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Your way to your beach figure 2020

At the latest when the summer season is approaching, many of us regret not having done more for the beach figure in the winter months. But many of us also don't really know what exactly they should do for it - fitness studio? Dumbbells? Go jogging? Or simply lose weight? There is an answer to that. Here you will find a detailed explanation of what you need to do, why you need to do it and what you need to pay attention to to make sure that the beach figure 2020 works.

The very first step: Check your current situation

Before you can even make a meaningful plan, you must first know where you stand - and what there is to do. How far are you from your desired beach figure? In which areas do you have to do the most?

And even more important: what exactly should your beach figure look like? What do you want to have achieved by the beginning of summer?

Set goals

When you know reasonably well where you want to go, you can start setting yourself concrete goals. This can be a desired weight, a certain body circumference in certain places, a dress size or a BMI value, in addition more "technical" and sports values, such as FFMI, can also be a good goal to strive for. This depends partly on your individual starting situation and how much sport you do - or want to do until summer.

Concrete and above all measurable goals are important because only then can you clearly judge your success. This makes it much easier for you to reach your goal, because you can always tell exactly where you are - how much you have already achieved, how much is still ahead of you and whether you are within your planned schedule.

From a purely visual point of view, we do not always perceive our body and our appearance completely objectively - this depends a little bit on the mood we are in at the moment. Especially when something about ourselves bothers us. As most people already know from Instagram images, the light and the angle from which we look at ourselves also play a very important role in how our body shapes look at the moment.

You can eliminate all these uncertainties if you use objective, measurable target values. You should adapt them a little to yourself and your personal situation and not just blindly adopt some ideal values from somewhere.

Destination categories

Body weight is the most commonly used measure of body shape - but also the least meaningful. This is also by far the place where most errors and misjudgements occur: all too often simply some values are taken from tables that hardly take the individual body shape into account. The normal weight of a person can vary within a range of +- 10 kg depending on gender and individual body shape. There are different formulas for calculating the ideal weight for a given body size, some of which can lead to quite different results. The further away someone is from the average height (particularly tall or particularly short), the further the ideal weight calculations differ from each other.

This alone should tell us clearly that "the right weight" for a person does not exist - because one would not even know how to calculate it. The weight of the bone structure, skin and blood volume can already vary greatly from person to person, in addition to different body shapes, which each of us has to a small degree. Nevertheless, especially women often make the mistake of putting a certain weight value in their head, which they then try to follow with meticulousness, because they believe that with exactly this weight they would look "perfect".

How your own body shape looks like, a certain weight value only says something about it to a very limited extent. Unfortunately, peer pressure also plays an important role and people always try to undercut each other in order to look "even better". Such pubescent nonsense should be avoided as soon as possible by a reasonable thinking person. Nobody really needs such stupid comparisons.

BMI and Ponderal Index

The BMI (Body Mass Index) is calculated as the quotient of body weight and the square of the height. The usefulness of such a calculation can certainly be considered as limited, even medicine largely rejects the BMI as a generally valid assessment standard because it is hardly meaningful. It is not possible to differentiate between muscle mass and fat percentage - muscular people, for example, often have a rather poor BMI value, even though their body fat percentage is exemplary. Also the weight of the bone structure is not taken into account very much, and if there are significant deviations from the usual standard size, the BMI becomes quite imprecise.

The Ponderal Index is calculated in a very similar way, only here in the formula the 3rd power is used instead of the square of the body height. This gives somewhat more accurate results over a larger body height range. The Ponderal-Index is hardly used, tables are rarely found.

Body type related indices

Units of measurement such as the waist-to-hip ratio (Waist-Hip-Ratio, WHR) can not only enhance the informative value of the BMI, but can also serve as the sole benchmark. The measured waist circumference is related to the measured hip circumference.

The Waist-to-Height-Ratio works similarly, in which only the waist circumference is set in relation to the body height.

As these measurements are directly related to the individual body shape, they are much more suitable as target values than BMI or body weight, especially if you not only want to lose weight but also to shape your body.

You can also easily determine your body fat percentage directly, this can be done with Caliper pliers, but body fat scales usually do this more accurately.

For young men, a body fat percentage of 18 % is considered average, but very well trained athletes often reach ranges between 8 % and 12 %. Bodybuilders sometimes manage up to 5 % during the competition phases. For young women, a body fat percentage of about 25 % is considered optimal.

In old age, the values are usually a little higher - over 40, 22% to 24% of men can still be regarded as very good values, in women over 40 also values up to 30%.

If you want to go further with the calculation, you can also calculate the FFMI (fat-free mass index). It includes height, weight and (measured) body fat in the calculation and thus provides much more meaningful values in relation to body shape than BMI or body weight alone. The calculation can be easily performed in some online calculators.

Tip #6: Consider fat as your friend

For many decades we have been told that we should avoid fatty foods as much as possible because they are extremely harmful to us and contain extremely high calories. 

