4 Easy Ways to Shape-Up This Summer

4 Easy Ways to Shape-Up This Summer

Eating is a favorite pastime for many of us. It’s a key part of our recreation and entertainment, a great way to break the ice in new relationships, and a central element in social functions. For many, food is also reward, grief-assuager, comforter, pain reliever or monotony breaker. We eat when we work, relax and play. But once summer hits and it’s time for bathing suits, sleeveless shirts and shorts, we wonder: “Can we pull off a quick shape-up?” {{more}}The answer is a resounding “Yes!” say wellness team Dian and Tom Griesel. Trimming excess body fat can be quick and easy if you follow these four tips: 1. Drink more water. Stop sipping, and when hungry drink a whole liter or quart of plain old water. Medical anthropologist Mark Davis concurs. “Evolutionary genetics have predisposed us to often be sated by water instead of food when first hungry, because most of the food volume of our primate ancestors were fruits, which are mostly water. So humans constantly confuse thirst and real hunger,” he says. “If you’re hungry, start by drinking a quart of water,” adds Tom Griesel. After that, if you’re still hungry choose a healthy option like fruit. 2. Eat more fruit. Naturally replete with sugar, water and fiber, fruit is the single most satiating food for most of us. Before reaching for cookies or even a snack bar, try cracking open a banana, a crunchy apple or juicy grapes. Fruits are great to start the day and the perfect way to finish it. 3. Get active. Many of us complain we don’t have time to get to the gym. So skip it and start walking instead. A recent study showed that the primary difference between overweight and lean individuals was that the latter were on their feet an extra hour or two daily. Walking is vitally important to the resurgence of our muscles, and muscles burn lots of calories. It is both fun and relaxing. And if you’re walking, you won’t be sitting on your couch watching food commercials and getting hungry. A morning, midday or evening walk will inspire you to stay focused. 4. Remember the goal: a lean, healthy body. Imagine your new physique and how well new clothing will fit. Visualize living longer and healthier. “You can get your brain to help you reach your goal by practicing visualization,” suggests Dian Griesel. “It’s simple, relaxing and effective.” Before you explode with frustration over co-workers or kids and soothe your tension with candy, try this: Head to the nearest restroom and lock the door. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Recite any of the following while visualizing your new body: * Every day in every way I am getting better and better. * I choose to eat healthy foods, engage in fun activities and surround myself with friends who support my success. * I laugh often and remember that a smile counts as facial activity. * I am getting healthier and healthier. * No matter what challenges I face, I am forever committed to a healthy, lean body. Incorporate these four concepts into your daily life and you can start improving how you look and feel.