Now that the sun is finally shining, our thoughts often turn to our body! We all like to feel and look as good as we can during the summer months, so here's some great tips from Suzie Sawyer, Clinical Nutritionist for Nature's Way.

Are you there yet?

Are you there yet?

Tip 1 - Don't graze

Whilst the body doesn't like to be 'starved', which slows the metabolism, eating at regular intervals is important. However, even if you're taking in less calories than you're using up, the body will tend to store fat if you're constantly grazing throughout the day. This is because the body is never able to enter the post-absorptive phase of digestion, which helps regulate the insulin response. Consequently, the body will be in fat-storing mode. Have definite breaks between meal times - ideally around three hours.

Tip 2 - Eat slowly

It's not just your digestion that will welcome you chewing your food slowly by putting your knife and fork down between each mouthful; the natural hormonal response that is activated when your mouth starts the chewing process helps regulate the insulin response. This better balances your blood sugar levels, making you more able to control your weight and also your mood.

Tip 3 - Get moving with coconut

Coconut oil is three times more effective at increasing your metabolic rate than other oils, according to latest research. It's great added to a smoothie, particularly after you've done some exercise, as it helps to elevate muscle-strengthening growth hormone for up to four hours, which also makes the body more effective at burning fat.

Tip 4 - Add some heat

Cinnamon, cayenne pepper and ginger all have, what is known as, a thermogenic effect on the body; this means that they help the body to burn fat by regulating insulin levels. A level teaspoon of cinnamon added to your morning porridge or some cayenne pepper added to any savoury dish is enough to do the trick!

Tip 5 - Get some sleep

Easier said than done for some people. However, there is lots of research to suggest that people that don't sleep well tend to put on weight. This is partly because there is a tendency to eat more to keep energy levels up. If sleep is a problem for you, then try taking the herbs passionflower or valerian before bedtime, or 400 mg of the mineral magnesium two hours before hitting the pillow.

Tip 6 - Dare to be different

If you get bored with eating the same sandwich at lunchtimes, try something different. Choose wraps which are low in fat and calories and can be filled with all sorts of fillings. For example, a falafel wrap containing chickpeas is packed with protein and fibre; both great to keep you feeling fuller for longer and helping stop that 3 pm slump!

Tip 7 - Block those carbs!

If you're fond of your carbs but are trying to lose a few pounds before braving your bikini, why not try a supplement of White Kidney Bean - a proven 'carb blocker'. Proven research suggests that it stops the breakdown of the enzyme alpha amylase, meaning the effects of any carbs you eat is lessened. A great addition to your weight management plan!

Tip 8 - Don't be a slave to the scales

It's not always about what you weigh on the scales - body composition or how much body fat you're storing, is more important. Additionally, if you're wanting to lose some weight, try not to stand on the scales more than once every couple of weeks. Sustained and lasting weight loss is achieved slowly. If your clothes are starting to feel looser, then the plan is working.

Tip 9 - Walk round the block

A 10 minute walk around the block after your evening meal will help the body better deal with the insulin rush that happens after eating, therefore helping your body burn fat more effectively. It will also stop that tempting post-meal bingeing on biscuits!

Tip 10 - Get active

And finally ……. get active! It's not about putting hours in at the gym (although this is really effective); if you are not a seasoned gym bunny then just going for a bike ride, taking a brisk walk, splashing a few lengths up and down the pool or picking up the tennis racquet, now is the perfect time of year to get more active. And remember - however slow you go, you're still much faster and more active than anyone sitting on the couch!

Suzie Sawyer is working with Nature's Way White Kidney Bean Extract, a proven 'carb blocker' which, in clinical trials, has been shown to be effective in lowering the glycaemic index (GI) of foods, helps keep you feeling fuller for longer, and reduces cravings. Nature's Way White Kidney Bean is priced at £14.99 for 60 capsules, and available in Boots, Holland & Barrett and online at

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