*This was posted by Elephant In The Room & Haircuts for Men Tulsa , EITR Lounge.

It’s time to get fit and slim down for the summer. Here are some helpful tips to get you there.

1. Don’t eat out 5 days per week: Eat home prepared meals Monday through Friday for breakfast lunch and dinner. Not only will this benefit your calorie intake, it will also help your wallet! Even when a menu item might seem like a healthy option on paper, you don’t know how it was prepared. Eating out also makes it harder to keep portion sizes in check.

2. Lower your sugar intake: If you want to lose weight, cut out the sugar from your diet significantly. Most people have no idea how much sugar they ingest per day. For example, did you know that one cup of orange juice has 22 grams of sugar? Or that Starbucks’ Venti Blended Caramel Frappuccino has 81 grams of sugar? Try cutting your sugar intake by half each day, and you’ll notice decreased cravings for sugary treats and after a week or so, you should lose a pound or two.

3. Stop eating out of a bag: You know those times when you are starving and you grab a bag of chips? Before you know it, the bag is empty!  Never let yourself eat out of the bag. Instead, take one serving (check the label on the bag to verify a serving size), and put it in a bowl. Then put that bag away! Eat your serving, and move on with your day!

4. Increase your vegetable intake: Make it a point to consume one-to-two vegetable servings with all meals! My favorite vegetables (and ones that can be consumed in unlimited quantities) include: kale, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower and spinach. Limit the intake of vegetables that are higher in carbohydrates (such as peas, carrots, potatoes, corn, and beets).

5. Eat Fruit but be cautious: Fruits provide vitamins and fiber. However, due to the sugar content, it is a food you should consume in limited quantities each day. According to the USDA’s MyPlate.gov, a woman between the ages of 31-50 should eat 1.5 cups of fruit per day. A man between the ages of 31-50 should have two cups of fruit per day. How much is one cup of fruit? Check out this chart.

6. Limit your alcohol consumption: If you must drink alcohol, I recommend one-to-two drinks per week at a maximum. Avoid all sugary, mixed party drinks! You should measure the quantity of your cocktail to one serving. So, one glass of wine is only five ounces. There are two reasons to limit the alcohol consumption. First, to decrease empty, non-fueling calories and second, to avoid senseless eating. Alcohol causes decreased inhibitions that often lead a “who cares” attitude for your weight loss goal.

7. No eating after 9 p.m.:  Not only will you sleep better if you avoid calories before bed, but you will also eliminate the mindless calories eaten when you are simply bored at night.

8. Weigh every week: Weigh yourself every week so you can keep track of your weight loss. You should weigh in on the same day of the week and log it on paper or on a helpful tracking tool like MyPlate. A healthy amount of weight to lose per week is one-to-two pounds.

9. Exercise and get your cross-training: I recommend you work out five-to-six times per week. Cross training is essential for these workouts. Try and do something different each day! The more you change your workout routine, the more you’ll shock your body, and the more your body will change!

10. Get accountability in your life: The moment you tell your friends and family about your weight loss goal, you are truly committing to your challenge. If you are hesitant to get accountable, you are likely not going to give a 100 percent effort in your quest to drop those pounds.

Put these 10 actions into play for the next 30-to-60 days, and you’ll be ready for summer when June comes around.

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