The beach-fit plan for men
Get in shape for the beach
If you’re looking forward to two weeks on a sun-kissed beach relaxing and soaking up the sun, you’re going to want to look your best. Here's the beach-fit plan for men:
So what is the best strategy to get beach-fit and make sure you look good for your holiday? Follow the training and dietary advice here and you’ll tone-up, shape-up, and feel good on the beach as well.
Beach-fit nutrition tips
Beach-fit tip 1: Half a kilogram is enough
Attempting to lose weight faster than half a kilogram (1lb) per week almost always leads to subsequent additional unwanted weight gain.
Beach-fit tip 2: Avoid processed foods
Always try and select whole-food for meals and snacks. Processed foods (foods that come in packets) are generally low in nutritional quality and high in unwanted calories such as fat and sugar.
Beach-fit tip 3: Hydrate
Inadequate hydration often presents false hunger pangs. Hunger pangs are often satisfied with processed foods (chocolate and other confectionery), which are generally high in calories, unnecessarily adding to total calorie intake.
Beach-fit tip 4: Keep water handy
Ensuring that a bottle of water is always available, at you desk, in your car, etc., will help you to keep fluid levels topped up, make your skin look great and fend off false hunger symptoms.
Beach-fit tip 5: Easy on the alcohol
The calories from alcohol in beer, wine and spirits are stored as body fat if they’re not used at the time of consumption; so reducing your alcohol intake will help with your weight loss programme.
Beach-fit tip 6: Alternate your drinks
Try alternating an alcoholic drink with water. This will keep the calories down as well as combating the dehydrating effects of the alcohol. Dehydration can lead to false hunger signs.
Beach-fit tip 7: Correct food choices = fewer calories
Incorrect food choices are often triggered by energy lows, causing ‘quick energy hit’, highly calorific foods to be eaten, like chocolate. By choosing slow energy release foods such as bananas, you will find that you maintain constant energy levels with fewer calories.
Beach-fit tip 8: Don’t overdose on protein
A common misconception when looking to build muscle is that you should eat as much protein as possible. The maximum amount of protein the body can utilise and absorb per day is just two grams for each kilo of your bodyweight — and that is for someone training extremely hard. Any excess protein eaten will be converted and stored as body fat and too much protein consumption can cause kidney damage.
Beach-fit tip 10: Turn up the resistance
Include resistance training exercises as part of your exercise programme. By toning up and building up your muscles, you will increase the amount of calories you burn throughout the day — even when at rest.
Beach-fit tip 11: Muscle costs more
The ‘energy cost’ of a body with a greater muscle mass is higher than a body carrying excess body fat — so if you build muscle, your engine is running faster 24 hours a day — leading to further body fat reduction.
Beach-fit tip 12: Train early
Exercising in the morning kick-starts your metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories) and the benefits can last for up to 15 hours after training.
Beach-fit tip 13: Keep balanced
When you look in the mirror, the main muscles you see are your abdominals (stomach), chest and biceps (upper arm). Avoid overtraining these areas because you will develop postural imbalances. Make sure that your weights programme trains all around the body, not just the muscles that you see when you look in the gym mirrors.
Beach-fit tip 14: CV is good
When looking to build muscle, many men shy away from cardiovascular (CV) training because they are concerned it will counteract their muscle gains. However, for a balanced health and fitness programme, CV training is essential to ensure that your body’s most important muscle — your heart, is trained too.
Beach-fit tip 15: Abs are not enough
If you’re looking to get a six-pack for the beach, sit-ups for your abdominal muscles are just one of the exercises you should be doing. Exercises for your lower abs such as leg-only V-Sits (sit on the floor with your legs elevated and alternately bend and straighten your knees) should be included, together with training for the obliques (muscles at the sides of your abdomen).
Beach-fit tip 16: Train your core
In addition to the heart, another muscle group that is extremely important to train is your core, or deep postural muscles. Good core strength will ‘pull everything in’ as well as greatly improving your posture.
Beach-fit tip 17: Legs are important
An additional advantage of including CV training in your beach-fit plan is that almost all CV training involves using your legs; running, cycling etc, so these exercises will tone up and build up your leg muscles to match your upper body training.
Following this plan to build a lean, muscular and toned body, and improve your all-round health too.