We’ve been warming up for a while now and 21st June signaled the official start of British summertime – at long last! With BBQs, light nights and bathing in the sunshine to look forward to – what’s not to love? Unfortunately, for many of us stripping off for summer can uproot underlying self-esteem issues, leading to body confidence blues that can overcloud those summer vibes. The good news is that learning to love the skin you’re in can help you to overcome these obstacles and ultimately #FeelGoodNKD. Read on for some top tips to boost your body confidence and get summer ready!
Avoid Unrealistic Expectations
Have you ever looked at the latest Instagram influencer and wondered how her waist is so tiny yet her bum is so big? Or that male model who must surely have to pump iron for every second of the day to maintain those bulging biceps and washboard abs? 🤔 What you don’t see on social media is the team behind that person – their fitness instructor, their makeup team, their wardrobe department – finish with a filter and you’d hardly recognise them in real life!
We’re all for following people who promote healthy habits and inspire and motivate us to do the same, but more often than not the people with the biggest followings on social media are the least relatable. Without the same entourage of people dedicated to making us look our best, it’s unrealistic to expect to look anything these so-called influencers.
Trying to alter your natural body shape or size to fit in with the latest trends can have negative effects on both your physical and mental wellbeing. So, take pride in the fact that you’re not covering up or hiding, but living in the real world and embracing your natural self!
Forget Fad Diets
As a nutritionist one of the most frustrating things to see and hear is the rise of so-called weight loss products. Visit any health food shop or chemist and you’ll be inundated with shelves stocked with pills, potions and even teas all making notorious claims such as “melts belly fat” and “speeds up metabolism.”
Not only is this misleading but it is massively unethical! Products like this are usually targeted at those who have tried and failed to lose weight and are at a point of desperation for results. Most weight loss products are developed to get vulnerable people to part with their hard-earned cash on the basis of a false promise – which is seriously unsettling!
If you’re looking to lose weight, there really is nothing more to it than to put your body into a calorie deficit – get fewer calories from your food than you expend each day. This causes your body to burn fat stores for energy, leading to weight loss – et voilà!
So, avoid yo-yo dieting and quick fixes – they’ve been shown to increase the likelihood of weight gain in the long-term. Instead, opt for a year-round healthy lifestyle with plenty of real, natural food and enough exercise to keep you fit – not to mention the occasional treat every now and then!
Don’t Fixate on Weight
We have an unhealthy obsession with weight loss and it’s often the case that the weight we are aiming to drop to is plucked from thin air! Being underweight can have just as many harmful consequences as being overweight. Those with a BMI under 18.5kg/m2 are at risk of nutritional deficiencies, muscle wastage, and harmful hormonal imbalances. What’s more, they’re more likely to suffer from fatigue, stress, and anxiety.
What you should be aiming for is to maintain a healthy weight. Use a BMI calculator to determine what the healthy weight range is for someone of your height. Once you know this, you can happily fluctuate up and down in this spectrum, knowing that you’re within the comfort zone of a healthy BMI.
Being body confident is all about learning to be happy in the skin you’re in – embracing your natural shape and size. So instead of fixating on the scales, instead focus on how you feel. If your clothes are tight and you’re feeling uncomfortable, tighten the dietary reigns! If you’d like to see a few more curves on your frame then try not to worry so much about what you eat.
Dress to Destress!
Some of us are happier to flash the flesh than others! If bikinis and short-shorts aren’t your thing then don’t feel pressured to follow the crowd and wear something you’re uncomfortable in. Make sure to try before you buy and whatever you do don’t buy clothes which are smaller than you are! Not only is this wholly unnecessary but it will also put punishing pressure on your summer slimming plans.
If dropping a dress size is what will make you happy and body confident this summer then go for it – but wait until you’ve reached your goal before getting that smaller summer wardrobe. And remember, your style is your opportunity to showcase how wonderfully unique you are – so let your dress sense reflect your personality, flaunt your favorite features and set you aside from the rest!
Learn to Love with Your Imperfections
We all have parts of our body that we wish were bigger, smaller, better or not there at all! Imperfections don’t make you flawed – they make you human. Whether you have scars, stretch marks, love handles or laughter lines – these are all products of your experiences; childbirth, weight loss, amazing food, laughter!
Learning to love your body just the way it is is all about embracing your ‘flaws’. You are who you are and recognising these things as characteristics that make you unique, rather than imperfections will help you to do feel more confident and summer-ready.
Body confidence doesn’t come naturally to all of us but incorporating these healthy habits into your everyday could help to boost self-esteem and get you feeling summer body confident! Learning to #FeelGoodNKD is all about loving the skin you’re in and doing whatever will make you feel happier, healthier and most comfortable just the way you are!
Author: Stephanie Masterman @NutriNoggin
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