There Are Giants At The Gym: Beach Bod

As the month’s progress, the weather improves, the water temperature goes up, and the sun starts to shine. All of these events point to only one thing: It’s summer. With the new season comes the desire to lose your winter weight in hopes of looking your personal best at the beach or pool. With a calorie restricted diet that is high in healthy foods and low in junk, you can trim up and start looking good relatively quickly and just in time for the hot months ahead.

Once you start eating these healthy foods, your calorie count will naturally come down. To figure out how many calories you need to eat each day, use a calorie calculator. Based on your height, weight, sex and activity level, you can estimate how many calories you burn each day and therefore how many calories you should be taking in. To lose weight, you need to take in less energy than you burn so that your body will start using its fat deposits as energy. When your body starts to do this, you will begin to lose weight and tone up.

To lose one pound per week, you need to eat 500 calories less than you burn.

To lose two pounds per week, you need to eat 1,000 calories less than you burn.

Do not eat less than 1,200 calories a day. Going so low will make it very difficult to get 100% of your daily vitamin and mineral needs and will also slow down your metabolism so that you will not lose as much weight as you originally had hoped for. Putting your health in danger is not worth losing a few extra pounds. Increasing your exercise level is safer and healthier than cutting your calories too deeply.

Type and Amount of Food

The two main steps you need to follow in order to start your summer beach body diet are changing the amount of food, and types of food you eat. To lose weight and achieve a more toned appearance, you need to decrease your calorie intake so that your body will start using its fat stores for energy. By ditching junk food that is high in calories and low in nutrients for healthier food that is low in calories and higher in nutrients, you will actually be able to eat more and still lose weight.

Junk Food

It’s amazing what can happen when you eliminate something like chips from your diet. If your body is conditioned to ingesting it, then the sudden deprivation really accelerates the ability for your metabolism to function to a better ability and to stop the storage of fat. Replace your every day chip with an apple and you have already eliminated a few hundred calories from your daily diet.

Fats

Fat comes in three types: saturated, unsaturated and trans fat. Saturated fat is found in meat products (beef, pork, dairy) and is unhealthy in large amounts. Trans fat is also unhealthy and found in any food that contains partially or fully hydrogenated vegetable oil. Trans fat is found in all kinds of junk foods such as cookies, cakes and even some peanut butters. Intake of trans fat should be kept to a minimum. Healthy or unsaturated fats come mainly from non-meat sources. They are also found in some vegetables, nuts, fish, and flax seeds. These fats are healthy for your heart. They can lower cholesterol levels and your risk for heart disease and help you lower your calorie intake. When choosing between a doughnut and nuts, think of how many doughnuts you can eat versus the amount of nuts or natural peanut butter (the kind in which the oil separates) you can take in. You will acquire fewer calories from eating more of the nuts whereas the same amount if not more calories would be ingested from eating just one donut.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are our main source of energy and if you will be exercising - like you should be - to get that summer beach body, you will need a lot of fuel. Carbs are found in healthy as well as unhealthy. Carbs are split up into two categories: simple (bad) and complex (good).

Simple carbs are sugars found in soda, candy and chocolate. These carbs have little nutrients and are digested quickly leaving you feeling hungry in a short amount of time. This is why the Snickers “Hungry? Why wait?” slogan is so frustrating. Yes, you will be satisfied by eating a Snickers, but the amount of simple carbs you’re eating will bring you right back to hungry again sonner than if you ate something substantial.

Complex carbs are found in whole wheat, vegetables, and oats. They are high in nutrients and are digested slowly to keep you full for a longer time. If you eat foods that make you stay ‘full’, you will not be hungry, and essentially eat less. Fruits also contain simple carbs but because they are filled with fiber, they are digested slowly and make you feel full. Any food that is high in fiber will have the same effect.

Proteins

There are some amino acids that our bodies can make, and others that it can't. If we cannot make them, they are called essential amino acids. Proteins are made out of amino acids and can also be separated into two different categories: complete and incomplete. For a protein to be complete, it must contain all the essential amino acids. Complete proteins are the best kind because our body can use them to rebuild and repair muscle tissue that is damaged during exercise (damaged muscle from exercise is good).

Sources of complete protein include any animal product: meat, cheese, dairy, and fish. Incomplete proteins should be combined with complete proteins or with each other to complete themselves. A great read on more specifics of incomplete proteins can be found at blog.fooducate.com.

Body Weight

Monitor your weight at the same time each day and every day. I usually do this first thing in the morning. Only by watching your weight carefully can you know if your diet is working.Remember that changing your body to make yourself look better does not happen overnight! The earlier you start on your summer beach body diet, the better your results will be. A solid diet combined with a good exercise routine will help you get the best results in the shortest amount of time. There are plenty of gimmicks, pills, and wacky diets that promise to help you burn fat and lose weight. Beware! Though it can be difficult to separate junk from plans that work, there is only one way to burn fat: eat well and move more. Plans based on any other principle will fail!

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