By Mark Bullock| May 11, 2011 at 11:49 PM CDT - Updated June 24 at 1:22 AM
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The NEWS AT NINE is here to help you get back in shape and trimmed down for bathing suit season. A good place to start is that extra five pounds you put on this winter. Registered dietician Kelly Snow has a plan for you.
"You've got to have a plan or it's not going to work," Snow said.
So she designed an easy-to-follow five-step plan to lose five pounds.
"First of all, lots of water," Snow explained. "Water helps keep you hydrated. If you're dehydrated your body will hold onto any moisture it can. So you're going to retain fluid instead of get rid of it."
There have been a lot of questions about exactly how much water you're supposed to drink. The answer is really just a matter of simple math. Half an ounce of water for ever pound you weigh. So for a 140 pound woman -- that's 70 ounces of water or just about eight cups.
Next, cut out the sodium: processed foods, eating out, even frozen dinners.
"If you're eating a lot of high sodium foods that is going to retain fluid. So you'll gain weight instead of losing," Snow said.
We all hear about carbs, sugar - cut that out. But it's not all carbohydrates.
"You want to do your complex carbohydrates - like your whole wheat breads, brown rice, whole wheat pasta," Snow said. "Those have a lot of fiber in them. That helps to digest. It also doesn't hold onto a lot of extra fluid. It helps wash out your system."
Also, try to keep the focus on fruits, veggies and protein at meal time.
"Protein help keeps you full and the vegetables have a lot of fiber and water that help flush through your system," Snow explained.
Watch your portions
Finally watch our portions. Things small … and add in a snack in between meal times.
"Your body can only handle so much at one time. What doesn't get digested turns into fat," Snow said. "You want to stick to three meals a day with snacks in between because when you go a long time without eating you're going to over indulge."
Those snacks (things like fruits and veggies) will also help stimulate your metabolism.
You may be wondering where to start with that meal plan. Well, we have it all mapped out for you. Snow designed an eight day plan for you to follow so you can say goodbye to the five pounds and hello to that bathing suit!