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Tuesday's Top 10: Getting Your Body Beach-Ready

Written by Debbi Spiegel  |  28. May 2013

Memorial Day weekend is supposed to be the unofficial start to summer.  This year Mother Nature had us in sweatshirts rather than swimsuits.  We were luckier than those in upstate New York and Vermont who got close to 3 feet of snow.  Killington offered free skiing over the long weekend.  But real summer weather will be arriving this week.

As we embark on these sunny days equipped with sunscreen, beach towels, and the seasonally appropriate white wardrobe...Is your body ready to step onto the beach or go poolside?  Swimsuit season is usually a cause for anxiety.  Swimsuit shopping can increase your tendency to be more critical of yourself than others. Researchers were surprised to learn women felt worse about being in a dressing room wearing a swimsuit than on the beach.  Three way mirrors and fluorescent lighting allows you to scrutinize all of your shortcomings/ flaws.  It’s understandable that all activities involving swimwear might be emotionally charged.  But you don’t have to be overwhelmed by the anxiety!

Along with working out in the gym to burn some calories and get your body in shape for the summer, you'll need to alter your diet to get your body where it needs to be.  Here are 10 tips to get your body ready for the beach.

  • Shrink Your Plate
    Reducing your plate size actually helps you to eat less. It's simple; less food can fit on a smaller plate. 
  • Cut Out Unnecessary Calories
    Be more conscious about the amount of extras you incorporate into your meals. These calories add up fast. 
  • Drink A Glass of Water Before Each Meal
    If you're full of water, you can suppress your appetite slightly and reduce the amount of food you're about to consume. 
  • Eat Lots of Spices
    Add flavor to your food with tons of herbs and spices. Incorporate these spices into tea and water, and into meals. Spicy foods can also speed up your metabolism.
  • Fill Up on Greens
    Cabbage, spinach, kale and lettuce are great leafy greens to fill up your plate for each meal. Not only are they ridiculously low in calories, but the water in each green helps fill you up, so you won't be too hungry later on throughout the day. 
  • Eat Only When Hungry
    Sometimes we all just like to nibble on a salty, sweet or crunchy snack in the middle of the day, but before you reach your hand into the bag of chips or cereal box for something to nibble on, ask yourself if you are really hungry. Sometimes that "hunger pain" is your body telling you that are you thirsty. If you really are hungry, eat a cup of popcorn, carrot sticks or an apple.
  • Fill Up on Fiber
    Foods high in fiber signal to your stomach that you are full faster than most foods. Choose whole wheat cereals, pasta or bread instead of a simple carbohydrate choice. Trick your stomach into thinking it is full.
  • Cut Out Bloating Foods
    Carbonated beverages and high-sodium products will make your stomach bloat, so if you want a flatter stomach, eliminate or reduce the consumption of the amount of those foods and drinks.
  • Add Foods That De-Bloat
    Choose foods to help de-bloat your body. Studies show that probiotics in yogurt can help reduce the bloating in your body. Pineapple helps aid digestion and can help reduce the amount of bloating as well. Also include foods such as asparagus, coconut water and grapes to help you naturally get rid of water.
  • Eat Slowly 
    Eat slowly so your body doesn't think it needs more food if you race through each meal. Practice putting your fork or spoon down between bites and chewing each bite 15-20 times. Remember that it takes about 20 minutes for your body to send the signal to your brain that you are full. Also, the longer you eat, the more time you have to enjoy your food.

We'd love to hear about your tips to getting your body beach ready on LongIsland.com's Forum.

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