As bikini season approaches, women across the country are starving themselves or dieting like crazy to shed their winter coats. Many take it to the next extreme to lose the weight in time which can endanger health and cause for a relapse of extreme binge eating. Regular bing eating can lead to:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Gallbladder disease
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Certain types of cancer
- Joint and muscle pain
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Sleep apnea
The best way to figure out how much weight to lose for your body type will depend on how you were your senior year of high school. Most people are fully grown for a couple of years at that age and physically fit from sports or activities. If you wore a women’s size 00 pants your senior year of high school then there is no reason you can’t strive for that 108 pound body again and reasonably obtain that goal over a two or three month period. However if you were a women’s size 6 pant in high school and were active playing sports, that’s the size your body is at its most healthy weight. You should never malnourish your body.
If you can afford it, try a healthly meal plan for two months like NutriSystem or Shakeology. Both of these systems are designed to be low in carbs and high in protein and fiber, helping you lose weight consistently and safely. Take a personal challenge to avoid all junk food and cravings everyday for two months; reduce cravings by chewing sugarless gum or drinking water when tempted. I recommend Extra Dessert flavored gum to simulate the sensation of indulging in real treats without actually doing so. Calculate your BMI and follow guidelines to reduce it to the recommended 18.5 %. Use a daily moisturizer with Vitamin E and shea butter to reduce the chance of stretchmarks during weight loss and to protect against dry skin as you expose more of your body in the upcoming months.
“The idea that your body needs help getting rid of toxins has no basis in human biology,” says Frank Sacks, MD, of the Harvard School of Public Health. “Your organs and immune system handle those duties, no matter what you eat”. A detox diet may be a quick and temporary solution for losing weight but you’re likely to gain the weight back after you go off of it, as with any extreme diet. I’ve heard of detox diets like drinking nothing but water with lemon juice and cayenne pepper for a week straight but to not consume any calories or nutrients all week sounds absurd to me. This is the week everyone should be eating their healthiest, avoiding alcohol and drinking plenty of liquids to avoid bloating, cellulite, extra pounds and thin skin.
So rather than invest in a diet where you practically starve yourself, try a clean eating or organic diet for the week. Shape Magazine’s Cynthia Sass recommends this seven day clean eating challenge to bring you ‘skyrocketing energy’, weight loss, better control over your appetite and yes, better looking skin. Follow these 5 simple rules to slim down and feel your best before spring break:
- Eat only whole foods: If a food contains any ingredient you can’t pronounce or don’t know what it is, don’t buy it for the week you eat clean. Ex: Blueberries and oats instead of a blueberry muffin
- Keep meals simple. Your body only needs sources like whole grain, lean protein and healthy fat during each meal. Ex: Veggies and shrimp over rice
- Eat slower. Put your fork or spoon down during every bite and actually enjoy the different tastes and textures instead of inhaling your food like you’re in a hotdog race.
- Eat on a regular schedule. Sass suggests not letting more than 4 hours go by between each meal to better regulate your digestive system, blood sugar, insulin levels and appetite.
- Listen to your body. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re satisfied, not stuffed.
You’ll thank yourself for eating healthy all week when you have a slim stomach on the beach and more energy to cram spring break activities.