Well, it’s just about here. Euro 2012. But also, and perhaps more importantly, beach season. And if your body isn’t beach-ready, I’ve got a couple recommendations for you. One, get a tan. (Pretty much everyone except Madonna looks better with a tan.) And two, slash calories from your diet. As I’ve said before, 80 percent of your body composition is determined by what you eat. So if you want to look svelte in your Speedo, your best bet is cutting back to lose weight fast. Here’s how.
1. Dip your fork in your salad dressing
So you’ve decided to eat salads rather than burgers and fries. Terrific. But if you drench those salads with fatty dressing, you’ll defeat the entire purpose. (Fact: most chain restaurant salads have more calories than a cheeseburger.) So first, ask for your dressing on the side. Second, dip your fork in the dressing, then spear that salad-y goodness. That will significantly reduce your calories while still giving your lettuce some flavor. Bonus points if you go with a light salad dressing.
Bright reds and yellows catch your eye and actually spike your appetite; that’s why fast food joints like McDonald’s and KFC use them so heavily. Let some other schmuck fall for Ronald and the Colonel’s evil schemes.
2. Beware reds and yellows
Just as you should eat with small blue plates and bowls because the color blue is a natural appetite suppressant, resist red and yellow food packaging and marketing. See, bright reds and yellows catch your eye and actually spike your appetite; that’s why fast food joints like McDonald’s and KFC use them so heavily. Steer clear by reminding yourself that you’re not actually hungry, the colors just make you think you are. Let some other schmuck fall for Ronald and the Colonel’s evil schemes.
3. Seek out vinegar
You might catch more flies with honey, but you’ll catch more women with vinegar. It contains lots of acetic acid, which indirectly produces enzymes that help break down fat. A tablespoon or two as the condiment of choice on your salads and sandwiches ought to do the trick. And while you’re at it, tell your sandwich artist to hold the mayo.
4. Use purple sheets
As I’ve mentioned in previous columns, sleep is vital to your health. Six to eight hours each night won’t just recharge your brain and help your muscles grow. It’ll also make you less hungry for bad, sugary foods during the day. And if you’re having trouble sleeping, buy purple sheets. The color purple helps you relax and pushes you toward dreamland better than brighter alternatives. Ever wonder how Prince stays so well-rested and slim? Exactly.
5. Snack smarter
We all love snacking when we’re watching TV. But rather than potato chips, ice cream or cheese fries, reach for a healthier mini-meal like sugarless gum or baby carrots. Or better yet, go with a few sticks of celery, which have negative calories, meaning it takes more calories to eat them than they actually contain. Sure, they won’t taste as good as junk food, but that’ll just help you focus more on the game, right?
6. Go easy on the booze
Beers and cocktails pack boatloads of calories—especially if you’re downing six or more in one night. Next time, offer to be the designated driver and order ice water with lemon instead of whiskey and Cokes. Not only will you be taking care of your body by eliminating about a thousand calories from your evening, you’ll also be less word-slurry around the ladies. Which they seem to like.
Jay Cardiello is Made Man’s fitness and nutrition expert. As a top certified strength and conditioning coach, personal trainer and sports nutritionist, Cardiello has worked with Hollywood A-Listers, Fortune 500 CEOs and NFL stars. Check out his accelerated body transformation program, JCore, here, and his new book, Cardio Core 4×4, here.