No matter how much you love snow, let’s face it: a winter getaway is a nice way to break up the long, dark months leading up to the spring thaw. It’s also good motivation to lose a few pounds, because when you travel, whether it’s to the beach or the slopes, you want to look and feel your best.
The trouble many people encounter is how to see prompt results. Here are some quick weight loss tips to help you lose pounds without losing patience right before your vacation.
1. Make a Habit of Weighing Yourself
When it gets cold, make friends with your bathroom scale. It can help you lose weight and keep it off. That’s what researchers at Cornell University found when they followed an overweight group of people who weighed themselves on a daily basis and kept track of the numbers. Seeing the data can help secure the connection between what you’re eating and how it directly affects your waistline. Since your weight can fluctuate from morning to night, just make sure to weigh yourself at the same time each day.
2. Use a Smaller Plate
People tend to eat more than they really need—a phenomenon called portion distortion. Researchers at Cornell University found that people who were given larger bowls served themselves more food than people given smaller bowls, but they thought they’d eaten less. Trade in your dinner-sized plate for a smaller one; you’ll trick your brain into thinking you’re eating more, and you may not be so inclined to fill up the plate with more than you need.
3. Fight Bloat
Certain foods can actually help you get rid of that tight, bloated feeling, while others will bloat you beyond belief. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, some common bloat-inducers are dairy, apples, salty foods, broccoli, cabbage, kale, and legumes. Bloat-busters include kiwi, cucumber, bananas, papaya, and asparagus. To eat cleanly, put out a bowl of in-season winter fruits like oranges and grapefruits to give you a healthy dose of vitamins. It doesn’t need to be fresh, either: frozen, canned, and dried options are healthy, too.
4. Eat Out Wisely
It’s easy to get carried away when you’re eating out, especially during the winter, when dinner at a restaurant can offer a welcome escape from a stuffy house. Take back control by asking for salad dressing or sauce on the side, opting for broiled, baked, roasted, or grilled main dishes instead of fried options, replacing mayonnaise with mustard, or putting half of your entree into a take-home container (or sharing an entree with your dining companion). These strategies will have you feeling satisfied without going overboard.
5. Allow Yourself Treats
Losing weight shouldn’t be all about deprivation, as that often leads to a weight loss plan that’s difficult to sustain. Instead, indulge your need for something special but cap it at about 200 calories, suggests the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. To stay accountable and aware, pay attention to portion sizes. Since it can be tough to measure out every single thing you eat, acquaint yourself with proper serving sizes, take photos and notes on them on your phone, and make sure your meals are portioned correctly.
6. Move More
Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you have to avoid exercise. Easily ramp up your calorie burn in the house by running up and down the stairs, doing jumping jacks while watching TV, or by using your own body weight to do push-ups and squats. They may be little things, but remember: the little things all add up. High-intensity interval training is also a popular workout technique for people who are short on time. With small bursts of activity, you can actually see significant results without the hefty time commitment that most workouts require, according to the New York Times. As a bonus, you’ll be both ready to rest on your vacation and prepared to pick up a shovel the next time it snows.
7. Shape Your Body
Sometimes you just need a bikini body in the middle of February. The minimally invasive procedure Smartlipo® can help where diets and exercise don’t cut it by permanently reducing stubborn fat cells from trouble areas like your stomach, arms, and thighs. While you may not see it reflected on the scale, you should notice a slimmer appearance, giving you the confidence boost you crave right before your vacation. After the procedure, you will wear a compression garment for about a week, so keep that in mind when booking your trip.
Prepping for a vacation in the winter doesn’t have to be a daunting chore. With these practical tips, you’ll be looking and feeling your best in no time.