Lifestyle

Keep That Beach Bod All Summer Long!

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We spend countless hours at the gym in an effort to get our body “summer-ready.” But when summer arrives, we feel the need to chill out a little more and enjoy the season. We go on vacation, go to cottages, drink a beer (or two or three), and go to BBQs. With all of these high calorie events to attend, it can be hard to maintain that beach body during the summer! Here are some tips to help you stay fit, sexy, and strong well through the hot summer days.

1. Get grilling

Regardless of whether you stay at a resort where the buffet is overloaded with food, or whether you decide to cook with your friends at the cottage, selecting the most appropriate cooking method should be the first thing to think more about. Deep frying, pan frying, or any kind of frying is not a healthy option. Choose grilled, oven-baked, boiled, or raw food instead. Surprisingly, that small tweak could cut down your caloric intake by about 200 calories! Don’t you worry, you can still make French fries to accompany your grilling – just choose to bake them in the oven as a healthier choice.

2. Control your portions

This should be weapon number two. Whether you’re looking at the shelves in the supermarket or on the tables at the international buffet, you’ll be presented with an overload of food choices. When you’re on vacation, it will be hard to eat spinach and drink carrot smoothies as long as your friends are enjoying desserts and snacks beside you. Therefore, your portion size is of CRUCIAL importance. If you choose to indulge in chili tacos or a chocolate croissant, try to have half of the standard serving portion. If you’re not able to do that, have your dessert at least one hour after your main meal. If you’re a truly impatient person and you can’t handle waiting, my best advice is to avoid overloading your plate with an excessive amount of food during the main meal. Rather, take only half of what you normally eat to save room for the extras. It’s a well-known psychological factor – we tend to empty our plates regardless of the amount of food on it. Your psychological hunger is usually bigger than your physical hunger. Taking a smaller portion will enable you to eat a smaller amount of food and will give you the chance to decide whether you truly have room for that piece of dessert.

3. Choose smart snacks

I am not saying that a holiday is the time to be restrictive with your diet; however, you should keep some rationale behind your food choices. Nobody wants to tackle the depression and frustration of weight-gain after they’ve returned from their holiday, so it’s important that you keep some sort of control over your diet. Snacks are a perfect opportunity to control your daily calorie intake without too much stress. Instead of having a hot dog or a giant plate of nachos as an afternoon snack, keep it healthy by having fruit, veggies, yogurt, or a few nuts instead. Take advantage of snacks to get some extra nutrients in while keeping the calories in check – this can also help alleviate any guilt about having a piece of dessert after dinner!

4. Fuel up with water

The weather is on your side! The hot weather naturally encourages us to drink more water, which is to our benefit. By drinking water, you’ll sweat more, which will release the toxins from your body and ensure a constant flow of nutrients through your body. People also tend to confuse the feeling of thirst with the feeling of hunger and start snacking as soon as they think they feel hungry. In fact, during the hot season it often happens that your body is actually craving water instead of food. If you’re feeling hungry and dizzy, try water first – doesn’t work? Then snack on a piece of fruit!

5. Rethink your drink

The consumption of soft drinks may throw your summer body considerably off track. It’s unbelievable how your body can pile on the extra pounds from the excessive amount of sugar in soda – even the “light” versions.  My advice to you – cut down your calorie intake by around 300 to 400 calories by drinking refreshing, natural drinks. Examples of these thirst-quenching drinks include lemonade (sparkling water with squeezed lemon), ice-cold fresh fruit smoothies (made with plain yogurt and fresh fruit), and even fresh juices mixed with sparkling ice water. Just make sure there isn’t any additional white-sugar in your drink of choice.

6. Choose the right dessert

I know that temptations are high when it comes to desserts, and these cravings are especially difficult to neglect during a holiday. My only advice is to pick the most “innocent” desserts possible. Avoid desserts made solely of butter, cream, and excessive amounts of sugar. Choose lighter options like jelly desserts, fruity desserts, or yogurt-based desserts. And yes, avoid using extra toppings! The absence of chocolate, caramel, or fruit sauces and chocolate sprinkles will save you at least 150- 200 calories. If this sounds less than appetizing to you, then stick to a mini serving of ice cream or cake!

7. Spice things up with sports

When your diet is off track, you may want to increase your level of activity to compensate to a certain extent. Try to find fun ways to expend calories such as swimming for an hour (burns about 600 calories), playing tennis or volleyball (about 800 calories in one hour), or just by going for a jog in the morning or evening (about 600 calories per hour). It’s worth the effort to allow yourself more of the foods you love without the guilt afterwards. But remember, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet! At the risk of repeating myself, you have to maintain a certain level of control over your diet. Eating everything presented to you, and in big quantities, can’t be repaired by exercise!

Here are a few bonus tips which can also help:

Get Some Colour – Get darker girl! Vitamin D can help us lose weight, and the sun contains loads of vitamin D. Also, when you get darker, you look leaner! Get active out in the sunshine, but be safe about it. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to prevent sunburns.

Eat Fruit – The summer is full of colourful fruits- strawberries, apricots, pears, watermelons, cherries, blackberries, and many more! Eat fruit because it’s good for your body and your health. Plus, fruits like watermelon are high in water content so they will help keep you hydrated!

Limit The Alcohol – This party-loving culprit can cause the most weight gain if you don’t pay attention to how much you are drinking!  Many mixed drinks are loaded with sugar and calories to make them taste delicious. Limit your drinking to one night a week to keep the calories in check.

Bike Instead Of Drive – Save gas and get some exercise in at the same time. A 155-pound person riding at a leisurely pace can burn 450 calories in just one hour, or about seven calories per minute – what a great way to enjoy the weather while being active!

Walk On The Beach – Don’t forget to take advantage of this great training tool on vacation with long walks on the beach. You can get great results just by walking on the beach as it gives you a great leg and cardio workout. So, take your walk and keep your sexy body during the summer.

These, my friends, are the basics to stay fit during the season of hot temperatures and temptations! Keep these tips in mind and your beach bod will be just fine all summer long!

Sarah holds both an Undergraduate Degree in Biological Science and a Master’s Degree in Human Health and Nutritional Sciences. She played on the Women's championship Basketball team during her Undergraduate studies and also played on Team Ontario, winning gold at the National Championships 3 years in a row. She won several gold medals in the 400m and 800m track events, swam competitively, played baseball, volleyball and danced for 10 years. While completing her Master’s Degree in Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, Sarah worked full-time as a Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and Spinning Instructor. Enjoying her career as a Brand Manager for a global sport nutrition and diet supplement company, she continues to train clients today through her own online training services and competes in the Bikini division.

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