Summer time is hitting its peak with the temperature rising and a getaway holiday may be looming closer as well as that new bikini you’re dying to look fabulous in. You have been working your butt off in the gym, but a healthy eating plan is also key to be entirely ready for beach season. A little planning and a healthy grocery list at hand will make sure that when you open the fridge or kitchen cupboard, you are reaching for the right foods to keep you on track!
Let’s begin with the foods that are packed with protein. Protein is definitely essential in your diet for normal growth and repair of body tissues. It takes longer to digest protein, so it keeps your blood sugar levels nice and steady, helps keep you fuller for longer so you are less likely to suffer with cravings and it helps replenish and repair those muscle fibers which we do not want to lose as having more muscle mass, means burning more calories even when we are not at the gym.
The complete protein foods, which are also low in fat, to add to your grocery list include
– Lean red meat and
When it comes to low fat dairy products, not everyone can handle digesting these foods properly due to the sugar lactose in the products. So, people who are lactose intolerant struggle when consuming these products thus suffer from bloating, indigestion, gas, stomach pains or irritable bowel syndrome. Not something you want when trying to look best with a flat tummy on the beach, so avoid those foods if they trigger any effects. Otherwise people who are able to consume dairy products low fat cottage cheese is great to buy, it’s not expensive and is a low calorie source which is high in protein.
It contains some vitamins and minerals including calcium and can be used in your breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner. Low Fat Greek yogurt is another dairy option to put on the list. Being high in protein, low in fat, rich in calcium and contains healthy bacteria probiotics, which help keep the digestive system run smoothly.
Let’s move on with healthy fats
Fats are essential in the diet as long as we pick the right kind such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, which contain the healthy omega -3, omega-6 and omega-9 fats and stick to a decent portion size.
These healthy fats can lower the cholesterol levels in your body as well as the risk of stroke and heart disease. That’s why avocados are an excellent source! Use them in your lunches, snacks or dinner. Cut into chunks or make a homemade spread.
Nuts are another item on your healthy food grocery list
They are excellent, as they have it all: rich in energy, protein, packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and healthy fats. Do not go overboard by eating a whole bag, stick to a handful of nuts for a portion size and avoid the salted, chilli powder, honey or sugar coated versions, as they play havoc inside your system and play with your blood sugar and salt levels. Or try out a natural organic spread, such as almond butter or peanut butter and stick to 1-2 tablespoons only.
Try to avoid buying bulky heavy fruit and vegetables
that take longer to digest and can make us bloat. Instead go for the fresh and watery kind such as lettuce, celery and cucumber. These are great cooling summer foods, which are super low in calories, contain enzymes to help improve your digestion and have great cleansing properties to help get rid of those toxins in our body. Speaking of toxins, lemon works wonders in our digestive system.
Try and add lemon to your foods or best of all add a wedge to your drinking water for the day. Lemon aids digestion, boosts immunity, increases energy, helps hydrate and detox your body and it even helps balance the PH in your system. Another great fruit to have is watermelon. It’s cool, it’s refreshing, full of water to keep hydrated, contains vitamins and minerals and has a sweet taste to satisfy those sweet cravings without packing on the calories.
And finally water is essential for all of us
as 70% of our body is made up of water! It aids to keep us hydrated and also helps with that extra bit of weight loss, as when we drink enough water it gives us a sense of fullness, so we can avoid overeating as well as being calorie free as a bonus. Water helps get rid of toxins and keeps your skin tight and glowing too. Avoiding dehydration (even in the form of feeling thirsty means we are dehydrated) will help keep those energy levels up top to tackle the day ahead. So, make sure you stock up on bottled or filtered water!
If you are armed with the right foods and hydration, eating small but frequent meals helps to keep your metabolism and digestive system running smoothly. Big meals, alcohol, pre packed ready- made foods which are high in additives and sodium just make it harder for the stomach to digest, causing a sluggish stomach, bloating, gas and also makes the body hold on to more fat. Eat clean by using the foods and tips above and keep hydrated this summer so you will have that confidence on the beach.