With summer comes the pressure to get fit. Your social media accounts will most likely be bursting with fad diet ideas and the best summer workouts for torching fat. Check the tabloids and you’ll also see celebrities with enviable figures lounging around on exotic beaches.
Amidst all of this, how do you know what’s best for your health?
We take a look at the evidence behind some simple, safe ways to get healthy for summer.
More often than not, extreme diets do our bodies more harm than good. All too many of them deny your body vital nutrient and they certainly don’t provide long term results when it comes to fitness and weight loss. One of the key things to remember is that drastic diets are not sustainable and it is easy to put weight back on quickly once you come off your strict regime.
The best advice is always to build a plan that is well balanced and sustainable to improve long-term health. But it’s not all about calorie counting on packages. There are many other factors that you could be taking into account.
Let’s take a closer look.
Switching off your screens can lower your calorie intake
One study on children’s health found that youngsters who limited their TV and computer time consumed an average of three hundred fewer calories a day. Similarly, other studies across the age range have shown that eating without distraction gives you a better memory of what you’ve eaten, helping you feel fuller for longer. This means that watching TV, playing tablet games or using your phone whilst eating can leave you feeling unsatisfied with your meal and craving more food. Try to stop and think about what you’re eating.
Embracing spicy foods helps burn fat
A study published in the American Society of Microbiology found that mice being fed a high fat diet alongside a chilli pepper compound had less body fat than those who did not take the compound. This compound was capsaicin.
Capsaicin is the compound that gives chilli peppers their heat, but it can also help speed up your metabolism. Another study found that participants receiving capsaicin supplements after every meal burned between 100 and 200 more calories a day, and continued to burn fat for several hours longer after every meal.
Aim to include a broader range of spicy foods in your diets, as this can help your body burn off excess fat. The other good thing about spicy foods? They can make you feel fuller quicker.
However, it is worth bearing in mind that overloading on spice can have a number of drawbacks – such as giving you heartburn and even dulling your taste buds. So, as with everything in life: moderation is the key.
Getting enough sleep gives you energy and will power
Sleep is a big contributor to your overall physical and mental health, but it can also help keep you fit too. Not only does obtaining 8+ hours of sleep every night give you more energy to be more active when you’re awake, but studies have also shown that sleep can help you burn more fat and make you feel less hungry throughout the day.
One recent study by the Cognitive Neuroscience Society even found that sleep deprivation increases our perception of food odours, making snacking harder to resist. This is because sleep deprivation increases activity in the areas of the brain linked to olfaction, meaning our nose knows when we’re tired and makes food smells more appetizing as a result.
Changing your coffee habits increases your metabolism
A study last year found that drinking 3 to 4 cups of coffee a day can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes due to the presence of chlorogenic acids and caffeine. These ingredients boost metabolic rate which can help with managing weight. Of course, if your caffeine hit of choice is a milky mocha topped off with whipped cream and dusted chocolate, you’re unlikely to be losing any weight as a result.
Take a couple of weeks to try switching to black coffee or herbal tea whenever you feel a caffeine craving. After a while, you may find your once beloved mocha a little too sweet for your tastes.
Follow the rule of ¾’s gives you a healthier plate
Sadly, 75% of Brits don’t get their five a day, but the rule of ¾’s can help.
When dishing out your meals, try to see your plate as a pie chart. The rule of ¾’s is the idea that 75 per cent of your portion should be made up of vegetables, whilst meat and carbs should make up the final 25 per cent.
The average plate uses meat as the main component of a meal, but this rule lets veg be the star of the show and helps you see meat as a treat. Aim for the carbs you choose to be healthy ones, like sweet potato, brown rice or grains. And get creative and exotic in your choice of vegetables so you don’t get sick of the same combinations every day.
Tried everything and need a little medical assistance?
For those who struggle to lose weight through traditional means, Express Pharmacy stocks Xenical – a prescription medication that can help with weight loss. Xenical prevents the body from absorbing the fat from food within the digestive system.
Xenical is one of the few weight loss products on the market that has been clinically proven to be both safe and effective. As with any medication, you should only ever take a weight-loss drug after a consultation with a trained medical professional.
Contact our experienced pharmacists today for a consultation to find out if Xenical is suitable for you. Start Consultation
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