Summer will soon be here, and the beach will often be the coolest and most fun place to spend your days off.

Suddenly the pressure is on: you want to look hot on the beach, but maybe you need to shed a few pounds to look your best in that new speedo you just bought! Before you get to calculating how many hours you need to spend in the gym, and how long it will take to starve yourself thin, here are some easy tips to help you get your body under control.

  1. Drink more water – a lot more. Not only is this good for your general health, but it will help you to shed some body fat. Drink one ounce of water each day for every two pounds that you weigh.. So if you weigh 140 pounds, drink 70 ounces a day. If you weigh 180 pounds, drink 90 ounces a day. Yes, it is a lot, but if you drink an 8 ounce glass on waking, and again at breakfast, mid-morning, before and after lunch, mid afternoon, before and after dinner and once in the evening, that is 72 ounces. For heavier guys, make each glass 10-12 ounces. Sure you will make more bathroom visits, but it may well make your urinary system work more effectively too.
  1. Make sure that you consume plenty of fiber. This comes from fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Fiber moves fat out of your body and cleanses your system. Part of the reason you have that belly you want to get rid of is that you are carrying around partially digested food which is a few days old, and has not cleared out of your system yet. This is especially true if you eat a lot of red meat and white bread, both of which take a long time to pass through your digestive system. Both items should be consumed in moderation.
  1. Now is not the time to dine at the ‘all-you-can-eat’ buffet. Watch your portions, whether you eat three times a day or more frequently. One solution is to use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate to limit your portion size – it will be enough to sustain you. Don’t rush your meals – eat slowly and allow your digestive system to do its work. Chew your food thoroughly!
  1. Make sure that you get 7-8 hours sleep each night. Your body needs this to function properly, and going without sleep is one of the quickest routes to poor health – poor digestion, poor mental alertness, poor libido.
  1. If you need to diet, try this: other than adopting sensible portion sizes, don’t worry too much about cutting down on the amount of food that you eat. But do make sure that you eat the right things at the right time of day. You need carbohydrates for energy and mental alertness, for example, but you don’t need these in the evenings when you are relaxing. Eat carbs early in the day (I cut off at 3.00 p.m.) then make sure that meals after 3.00 p.m. consist of protein (meat, chicken, fish) and green veggies. Avoid rice, pasta, potatoes and MBS-3020_copy2bread after 3.00 p.m. The bad news is that alcohol is a carbohydrate, so no alcohol in the evenings – keep drinking lots of water instead. Stick to this regime and you will lose 6-10 pounds in two weeks. If you really want to get lean, cut out dairy products entirely for these two weeks.
  1. OK, now you have your weight under control, and you fit easily into that speedo. But do you resemble a silverback gorilla? Time to get grooming! (Unless hair is what turns you on!). Trim your back, shoulders and upper arms, and tidy up the remainder. A hairy body can be attractive, but your friends shouldn’t have to floss every ten minutes!

On the other hand, you don’t have to be a fitness model or a bodybuilder to be attractive. A great smile; a sense of humor; the courage to trust; the absence of baggage; a job; a car and a bank account; these are all factors that can affect how you feel about another person. Many of us have at some time been attracted to someone who is the life and soul of the party, regardless of physical appearance, and while this may not always be a reliable guide to a long-term relationship, it can be fun while it lasts!

MBS-3020_copy1So take care of your inner beauty too: be kind to others, appreciate their talents and achievements, especially if they are dealing with an emotional or physical handicap, encourage them in their work or sport or hobbies, try not to be judgmental and give that other person the opportunity to show their inner depths before you write them off. Some wonderful human beings have been overlooked because they did not possess conventional beauty. Be a cheerleader for everyone that you connect with! Remember that it is not all about you – some of the most beautiful people are those who think mostly about others. 

John Maroussas is a licensed massage therapist, certified personal trainer and certified hypnotherapist with particular expertise in sports massage, drug-free pain relief and male hormone function.