We obsess about achieving that “perfect” beach body where we put ourselves on ridiculous diets that are impossible to stick with or go spend hours at the gym obsessing about getting rid of that stubborn belly fat. You spend hours at the gym killing yourself and the other hours out of the day thinking about what you can do to lose weight. Does this sound like anyone you know? Prior to gaining knowledge on healthy eating and the correct way to exercise, I spent many years doing just these things. I would end up losing a large amount of weight in a short amount of time, but also gain it all back plus a few extra. I’ve always known that hard work leads to satisfaction and results so not having both these key components had me asking, “What am I doing wrong?”
The first thing to understand is that there is no quick fix in losing weight and that it does take time and dedication. Obsessing over your body in this case isn’t such a bad thing if you know how to correctly take advantage of the hours that are spent outside of the gym. Follow these simple tips! Stay hydrated. Try drinking plenty of fluids and you’ll also have an easier time controlling your cravings! Drinking plenty of water is extremely important for peak athletic performance. A small study by Boschmann and colleagues (2003) showed that drinking half a liter of water increased metabolic rate up to 30% in 14 healthy, normal-weight participants.
Try eating foods that contain pectin. This is found in foods such as apples, strawberries, peaches, sweet potatoes and carrots. Pectin is a calorie lacking complex carbohydrate and soluble fiber that helps empty your stomach slowly causing you to feel less hungry and satisfied. Great if you’re trying to cut calories!
Add spices that are full of flavor to your cooking and meals. The rich flavors help stimulate your taste buds which triggers your cranial nerves. My favorite spices are from Mrs. Dash and are very low in sodium. Feel fuller without over-eating! In addition, certain spices such as chili peppers contain capsaicin, which can actually increase your metabolic rate!
Drink more green tea and consume more flaxseeds. According to research, green tea has been shown to improve cholesterol and triglycerides, reduce fatty liver, and burn more fat. In addition, a small Chinese study in 2005 showed adding green tea can lower estrogen levels which may help ward off belly fat. Adding, flaxseeds can More belly fat is stored in your abdominal area if you have higher levels of estrogen in your body.
Minimize lactose. Lactose is milk sugar that gets converted to simple sugar in your gut and can make your blood sugar levels spike. We all know that eating non-starchy carbohydrates, such as whole grains like oatmeal, keep your blood sugar levels steady and prevent metabolic syndrome. A great alternative milk is unsweetened almond milk. It is creamy in texture, full of calcium, 35 calories, and 2.5 grams of fat per 8oz. This is not to say that milk is bad for you. Milk has many beneficial ingredients including Vitamin D, protein, niacin, vitamin B12, vitamin B2 and calcium. However, when trying to get lean, minimizing simple sugars is extremely important.
Stay AWAY from beer! We all know that beer is bad for us and that it contains sugars and empty calories, but did you ever think of how it affects your ability to lean out or gain muscle? Drinking beer reduces your body from being able to absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as E (alpha tocopherol), D and selenium. Now having said that, did you know that the amount of vitamin D in your body is directly linked to the amount of fat lost when following a reduced calorie diet? Also, remember that alcohol is catabolic in your body, thus breaking down your hard earned muscle. I know that drinking is hard to avoid especially during the summer time when you’re out at the beach or just relaxing by the pool, but just having this in mind should help you limit yourself to how much you drink. Stay away from binge drinking!!
If you can’t pick it, grow it, or kill it, then don’t eat it! This is simple. Consume foods in its original form like veggies, nuts, berries, and meats. Not only will you get more nutrients, but this will keep you lean and full of energy. 80% of your results come from what you eat and these are great ways to make sure that you are always on track and working towards your goal. Every correct step you take towards changing your eating habit is also a great motivational element that you will build unconsciously; you will feel more energized, satiated, and happier. Staying motivated is what I say is the upmost important factor because if you lack the motivation to make changes, then the results will never come. Your ideal beach body is obtainable but it is up to you to start making the necessary steps to achieve them!