You know the dreaded feeling that spring break or even summer is coming, you haven’t worked out in ages, and your healthy habits have gone down the drain with recent spikes in stress and work. Don’t deny it. You know I’m right.

The problem is you don’t have time to go to the gym or to play a pickup game of basketball because your “lack of time” (aka binge watching Netflix) has resulted in habits that are less than enviable. Yet, spring break, heck even summer, is right around the corner, and you still have no time to go workout. But, my friend, the answer is simple: change up your dietary habits a little bit, and you could get big results.

I have a quick and easy food guide to prepare you for the sun. No questions asked.

Lean Proteins
Through the process of building lean muscles, lean proteins such as turkey and chicken can speed up metabolism. They help rebuild and repair muscle tissue, which is essential to creating a lean-looking, toned body.


Photo by Daniel Schuleman

Hot Peppers
Spicy food is the mother of all body-toning foods as long as it is kept in moderation. The “hotness” of the food boosts metabolism and circulation while simultaneously reducing cravings. You never knew getting Chipotle was so good.


Photo by Stephanie Lee

Whole grains are great options in order to make you feel fuller for a longer period of time. Whole grains contain slow-release carbs, which offer long-lasting energy as compared to sugary foods that offer little long term benefit.


Photo by Annie Madole

Omega-3 fatty acids are a natural wonder when it comes to increasing metabolic rate. Fish oils kick start fat burning, so reeling in some oily fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and lake trout is a very good idea.


Photo by Rachel Fereirra

Green tea
Green tea is the favorite drink among many to get the metabolism going. It has antioxidants called catechins that help burn additional calories all without the help of going to the gym. Not to mention, you can still get your daily dose of caffeine for the day, which also has its own part in speeding up your metabolism.


Photo by Jessica Payne

The delicious red berries, along with other fruits that have edible seeds or skin, are especially high in fiber, which is a good metabolism-increasing carb. Plus, fruit is a natural source of sugar which should curb your desire to reach for that Cornell Dairy ice cream (as delicious as it is).


Photo by Hannah Lin

Water Water Water Water
Most people know the old belief that you should drink eight glasses of water each day. The scientific thought is now more relevant than ever because the infamous molecule is a natural appetite suppressant, detoxifier and a fat-burning tool. Feel free to spice up your water by adding berries, lemons and cucumbers.


Photo by Becky Hughes

Monitor Portion Size
When it comes to stress eating, college students probably top the list, but this large consumption of food usually affects you in negative ways. For your benefit, check nutrition labels to see what a regular serving size is, but remember that it is not safe to go below 1,200 calories. Going under this number of calories can slow the weight loss process because your body kicks into survival mode and stores fat. While it may seem temping, decreasing calorie consumption is not the way to go. Just make sure what you eat is healthy, and you will be right on track.