If you’ve been following my blog you know I’m a big proponent of body acceptance, awareness, and self-love. However, if you are in the gym and eating well to feel your best, you probably want to see a change in your appearance as well. I know I do! And this doesn’t mean you have poor body image. It’s natural for us to want to feel fit, strong, and fabulous! What I don’t believe in is depriving yourself of foods you enjoy eating or spending hours on the treadmill, in the gym, or in group exercise classes to try and achieve an idealized image of beauty that may not be realistic for your body type. A balanced diet full of nutrient-dense foods and consistent workouts are necessary to build lean muscle, burn fat, and feel energized. But nights enjoying wine with your favorite friends, indulging in frozen yogurt on a hot summer day, or ordering dessert on a special date night are just as important for your health and well-being.
With that being said, there are some moments in our lives where we want to look even better than we do on a daily basis – a beach vacation, wedding, black tie event, etc. I leave for Maui on Tuesday and I’m so excited! Hoorah! I can’t wait to enjoy the tropical Hawaiian breeze, warm water, and sunshine with my dad and brother. I also want to feel fabulous in my bright bikinis and fun cover ups. So, this past week I have cut back on foods that cause indigestion, bloating, and fatigue and filled up on the good stuff! Let’s get one thing straight. There are no quick fixes. A flat tummy comes from consistency in the gym and especially in the kitchen. However, there are certain foods that will trigger water weight gain and some that will promote healthy digestion leaving you feeling light, fresh, and ready to flaunt your sexy self. I’m sharing 6 ways to feel confident showing off your hard earned abs in just 5 days.
1) Skip white foods.
If you’ve signed up for a customized training guide with me, you already know that I recommend filling up on complex, whole-grans the majority of the time. During the next five days it’s especially important to choose your carbs wisely. White bread, white sugar, white potatoes, white rice, all of these simple carbs will wreak havoc on your blood sugar, leaving you hungrier than before you ate them! Most foods that contain these ingredients are also highly processed and lead to bloating, weight gain, and fatigue.
2) Toss the artificial sweeteners.
There’s a lot of marketing surrounding “sugar-free” foods that make you believe that they’re a free-for-all. However, just because a chocolate peanut butter cup or Popsicle is labelled as such doesn’t mean it is any better for you. In fact, it can be worse! Sugar-free is no magic, food scientists have just replace added sugars with artificial sweeteners, usually made from sugar alcohols. Did you know sugar alcohols have the same amount of carbs as sugar? Yup! Even worse, our bodies don’t know how to digest these artificial ingredients. If you want to say goodbye to bloat, you also need to toss artificial sweeteners.
P.S. This includes diet soda!
3) Fall in love with fiber.
You’ve probably heard it a lot, but fiber is essential for weight loss. It keeps you feeling fuller longer and, well, regular, if you know what I mean. Don’t skip out on fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains this week. You want to make sure you don’t have any “blockage” before the big reveal! Berries, apples, cucumbers, tropical melons, leafy greens, asparagus, green beans, quinoa, and oats are some of my favorites when I want a flat looking stomach.
4) Eat regularly.
One of the worst things you can do if you want to get rid of a few extra pounds of water weight is to try to eat as little as possible. Most likely, you’ll find yourself knee deep in a late night binge by the end of the week, or sooner! Instead, eat every 2-4 hours to keep your blood sugar levels even and cravings at bay. When you don’t give your body the calories or nutrients it needs, your will power will not hold over. Additionally, going too long with too little is counter-intuitive for weight loss. Our bodies go into “starvation mode” and will hold onto any calories you consume. Hello indigestion, constipation, fat storage, and bloat!
5) Work up a sweat.
The best thing to get rid of excess water weight? You guessed it, a good sweat session! The week before a big event you can take it up a notch by adding another HIIT session and maybe an extra set of your exercises in resistance training. However, don’t go overboard. It won’t look pretty to be limping in stilettos because you’re too sore or, even worse, tore a muscle. The day before and of the event, keep your workout light to moderate. High intensity exercise can cause normal inflammation and water retention in our muscles after a hard-core sweat session. It’s part of your muscles repair process. A light jog, hike, walk, core work, or yoga class are great options.
6) Hydrate, gorgeous!
Hydration is ALWAYS important but it is especially important during the next five days. I recommend around 80-90 oz of water (for an average woman). If your body doesn’t get enough fluid, it will retain what you do put into it. The two days before an event, you can take your water intake down to 70 oz but don’t go too low, you can look sunken in. I love adding lemon juice to my water. It adds a little flavor and is awesome for de-bloating!
Tell me in the comment box below, what are the ways you prepare to feel and look your best? Do you change the food you eat, way you exercise?
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Health and happiness,