Bathing suit season is just around the corner, and these days, we're not just talking about bikinis. Since 1990, the percentage of men who worry about their weight has nearly doubled - up from 21% to 41%, according to Gallup. May is a time when many Americans are looking to lose a few extra pounds before they bare all at the pool or beach, and local nutrition expert Chrissy Barth says partnering up with someone is the best way to make this happen.
The first thing partners should know and that I always recommend is to remain hydrated! Being dehydrated by as little as two percent can slow down your body's metabolism (number of calories you burn daily) and increase your fat storage.
Many times thirst is mistaken for hunger so take the time to keep yourself hydrated. Water is great of course but some of us like to have a little flavor! Look for great-tasting, zero-calorie options like vitaminwater zero that has a blend of vitamins and electrolytes. Another choice could be the new fruitwater which is also a refreshing zero calorie sparkling beverage, it's naturally fruit flavored and sweetened with sucralose, best known as Splenda®. If you're a soda enthusiast consider switching to a smaller 90-calorie mini can serving size.
Remember, all beverages hydrate - even those containing caffeine - it all counts!
According to Chrissy, three simple partnering tips that can help do the trick include:
·Tip 1: Team up and get moving - This doesn't have to mean endless hours at the gym. Find or start a fun activity for two like tennis, kayaking, or golf to keep in motion. Statistics show that couples who start a fitness program together are more likely to stick with it.
·Tip 2: Meet up at the market - Turn grocery shopping into an outing. Meet up, plan fun meals and most of all, learn together about how to keep your waistline trim. Looking to boost your metabolism? Barth suggests the following:
*Snack smart. Be aware of your snack portions and proportions. For example, an apple with one tablespoon of peanut butter makes for an excellent, energizing snack.
*Eat protein throughout the day at your meals and snacks. Examples of lean protein include low-fat milk and yogurt, eggs, chicken, salmon, and beans.
*Hydrate with water and aim for at least 1-2 liters a day.
*Add spices such as chili pepper and red pepper flakes to your meals.
*Eat half a grapefruit a day to help cleanse your liver.
·Tip 3: Partner in the pantry - Cooking together is a great way to watch your weight. Experiment with new fruits, vegetables and spices to enhance flavor, and work together to portion out just the right amount of your favorites. When portioning out your dinner plate, aim to fill half of your plate or two fistfuls of veggies, a quarter or one fistful of grains or starchy veggies, and the other quarter with lean protein - about the size of your open palm and the thickness of a deck of playing cards.
It's important to remember that with balance, any food or beverage can be part of a healthy diet.
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