Summer is just around the corner and many of us are looking to improve our health and waistline when the warm weather rolls around.
The key to getting in shape for summer is starting before it hits. You don’t want to wait until June before doing anything because by then it’ll be too late.
To get the best results you can, you should give yourself six weeks. This allows you to introduce a healthier lifestyle without resorting to full-on short-term crash dieting or following a quick-fix exercise regime which is too punishing.
Follow these steps below as soon as you can and you’ll start to see that beach body appearing by the time the mercury rises.
1. Adopt the right attitude
The first place to begin is with your attitude. If you want to see positive improvements to your body, you’re going to need a strong will to succeed.
The most effective and safest way to lose weight is by reducing your food intake and increasing your level of activity.
Changing lifestyle habits takes determination and focus, both of which require a positive attitude and self-motivation, so you’ll need to keep yourself honed in on your goals throughout.
Take the time to work out why you want to make changes and how you will feel if you are able to achieve your goals.
Write down your goals and reasons why and put it somewhere you can see it frequently, as a reminder and motivator as you undertake your new healthy lifestyle.
2. Improve your diet
Arguably the most important step to achieving your summer physique is by ensuring you have a nutritionally sound diet which contains fewer calories than you require to maintain body weight.
Not only it is important to monitor the number of calories you eat a day, you should also be keeping an eye on the quality of the food you eat.
Eating a high quality diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, beneficial fats, proteins and other nutrient dense and unprocessed foods, is an effective way to reduce body fat and promote a good body composition.
A diet that’s high in protein and contains lower-glycemic carbs (which are ones not composed of refined sugars and saturated fats) also helps you to eat fewer calories.
It sustains lean muscle mass for a higher metabolic rate.
Reducing your calorie intake without increasing the amount of protein in your diet leads to you losing the muscle mass as well as the fat, which results in a decrease in the amount of calories your body burns while it’s resting.
Also, once you return to normal eating habits you regain the weight quickly.
3. Be more active
Alongside good eating, if you want that dream summer physique you need to follow a training program. That’s because the beach bodies we admire are not just skinny, they’re also toned.
That toning comes from training.
If you encourage your body to do more activity than it is used to doing, it will adapt to those new demands pretty quickly.
So, if you increase the amount of physical activity that you do, your body will have to adapt by providing you with extra energy, which it will obtain from the fat it has stored.
Aim to do activities that will get your heart pumping at least 3-4 times a week, which can be done in the gym, outdoors or in the comfort of your own home.
4. Strengthen and tone up
Strengthening and toning your muscles have a number of benefits when it comes to weight loss.
Weight training increases your metabolism, meaning you burn off fat at an increased rate, even when you are resting.
Toned muscles also look great when it comes to wearing your summer clothes and swimwear.
Aim to do a few sessions a week of weight training, whether in the gym or at home. If you can’t get to a gym or don’t have access to equipment at home, you can tone using your body weight.
Exercises you can do here include press ups, tricep dips, squats, planks and floor/mountain climbs.
5. Sleep well
Sleep plays an important part in achieving any physique goals. When it comes to getting that beach body, sleeping well will be key to your success.
Sleep allows your body to recover from intense exercise, while helping it to grow and repair the muscles.
Your body burns fat as you sleep, so the longer you’re asleep for the more unwanted fat you’re likely to burn off.
Not getting enough sleep can disrupt your hormonal balance and cause an increase in excessive hunger and cravings, which can lead to unhealthy, convenient food choices as a result.
Poor sleep can also deteriorate your willpower, causing you to cheat on your diet and start skipping workouts.