The result was a veritable flood of light products with which we were delighted - and of which we could supposedly eat as much as we wanted, because they were supposedly "healthy" and fat-free. Unfortunately, we can see the result of this fat-free movement all too clearly today. It has definitely not made us slimmer. 

Fats are an excellent source of energy, ensure a long lasting satiety and many of them are even simply vital for our body. Due to its naturalness, the fat in butter certainly does less harm than many dubious (and cheapest) vegetable fats in margarine, of which we are allowed unlimited amounts. 

Calorie-reduced fat-reduced products probably won't make anyone slim - and there must be some way to replace the fats contained in the original product if the taste and consistency are to be retained to some extent. It is precisely these substitutes and the unnatural changes to many foods in Light Products are a problem - excessive consumption of fat, on the other hand, only to a very small extent.  

Simply stick to products that are as natural as possible instead of the low-fat light variants - and eat reasonable amounts of them with a clear conscience. You don't need to cook extra fat-free or use specially coated frying pans - fat has never killed anyone. Watch out for this instead, to use the highest possible quality and natural fats,which helps your health and is completely sufficient. 

Studies have been proving this for a long time - only the general public does not seem to have gotten around to it yet. Instead of fat you should avoid excess sugar - but we've already discussed that. 

Conclusion: Simple focus on weight is not enough

If you set yourself measurable goals, you should therefore choose values that are as meaningful as possible - a certain body weight or even the BMI only provides very general indications.

Try setting your body fat percentage as a target value or, if you like, also the FFMI.

What you need to achieve your dream figure

If you want to achieve your dream beach figure, in most cases you will have to do two things for it: you will have to break down some excess fat - and you will have to actively shape your body. Both are different tasks - this is often overlooked. If you only lose weight, your body will not automatically look well-shaped.

A further difficulty is that both goals can only be achieved simultaneously with restrictions. So you have to coordinate both things very carefully.

Nutrition

Before you can even make a meaningful plan, you must first know where you stand - and what there is to do. How far are you from your desired beach figure? In which areas do you have to do the most?

Through your diet you control weight loss and the reduction of excess fat. This is the basis for your body shaping. However, it only has a "global" effect, which means that you cannot determine where exactly your body is breaking down the excess fat.

However, since too much should disappear completely over time anyway (this is also crucial for your general health), it doesn't matter where you lose weight, it is more important that you lose weight consistently. Translated into measurable figures, this means: that you consistently reduce your body fat percentage until it is close to the optimum value (18% for young men, 25% for young women, and even lower if you have extensive sporting ambitions). What do you want to have achieved by the beginning of summer?

Training

Nutrition is one thing - training is another. Let me get to the point: Without training, it is impossible in any case.

If you change your diet, you still take in energy. You must therefore always give your body a way to actually convert the energy you take in, otherwise your entire energy metabolism will be thrown off track. Lack of exercise is currently the biggest problem we have - and a continuing lack of exercise torpedoes any kind of weight loss efforts quite thoroughly in many cases. You may still be able to "starve yourself down", but without enough exercise, it is hardly possible to lose weight elegantly and effortlessly.

That's one side of training. There's another side of training, which is body sculpting training. How our body shape looks and works is mainly determined by the degree to which our muscles are formed. By the way, this is not only true for humans, but for all mammals in general. Compare once the appearance of a tiger full of power with the body form of a mouse. In both cases, the musculature is completely differently pronounced, the slim but well developed and strong musculature of the tiger appears clearly more athletic than the rather stocky body forms of a mouse. And also with half starved mice it does not become optically better. Approximately in the same way it behaves with us humans and with human body forms also.

A prejudice - which is unfortunately still widespread - should be finally cleared up: "Well developed muscles" does not mean that you automatically look like Mr Schwarzenegger. In order to be formed, muscles actually need strength training - but this only ever becomes an "Arnie look" if you consciously push it in this direction. With women (who fear this even more often) this is not possible in most cases, if only because of their significantly thicker subcutaneous fat tissue. If a woman wants to get even close to such mountains, she either needs years of brutal training or a whole lot of hormone injections. So don't worry, body shaping does not automatically lead to a Hulk figure visible from afar. You would have to work on that quite consciously.

However, as just mentioned, muscle training is absolutely necessary if you want to improve your body shape. Losing weight alone is not enough. The body is then thinner, but still what is commonly called "skinny fat" by young people on the Internet: there is very little body mass left, but it still bobbles. Tight, sexy shapes can only be achieved, and that means only and exclusively by training, building and shaping your muscles. A tight, slim body means above all a good and sufficiently built up muscle corset. Neither diet pills nor starvation diets can achieve this in any way - they lead at best (if at all) to a skinny-full physique. But this is not really impressive.

So let's recapitulate this briefly: In training, there are two different things we have to achieve:

1. Reduce the lack of physical activity

2. To build up the muscles

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