How to eat if you want a beach body

Advice
30 Apr 2010
It's no picnic

You need to eat right to fuel the training you're doing to get a beach body.

Eat a big breakfast
Fill your gut in the morning and you'll boost your metabolism to burn more calories and, better still, control your appetite better throughout the day.
 
Cut out salt
The hidden salt found in processed foods such as ready meals and processed sandwiches can make you a hefty 1.5kg heavier than you should be. This is because your body holds on to extra water to dilute it.
 
Chew your food
Slow down your eating and, studies say, you will eat 68 fewer calories at every meal. It takes the brain a good 20 minutes to wise up to the fact that your stomach is full so slow down and take smaller bites. It'll help you enjoy the food more too.
 
Get wet
Water doesn't miraculously melt fat but drinking it will reduce sugar cravings, tiredness and a growling stomach. Have at least two litres throughout the day to keep all your systems firing.
 
Use herbs
Parsley is a natural diuretic that helps reduce water retention and bloating. US research also suggests that herbs stimulate your senses of smell and taste, making you feel fuller faster so you eat less.
 
Eat enough
Starving yourself won't give you a lean body - it'll just make you look unhealthy. Eat five or six small meals during the day to keep your metabolism firing. Starvation diets can slow your metabolism and lower your blood sugar levels, which will increase your urge to binge on fatty food while on holiday.
 
Spice up your lunch  
Spicy foods cause your body to let go of excess water and can also raise your metabolic rate for up to three hours. Red chilli pepper gets its spicy flavour from capsaicin, which raises the body's temperature and burns more energy (along with your mouth).
 
Drink coffee
Not only does caffeine suppress your appetite, it can also stimulate the use of fat for fuel during exercise. Stick to filter or espresso - a mocha has 350 calories, the same amount as a fresh cream slice.
 
Don't drink your calories
You'll probably sink a few pints while you're away, so avoid the booze for a week or two before you go. Alcohol is the second most calorific nutrient behind fat, providing seven calories per gram, but is arguably worse than fat since it has no nutritional value.
 
Eat yoghurt
The calcium in dairy products has a fat-binding effect, meaning that you absorb fewer calories from your food and help the body to burn more fat. Yoghurt's calcium and protein is also critical for those who want to ditch flab yet maintain muscle mass.
 
Swap crisps for popcorn
Not the sugary stuff from the cinema but the plain, air-popped kind. This low-fat snack should satisfy your cravings and is full of gut-filling fibre and healthy wholegrains.
 
Chew gum
Chewing gum helps weight loss in three ways: it stops you nibbling on fatty snacks, it can decrease appetite and it can burn off an extra 11 calories per hour.
 
Have a protein shake
Protein shakes aren't just for recovery - they help you build lean muscle, which burns calories and helps the body use fat for energy. US research found that consuming whey protein shakes such as MyProtein Impact Whey Protein (myprotein.co.uk) 20 minutes before breakfast and dinner triggered greater fat loss than using a placebo.

Check out our Monster Move beach body workout. Following it is the fastest, most effective way to get in shape for your summer break.

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