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What you need to do to look better and feel healthier in just ONE week

Mirror logo Mirror 24/04/2017 Zahra Mulroy

© Getty Believe it or not, but summer is just one more drawn-out bout of cold weather away.

Which means it's almost that time of year when we should brace ourselves for a glut of advice about how to get into shape , how to tone up - how to basically be a better version of your normal, slovenly self.

Of course, no one needs to be told that transformations don't happen overnight.

Yet, there are things you can do which will improve both the way you look and feel in as little as a week.

What's more, none of these tips involve cutting out several crucial food groups.

We're all ears

Dietitian and nutritionist Andy Bellatti spilled the secrets to Business Insider on how to look and feel healthier within a week. Here's what he had to say.

1 Calories shouldn't be your focus

There are risks attached to focusing on calories, Bellatti reveals.

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"This is especially true when eating at restaurants," he adds. "Many low-calorie items are loaded with sodium, which retains water and can leave you feeling bloated."

Not only this, but a healthy and sustainable rate of weight loss is estimated to be between one to three pounds a week.

So don't do anything too drastic.

2. And avoid going on a juice cleanse

If, like us, you're prone to bouts of "hanger", then a juice cleanse will be your enemy.

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This is because subsisting on just water, juice, or any other liquefied concoction for more than a few days not only promotes unhealthy eating patterns (solid food = BAD), but will probably cause unhealthy spikes and drops in blood sugar levels.

In turn, these can lead to mood swings and cravings.

3. Address your sodium intake

Nothing goes with chips like salt does. Nothing.

However, it seems sodium is creeping into our diets a little often and a little too much.

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The majority of us in the UK consume too much sodium.

If you've noticed you're looking puffy around the face and getting bloated in general, you may be guilty of this too.

"Sodium retains water," Bellatti says, "so lowering sodium intake also reduces puffiness."

4. Eat lots of fibre

Fibre is commonly described as an "energy powerhouse", with nutritionists recommending we eat plenty of vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, and brussel sprouts.

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"Whole, plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds) are best," Bellatti says. "One quick way to add extra fiber to your day: sprinkle chia, hemp, or ground flax over whatever you're eating for a boost."

5. Don't go banning foods

According to Bellatti, there is a marked difference between cutting back on the foods you eat in excess and banishing an entire food group.

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If you rely on diets which encourage avoiding gluten or sugar, you may end of replacing them with ingredients which may actually be nutrient deficient. Which is bad news for you.

6. AVOID powders and pills

The problem with these is they were once a whole food, and were then stripped down to one ingredient.

Bellatti explains: "When something is a powder, you're probably using what, a teaspoon or tablespoon at most? And you have to wonder how much that can really do. Versus a cup of broccoli or a quarter cup of cashews. That’s something significant."

7. Drink plenty of water

Our cells shrivel up and die if we don't get enough H2O. To avoid this, current NHS guidelines state we should aim to drink eight glasses a day.

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If you're not a fan of the stuff, lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks including tea and coffee all count too.

However, Bellati does recommend you try to stick to just plain water, and add slices of fruit to it if you're struggling.


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