Tips to Get in Your Best Summer Shape

Who's ready for summer?! Believe it or not, Memorial Day is just around the corner. While I am not a big fan of the "bikini body" mantra that dominates magazines as summer approaches (health is a year-round journey), there is something to be said for warmer weather making us more aware of our bodies. No longer are we hidden by chunky layers. Instead we are whipping out the bathing suits and showing off our hard work to the world. Getting your body that extra push can be a dreaded challenge, and although going to the gym is important for staying in shape, following a proper diet is even more important. You can have the tightest abs in America but if they are hiding under a layer of fat, no one will see how hard you have been working. Here are my top tips for getting your body healthy and prepared for the warm summer days ahead. These are also great to keep in mind any time of year when you need that extra push. 

  1. Salad Savior: We all suffer from salad boredom, but if you kick your salads up a notch, it is a great way to get in your veggies and protein. I love this seasonal recipe: mix two cored, diced apples with the juice of one lemon. In a bowl, combine large chunks of watermelon, one head of sliced endive, four chopped celery stalks and one tablespoon of walnut oil. Mix together with the the apple and lemon juice. If you don't have walnut oil, you can substitute for a healthy, flavorful olive oil. 
  2. Make Snacking Finite: Having a healthy snack that comes already portion-controlled is a great way to limit your snacking. Single-serving packs of nuts or nut butter, a hand-held fruit or an individually-wrapped serving of dark chocolate are great options. 
  3. After Dinner Snack Attack: If you are a dessert-lover, try making your own frozen yogurt. Just freeze a cup of your favorite Greek yogurt and let it thaw a few minutes before eating. If you want to try some fun flavors and don't want to freeze it yourself, I love Yasso frozen Greek yogurt bars.
  4. Push Back Dinner: If you tend to eat an early dinner and find yourself snacking the night away, try eating a later dinner so you are not as hungry and can keep the snacking to a minimum.
  5. Leader by Lunch: Start your morning off right, and the rest of the day will follow. If you start your day with a healthy breakfast like two hard-boiled eggs and a banana, it is easier to stay healthy throughout the rest of the day.
  6. Drink Up!: I can't stress enough how important it is to drink water. Good, old-fashioned water can help cleanse the body and actually keep you full. I recommend drinking one liter before lunch. If you want to spice it up a little, add some fresh lemon, lime and/or cucumber slices instead of going for the artificially-flavored stuff.
  7. Portion Control: Your eyes are bigger than your stomach. Make sure to keep your portion sizes in check. Try eating off of a smaller plate. Filling up a smaller plate rather than a large one will keep your brain satisfied while keeping the calories down.
  8. Bread Is the Devil: Like I always say, bread is the devil. I know it is hard, but eliminating processed carbs like white bread and rice will help keep your figure at its best. No one has ever come to see me because they are eating too much broccoli. 
  9. Don't Forget Fiber: Filling up on foods that are high in dietary fiber will not only help keep you fuller longer, but is a great tool to help you lose weight. Try getting your fiber first thing in the morning with your breakfast. 
  10. Skip the Cocktails: We all know how tempting frozen margaritas and daiquiris can be, but eliminating those sugary drinks will save you tons of calories. If you feel the need to have a drink, go for a light beer or glass of wine, or a vodka and soda with a splash of lime.

Heather Bauer

Heather Bauer is a nationally recognized nutrition expert, author, and entrepreneur.

She brings her fresh and inspiring approach to diet to prime time spots on Good Morning America, CNN, CBS, The Talk, Access Hollywood Live and The Tyra Banks Show. And she's featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and People Magazine. 

Heather is the author of two best-selling nutrition and diet books, The Wall Street Diet and Bread is the Devil, and has regular columns on The Huffington Post and USNews where she writes about the latest trends.

She is the founder of Bestowed, the leading product discovery platform for health-conscious consumers, and has an active nutrition counseling practice in NYC, which she founded in 2001.

Heather is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and a New York State Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist (CDN). She graduated from The University of Wisconsin with honors and is a member of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and the New York State Dietetic Association (NYSDA).