Let's be real: Winters are all about comfort food and cocktails. But once the seasons start to turn and the layers start to shed, it's normal to want to feel comfortable and confident in your own skin. If you've been meaning to hit the gym but haven't quite made it there yet, dietitian and nutritionist Andy Bellatti has a few simple and realistic tricks up his sleeve to help you look and feel your best in just a week. Read up on what Bellatti recommends below, as originally told to Business Insider.
Cut Back on Sodium
Being mindful of this ubiquitous ingredient is a quick and easy way to de-bloat (without living at the gym for the next seven days). And considering that most of us eat too much sodium (89% of adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), it shouldn't be too difficult. "Sodium retains water," said Bellatti. "So lowering sodium intake also reduces puffiness." Don't add table salt to anything, and avoid high-sodium foods like deli meats, breakfast cereals, vegetable juices, canned soups and vegetables, too many condiments, frozen dinners, pasta sauces, bread and tortillas, and canned tuna.
Drink a Lot of Water
Supplementing your meals with plenty of water will not only help you feel more satiated, but it will also improve the tone and texture of your skin. Ensuring that you're properly hydrated is one of the easiest ways to flush toxins from your body, boost energy, regulate your digestive system, and help with weight management.
Fill Up on Fiber
Fiber-rich foods help to keep you full and satisfied until your next meal, curbing snacking in the process. "Whole, plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds) are best," explains Bellatti. "One quick way to add extra fiber to your day: Sprinkle chia, hemp, or ground flax over whatever you're eating for a boost."
Be Mindful of Portion Sizes
Restaurant portion sizes have deeply distorted our idea of what a normal-size meal should look like. "Even the plates and cups we serve [our meals] on have gotten noticeably bigger" since the 1970s, notes BI. Keep that in mind when going out to eat or cooking at home—eating mindfully can also temper overeating and allow your body to feel full with a healthy amount of food.
Head over to Business Insider for more, and shop healthy living essentials below.
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This post was originally published on May 9, 2018, and has since been updated.