WANT to get fitter and slimmer for summer?

Or maybe you're not so worried about wearing a swimsuit as you are about the health implications of being overweight.

Either way, shedding those few extra pounds doesn't have to be a massive chore.

A few simple lifestyle hacks can set you well on your way to becoming more svelte without really trying.

All you need is a little discipline and commitment – it takes a couple of months to start noticing a difference, so bunker down for the long-haul.

1. Spring clean your kitchen

We're simple creatures. What we see, we want.

Rather than keeping all your treats at the front of your fridge, stick them all in one place towards the bottom and bring all your colourful fruit and veg to the front.

That way, when you're scouting for something to eat, you'll be bombarded with healthy options straight away.

If you're having to root around for processed grub, you may decide that you don't actually want it – or you'll go for the healthy stuff first and then go back for pud.

Either way, arranging it so that the vitamins come first is always going to be a winner.

Keep reaching for the Maltesers? Stick all your treats in a box and put it on top of a cupboard so it's out of sight.

2. Give yourself two booze-free nights a week

There's nothing like coming back from a long, hard day at work to unwind with a glass of wine on the sofa or a pint down the pub.

If you want to lose body fat, however, it's time to break that habit.

A pint of lager can contain up to 180 calories, which the same as a slice of pizza. Drink five pints a week and can add up to a colossal 44,200 extra calories a year.

That's the equivalent of eating 221 doughnuts.

A standard glass of contains 126kcals a glass.

So if you are in the habit of drinking every night, then assigning yourself two sober days a week will help you save at least 300 calories without doing anything.

And when you do drink, try to go for clear-coloured spirits like vodka (go for soda water rather than pop for your mixer) and choose red wine over beer.

We recently revealed that red wine helps to protect our brains.

It contains an antioxidant compound called resveratrol, which has also been credited with helping us to live longer.

Neuroscientist Dr Lisa Mosconi recommends women drink one small glass of wine a day for their brain health.

On your booze-free days, go for grape, pomegranate or prune juice instead.

3. Have healthy snacks on hand

Men's Fitness guru Joel Snape says that unhealthy snacking is "most people's downfall".

Writing in the Telegraph, his top two tips are eating protein at every meal and having a back-up plan for when a snack attack happens.

"(Protein) helps so much with blood sugar regulation and minimising how inclined you will be to snacking," he says.

When you have a high carb meal or snack, your blood sugar spikes and your body is able to digest it quickly – often leaving you feeling hungry within a couple of hours.

Ian Marber, nutrition consultant and founder of The Food Doctor, previously told The Sun that the key to feeling satisfied for longer is to make sure you have enough protein, fat and fibre going on.

"For example, a teacup worth of oats (just for guidance) and another with 75 per cent berries or chopped apple, and 1/4 mixed nuts will extend energy and minimise hunger.

"Or an egg with avocado and a small piece of toast. Maybe a tablespoon of Greek yoghurt and a plum – any protein eaten with a fibre-rich carb has the same outcome."

Joel's other tip about having backup snacks is simply to make sure that you always have a stash of healthy nibbles to go to, so you avoid filling up on rubbish.

Go for things that taste delicious but have some added nutritional value, such as Hippeas (both high in fibre and protein), Brave Peas (a source of protein) or a Pulsin Raw Brownies (also rich in protein).

4. Spend 15 minutes a day be active

You don't have to spend hours at the gym or running to work to get fit.

But you do need to move a little.

You've got two options: spend less time exercising but put as much effort as you can into it, or go for longer at a lower intensity.

If you hate working out, you're best off going hard for a quarter of an hour.

Set yourself up in your living room and plug your phone into your TV using the FIIT app, which will stream short workouts to you with some of the world's best trainers.

Alternatively, create a little circuit for yourself.

Joel says: "Your go-to living room workout needs to be so simple it would be ridiculous not to do it.

"Try doing squats for 20 seconds and then resting for 10 seconds and repeating this for four minutes.

"Do the same with lunges and press ups and you’ve got yourself a 15-minute workout which couldn’t be easier and will make you feel looser after a day spent at your desk."

5. De-stress

Stress can have a profound effect on metabolism and gut health.

Our bodies don't really know the difference between physical and mental stress; they'll handle work problems in the same way they would the threat of famine.

The more stressed out we are, the more the body clings to fat reserves and muscle mass.

If you really want to start shifting body fat, you need to get your body (and mind) to relax.

That'll get it to release fat molecules, take the pressure off the gut, and allow muscles to grow.

And the best way to change your body composition is to increase the amount of lean muscle mass you have.

So once you've got to grips with your home workout, it might be time to get yourself into the weights room down the gym.

6. Quit the fizzy drinks

The easiest way to start cutting calories is to stop drinking pointless ones.

Fizzy drinks, fruit punch, sports and energy drinks that are sweetened with extra sugar are all thought to play a part in us growing fatter.

But it's not just our weight that pop can affect.

Sugary drinks are also thought to make us more prone to cancer, a new study has found.

It follows a report released back in March that found that drinking Diet Coke every day "increases your risk of dying young from heart disease and cancer".

Sugar-laden fizzy drinks were found to increase the risk of early death from any cause by a fifth – and were also blamed for fuelling a rise in cancer cases, Harvard experts said.

While swapping to diet drink – or diet versions in general – is better, drink more than four a day and you're still at risk of dying young.

Experts looked at data from 80,647 women and 37,716 men who had answered questionnaires about lifestyle factors every two years.

They found that drinking two fizzy drinks a day increased that risk by 14 per cent, while those guzzling more than two a day had a 21 per cent increased risk of early death.

They also had a 31 per cent higher chance of dying young from heart disease.

Each additional drink consumed per day increased the risk by another 10 per cent.

In fact, most of the things you need to do to achieve healthy weight loss have other knock-on health benefits.


Going for fibre-rich snacks over sugary treats is going to keep you fuller for longer while helping to protect you from

things like bowel cancer.

Stress can have a massively damaging impact on our overall health too, so it really is a case of killing multiple birds with one stone.

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