If you're trying to get in your best shape for Summer, learning a few surefire tips now will come in handy whenever bad habits threaten to come out. We spoke to Ocean Spray spokesperson Maria Menounos, who recently confirmed her departure from Extra and stars in her own reality show on Oxygen, for tips on dropping the weight. In addition to her TV gigs, Maria's newest book, The EveryGirl's Guide to Diet and Fitness ($14, available for preorder), focuses on how she lost 40 pounds — and kept it off — over a decade ago. Get a sneak peek of her tried-and-true weight-loss tips, and get ready for bikini season.
- Start with breakfast: You've heard it before, and it's true — what you eat in the morning can make or break your day. Maria blends up a quick, filling, and nutritious breakfast using trainer Harley Pasternak's breakfast smoothie recipe. "I've been doing it for a year," she says. "It's got all the protein I need, and it's yummy."
- Just move: "'Always be moving' is my mantra," Maria says. "It works." Although she tries to make time for the gym, Maria says the most important way to burn calories, especially if you're busy, is to rack up those steps. Maria aims for 10,000 steps a day to ensure she stays on the right track.
- Drink hot water: Get ready for Maria's favorite weight-loss trick — keep a mug of hot water handy. "Hot water is like magic. It fills you up: it also is detoxifying, de-stressing, and helps digest the food in your stomach," she says. "You'll find yourself eating a little less if you're drinking hot water." Although Maria also recommends drinking tea or adding lemon to your mug, she opts for plain hot water since it's more convenient, especially if you are using an office kitchen.
- Stock the good, drop the bad: Self-professed salad addict Maria always makes sure she keeps leafy greens stocked in her fridge, along with Greek yogurt. To ensure she actually opts for the healthy items she's stocked, she makes sure to keep anything unhealthy out of her house. "I think that makes a big difference, because if it's there, I will eat it," she explains. "If it's not there, I'm too lazy to go get it."
- Don't eat late: Even with her busy schedule, Maria tries not to eat past 8 p.m. every night. But that doesn't mean she advocates going to bed starving. "If it's too late, and I'm really hungry, I'll have a Greek yogurt or something simple like that," she says. "That way I don't have a big meal that I have to digest during the night."
For more of Maria's real-life tips, check out her advice for maintaining your weight during the holidays.