Ironically, I am in the middle of a blizzard re-posting a past post regarding diet changes for beach season.
Although the weather outside is frightful, the timing to optimize your body is delightful 🙂.
, the body you are looking forward to rocking when the temperatures heat up is built NOW.
Get After it!
It’s Mid-April and beach season is coming quick. Crash diets, endless hours of cardio, and endless numbers of crunches are being used as a strategy by beach goers while attempting to get in awesome shape for pool parties, cook outs, and strutting their goods during the hottest time of the year.
Unfortunately, many who take this blitzkrieg approach often fizzle out of the gym and take up old habits as results are slow to come by and often lackluster. One cheat meal on pizza becomes an all day, or all weekend feast on pizza, ice cream, taco bell, and any other grub you can get your paws on. There are many issues will this all in approach, especially for those with lackluster eating habits to begin with. Trying to change too many things all at once is always a recipe for failure as lifestyle change is a tough process that must be strategically tackled.
1.) Eat more vegetables/replace grains with greens
Eat vegetables at every meal, and first in every meal. Not only will this make sure that you consume your veggies, it will also fill your digestive track with healthy enzymes and get the digestion process started with unprocessed, all natural foods. Vegetables are filled with fiber, phytochemicals, and antioxidants to support a healthy body to optimize both bodily function and appearance.
2.) Chew more
In today’s rushed society, food is seen as a task, and not a chance to enjoy food. Grab and go foods are all the craze and convenience is a must have. This rushed eating causes people to chomp a few times and swallow, without as much as tasting their food. Make it a goal to chew your food 20-30x at least per bite before you swallow. Chewing also stimulates the release of amylase, a digestive enzyme which begins the breakdown of food. The digestive process starts as food enters your mouth, take advantage of this time to absorb more nutrients. It also takes as long as 20 minutes for the “fullness” signals to begin following the start of a meal. Treat each meal as an experience to enjoy and savor. You will taste more flavor in your food, digest your food better, and be more satisfied with your meal.
3.) Sit Down for your meals
This plays directly from my last point, to chew more slowly. When you sit down for meals you will enjoy your food more, eat slower, and often eat less. It takes 20 minutes for full signals and signs of satiety to be sent to your brain. Ever eat a huge meal very fast, feel fine, and then 15 minutes later feel like a beached whale about to go into a food coma? That happens because the chemical/hormonal process of eating takes time to relay messages throughout the body, generally about 20 minutes. It sounds like a good idea to sit down, chat with good company, and take your time eating don’t you think?
4.) Use smaller plates
When people eat it is customary to try to eat all the food on your plate. Using a smaller plate will teach you better portion control. Try to fill your plates with one half veggies, 1/3 lean protein, and optionally 1/3 carbohydrates if they support your style of training.
5.) Keep Carbs post-workout and one other meal per day
When sleeping at night the body primarily burns fat for fuel, as you are in a low energy state. When you wake in the morning and consume a bagel on the way to work your selected fuel source becomes those carbohydrates you ingest….. NOT the fat you are trying to burn from your waistline. The fewer large insulin spikes created from large carbohydrate meals the more time utilized for burning stored energy. Pick post-workout
and one other meal to limit carbohydrate intake.
3 whole eggs scrambled with ½ cup red pepper, hand full of spinach and topped with salsa. Cook with coconut oil if you are not using a non-stick surface.
This meal will keep the carbs low, give you protein, some fat, and fiber to keep you satisfied for longer while utilizing fat as your primary fuel source.
6.) Keep a food log
There are many free sites where you can track your meals accurately and quickly. This will allow you to see how much fat, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals you are consuming. You will also notice trends on certain days of the week for how you eat. Do you eat better or worse on weekends? All this information is tracked and monitored at your convenience. Check out livestrong.com for a free and easy resource, there is a ton of good information both exercise and diet related on the site.
This list is by no means an end all, but 6 useful tips you should use to help reach your fitness goals and show off your hard work when it’s time to enjoy fun in the sun. Pick one and do it perfectly every day for a week. It takes time to change and build habits, so start simple and build from there. Once you succeed in performing your goal for a week reward yourself, whether it’s a new hat, favorite meal, or anything. You worked hard and achieved your goal. Pick up another strategy and build on that for the next week while maintaining your healthy new habit. Work hard and reward and your efforts, but within reason. You will see results!
Copyright 2012 by Eric R Bach. All rights reserved. This material may not be duplicated or distributed without written consent from the author.