12 Swimsuit Season Diet Secrets
Lose weight for summer
From long hikes and dips in the pool to fresh berries and lingering daylight, there are so many reasons to love summer. Here's one more: It's the best time of year to lose weight, says Pamela Peeke, MD, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and author of Body for Life for Women. "Nature is working with you," she explains. "If you take advantage in the right ways, the pounds will practically fall off your body." We reached out to a panel of pros for their advice on how to get in peak shape this summer without a lot of extra effort.
To reveal your best body this summer, try this total-body sculpting series with celebrity fitness trainer Tracy Anderson. These toning exercises are so intense, you'll drop pounds faster for a trimmer, fitter you. Watch the video to learn how to do each move.
Toast to your health
"Forget the 153-calorie margarita. I like to add Wakaya Perfection ginger powder to good-quality vodka. A 1-ounce pour with club soda comes to only 60 calories. Plus, a 2012 study published in the journal Metabolism showed that ginger helps crank up the body's fat-burning machine."
—Lauren Slayton, RD, author of The Little Book of Thin
RELATED: The Summer Shape-Up Meal Plan
Bulk up breakfast
In this video, Sonima chef Joy Houston demonstrates how to prepare a week's worth of smoothies in less than five minutes. Just choose a few wholesome ingredients such as chia seeds, blueberries, kale, and apples, and divide them among large mason jars so they're ready to blend on busy mornings.
Go for volume
"Summer brings a generous supply of produce packed with water, which helps make us feel full with fewer calories. A study at Penn State showed this effect. Women served a broth-based soup before lunch ate about 100 fewer calories than women who started with a casserole—and they weren't any hungrier later. At the farmers market, load up on watermelon, strawberries, peaches, zucchini and cucumbers."
—David Katz, MD, director of the Prevention Research Center at the Yale School of Medicine
RELATED: Fresh Summer Produce
One word: Bikini
Dine al fresco
Cutting calories doesn't have to be hard work and constant planning. Sometimes eating less is all in your mind. Watch this video to see the simple mental tricks you can do to finally curb overeating for good.
Embrace the BBQ
"Cooking outside means fish—bass is especially good on the grill—and lean meats that don't need a lot of oil, butter or heavy sauces. You can finish them more simply with chili peppers, a squeeze of lemon and chopped fresh herbs. Mint and basil are two of my favorites because they taste so fresh."
—Dan Kluger, a James Beard-nominated chef specializing in seasonal cooking
RELATED: 16 Vegetarian Foods to Grill This Summer
Switch up your caffeine
"Coffee is so winter. Try iced green tea instead; add a touch of natural sweetener if you don't like it plain. Green tea contains EGCG, an antioxidant that helps speed up metabolism. In a Penn State study published in 2014, mice that were fed a high-fat diet and a decaffeinated green tea extract lost about 27 percent of their body mass—and around 36 percent of their belly fat!"
—Lauren Slayton, RD
Prep no-cook sides
"When it's 90 degrees, nobody wants to slave over a hot stove. And not cooking your food may actually give you a weight-loss edge. A Harvard University study performed on mice in 2011 found that the body absorbs fewer calories from raw food than it does from cooked food. So think about raw sides for your meals, like spiralized veggie 'spaghetti' or crisp greens with julienned beets, carrots and jicama."
—Joel Fuhrman, MD, research director of the Nutritional Research Foundation and author of The End of Dieting
RELATED: 15 No-Cook Recipes
Get fit outside
"If you exercise in hot weather, there's more metabolic stress on your body. It has to work harder to keep its internal environment stable—to regulate your heart rate and manage respiratory stress, for example—which can lead to more calories torched. Just make sure that you stay hydrated."
—Jacque Crockford, exercise physiologist and education specialist with the American Council on Exercise in San Diego
RELATED: 17 Ways to Burn More Calories All Day
Take after-dinner walks
"Bright evenings are made for strolls around the neighborhood, and going for a brisk 30-minute walk every day could help you shed about 10 pounds in a year. A 2010 study showed that women who walked in the p.m. burned more body fat than women who walked in the a.m. They also spontaneously started eating more of their daily calories in the morning, which gave them more opportunity to burn them off during the day."
—Kelly Springer, RD, a nutritional coach in upstate New York
RELATED: Your Slim and Strong Walking Workout
Turn The Park Into A Gym
Who wants to be stuck inside at a health club on a sunny day? No worries: Celebrity trainer David Kirsch shares moves that require nothin' but a bench.
Stand in front of the bench. Place the top of your right sneaker on the seat (A). Bend left knee to almost 90 degrees; knee should not go past toes (B). Straighten leg. Do 15 reps, then switch legs.
Place hands on the back of the bench, shoulder-width apart. Step back until body is in a straight line from head to toe (A). Bend arms and lower chest, keeping elbows as close to torso as possible (B). Do 10 reps, then move hands closer together and repeat.
Sit on the edge of the bench. Place hands on the seat on either side of you and engage abs to lift feet slightly off the ground, knees and ankles forming 90-degree angles (A). While exhaling, pull knees toward chest until lower legs are parallel to the ground (B). Lower down. Do 15 reps.