Bikini and board shorts season is coming…SOON!
If you want to see some changes in your body composition before summer is here, then it’s likely you’ll need to make some major changes with your eating habits. It’s true; what you put in your mouth, will determine what you get out of your efforts to get lean for swimsuit season.
Here is what you need to focus on.
NO Alcohol — Not only do you get extra calories (7 cals/gram — almost as much as fat’s 9 cals/gram) but alcohol prevents fat from being metabolized.
– Replace alcoholic beverages with virgin non-alcoholic versions.
– If you’re accustomed to several drinks per day (this includes only drinking on the weekends e.g. having 5 drinks or more each Fri/Sat/Sun), curb your intake by cutting amount in half the first week or two and begin tapering off.
NO Added Sugar – Sugar is readily absorbed and turned into fat if you are in excess of your energy needs. Natural sugars present in fruit, vegetables and dairy are all you need!
– Get that sugar out of your starches!
– Cereals should have less than 5 grams sugar (not counting fruit) per ounce or about 30 grams per serving size.
– Breads should have no more than 1 gram sugar per slice.
– Only eat chips, crackers, rolls and tortillas with less than 2 grams sugar per serving.
Sodium intake under 2300 mg per day – Extra sodium relates to water retention, which can lead to a puffy midsection and puffy extremities. I think we can all agree that puffiness is not the summer-tastic look you are working towards!
– Reduce sodium by cutting out prepared foods – entrees, snacks, energy/protein bars, savory/salty items and desserts.
– Cook at home and make things ahead of time.
-Make use by batch cooking low-sodium meals and save leftovers to save time later.
INCREASE Water intake to 90 – 120 fluid ounces per day – Flush out your system, hydrate those muscles for maximum efficiency and keep skin supple. Being properly hydrated wards off false hunger caused by thirst.
– Invest in a reusable water bottle, preferably an easy to clean metal canteen. Keep with you at all times and refill as needed.
– Stash bottled water in your bag, your car, your office your bedroom, etc.
INCREASE vegetable consumption – Super charge your body with phytochemicals, protect your cells from damage with antioxidants and feel full from the fiber to help you eat less and lean out.
– Buy produce in whatever form you’re most likely to consume it! Pre-sliced peppers, jicama or celery strips are fine. Use already diced tomato & onion to top potatoes. Buy flash frozen peas to pop into your mouth for a nibble.
Track calories with journal or mobile app – The best way to ensure you’re on target is to keep a record DAILY, plus the act of tracking makes you vigilant about what’s on your plate.
– Find an online format for tracking intake that you like (use pencil & paper if you must).
– Even if you don’t set a caloric target, the act of recording every bite inherently makes you more aware of what you’re eating.
Weigh or measure food for ultimate accuracy – Don’t underestimate your true intake (average error 30% off); know exactly how much you’re eating.
-To manage portions, first measure one Cup into your smallest bowl and onto your smallest plate and take a picture. Do this for a typical starch (rice, mashed potato, pasta) and vegetable you eat. Repeat with a half Cup for diced fruit, cottage cheese, beans and ground beef.
The first couple of weeks are the most difficult, but stay determined and stick to the plan and you will see results. YOU CAN DO THIS!
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