Slim down in five days

Published Thu, Oct 18, 2012 08:56 AM
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Carrie's tips will help you slim down.

Submitted by Carrie Riggin — Columnist

Big event coming up? Shed the worry and the weight. Here’s a few tips for slimming down in just five days!

Halloween is just around the corner, and I know we all (that includes you, boys) want to look sensational in our [most-likely] revealing costumes. You might think that a week before is a bit late to start slimming down for a big event like Halloween, but you’re wrong! There are actually simple diet tweaks that take little to no effort to help you feel better and whittle your waist just in time for your big day/night.

Ditch Bloated-Prone Foods

- Alcohol

- Carbs (like white flour, pasta, bread, sweets, etc.)

- Diet soda

- Frozen diet (and non-diet) foods—frozen foods are loaded with sodium

- Beans and cruciferous family of veggies — broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. (Although good for you, these vegetables can cause bloating)

Eat Clean

- Lean protein

- Berries (stay away from watermelon and bananas—they’re high in sugar)

- Fresh vegetables (not frozen) like spinach and asparagus (steer clear of cruciferous veggies – broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower)

Drink Water

Your body holds on to water when it’s dehydrated, so drinking more actually reduces bloating. It also helps to eliminate unwanted toxins, which reduces swelling, as well. My H20 rule: eight to 10 glasses, or half your body weight in ounces.

Eat Slower

Satiety (a state or condition of fullness gratified beyond the point of satisfaction) signals can take up to 20 minutes to reach the brain. Therefore, your brain will not notify your body that is full until the 20 minutes are up. Eat slowly and listen to your body.

Don’t Swallow Air

Sounds weird, right? Believe it or not, half of the gas or bloating we experience is caused by swallowing too much air throughout the day. Air equals gas in the abdomen, which causes bloating and discomfort. Activities such as drinking through a straw, chewing gum, chugging a carbonated drink and sucking on hard candy allow air to seep into the body.

Eliminate Sweeteners

We all love an occasional diet coke, protein bar or piece of sugar free gum, but the artificial sweeteners in all three cause your stomach to expand. Sorbitol, an artificial sweetener, can’t be digested, and fructose, a natural sugar added to many processed foods, is difficult for your digestive system, too. Sweeteners aren’t good for you period; I’d eliminate them all together, event or no event.

Steer Clear of Dairy and Whole Grains

Diary and whole grains are part of my everyday diet, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that they tend to wreck havoc on the digestive system. Whole grains in particular are high in fiber, which slows the digestion process. Yes, fiber is good for you, but it can cause system backup and, therefore, bloating. If you must eat carbs before a big event, stick to sweet potatoes, brown rice and oatmeal.

NO Sodium

Sodium promotes water retention, which I know from experience, makes you feel like you are expanding — fast. Eliminate salt and foods high in sodium from your diet right before you try to whittle into your little black dress.

Stop Stressing

Plain and simple, stress causes bloating short-term, and an increase in cortisol and weight long-term. Quit stressing! (I know, easier said than done, but once you do, it will make the world of a difference.)

It is incredible to think that these small changes can have such a big effect on how you feel and how you look. Sticking to these rules right before a grandiose occasion will give you more wiggle room in your favorite ensembles, make you look leaner and more toned (a depletion in water weight will reveal the muscles underneath and make you look more defined) and will, of course, give you the confidence boost to make you shine for your big night.

Have you found certain foods, drinks or situations to promote bloating? We are all different so I’d love to hear what has and hasn’t worked for you, too!

Carrie Riggin
Carrie is the Triangle's go-to health and nutrition guru, sharing the latest trends to help you get in shape. She is a certified group fitness instructor and writes a blog, TheSkinnBuzz.

Twitter: @CarrieRigginFIT and @TheSkinnyBuzz

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