Losing weight and staying in shape can be difficult, even if you are motivated to look your best at the beach.
Here, learn about four proven ways to lose weight, get swimsuit ready, develop your best beach body yet and three natural ways to improve the appearance of your skin.
Add Some Protein to Your Diet
Upping your protein intake may make it easier to lose extra weight.
In a 2002 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers compared a high-protein diet to a high-carbohydrate diet.(1)
Study participants followed each diet for a day, and their calorie burn was measured after breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Study results showed that post-meal calorie burn was approximately twice as high after the high-protein diet compared to the high-carbohydrate diet.
Replace the processed carbohydrates in your diet with lean protein sources, such as chicken, fish, and low-fat dairy, and you may find that it’s easier to fit into your swimsuit.
Burn Fat with High-Intensity Interval Training
Instead of exercising at a steady pace, throw in some high-intensity intervals to increase your fat burn.
Researchers for a 2014 edition of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, & Metabolism found that women who completed three weekly sessions of interval training over a period of six weeks lost an average of 8 percent body fat, and their waist sizes dropped by 3.5 percent.(2)
In 2012, a study in The Journal of Sports Medicine & Physical Fitness found that high-intensity interval training had a greater impact on body composition than did moderate intensity exercise performed at a steady pace.(3)
You can take advantage of this effect with your own interval workout.
After warming up, alternate four minutes of easy jogging with one minute of all-out sprinting, and complete this process four to six times.
Sip on Some Water
Drinking water could make your beach body diet more effective.
In a 2010 study in the journal Obesity, one group of participants simply consumed a low-calorie diet, and another group consumed a low-calorie diet and drank 500 milliliters of water prior to each meal.(4)
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After 12 weeks, participants who drank water before each meal lost 2 kilograms more than those in the diet only group.
Study authors hypothesized that the increased weight loss in the water group could be a result of participants consuming fewer calories after ingesting water.
Water could also boost your metabolism.
In a study in a 2014 publication of the journal Acta Physiologica, young adults were given 500 milliliters of tap water served cold, at room temperature, or at body temperature.(5)
Study results showed that cold water elevated calorie burn by 2.9 percent during a 90-minute period.
Increase Your Fat Loss with Resistance Training
Aerobic exercise is important for fat loss, but you can shed even more weight if you do resistance training as well.
In a 2003 study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology and Applied Human Science, one group of study participants performed aerobic exercise six times per week, and a second group completed both aerobic exercise and resistance training, performing each type of exercise thrice weekly.(6)
Study results showed that those who completed both types of exercise lost more abdominal and visceral fat, and they also significantly increased their lean body mass.
You can reap these benefits by adding a few circuits of pushups, squats, biceps curls, and triceps extensions to your regular routine.
Resistance training can help you to melt away extra fat and get your body ready for the beach.
Now, learn three ways to improve the look of your skin without breaking your budget.
3 Cheap, Natural Ways to Improve the Appearance of Your Skin
You might think that you have to spend hundreds of dollars on fancy facial creams and visits to the dermatologist to maintain healthy, youthful skin, but there are cheaper, more natural ways to keep your skin looking its best.
Get Some Sleep
Getting your beauty rest truly can make a difference in the health of your skin.
Researchers for a 2015 edition of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology conducted a study comparing a group of poor sleepers who slept five or fewer hours per night, to a group of good sleepers who slept between seven and nine hours per night.(7)
Study results indicated that the good sleepers displayed less skin aging, and their skin recovered more quickly after exposure to ultraviolet light.
As an added benefit, good sleepers felt more positively than bad sleepers did about their appearance and physical attractiveness.
Maintain healthy-looking skin by going to bed at a decent hour every night; turn off the television a little earlier and wake up with a more youthful glow.
Enjoy a Little Guacamole
Avocados, which are rich in healthy fats and a variety of vitamins and minerals, can also protect your skin.
In a 2011 study in the Archives of Dermatological Research, scientists found that a fatty alcohol extracted from avocados protected the skin from ultraviolet damage and supported DNA repair.(8)
Avocado’s high content of vitamins C and E could also promote skin health.
In an earlier study in a 1998 edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, researchers found that subjects who received a daily supplement of vitamin C and vitamin E showed a decreased reaction to sunburn when compared to those who took a placebo pill.(9)
The researchers concluded that these vitamins could, therefore, reduce the risk of ultraviolet skin damage.
Add some avocado slices to your toast or sandwich, or indulge in some guacamole as a snack, and you, too, can enjoy the skin-enriching benefits of the nutrients in this fruit.
Try Some Patchouli Oil
The essential oil of patchouli has been lauded for its benefits on the complexion, and recent animal research supports the topical use of patchouli oil for skin health.
In a study in a 2014 publication of the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, researchers found that patchouli oil reduced wrinkle formation, maintained skin elasticity, and increased collagen production in the skin of rats exposed to ultraviolet radiation.(10)
The researchers concluded that patchouli oil successfully maintained skin integrity, and they recommended that it could be used to prevent aging.
You can experience these anti-aging effects by purchasing your own patchouli oil.
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Using patchouli oil is a cheap, natural method for protecting your skin from the effects of aging.
With other tricks, such as upping your intake of nutrient-rich avocados and getting plenty of restorative sleep, you can keep your skin looking healthy and youthful without purchasing yet another expensive skincare product or visiting your dermatologist for a costly procedure.
Follow the other advice discussed here, such as drinking plenty of water, upping your protein intake, and making time for interval workouts, and you will be fit and lean in no time.