Written by: Grace Poppe, Membership Consultant, O2 Fitness Carrboro
Alright North Carolina, bikini season is here! Are you excited? Are you trying to lose weight? Maybe I can give you a couple of things to think about first.
Diets. We all know they're bad, right?
Well yes and no, its more complicated than that. We live in a culture with a fat stigma. Just the word can send any teenage girl running for the bathroom in tears. Do you want to know the secret though? Everyone has fat! There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. However, we do live in the U.S., and in the U.S., diets have turned into a giant cultural staple.
The concept of dieting lives in our subconsciousness, fueled by a corrupt media and thousands of clothing stores, whose sizes run so small you didn’t stand a chance. This is one skeleton that seriously needs to come out of the closet.
So what's the harm?
Dieting in itself is not about people taking their health a bit more seriously (exercising more regularly, grilling instead of frying, etc...). Dieting is based off of this toxic mentality that is constantly telling you that you are not good enough and drawing a direct link between your self-worth and your body fat content, which is just plain wrong! The dieting industry is reinforcing these insecurities at every turn, because they are making money off of them.
Hundreds of testimonials telling you you’ll live longer, be happier, feel more feminine/masculine, be more productive, and more well accepted in society- all you have to do is take a pill, powder, follow these restrictions, tally points, or count calories. But these types of diets won’t work in the long run! Ninety five percent of diets fail flat out, and people gain all of the weight back.
Diet pills are mostly caffeine and appetite suppressants, like amphetamines. They may work in the short term, but they also have a tendency to amp up your blood pressure, result in nervousness, and since you have a false sense of fullness- they keep you from eating properly and getting the nutrition you need. Ultimately, they are just slowing your metabolism down.
With all that said, summer is still a great time to start making some positive lifestyle choices. Make the change for yourself- not for a bathing suit. Being happy and being healthy are synonymous, so enjoy yourself! The world isn’t going to stop over some pizza! Adding some spinach is always good idea though.
So now that we have gotten the idea of diet out of your head, lets talk about a healthy summer! What do you want to be eating? What makes you feel great through and through? Well here are some of my favorite summer food tips.
4 Fast Fitness Freebies
Throw out the frying pan and fire up the grill!
It makes your meat leaner, lets veggies retain more of their natural nutrients, plus it gives you an excuse to talk to your neighbors! Next, clean out your refrigerator!
Throw out all of that mayo, sour cream, and butter substitute.
You do not need all of those chemicals in your body. Try to replace them with simpler, healthy alternatives like avocado, Greek yogurt, or some organic olive oil.
Fresh vegetables are your friend!
Try everything, and find ways to incorporate veggies into dishes that you already love to make (Spinach goes great in pasta dishes!). If you are worried about the price, check out your local farmers market and buy based on what's in season.
Remember to keep hydrated, and also make sure you have plenty of protein. If you do this, you’ll be running like a well oiled machine. And if you need a quick recipe for this summer, here is one of my favorites!
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 3 TBSP fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium tomato
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- sea salt and pepper to taste
All that you need is a pan and a lid, throw it all in, let it simmer on medium for 5-10 minutes, and chow down. Its an easy recipe open to many variations, so be creative!