Here in the PNW (Pacific Northwest), summer can really sneak up on you. Just when you think you have a few more weeks to prepare before showing some skin, you’ve got to have that bikini body ready to rock. In case you find yourself in a pickle, here are 5 simple tips to drop the winter weight fast:

Nix The White Stuff

What they say is true – cut out flour, sugar, and grains and the weight just falls off. Stock up on lean protein and leafy green veggies as your main source of nourishment. You can easily lose 2-5 pounds in a week by just restricting carbs from your diet. When the weather is nice, fire up the bbq and choose your favorite grillables to pair with veggies. Be careful of condiments and sauces as most of them contain sugar. Here are some bbq sauce recipes if you simply can’t skip the dip.

Drink Water…Lots Of It

Drinking water helps boost your metabolism, cleanses your body of waste, and acts as an appetite suppressant. Not only does drinking water detoxify the body, but it keeps you from retaining that extra water weight. Mix things up by adding a little lemon, mint or cucumbers to your refreshment. Take your favorite water bottle wherever you go and be sure to drink at least 8 glasses or more a day.

Add Cardio

If the HIIT (high-intensity interval workout) at the gym doesn’t appeal to you, don’t sweat it. There are much less strenuous ways of getting your heart rate going. Be mindful of the amount of energy you exert during the day and find small ways to increase it. Taking the stairs, walking to lunch instead of driving, meeting a girlfriend for a bike ride or going dancing on weekends, are just a few ideas. You’ll be surprised by what a big difference simple lifestyle changes can make.

Skip The Salt

Reducing your salt intake can help curb water retention, leading to the kind of fluid loss that shows up on the scale permanently. Salt is in just about everything, so cooking your own meals can make a big difference in your salt intake. Best advice: Invest in a well-stocked spice rack and experiment with different spice combinations. The flavors will be so bold that you won’t even consider adding salt. Don’t know where to start? Check out these herbs and spices to add to your favorite foods.

No Nighttime Eating

Admittedly, I have been a long time late night muncher as I tend to turn to food for relaxation. K. Aleisha Fetters from Women’s Health says “Many women take in nearly half of their daily calories at or after dinner and one out of three people put away 15 percent of their calories after 11 p.m”. Shocking, right? If you’re ready to kick the habit, create a hard and fast rule not to eat past a specific time (usually between 6-7:00 PM). After a while, the cravings will subside. When I encounter a moment of weakness, I grab a glass of lemon water, or if I need something crunchy, a couple of carrots or celery to get me by.

How do you lose weight in the summer? Let us know in the comment below.

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