By James Fell
Well, itís about frigginí time.
Hot weather. Bikinis. Beer. Good times.
I mean, itís a good time if youíre watching bikinis, not wearing them. Oh, crap, now Iíve both objectified women and marginalized transvestites in one sentence. Moving onÖ
Perhaps youíve fought hard to lose some winter flab in anticipation of shirtless sunbathing (note: Skin cancer = bad), cavorting on a beach, jumping off high stuff into water that is hopefully deep enough, and getting hit in the head with a Frisbee because you were distracted by that very attractive person who just walked by.
But remember that you can undo a lot of dietary and exercise discipline in just a couple of weeks of drunken gluttony. Here are five tips for staying lean all summer long by not chunking up on your summer vacation.
1. Be A Little Vain
Vanity is okay to use as a fitness motivator as long as itís done in a healthy way, and if youíre logging some beach time, then strutting around shirtless can be a good reminder to keep you on your exercise and eating game. Embrace a little vanity and vow to keep your physique at its peak.
Itís summer, and youíre on vacation. This is a built-in excuse to not waste time on the following:
-Work of any kind
-Porn (who the hell am I kidding?)
*Please note that visiting AskMen doesnít count as online activities to give up while on vacation. (Note to editor: There, can I have my dog back now?)
There is a fine reason why I want you to unplug, and thatís because online time = ass time. And if youíre going to stay lean, your ass needs to be in gear, not watching reruns of Top Gear.
Since weíre on the subject of asses being in gear Ö
3. Exercise Like Your Ass Is On Fire
Now that you have that wireless monkey off your back, youíll find there is lots of spare time.
Sure, you can sleep till noon, then hang poolside or soak up death rays on the beach while pounding back barley sandwiches, but I have a better way, and that is to rise a little early and pack in as much exercise as you can before things start shaking.
Go for a run, hit the gym, ride a bike, climb something, take a class, paddle a kayak, hike a mountain, swim lengths or swim somewhere far away. Play a sport, kick some ass, do some pushups, have sex and then have sex again.
And youíll find lots of exercise will actually make you more energized for packing more fun in -- far more than simply lazing around will. Research proves that physically active vacations are more energizing. Trust me, a vacation filled with fitness is a memorable one, and youíll be burning off most and possibly all of those extra calories youíre taking in. Speaking of whichÖ
4. Donít Derail Your Eating Regimen
Iím not saying you have to behave like youíre vacationing at a monastery, because there is still plenty of fun to be had while partying hard and watching your waistline.
The best and easiest things you can do is to be cautious at breakfast and lunch time, and try to take in lots of vegetables and stay away from the processed crap. If youíre eating out in the evenings, hold off on things like bread, fatty appetizers, soda and dessert. Experiment with lower calorie options some of the time.
And any time you can make dinner for yourself, thatís always preferable. Summer time is barbecue time, after all.
Just remember that weight loss is mostly about food. Sure, you can exercise a ton, but unless youíre training for the Olympics itís damn hard to out-exercise a bad diet, so endeavor to retain some mindfulness of your caloric intake during vacation.
Speaking of mindfulnessÖ
5. Delay Drinking
I will not tell you not to drink on summer vacation. That would make me a world-class hypocrite.
But just because the clock says noon doesnít mean you have to start just yet. One tactic I devised for delaying drinking was the afternoon weightlifting session. Iíd go for a run early in the morning, and then plan to do some weights around mid-afternoon. If lifting heavy things is on the schedule, then a couple of beers as warm-up sets arenít really advised.
If you start drinking early, then youíll find your day goes to hell in a lot of different ways. Hell as in:
-Lots more drinking
-Laziness, which means fewer calories burned
-Loss of restraint in terms of food intake
-Loss of restraint in terms of other stuff where you may wish youíd restrained yourself
So keep the booze for the evening, or at least very late afternoon. Youíll be more active during the day, drink less overall and your diet will be less likely to go to hell.
And youíll finish the summer as lean as you started.