Sunscreen and Swimsuits and Beaches…Oh My!

With summer in full swing, are you beginning to stress out over the idea of wearing a polka-dot bikini or Hawaiian swim trunks in public? Don’t let swimsuit season put you in a state of depression. Where you ARE today will soon become where you WERE yesterday.

With that, let’s dive into some fun ways to boost our daily routines, and go over a few tips on eating more effectively, if toning up is our goal.

Bikini Body Nutrition 101: I could go on and on about “eat this, not that” or “abs are made in the kitchen,” but you’ve probably had these sentiments thrown at you already. Instead, I want to give you some easy-to-follow suggestions about what we shove down the ol’ pie hole. Please note: If you’re under the direction of a medical professional for any health issues, you should consult your physician or registered dietician before starting any dietary modifications or exercise routines.

Calories IN vs. OUT: “Toning” or losing weight is the result of being at a negative calorie balance each day. Our bodies burn calories to keep organs functioning and our bodies moving for basic day-to-day functions. The more active you are, the higher your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This means at a minimum, you will burn X calories per day. What X means for you depends on your age, height, gender, weight, and daily activity level.

There are many free calculators online that will give you an approximate number for X. Just Google-search BMR Calculators and chose one. Having this number will be crucial to compare to your daily caloric intake, to ensure that you aren’t eating more calories than the sum of your BMR plus exercise calories burned. Example: John Doe has a BMR of 2,000 calories a day, plus he exercises and burns an additional 300 calories a day, equaling 2,300 calories burned daily. For John to lose about one pound of body fat per week, he’ll need to eat roughly 1,800 calories daily. This will put him at a negative caloric balance of 500 each day. In seven days, John will burn 3,500 calories, losing one pound of fat.

Load Up on Vegetables: When trying to drop body-fat pounds, you want to increase your vegetable intake. These nutrient-packed food sources are not only super-healthy, but also filling and typically lower in calories. My favorites are broccoli, green beans, spinach, and Brussels sprouts.

Choose Leaner Meats and Watch Your Fats: Eating low-fat meats is another great way to keep calorie intake lower. Fats hold the highest calorie per gram count, so keeping this number in balance is key. Now, I’m not saying to stop eating fats, period. Healthy fats or unsaturated fats are beyond crucial for normal body function and staying healthy. You just need to eat the right types of fats and not go overboard. Remove trans fats completely from your diet and keep saturated fats to a minimum.

Condiments, the Sneaky Saboteur: Go to your refrigerator and browse through your condiments, looking at calories per serving and the size of an actual serving. Condiments sneakily add massive amounts of calories to our diets. They are either very high in fats (for example, salad dressings and mayonnaise) or sugar (for example, ketchup and BBQ sauce). If you can avoid them, please do. If not, then use sparingly or follow the serving sizes.

Part of a Balanced Breakfast My Rear End! Breakfast is, and will always be, the meal that dictates your success for that day’s food intake. If your breakfast is centered around empty calories, like high-sugar cereals or junk-foods, then you’re setting yourself up for massive cravings and bad snacking habits.

Most individuals should eat every two to three hours to ensure the best metabolic burn throughout the day. So, planning and getting in a breakfast that is high in protein, but moderate in carbohydrates and fats, will make your day a whole lot better. Example: Two or three scrambled eggs or egg whites with onion, spinach, and a little shredded mozzarella cheese, a slice of whole-wheat toast (plain), 16 oz. water and/or 8 oz. milk.

Bonus Workout! Beginner level – no equipment needed.

Muscle Groups / Exercise / Repetitions

Legs / Bodyweight Squats / 15-30

Chest/Shoulders / Push-Ups* / 10-20

Core / Planks / Hold 30-60 seconds

Back / Bird-dogs / 30 total (15 each arms)

Legs / Lunges / 10-15 each leg

Core / Crunches / 15-25

Shoulders / Arm Circles / 20-30 seconds

Back/Core / Cat-camels / Perform for 60 seconds, hold each pose for 5-10 seconds.

*Rest for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat three times.

If you have any questions or need more information, feel free to call (309) 738-5177 or email me at

Author: Joshua Greer

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