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Nervous about hitting the beach? 10 tips to boost your body confidence

2nd June 2014

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It’s a matter of weeks (or maybe even days) before the summer holidays hit – and if you’re not feeling overly confident about getting into a bikini, we wouldn’t blame you.

There’s still time, though. Fiona Kirk, nutritionist and author of 2 Weeks in the Fast Lane, has offered us her tips on how to get yourself ready for the beach when time is super-tight and you might feel that desperate measures are required.

Also, Fiona’s tips allow for a little holiday indulgence – so you won’t feel the pressure to leap into a crazy crash diet to undo the damage when you get back home.

She says: “Many of us are guilty of leaving it too late, but all is not lost. We can shed a few pounds fast as long as we avoid the temptation to go mega low on calories. The semi-starve route may result in us hitting the beach day one feeling lighter and leaner but as soon as we start to relax into a holiday and enjoy ourselves, the iron discipline wavers and the pounds invariably pile back on.

“The most frustrating thing about many quick fix diets is that they invariably involve copious amounts of calorie counting, require that you stick like glue to the ‘rules’ and it’s often impossible to continue with a prescriptive plan whilst on holiday, so things tend to go a bit pear-shaped.

“Holidays are all about having fun but sticking with the basic principles of my super fast diet is pretty stress-free and if you find time before you go to ensure you have a few meals in the freezer for your return home, those few days of throwing caution to the wind on holiday won’t cause any lasting damage.”

Here’s what to do…

•     Eat (and enjoy!) 2 or 3 filling and satisfying meals a day, resulting in plenty of nourishment, increased fat burning and little or no hunger and cravings.

•     Eat meals when you are actually hungry, rather than adhering to the classic breakfast, lunch and dinner mantra. You’ll eat less in a day without really being aware that you are.  

•     Leave 5 hours between meals and don’t snack, allowing the fat burning hormones ample time to get into action and burn stored fat for energy rather than squirreling excess calories away in our fat cells for later.

•    Drink between meals but not with meals, prompting improved digestion and no bloating.

•     Have 3 days where no starchy carbohydrates (bread, potatoes, pasta, rice and other grains) are included, but allow them every fourth day. This way your cravings for sugar and starch are kept under control.

•     Include vegetables with every meal but not those high in fibre (such as peas or broccoli) which can be hard to digest and often result in frustrating waistband woes.

•     Eat fruit to reap its health-enhancing benefits, but not with other foods - an important, hunger-busting, sweet and delicious exception to the no snacking rule.

•     Use top dollar butter, nut and seed oils for cooking, spreading and drizzling to benefit from their wealth of ‘good’ fats, and leave health-disrupting butter alternatives and overly-processed oils firmly on the supermarket shelf.

•     Plan ahead, wherever possible, and cook/freeze your meals - research shows that we are 80% less likely to ‘cheat’ on a diet when we have wholesome and satisfying meals to hand.

•     And finally… indulge in a chocolate ‘fix’ every day! Dark chocolate (the darker the better) rightly deserves its super food medal thanks to the wealth of healthy fats, the plant chemicals that prompt the release of hormones that make us feel happy, and its ability to knock sugar cravings on the head, fast. There’s a lot to love about chocolate and a small bar every day should be regarded as a friend to any diet. It’s not fattening, it’s fabulous!

2 Weeks in the Super Fast Lane is available in paperback from all Amazon sites priced £5.99

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