Post on: May 9, 2016.

Posted in: Read.

You can’t hide – it’s bathing suit season. Enjoy a summer where you don’t have to hid under a bathing suit cover or wear a large t-shirt to hid your bulge. You can rediscover your beach body with some simple tips and tricks. Here’s a short guide to help you greet the summer swimsuit season with confidence – and then how to survive all those summer barbecues.

To Diet or Not to Diet?

It might be worth reconsidering the popular dieting trend of cutting out all carbohydrates in an attempt to help you look better into your bathing suit. According to a 2009 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, eating a low fat diet has more positive effects on your mood than a low carb diet. Also, the study noted both resulted in similar weight loss. Wear your swimsuit with pride without being a Grouch – eat a healthy diet that includes quality carbohydrates such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains.

The YES Diet

A healthy way to help drop a few of those winter pounds is to eat more vegetables and protein (ideally the good sources of proteins that aren’t dripping in fat). There are two ways to do that: The Yes Diet or the No Diet. Some people do better when they are told they CAN NOT eat something – this is a No diet. In this case, a No diet would be to not eat anything that comes from a grain (e.g. wheat, corn, rice) which means no crackers, cookies, baked goods, desserts, chips, breads, etc. Without those you’ve got to reach for more vegetables to fill your plate. Feel free to eat some fruit as its a great summer food too! As for a YES diet, that means you make a list of foods you CAN eat. I love these diets. They feel empowering. This means you can eat roasted eggplant on your salad or sprinkle it with feta cheese and your favourite salad dressing. You can enjoy another portion of fish or handful of nut mix.

Toast Your Friends, Ditch the Calories

A toast to friends and family is a great way to celebrate the summer holidays. But, be wary as high calorie drinks can quickly add up. Drinking lots of water helps keep your calorie intake down and helps keep you hydrated during hot summer days. Plus, staying hydrated helps your skin – hydrated skin is plump so it looks younger and less wrinkled.

Graze Wisely

Tis’ grazing season. Summertime is synonymous with cottage parties, picnics and barbeques where there are lots of treats, junk food and snacks. Don’t stand and peck away at the various snacks in those pretty coloured plastic bowls – instead take a plate, serve yourself a portion and walk away. This little trick just might save your waistline this beach season.

Go for Taste without the Guilt

Find a healthier way to make your favourite recipe. Or, discover a new recipe. Famous chefs offer healthier recipes of summer favourites, such as coleslaw and potato salad, that still have all the flavour but fewer calories. There are lots of healthy substitutions that taste great in recipes such as switching applesauce or coconut oil for butter. This beach season eat guilt-free by using a recipe with lower fat, sodium and sugar.

Portable Protein Powders

Whey protein powder is a great summer food because it’s portable, fills you up and doesn’t start to smell if it’s left in your car for more than five minutes in the summer heat. Plus, it’s packed with healthy benefits: research has shown dairy protein (e.g. whey protein, colostrum, lactoferrin) helps fight disease, enhances fat burning and prevents bone loss. In a pinch, a little protein powder in your cold juice smoothie you’ve just plunked out of the cooler can offer you some needed energy and keep you feeling fuller longer to help ward off cravings for less healthy foods.

Summertime Bodies Need Superfoods

There are some foods that offer such powerful health benefits we call them superfoods. Superfoods are sort of like superheroes for your body. You probably already familiar with many of them: kale, blueberries, hemp seeds. Of the superfoods, berries contain some of the highest amounts of antioxidants – antioxidants protect the body from aging – including those UV rays from the sun that your skin is being bombarded with.

Beyond Your Fork

It’s important to note that eating is only one part of a healthy lifestyle. Getting enough sleep and exercise are also very important. Well-rested adults get 8 hours of sleep a night. As for getting toned-up for the beach, focus on multiple repetitions of slow and controlled muscle-contracting exercises such as those done in a yoga class, a paddle-boarding ride, or a moderately intense hike.

Be active. Love Summer. Eat your way into a healthy body that looks great in a bathing suit.

Studies / References

Brinkworth, GD et al. Long-term effects of a very low-carbohydrate diet and a low-fat diet on mood and cognitive function. Arch Intern Med 2009, JAMA Study Nov 9;169(20):1873-80.

Du, M. et al. Protective effects of bovine colostrum acid proteins on bone loss of ovariectomized rats and the ingredients identifications. Mol Nutr Food Res 2011 Feb;55(2):220-8.

Frestedt, J. et al. A whey protein supplement increases fat loss and spares lean muscle in obese subjects: a randomized human clinical study. Nuts Metab, PubMed (Lond) 2008;5:8.

Hall WL, Millward DJ, Long SJ & Morgan, LM. (2003) Casein and whey exert different effects on plasma amino acid profiles, gastrointestinal hormone secretion and appetite. Br Jour Nutr 89(2) 339-348.

Health Canada – Whey Protein Monograph, Health Canada.