7 Secrets to Look and Feel Your Best This Summer Season

7 Secrets to Look and Feel Your Best This Summer Season
by Natalya Kosyak
Hi all, at last we’ve got to enjoy the warm, sunny days, and with summer finally here, most of us start thinking about looking our best during this hot season. So I just thought it would be a perfect time to remind us all about some easy every-day tricks that would help us feel and look great:

1. This is a very simple, thus often overlooked tip: Drink a lot of water! Especially, right after you wake up – it will speed up your metabolism for the day ahead. Avoid drinking while eating, because water will dilute gastric juices and slow down digestion. Instead, drink 30-20 minutes before & after a meal. Remember – at least 8 glasses or 2 liters of water a day is the goal, especially in the hot weather when a lot of our body fluid is lost with sweat.

2. Seemingly a bit controversial, but a 100% effective rule: Never be hungry! Eating when you already feel starved will likely lead to over-eating, so you’ll consume more unnecessary calories that will be deposited as extra fat. The best bet to avoid this would be to eat smaller portions, 5-6 times a day. Plus, it will ensure that your body gets the energy gradually throughout the day without spikes and crashes. 

3. Get 7 - 8 hours of sleep each night! Lack of sleep causes reduction in leptin, a hormone that is responsible for sending a signal to the brain when we are full, so when it is reduced, we feel less satisfied, no matter how much we eat. Also, lack of sleep reduces metabolism, which causes weight gain.

4. Eat slowly! Another fun exercise is to eat with your non-dominant hand (you will eat slower, so less likely to over-eat). Also, try using smaller plates (portion control is the key to managing your weight)

5. Along with choosing a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, try switching to whole grains and adding a lot of omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. These healthy fats can be found in olive oil, flax seeds, cold-water fish, nuts and fortified foods. 

6. Here is an interesting fact: Red color and similar warm shades have a psychological effect of stimulating appetite (think of why McDonald’s is using red and orange colors). So blue, being on the opposite color spectrum, has a reverse effect on appetite. Thus, choose cooler color pallet such as blue & aqua for plates and kitchen/dining room décor. 

7. To make your exercise even more efficient, add some iron rich foods. It is important, because lack of iron will result it decreased oxygen delivery to the muscles, making you feel tired which will lead to decreased energy level during exercise. Iron can be found in meat, organ meat (liver, kidney and heart), oysters, clams, dark leafy greens, legumes, enriched cereal and dried fruit. Consume iron rich foods with Vitamin C rich foods (vitamin C helps Iron absorption). 

There you have it, 7 easy steps to get you moving in the right direction to a healthy, beautiful and fun summer season!

Natalya Kosyak is a registered Nutritionist at Bloor West Rehabilitation Centre, a proud member of the Health Bound Health Network.  You can e-mail your questions to Natalya at info@healthbound.ca



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