Nutritionist says women can lose fat in time for summer with ‘rainbow menu’

Gut health expert Michelle Geraghty Horns explained that there are “a number of sustainable and long-term diet changes you can make to achieve healthy weight loss without going hungry,” and shared five effective ways to slim down in time for summer.

Switching to a rainbow menu

During the summer months, people tend to lean towards picnic-style food which often involves high numbers of carbs and sweet treats. Michelle recommended “focussing on fibre-based foods such as vegetables, whole grains and legumes instead if you are heading for a picnic”.

She explained that these are packed with essential nutrients, as well as dietary fibre, “which will keep you full and your digestive system healthy”.

The nutritionist also suggested opting for a “rainbow menu” during the summer months, which involves “swapping out dishes like macaroni and cheese, or mashed potatoes for roasted vegetables or a healthy grain salad”.

In the same way, instead of a dessert, “you might choose to have a yoghurt or fresh fruit,” she explained.

Opt for dark chocolate over milk chocolate

The expert explained that for those wanting a sweet treat, going for a healthier option such as dark chocolate is the best option.

She explained: “Opting to cut out chocolate altogether isn’t always a sustainable option, so I encourage my clients to try dark chocolate since it is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. If you decide to switch, look out for varieties with at least 80 percent cocoa for the greatest health benefits.

“When individuals try to cut out chocolate entirely, we often see them fall back into their old eating habits after a few weeks as they crave a sweet treat. By allowing your body some familiar favourites, you are far more likely to sustain your calorie deficit.”

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Eat smaller portions at a slower pace

Another weight loss hack is to eat small portions to allow the stomach time to digest food more easily, reducing the risk of indigestion and other digestive issues.

She explained: “People often eat far too quickly which makes it challenging for their body to break down the food they are eating. When you eat too quickly, your food can’t absorb the nutrients properly which means you will most likely end up overeating.”

Aim to drink more water

Drinking water can help to burn calories and reduce hunger cravings, according to Michelle. “Drinking more water increases the amount of calories you burn, also known as resting energy expenditure.

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“Water is a great detox method as staying hydrated is not only essential for your overall health, but it also helps to flush toxins from your body. Drinking water regularly throughout the day can help reduce bloating and stomach discomfort, putting you on the right track to lose weight safely,” she explained. 

Stick to a routine

When starting a diet, the nutritionist recommended sticking to a routine to avoid any sudden changes to gut health. She advised: “Try to avoid disrupting your gut by eating regular meals at set times, and not overindulging when it comes to the weekends.

“We commonly see individuals trying to lose weight by sticking to their routine during the week, and then ‘letting loose’ on the weekends which can be compromising to your gut. I recommend creating a balanced diet with a variety of colours and textures for the week, which includes some delicious treats in moderation to make sure you have your fill.”

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