August 19, 2016 at 3:04 pm EDT | by Gerard Burley
Last-minute tricks to get your bod ready for the beach
beach body, gay news, Washington Blade

Body not quite beach ready? Take these steps to get in top shape a week before vacation.

I woke up one recent morning and realized my beach trip that seemed a long time away has crept up on me. Sure I was going to start pulling back my calories and doing more hot yoga and drinking more water, but now I look up and I only have five days to get right and tight. What do I do?

Well if you’re like me, this conversation may sound familiar. Though you can’t create a miracle in five days, let’s remember it took God at least six days to make the entire universe. If you start now, there are a lot of steps you can take to give the world your best beach body possible. Follow these five tips and watch your body change before your eyes.

Don’t Panic — The first and most important rule is don’t stress out about it. Stress literally will make your body hold on to fat and keep the fat in your mid-section. Stress raises your cortisol levels, which in turn commands that your body holds on to fat. So if you feel a mental breakdown coming on, take a step back, do some breathing meditation exercises and do whatever keeps you calm during this last week. Also  remember that you will always look better in the eyes of other people than you do from your perspective. A little “love pouch” here and there is nothing to freak out about. To look your best, you have to feel your best both mentally and physically.

Don’t Be Salty — Usually I’m not too big on directing active people with no pre-existing conditions to watch their salt intake because it does help with muscle function throughout your workouts. But when you’re five days from snatched, it’s time to cut back. The more salt you have in your body, the more it will hold on to water which will give you a bloated look, aka the opposite of snatched. This is a time to avoid any added salt on foods and to start really paying attention to your labels. Diet foods and drinks especially tend to try to cover up the “diet taste” by adding in a bunch of salt, so limit that.

Don’t be Still — This is not the time to skip your workout. You don’t have to over train and go crazy with a three-hour-a-day workout scheme, but you should be getting in both cardio and weights each day. I suggest you do whatever exercise gets you the sweatiest the fastest and do at least four core focused exercises every day. Combination circuit training is great for this time period. Choose three exercises, one strength-focused, one core-focused and one cardio-focused and do each of them each for 45 seconds to one minute depending on your fitness level. Don’t rest until you have completed three to four rounds of each.

Don’t be Hungry —This is not the time to starve yourself, despite what your friends from Los Angeles and Fire Island may tell you. If you drop your calorie count down too much, your body will actually hold on to the fat and that’s not cute. You will need some food to give you energy for your workouts and to keep your metabolism rolling throughout the day and night. Keep your calories no less than 1,200 per day depending on your size. This is a time to drink lots and lots of water. Try to get .75 ounces for every pound you weigh and eat lots of water-filled fruits and veggies like peppers, celery, watermelon and cucumbers. Cut your carbs after lunch time and avoid gluten for the week.  Gluten can tend to bloat you even if you aren’t allergic to it.

Don’t Be Shady — So part of looking and being snatched also has to do with the way your skin pops in the light and the shadows your body creates. Darker skin shows more cuts, curves and gives you an amazing look. If you’re like me and born with the melanin of the gods, then you’re lucky. But if not, I suggest a spray-on tan or tan towel application before hitting the beach. Seeing yourself all tanned and oiled up will help boost your confidence because you can see all of the work you have done come to the light.

The last week before you hit the beach can be critical to how you look when you get to your beach destination. Eat balanced healthy meals, continue your exercise regimen, get your tan on and stay positive to reveal the best you yet. At the end of the day. the beach is about rest and relaxation, so enjoy your time and be confident no matter what shape or size you are.

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