One of my absolute favorite things to do in the summer is go to the beach, and a definite consideration of this long term pleasure is a beach body diet plan sometime in advance. Since I live over 5 hours away it can’t exactly be a day trip. Sometimes you plan a week, look forward to it all year long – and then the weather doesn’t cooperate. I love the beach but I also have some weather requirements because I want to be on the beach as much of the vacation as possible.
Our Beach Body Plan
This summer my daughters and I got the idea to do a couple of two-day trips to the beach. Leave home while it is still dark and be on the beach by 9 – 10 AM and then stay until early evening the next day. This way we could watch the weather and find two back-to-back days that would be awesome beach days! In theory this sounds great. In reality, how can summer be so busy that a whole month went by and we had some great 2-day weather combinations – but we couldn’t get our schedules to make it work.
I guess there is something to be said about planning ahead and reserving that block of time you choose for a vacation. If you do this early, everyone that is going has also arranged to free up their schedule to go. Planning the time to get to the beach is important – the same as planning ahead for your beach body.
Plan For Your Beach Body
This year, as part of our pre-beach preparations, the four of us at home (mom, dad, two daughters) wanted to lose at least 10 lbs each. We do eat healthy, but we also like to have some ice cream in the summer.. and some other snacks.. and then there are the liquid calories we consume (those cool drinks taste so good in the hot summer, right?!!) that add up. Before you know it there’s that extra 10 lbs.
We thought it would be the best challenge, and the best chance of success if we took on the challenge together – use each other for motivation and accountability. That’s what we did. We made a plan to have a healthy protein shake in the morning, a protein meal bar for lunch, and a healthy supper. For 10 days we even did fruit and vegetable juicing as our dinner.
We didn’t feel hungry at all between breakfast and lunch, or between lunch and dinner. The evenings were tough on the juicing days because we didn’t have enough calories (or the protein) that made us feel satisfied. We were very successful and very happy with the results. It worked overall because we gave our bodies the nutrients they need.
Eating the right (healthy) foods is not only important for how you look; it also has an effect on how you feel. Foods like vegetables and fruits, lean meats and vegetable protein sources, and whole grain breads will help you burn fat and keep your lean muscle. You feel more energized, are in a better mood, and stay motivated to get to your goal.
What we learned:
The biggest takeaway that my family realized after doing our weight loss challenge was that you have to watch calories and portion sizes. None of us are dieters, so we hadn’t been on any crazy plans where you cut calories drastically, cut out entire food groups, or do a crazy cleanse that can make you sick. But you do have to watch.
If you start paying attention to labels, even just a little, you will probably be shocked at the calorie content in a serving. A box of a frozen meal may seem pretty small and only for one person and yet the label says it is two servings and about 500 calories each. Who wants to eat 1000 calories in a frozen product that may not even seem like a meal to you?
Yesterday I was talking with a neighbor who recently lost 18 lbs. He said that a huge part of his success was smaller portions and not taking second helpings. He did this a lot in the past and said he always felt too full or even bloated after, and if he is strong willed enough to keep his meal size small he feels a lot better.
5 Suggestions for Your Beach Body Plan
- Eat Healthy: lean proteins, veggies, fruits and whole grains in smaller meals will keep your metabolism going so you burn more fat.
- Watch Portion Size: start with small portions and wait 20 minutes before taking more to give your brain a chance to tell you that you don’t need more food.
- Cut Calories: avoid non-nutritious calories: carbs like snack foods and fast foods, and high sugar drinks, usually have little or no nutrition and lots of calories.
- Exercise: whatever your activity level, kick it up a little and if you aren’t exercising at all at least get out and walk all summer.
- Partner Up: find someone who also wants to lose weight, tone up, and get that beach body – you will be more motivated to stick with it if you have a buddy.
It’s already summer and your beach trip may be right around the corner. Make your plan now and get working at it. You will be happy you did and smiling all over the beach when you get there! Come back and let us know about your progress – and feel free to post some beach pics here. I am still working on a two-day getaway this summer and welcome all reminders of the beach!