13 Ways to Slim Down for the Beach (and Not Starve)

As swimsuit season approaches, many people look for ways to tighten, tone, and lose weight for the beach and other get-togethers. While weight loss can be a good change for many of us, it’s important to do it naturally and healthily. That means knowing how to slim down this summer without feeling hungry, tired and unsatisfied.

1. Start from a Place of Love

Anyone can pursue weight loss—and most of us are tempted to do so when summer or a big event approaches—but intention matters.

Ask yourself why you want to lose weight. It’s normal to be motivated by looking better, but it’s the deeper reasons that lead to long-term success. Think about desired outcomes beyond just appearance, such as feeling good and having more energy.

2. Focus on Healthy Macros

Aim for a combination of carbs, proteins and fats in each meal and snack. The exact amount varies per person. Some people feel better eating less carbs while others emphasize protein. But a balance of healthy macros will help you stay satisfied and nourished all day long.

3. Emphasize Fruits and Vegetables

Nutrient optimization is a key tip in how to slim down—and stay at a healthy weight. Fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits give you tons of the nutrients your body needs to thrive. Try to incorporate veggies into each meal and eat fruit several times a day.

Combine fruits and veggies with healthy proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains, beans, and legumes for a well-balanced diet.

4. Reduce Refined Sugars and Carbs

Most Americans consume way too many sugars and refined carbs. These come in the form of packaged products, fast foods, and sugary baked goods like muffins and cookies.

Crowd out these foods by eating more whole foods in their place.

5. Choose Non-Caloric Beverages

Avoid sugary sodas, Starbucks drinks, alcohol, or anything else that contributes calories or sugar to your diet. There are plenty of ways to enjoy a beverage without added calories, like:

  • Zevia sodas (they are sweetened with stevia!)
  • Unsweetened hot or iced teas or coffees
  • Water with a squeeze of fresh fruit juice

Remember: water is best! Drinking plenty of water keeps you hydrated, energized, and helps prevent eating when you’re not hungry.

6. Eat Mindfully

Gift yourself the time of slowing down at meal times. Mindful eating helps you tune into hunger, fullness, and any emotions around eating. Plus, it’s good for your digestion!

7. Exercise at Least Three Times a Week

Exercise is a crucial complement to healthy eating and slimming down. It helps burn calories but also boosts your metabolism and can increase fat burning over time.

Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day, including strength training twice a week.

8. Get Enough Sleep

Your body repairs itself during sleep, which is why rest is so crucial for a healthy body and physique. Adjust your schedule to work towards at least seven hours per night.

Related: How to Get Good Sleep Tonight

9. Eat Enough Calories

This might seem counterintuitive, but some of us actually need to eat more to lose! Undereating can slow down your body’s metabolic rate and caloric needs, forcing you to eat less and less to continue losing weight.

Instead, focus on eating high-quality whole foods that leave you satisfied and fuel your body properly.

10. Find Healthier Versions of Your Favorite Foods

Love pizza? Make a healthier pizza at home.

Love Chipotle? Make your own burritos with whole grain tortillas and tons of veggies.

The recipe for “how to slim down” doesn’t need to include bland food. Search the internet for healthy recipes for your favorite cuisine.

11. Practice Positive Self-Talk

Did you know how you speak to yourself can have a big impact on your weight loss goals? If you’re always focused on the negative, you won’t be able to focus on the progress you are making—and treat your body with the respect it deserves now.

Try catching negative thoughts about yourself, then redirect them into something positive about yourself instead.

12. Talk Yourself Through Emotional Eating

Crash diets or “black-and-white” thinking about food can lead to emotional eating and other disordered eating patterns. If you struggle with emotional eating, take some time to breathe deeply and dive into why you’re bingeing or overeating. What do you need right now instead of food?

13. Be Realistic

Healthy weight loss is steady, not extreme.

Instead of focusing on a strict number you want to lose by swimsuit season, make your goal about feeling better and getting tons of nutrient-dense foods in your diet. And make sure any goal weight you set is realistic for the timeframe, your health, and your body.

The Bottom Line

The methods for how to slim down look a little different for everyone. But these tips can help you look and feel your best when it’s time to head to the beach!

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