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Reduce that Gut Before Hitting the Beach

Reduce that Gut Before Hitting the Beach

Soon it will be June, and that means time to break out the beach umbrellas, stock up on sunscreen and tackle that unsightly body flab before you even think about squeezing back into a bathing suit; to be seen in public, no less.

Full-fledged summer vacation season is just weeks away, but there's still time to shed a few pounds and tone that physique a bit before you hit the sand under the unforgiving bright sunlight of summer. While most springtime weight-loss talk focuses on women and bikinis, let's not forget the guys, complete with beer guts and the elastic vs. drawstrings debate when it comes to swim trunks. Listen up guys (and gals): rushed and reckless is no way to perform a crash course in weight loss. Dropping a dumbbell on your foot or passing out from an ill-advised starvation diet could ruin your Summer of 2015.

12-15 Pounds in 4-6 Weeks?

Four to six weeks is plenty of time to lose 12-15 pounds and tighten up in a few spots. Maybe that won't magically give you washboard abs, but you will notice the difference, enough to at least improve your look of confidence when you hit the beach. Fashion experts offer a trick to this, for the guys: Pick a pair of swim shorts with a drawstring, button or snap vs. the elastic band – the former trumps the latter in style points and is more flattering in how the suit sits against your belly. Speedos? Don't even think about it.

Now that it’s late May, there's no time for a sophisticated weight-training and workout program. Don't be sad: torn hamstrings, strained backs and stress fractures from excessive workouts have a way of ruining summers. So take your foot off the gas, and just make a choice to plan better for next year.

Little Actions Add Up to Bigger Results

Here are several quick fixes that could help you make a noticeable dent in that beltline-bordering girth. As always, consultation with a health care professional is advised:

  • Drink water morning, noon and night, especially before meals to reduce your hunger.
  • Do several sets of pushups and crunches daily, starting out in moderation and gradually ramping up over time. Nothing too strenuous.
  • Fast or cleanse, with professional guidance, to jumpstart the weight-loss process.
  • Take the stairs whenever possible and park on the outer edges in parking lots for some extra walking.
  • Stick to a diet of fruits, veggies and salads lean on meats and dressings (always on the side).
  • Steer clear of sweets and junk food, such as chips. Craving a snack? Try a handful of celery sticks and baby carrots.
  • Get lots of sleep. Seven hours a night, at least. "Losing sleep can also alter your hormone production, affecting your cortisol levels that cause insulin sensitivity, prime reasons for belly fat!" says wellness expert Jennifer Cohen, writing for forbes.com.

Bottom line: Stay committed to your peachy beach-body program, but be sensible and safe; avoid foolish and frightful.

Sensible and safe = Cardio workouts, like jogging or walking, during the cooler parts of the day and on trails or sidewalks vs. roads and streets.

Foolish and frightful = Layering yourself up head to toe for a 10-mile run in 95-degree heat. Unsafe at any speed

Let's be careful out there. And, please, no kicking sand in anyone's face.