I don’t know how all of you are feeling about bathing suit season, but I know for sure that I am down right freaking out. In two weeks, I am heading off to Florida for Dan’s sister’s bat mitzvah, and we all know that warm weather = more skin for the eyes to see.
Don’t get me wrong — I am not throwing that ugly F-word out there or anything like that. I just think that bathing suits leave little room to hide what I like to call body “inconveniences,” and that can make it hard for anyone.
I once wrote a column about body woes, and in it I mentioned that, “Anyone who does enjoy bathing suit shopping — I hate.”
Now, of course I was kidding (a bit). But the truth is, it takes a rare person to not feel at least a little self-conscious about baring it all for the world to see. Right?
I was reading this article from Prevention today, and I thought the get-with-it plan was actually kind of interesting. Now, I am not one to ever promote a fad diet, such as the South Beach Diet (of which this plan is based). However, I do think there are some interesting pointers that the gal or guy looking for a little tightening and toning may be able to take away from the article.
Check out these tips and make them your own. For example, if you like your bread, then you do not necessarily have to stick with the no-baguettes approach that this plan suggests. Instead, learn to choose whole grain options, such as Ezekiel Bread or a Thomas’ 100% Whole Wheat English Muffin. That way, you will learn to have your bread and eat it too — all while feeling totally ready to strut your stuff poolside! :
YOUR 2-WEEK EATING PLAN
It starts strict, but the purpose is clear: to help kick-start your weight loss and stabilize blood sugar levels to minimize cravings. Your 2-week goal on the South Beach Diet: Eat three meals and two snacks every day, made up of satisfying portions of lean protein, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and good unsaturated fats. What you don’t get to eat: starches (no bread, pasta, or rice of any kind) and sugars (no fruits and fruit juices, cakes and cookies, wine and beer).
After 2 weeks, you’ll be motivated and more in control, so you’ll gradually start to reintroduce some of the off-limits foods, like whole fruits, whole grain breads and whole wheat pasta, and certain root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and carrots.
Whether you want to lose weight or just maintain, create healthy meals based on these guiding South Beach Diet principles:
CHOOSE GOOD CARBS
Vegetables, fruits, and legumes are good sources. The fiber in these foods slows down digestion so you feel fuller longer. Plus, the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients in the fruits and veggies help protect against heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Get at least ½ cup of vegetables at breakfast and 2 cups at both lunch and dinner. (Remember, certain good carbs are excluded the first 2 weeks of the diet.)
CHOOSE GOOD FATS
Monounsaturated fatty acids in olive, peanut, avocado, and canola oils are good fats, as are the polyunsaturated ones in some nuts, flaxseed, and fish, including salmon and tuna. Good fats help keep cells healthy; they also help you feel satisfied. Limit added oil to 2 tablespoons daily and nuts to ¼ cup per day to help keep calories in check.
CHOOSE LEAN PROTEIN
Foods high in protein are digested slowly; they don’t spike your blood sugar, which stimulates hunger and leads to overeating. Choose from lean cuts of beef, lamb, and pork; skinless white meat chicken and turkey; fish and shellfish; soy products; beans and other legumes; eggs; and fat-free and low-fat dairy products.
You can also check out the article for some great exercise tips!