Eat your way to a hot body

Recommended by Dr. Michael White, Updated on November 9th, 2020

Summer is upon us and, undoubtedly, we are all more conscious of our bodies.

Whether it be parading Kadooment Day or visiting the islands beaches more regularly to survive the unrelenting heat, one way or another, the months of June through August are synonymous with less clothes and more flesh. Consequently, we flock in droves to gyms islandwide, go for early morning walks or jogs, exhaust the P90X workout DVD and neglect to do two critical things on our quest to carve summer-appropriate physiques: eat and eat properly!

So just how should we approach food consumption in our endeavour to be summer ready? Do we drastically reduce our food intake and hope to drop 15 pounds of fat in two weeks? Do we eliminate carbohydrates from our diet? Do we eliminate fat?

Do we eliminate meat? Maybe we need to leave out all fried foods? Cut out flour? And, of course, there are always crazy fad diets floating around to further complicate things, for example gluten free, HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) or limewater.

It can all be rather intimidating but the decisions we make with respect to our nutrition can make or break our success.

When revamping our diets there are some salient principles that should be considered to ensure we remain on the path to a healthy transformation. Let us consider the following guidelines to success:

Have small frequent meals Most of us have heard this one before and there is a reason why it is such a common tenet of proper nutrition. Eating frequently has been proven to stabilise blood sugar levels, elevate metabolism (great for fat loss) and reduce catabolism (great for muscle preservation or gain).

Have a source of protein in every meal: Protein is perhaps the most important macronutrient we can consume. It is responsible for growth and repair in our bodies and it aids in a positive nitrogen balance (important for muscle growth and development of lean body mass). Complete proteins (proteins containing the full gamut of essential amino acids) are a required part of any diet because they cannot be manufactured by the human body in adequate amounts. Complete proteins are typically obtained from animal sources (poultry, dairy, fish, meat,

and so on), whereas incomplete proteins (proteins deficient in one or more essential amino acids) are obtained from plant sources. It is possible, however, to combine two or more incomplete proteins to make a complete protein (for example rice and beans). Animal sources remain superior nonetheless because they are more protein dense and have a higher biological value.

Eat the right carbohydrates at the right times Carbohydrates are required for energy and should not be eliminated from our diets. Instead they should be obtained from the right sources and consumed in sensible amounts based on activity levels. If, for example, one is going to have a sedentary period (sitting at a cubicle for two to three hours), the meal that precedes this activity need not be high in carbohydrates because it follows that a lot of energy is not required to perform this function. Lower glycemic carbohydrates are our most useful

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