Summer is finally here, and that means nights and weekends filled with BBQs, beaches and pool parties. It sounds like a dream scenario, but if you’ve been slacking a little on the fitness front, it’s cause for panic.  Nothing inspires renewed interest in the gym like the threat of having to take off your shirt.  Before you start working out 7 days a week, it’s important to remember that summer bodies are made in the kitchen.  If you’ve got some pesky love handles and want to get rid of them for good, make these quick adjustments to your diet so you can sunbathe with confidence.

Start Counting

Sure, calorie counting is tedious, painful and inconvenient.  Luckily, there are tons of fitness apps like MyFitnessPal that help you track your daily intake with little more than a swipe.  Type in your measurements to figure out your daily calorie target.  Then simply log what you’ve eaten after every meal.  The app comes pre-loaded with natural foods as well as plates from your favorite restaurants.  All it takes is some self-accountability.  If you eat two cookies after dinner, make sure you log them.  There’s no sense in cheating.

Say Goodbye to Processed Food

If it comes in a box or plastic packaging, leave it on the shelf.  Processed foods have high calorie counts thanks to unhealthy preservatives, lots of added sugar and bad fat.  To really make a difference in your diet and your tummy, kick these foods to the curb.  Lean meats, fresh fruit, vegetables and beverages low in sugar are a great way to get your daily calories in without sacrificing your waistline. top-view-1248955_960_720

Drink More Water

It might seem like a no-brainer but you should be drinking tons of water each day.  You’ve probably seen those guys at the gym who bring gallon-jugs with them.  Surely, you’ve rolled your eyes and wondered how a guy could possibly drink that much water in a single day.  Well, you should follow his lead.  Drinking more water helps suppress your appetite and push impurities out of system.  You should be drinking anywhere from 8-12 glasses a day.

Eat Less Bread

Who doesn’t love a good sandwich? It’s easy to make and always seems like a great alternative when you don’t want to make a complicated meal.  But starchy foods like bread and grains are carbohydrate-dense and could be contributing to your love handles.  When you eat too many carbs, the excess that your body doesn’t use is stored as fat.  Your favorite sandwich might be killing your progress.

Go Lean

Fatty cuts of steak, ribs and ground beef are common in the summer.  But if you’re trying to shed your love handles and keep them away, stick to leaner meats like fish, turkey and chicken.  The fatty meats have a lot of saturated fat, which causes excess belly fat.  You need fat in your diet but you need it unsaturated. If you want to melt your love handles off, make some quick adjustments to your diet and you’ll be beach ready in no time.