Suddenly the days are warmer, and whatever extra pounds you have accumulated over the winter months can no longer be hidden under sweaters and jeans. It is also likely that with the warmer weather, your appetite has also changed. You may want to eat less, and you may be craving different foods. But now is not the time to sabotage your weight loss efforts just because a day at the beach or pool (and the swimsuit that comes with that) is in your near future. Keep in mind that if you start cutting back too much, your weight loss could come to a screeching halt. When you’re on Atkins, it’s important to eat the full amount of recommended net carbs and optimal amount of calories for the Phase you are in. Eating less will make your body want to hold on to every last pound and slow down your metabolism. You want to keep your metabolism humming, while feeding your body a constant stream of nutrients (meats, dairy, fats, fiber-rich vegetables, and more, depending on the Phase you’re in). This will ensure that you remain satisfied and control your hunger while still dropping the pounds. Here’s how you can do this, even when the heat is on:
--Small, frequent meals: If the thought of the standard breakfast-lunch-dinner schedule you’ve been following in the winter months just seems too “heavy”, try eating a smaller 200-calorie mini-meal every two to three hours, with the goal of taking in a minimum of 1,500 calories by the end of the day. This will keep your metabolism steadily burning calories from each meal, while preventing sudden drops in blood sugar.
--Water: When the heat is on, it’s easy to become dehydrated. And, ironically, when you are dehydrated, your body tries to hold on to whatever water is in your body, leading to water retention, which, of course, may affect how your clothes fit. This may naturally lead you to think you need to eat less or even drink less. Not so fast. Make sure you’re drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. The water will keep you cool, flush out toxins and prevent dehydration.
--Food choices: More vegetables than ever are coming in season, and now that the weather is better, you can also grill outside. Enjoy grilled chicken, fish, steak and more. Slice it and pile it on top of a salad with the freshest vegetables. Enjoy quick snacks of chilled chicken, egg or shrimp salad wrapped in a romaine lettuce leave. Boil up a batch of hard-boiled eggs for a quick protein-packed snack, and keep plenty of cut-up veggies on hand to dip in salad dressing.