With summer right around the corner there is typically one thing on most people's
minds with regards to their health and fitness. They want to look good for the beach. This is the
time of year that most people kick their fitness regiment in high gear as their planned summer
beach trip is only a few months away. The idea of spending all summer at the pool in a body
that you are not proud of can be a scary thought. I wanted to write an article to give a few tips
to help getting yourself a body that you can be proud of. Ultimately, the best way to be ready for
the beach is to live a year around lifestyle of health and fitness. These tips should not only be
followed until your trip, but should be continued long after you get back.
1. Track your food
One of the biggest issues that I see with people is that they have no awareness of what
they are eating. It has been proven that food recollection is one of our worst memories, so it
can be very easy to fall into the trap of not realizing how much you are eating. Quickly tell me
what you ate for dinner two nights ago. I bet most of you have no idea what it was. Even if you
do remember what you ate I bet you can not tell me how many calories the meal was and have
no idea of the macronutrient breakdown. You will never be able to get a handle on what you are
eating until you start tracking. There are plenty of apps out there to us (I use MyFitnessPal), but
if technology is not your thing then write it down. Just the act of tracking will give you a much
better idea of what you are taking and will help you limit your portions, especially on the
2. Drink more water
We all know that we need to drink more water, but most people are walking around
chronically dehydrated. When your body is dehydrated nothing works as it should. This greatly
affects energy levels, digestion, metabolic rate, mood, and many other functions. A good
starting point is to have 20 ounces of water right when you wake up. This will give you energy
to start your day and make you more likely to drink water the rest of the day. Aim for half of
your body weight in ounces (so if you weigh 200 pounds you should shoot for 100 ounces). I
promise you that you will notice some major positive effects immediately by implementing this.
3. Eat vegetables at every meal
Vegetables are some of the most important aspects of our diet and things that get
vastly under eaten in modern society. There are too many benefits of vegetables to list them all,
but a few that will impact weight loss are increased feeling of fullness (fiber rich foods), better
gut health (improved nutrient intake, digestion, etc.), replace highly processed foods full of fat
and sugar, and shore up micronutrient deficiencies (improve hormonal health, speed up
metabolism, etc). Eat a wide variety of colors and types of veggies, and make sure and add at
least a few handfuls at each meal. After only a few days of this you will notice a big difference.
Also, I know that a lot of people have not developed a taste for vegetables because they have
never eaten them. However, as you eat more of them you will start developing that taste. The
trick is to get started.
4. Eat more protein
We talk about protein a lot because most people are not taking in near enough of it.
Protein is what your body uses to build muscle, which is going to give your body the lean look
that you are looking for as well as speed up your metabolism as you add more. A good
minimum goal to shoot for is at least 85% of your bodyweight in grams. So if you weigh 200
pounds then that will put you around 170 grams a day. If you are not tracking then you will most
likely have no idea how much protein you are eating, so refer to point 1 on this. If you are doing
a lot of strength training then you will want to get more than 85% most likely. Your protein
should mostly come from lean meats (chicken, fish, lean beef, turkey, etc.), but adding in a
protein supplement (as long as it doesn't have many ingredients), such as whey, once
throughout the day might be a good idea to help you hit your goal. If you consistently get more
protein then you should notice a big difference in how you feel throughout the day and your results in the gym should be better as well.
5. Do more strength training
Most people think that when they want to lose weight that they should do more cardio.
This can definitely help to put you in a calorie deficit, but a much better way is to do strength
training. By doing strength training you will tear down your muscles, which will require a lot of
energy (calories) to rebuild. You will also be building muscles that give you the toned look that
most people are really looking for when they want to look good for the beach. Adding muscle
will also increase your metabolism, because it costs more calories in a day to run a pound of
muscle than it does a pound of fat. Add in some strength work a few times a week and you will
really notice a difference in how you look and how quickly your body is able to burn fat.
6. Be consistent
Consistency is the key to all of this. You are not going to make much progress if you
are good for a few days and then let yourself go every weekend. Here are a few things that
might help you be more consistent. 1. Schedule your workouts in your weekly calendar. Put
the day and time down on pen and paper (or in your phone's calendar) and stick to those
commitments. Shoot for at least 3 days a week but 4 or 5 is ideal. Make everything else work
around these times. After a few weeks this will be habit and it will be very hard to miss. 2.
Create a daily scorecard. This is something that I have started doing recently with tremendous
results. Create a scorecard for all of the things you want to accomplish in the day (drink 100 oz
of water, have 8 servings of vegetables, work out, track everything you eat and drink, eat 170
grams of protein, etc.) At the end of each day put a checkmark by each one you completed. I
promise you that if you get in the habit of holding yourself accountable like this it will change
your life. 3. Find an accountability partner. Find someone who has the same goals as you and
hold each other accountable. Go to the gym at the same time every day. Check in with each
other on your diet and nutrition. Be honest about your shortcomings and failures. Talk about
your struggles. Be vulnerable with them. It will be much easier to keep going if you know you
have someone doing it with you and you will probably develop and even closer relationship. 4.
Get a coach. We all need a coach to help us in different aspects of your life. If you are really
serious about getting where you want to be then you should find someone who knows how to
get you to where you want to be. If you follow these 4 steps then you should be well on your
way to being consistent.
I hope that these tips will help you on your weight loss journey. Remember, it is much
easier to get your beach body ready if you have developed a lifestyle of health and fitness
because you are always beach ready! If you have not yet developed those habits then
implement these steps and they will help you to get there. Making health and fitness a year
around goal is the best way to be ready for the summer and there is no better time to start than