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Men: eat to look good on the beach

By William Leigh
Men: eat to look good on the beach
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Unless you're built like a Greek god, taking off your T-shirt on the beach can be quite the traumatic experience. Who's watching — and why are all the girls around you so brown while you look like you died last week?

No matter how much we kid ourselves, we'd all like to look a bit better when it comes to our sun-sea-and-hopefully-a-bit-of-the-other holidays. You'll want a lean, trim beach body but you'll also need to think about looking after your hair and your skin.

Choosing the right foods to eat can help you look your best when you hit the beach.

Your body
You'll probably be wanting to shed a few pounds which means you'll need to cut out excess fat from your diet. Sadly, the easiest culprit to remove is that most glorious of foodstuffs, the banger. Sausages are laced with fat, which is why they are so flipping delicious.

Instead, you'll need to hit the lean protein: steaks (fillet or trimmed sirloin), turkey or chicken breast, tuna steaks (and loads of other fish), pork or lamb fillet. These all lend themselves well to the barbecue.

Bash your chicken breasts thin and flavour with bold marinades and couple with salads for some low-fat, lean suppers. If you really want carbs, add brown rice.

Your hair
Your hair will be dried out by the sun so make sure you're adding the right things to your diet to keep it healthy when you go on holiday. Omega-3 fatty acids are your friend here (and keep you healthy by knocking out some of your bad cholesterol). Mackerel, sardines, anchovies, salmon and the avocado (known as the 'testicle fruit' in Aztec times) are all welcome additions to your diet.

Making guacamole couldn't be easier and provides a filling, tasty counterpoint to a steak — mash an avocado with a diced chilli, some finely chopped red onion and tomato, a healthy squeeze of lime juice and a dose of chopped coriander.

Stuff this in wholemeal pittas with your chopped up steak — a brilliant dinner and one guaranteed to get your on your way to the beach body you're after. This can just as easily be done with fish and will be equally delicious.

Your skin
Your skin is another thing that needs to be worked on before you step on the plane. It'll suffer at the hands of that deadly combination of too much hot sun and too much cold booze once you reach your destination.

You'll need again to start thinking about Omega-3 fatty acids which help keep your skin supple. An apple a day will boost the collagen levels in your skin too so heed the childhood warning. Green tea is rich in polyphenols which have great healing properties and can reverse skin damage.

Your metabolism
Eating a big breakfast might seem an odd thing to do if you're trying to get leaner, but actually it will kick start your metabolism for the day getting your body burning fuel more efficiently. Make sure you eat it slowly too — studies have indicated that chewing your food more slowly means you end up taking in fewer calories.

Eating spicy food and adding chillies to what you are eating can speed up your metabolism for up to three hours after eating. A sprinkle of chilli not only helps with your digestion and your circulation but also will raise your body temperature meaning you expend more energy. Keep a bottle of Tabasco handy at all times — there's not much that doesn't benefit from a hefty dose.

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