1pm. Then, schedule a protein-rich afternoon snack of nuts or cheese and crackers mid afternoon and then a light early dinner. Simply leaving 12 hours without food overnight is often all we need to reset our appetite and wake up hungry, so we end up eating more during the day and less at night.
What salad pitfalls do people fall prey to?
It’s usually going too strict too early and then feel hungry and deprived and falling off the rails. A lot of people mistakenly eliminate whole food groups such as dairy or carbs and then crave them. Other common mistakes include people eating well for two-to-three days then binging all weekend, or not eating enough during the day and then overeating at night.
What are the best spring salads or meals to eat?
The perfect salad balance will include one carb, one source of protein, two-to-three cups of salad or vegetables and one source of good fat, such as olive oil or avocado. Chicken quinoa salad with avocado is a perfect mix, but just make sure your salad base is always 2-3 cups of salad/vegetables.
Is the warmer weather a prime time to cut out heavy carbs?
One cup of cooked rice or pasta is equal to three slices of bread, so an easy way to reduce your fuel load at night is to stick to a hand-size serve of protein and plenty of vegetables.
What are your golden rules of spring eating?
- Focus on light meals of fish, salad and vegetables.
- Make the most of warmer temperatures and longer days and commit to regular training, especially if you can prepare for an upcoming event.
- Limit alcohol to two glasses per week.
- Drink more water – at least 1.5-2litres in total each day.
- Use the next three months to get your body in great shape by committing to healthy eating and plenty of exercise so you can enjoy the summer and feel great, both mentally and physically.
Images via Cleo, walesonline.co.uk