Racing season is upon us so it's time to think about getting into shape and looking good. Today we're sharing Karen Inge's top ways to feel slimmer — Fast. (OK, a few are tongue in cheek, but we hope you find them fun anyway).
1. Get sweaty
Fluid retention can leave you feeling heavier than you really are. Avoid high salt foods and meals leading up to a special event as this can lead to your body reserving more fluid. Drink plenty of water to help keep your water works flowing to flush out your system. Cranberry juice is thought to have a mild diuretic effect and increase fluid loss.
2. Bust the bloat
Bloating can be caused by a number of factors, and can really impact on your body image on a big day or night out. Common dietary causes include swallowing excess air, so aim to slow down while eating, plus avoid carbonated drinks and chewing gum. Common gas producing or “windy” foods to go easy on the day before, include broccoli stalks and cabbage, legumes like chickpeas and baked beans and sugar-free confectionery with sorbitol. Probiotic yoghourts and drinks have been shown to help minimise bloating symptoms.
3. Hold it all in
While it takes amazing core strength to suck your stomach in all night, you can make an impression when it counts. Concentrate on aligning your body — walk tall with pride on arrival – elongate your spine by lengthening up through your head. And keep your shoulders back and maintain good posture at the dinner table. Regular Pilates or yoga classes can do wonders for changing your stance and posture so you appear taller and leaner.
4. Eat upside down
Want to avoid feeling heavy just before you go out at night? Then reverse the way you naturally eat and have your biggest meal at the start of the day. When you breakfast like a king and lunch like a Queen, you only need to eat lightly in the evening. It’s a good habit to get into, moving towards the warmer months, so you can enjoy a light spring salad for an evening meal, like poached salmon with rocket, and still have energy to walk after dinner.
5. Mini munch
Instead of eating 3 meals, try a pattern of mini meals or munchies during the day of a big evening event. If it’s a special party, wedding or celebration, chances are the nerves or excitement will quash your appetite anyway. And by eating often and light you’ll keep your energy levels up and avoid further butterflies and indigestion. Go for low GI mini morsels like a yogurt drink or tub of low fat vanilla yogurt, fresh peach or apple, ½ piece of wholegrain toast with tomato and a cup of air popped popcorn.
6. Listen to the signals
It’s true that some snacks, like celery sticks, require so much munching and crunching that the kilojoules they contain are virtually used up in digestion. But you can become too focussed on snacking. Try and really listen to your appetite signals, enjoy a satisfying main meal and don’t just eat because it’s morning or afternoon tea time. Perhaps you can skip the snacks today to compensate for the party bites tonight?
7. Swap biscuits for a walk
If the only way you get through an arvo slump is a cuppa and handful of biscuits, try a change of scene before a hot date and break your habits. Walking is a great way to re-energize, even it’s just for 10 minutes in the work stairwell. Better still, get outside if you can for a breath of fresh air. Your mind will be clear once returning to your tasks and a lovely cup of mint tea or skinny latte will keep you going till dinner.