We want to take a few minutes to talk about something totally uncontroversial: Ivanka Trump. If you silence all the noise about her fashion line getting the boot from Nordstrom and her general association to President Trump and just focus on her appearance, we can all probably all agree that the 35-year-old mom of three is in killer shape. And Democrats, Republicans and independents alike are curious how the heck she stays so freakin slim and toned. Sure, she has money to burn, but a fat piggy bank doesn't guarantee flat abs. There are plenty of well-to-do folks who are the opposite of healthy and svelte. (President Trump, for example, loves McDonalds and soda. Learn more about his eating habits in our report 12 Things Trump Does When He Dines Out.)
So what's her secret? Years ago, the first daughter enlisted the help of health coach Maria Marlowe to teach her how to make smarter diet choices and identify health food imposters at the supermarket. While Trump no longer works one-on-one with a coach, she was so impressed with Marlowe's know-how that she asked her to become the corporate wellness coach for her company, the Ivanka Trump brand. In addition to improving the eating habits of Trump's 25 employees, Marlowe has assisted hundreds of people in sculpting the bodies of their dreams—including her sister, whom she helped lose a staggering 100 pounds! Sound like someone you'd love to seek out for diet advice? Well, you're in luck, because you'll find Marlowe's top 10 tips for better health right here! And if you're itching for even more weight loss hacks after you're through reading, don't miss these 26 Most Overlooked Ways to Lose Weight.
Set Specific Goals & Plan Ahead
It may be a cliché, but when you fail to plan, you truly are setting yourself up to fail—especially when it comes to weight loss. Marlow says setting a specific, measurable plan is key to success. So, don't just say, 'I want to lose weight.' Say, 'I want to lose five pounds in three weeks.' Then write down exactly how you're doing to make that happen. "Determine where you'll eat and what you'll order in advance. Tell a friend or spouse your goals and ask them to hold you accountable," Marlow suggests. These 35 Tips for Being Healthy at Restaurants can help you stay on a path toward success.
Make ½ Your Plate Veggies
The easiest thing you can start doing today to lose weight and live a healthier life? Eat more vegetables, Marlow tells the Washington Post: "Just making your plate 50 percent vegetables at every meal can improve your health." Not a fan of kale or mushrooms? Check out these 18 Green Smoothie Recipes That Don't Taste Like Vegetables.
Drink More Water
Although many of us know we should be drinking more water, few of us do it, says Marlow. Not only can extra fluids counteract bloat and boost energy, but they can also curb your appetite. Find plain water boring? Make a pitcher of detox water. Slice whole lemons and oranges and add them to your water. D-limonene, an antioxidant in the peels, gives sluggish bowels a kick and the added flavor makes downing those extra cups a bit less painful.
Cut Back on Sugar
You candy and soda lovers out there aren't going to love Marlow's next tip, but it works like a charm: cut back on the sweet stuff! Not only can consuming too much sugar make us sluggish, "it's linked to chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and this laundry list of health problems," Marlow cautions. Although you probably know desserts are filled with sugar; there are loads of other foods filled with the stuff like restaurant salads and even bread! To dial back your intake, start reading food labels. There are over 56 different names for added sugar including high fructose corn syrup, dried cane syrup, molasses, agave, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, and sucrose—or any word ending in "ose." If several forms of sugars appear on the label, think twice about making it a regular addition to your diet—it's probably far less healthy than you think.
Organize Your Kitchen Strategically
What you buy at the supermarket is just as important as how you store it, says Marlow, who suggests stocking nutritious foods on the middle shelves of the refrigerator. " Keeping healthy foods easily within eyesight will make you more likely to reach for them. When faced with options, people tend to choose what's in the middle," she writes on MindBodyGreen. If your significant other or kids keep foods that you're trying to avoid in the house, keep them in opaque containers. When you can't see what's inside, they're far less enticing, Marlow explains. For even more ways to organize your way skinny, don't miss these 25 Ways to Organize Your Kitchen for Weight Loss Success.
Make Meal Prep a Priority
When you go into the kitchen utterly starving, it's only natural to grab the first thing you can easily ingest. (Think: a granola bar or a bag of chips.) Chopping veggies for dipping or making a fruit salad is likely the last thing on your mind. That's why meal and snack prep are paramount to success. Marlowe suggests doing prep work once or twice a week. Wash and chop veggies for snacking and stir-frying, grill up chicken for lunchtime salads and dinner entreés, or even make one or two of these 35 Healthy Crock Pot Recipes. This way you'll have some healthy heat-n-eat dinners waiting for you every night when you get home.
Know How to Identify a Healthy Snack
Life happens. Which means even if you meal-prep everything under the sun, things can still go awry. For some of us, that might mean being stuck at an airport with no healthy snacks on hand, while others may get caught in a meeting at dinnertime with nothing but a vending machine to quell the hunger pangs. Though these situations may seem like diet saboteurs, they don't have to be. You just have to know how to identify a healthy snack no matter where life takes you. Had an unexpected layover? Marlowe suggests snacking on fresh fruit like bananas and oranges, pistachios (one of the lowest calorie nuts), or veggies and hummus—all of which are available in just about any airport. Stuck at work? There Healthy Snacks from the Vending Machine are lifesavers.
Have a Go-to Dinner Dish
Research shows that people who lose weight—and keep it off—tend to eat comparable things each day. With that in mind, we can't say we were too surprised to learn that Marlowe has a go-to weeknight dinner. "I love making my own version of the macro bowl," she tells Well and Good, adding, "I do half greens and sweet potato, and then some sort of protein. Either quinoa, tempeh, or wild salmon. And then a tahini or ginger miso dressing." While you don't have to make the same exact meal as Marlowe, having a few healthy dishes on rotation will ensure that at least one of your daily dishes is a wholesome one.
While you don't need to exercise to lose weight, moving every day is one of the most effective ways to keep those excess pounds from creeping back onto your frame. While any activity you enjoy doing is great, Marlowe tends to favor barre and high-intensity workout classes. To break a sweat without breaking the bank, sign up for a HIIT (short for high-intensity interval training) class, or turn your favorite aerobic exercise into an interval workout. Just add periods of intense speed (start with 30 to 60 seconds) followed by periods of rest (normal speed) for the same amount of time. Do this six to 10 times to complete a fat-slashing workout. As you gain fitness and endurance, slowly increase the amount of time of increased intensity. HIIT burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time, making it perfect for those days when you're pressed for time.
When weight loss is the primary goal, most people focus on exercise and diet and overlook the importance of self-love and care. But Marlowe thinks taking care of yourself should be a priority. "I try once a month to get a massage or do something where I can unwind and treat myself a little bit. I feel like when you take that time to do that, everything's just better," she tells amNewYork. We love the idea of using self-care as a reward for sticking to healthy habits like going to the gym or meeting a daily water quota. Pedicure, anybody? Yes, please!