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Muscle Sport Magazine

Getting That Beach Body by Summertime

By Stacey Naito, D.O., ACOFP – Make no mistake, summer is coming, replete with sunshine, hot weather and the power to compel people everywhere to shed excess layers of clothing.  But you may be in a panic about this.  You may be muttering, gee whiz, I need to turn it up and get into shape!  Those of the male persuasion may be lamenting the winter paunch which may have surreptitiously crept up as the mercury dropped.  You ladies may be terrified at the notion of donning a bikini and braving the beach.

But you can start cleaning up your diet and get on track to a banging beach body by the time the weather makes you sweat.  All it takes is a bit of structure with your meals.  Instead of falling into the typical American meal plan of two to three meals a day, try splitting your meals up so that you are eating five to six smaller meals every two to three hours.  This usually translates to breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, dinner, and possibly an after dinner snack.

You may be asking how this can be done if you have an erratic schedule.  What we in the fitness industry do is pack our meals.  It is a common sight to see a competitor go through his or her day carrying a cooler filled with plastic containers of chicken, salad, broccoli, brown rice, fresh fruit, supplements, protein powder, raw nuts, and water.  This may seem like a daunting task but once you get into the rhythm, it can save you a lot of time and money.  You won’t waste money on fast food, and you will be able to control both portion sizes and ingredients.  I will discuss meal prep later in this article, but for now, let’s talk about general guidelines.

It is crucial to eat breakfast!  I come across countless individuals who skip breakfast and give me all types of excuses (not hungry in the morning, no time, don’t like breakfast foods).  This is a sure way to pitch your body into starvation mode!  If you don’t want to eat a large portion of food or you are on the go, a banana and oatmeal or an apple and a small handful of raw almonds will suffice.

Here is a typical day from a clean diet for a woman who is 130 pounds who wants to lose ten pounds slowly and who exercises moderately three days per week:

Breakfast:  Two egg whites, scrambled, with tomato salsa and two slices of Ezekiel bread.

Mid-morning snack:    2/3 cup lowfat cottage cheese with fresh fruit

Lunch:  4 ounces chicken breast, salad with balsamic vinaigrette, one cup steamed vegetables, ½ cup brown rice

Mid-afternoon snack:  medium banana, ten raw almonds

Dinner:  4 ounce salmon filet, salad with balsamic vinaigrette, one cup steamed vegetables

After dinner snack:  fat free yogurt (NOT sweetened with aspartame!) with low fat granola and milled flax seed

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A woman on this meal plan should feel very satisfied with the quantity of food, especially if she is eating every couple of hours.

Here are the basic keys to success in achieving a beach body by the summer:

1.        Always eat breakfast.

2.       Make sure to avoid complex carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice, potato) after 6 or 7 pm.

3.       Avoid processed foods.  This means anything made with bleached flour, items made with refined sugar, luncheon meats, cured meats, crackers, chips, and candy.  Your body will adjust once it has rid itself of the toxins from such foods, and your cravings for these foods will lessen over time.

4.       Always try to eat protein together with carbohydrates.

5.       Avoid fried foods.

6.       Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and lean cuts of poultry and fish.

7.       You may want to consider adding omega-3 and flax seed supplements to your meal plan.  Other supplements which can aid in trimming down the waistline are conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and L-carnitine.

8.       Avoid excessive alcohol.

9.       Drink plenty of water.

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Any weight loss meal plan works better with a corresponding exercise regimen, preferably one which incorporates both resistance training and cardiovascular exercise.

Let’s revisit the concept of packing meals.  This requires proper planning but isn’t as difficult as you may think.  When you go to the grocery store, have a list with you so you don’t get sidetracked.  If you are in a typical grocery store, you will find that themajority of ingredients which comprise a clean diet are found on the periphery of the store, not in the middle.  You won’t see Nabisco and General Mills on the outside aisles!  That’s where all the perishable items are, with little to no processing, and where you want to focus.

My cart is typically filled with hormone-free chicken, tilapia, salmon, broccoli, asparagus, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, celery, mushrooms, cucumbers, yams, bananas, apples, strawberries, blueberries, raw almonds, raw walnuts, eggs, brown rice, Ezekiel bread, fat free Greek yogurt, oatmeal and milled flax seed.  I often cook chicken in a slow cooker to save time.  I will also prepare a huge salad and portion it out into small containers.  Then I set the rice cooker and cook vegetables and yams.  This is all portioned out into single serving containers.  During the week, I just grab my containers, put them in my cooler and go!

If you think you may forget to eat, set a timer to go off every few hours.  For example, if you eat breakfast at 7 am, set the timer to go off at 10 am, 12:30 pm, 3 pm, 6 pm, and 8 pm.  If you are in the middle of a task, you will know that it’s time to eat.

If you follow these general guidelines, you should be well on your way to achieving a beach-worthy body!

Be sure to visit Stacey’s personal website, www.1hothapa.com.

“We would rather polish the bars in our cage than become free.”  – Stephen Levine

Don’t you want to be free?

“You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.” ~ Les Brown

Stacey Naito, D.O., AOBFP

Photo Courtesy of Stacey Naito

One Comment

  1. Shubin

    March 25, 2010 at 5:34 am

    Спасибо, довольно интересно.

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