Make Your Body Summer-Ready

Summer time has officially started. It’s one of the most anticipated seasons of the year as almost everyone is gearing up to invade various beaches and swimming pools, whether it be with families, friends, or colleagues. This is definitely one of the great times to unwind and relax. But summer equals struggle for some as they try to attain that desirable body figure to show off in their swimsuits. Indeed, it requires a little bit of hard work and a lot of discipline to achieve great shape.
But fret not! You don’t have to starve yourself in order to achieve your summer-ready body. As nutrition experts recommend, everything should be done in moderation. The three main things you need to keep your eye on so that you can achieve a healthy you: portion control (how much to eat), food choices (what to eat), and of course enough exercise (physical activity).

  1. Portion Control
Too much of anything good can also be bad.  One of the keys to achieving the summer-ready body is to eat in moderation. What do we mean when we say “eat in moderation”? The Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) has come up with an easy way to explain how much a person should eat in one meal. It is called the “Pinggang Pinoy”. It simply illustrates that a person should eat more (half of the plate) of fruits and vegetables; average amount (more than a quarter of a plate) of carbohydrate-rich foods (rice, bread, root crops, or pasta); and small portion (less than a quarter of a plate) of meat, fish, and poultry. And don’t forget to get hydrated by drinking a glass of water.


  1. Food Choices
Your choice of food is also a major factor in attaining a healthy figure. Since you are trying to get fit, you must stay away from foods that are calorie-dense. Calorie-dense foods are those that are full of energy or calories even in small portions. A good example is fried food versus grilled food. One matchbox-size of fried meat is equivalent to 131 kilocalories, whereas a grilled meat of the same size is equivalent to 86 kcal only. Another example is a sugary-slice of cake which is more calorie-dense than a modest tuna sandwich. You have to keep in mind that high fiber food sources are better at prolonging your satiety as it delays gastric emptying. For example, if you consume a sandwich using Gardenia High Fiber Whole Wheat Bread, you won’t easily feel hungry afterwards. This is because two slices of Gardenia High Fiber Whole Wheat Bread provides 20% of your daily fiber needs. Eating fiber-rich food will eventually reduce your food intake as well as your total caloric intake. For an interesting and delectable healthy recipe, you can try making Gardenia Stuffed Red Bell Pepper.

Gardenia’s wellness bread: (left to right) Wheat Cranberry Loaf, High Fiber Wheat Bread, High Fiber Wheat Raisin Loaf, Slim & Fit Wheaten Bread

  1. Enough Exercise
‘Energy in’ equals ‘Energy out’; anything in excess will be stored up in your body and that is what you don’t want to happen if you are trying to be trim and fit. You have to use up your energy through physical activity in order to create calorie deficit, thus following loss of weight. It is recommended to do vigorous exercises such as running/jogging, bicycling, swimming, aerobics, and walking for at least 30 minutes to burn significant amount of calories. The table below, which is lifted from Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shows how much calories are burned per activity at 30 minutes time:

Physical Activity

Approximate Calories/30 mins for a 70kg person1

Running/Jogging (5 mps)


Bicycling (>10 mph)


Swimming (slow freestyle laps)




Walking (4.5 mph)


1Calories burned per hour will be higher for persons who weigh more than 70kg and lower for persons who weigh less because of Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).

Knowing these three factors will make it easier for you to achieve that summer-ready body. Now all you need is that will-power to actually pull this through. Remember that keeping a healthy weight and figure should not only be done during summer time but throughout the rest of your days.


Mahan, L.K, and Escott-Stump, S. Krause’s Food & Nutrition Therapy 12th edition. 2008. Pages 544- accessed March 23, Accessed March 23, 2016