For many people, New Years Resolutions have long since been forgotten as we happily went through the cold months in our many layers of clothes. If you were motivated and focused enough to stick with your New Year’s resolution to get into shape this year, congratulations!! You are one of a few 30% still working out.
As the rest of you start to shed your winter wardrobes and notice lumps, bumps and jiggles in places that you would rather not mention, thoughts start to wander to summer and it’s skin revealing styles. Don’t fear, there is hope to make some serious changes to your body before summer begins and we start hitting the boats, beaches, pool parties and donning our summer wardrobes. You may not be quite in your “dream” body in 2 months but you can make real, dramatic changes, drop a few sizes and tighten and reshape.
Starting now can not only have you looking firmer and more toned in your swimsuit or sun dresses at the start of the summer but will have you 2 months closer to really strutting your stuff as the summer ends. These are the tips and tricks which we have used for years to get our clients’ bodies “summer ready”. For most people, a few changes in diet and 3 or so hours a week of exercise will lead to a body you can be proud of this summer.
1. Close Your eyes and visualize – When the going gets rough or when you just don’t feel like it. Take a moment and visualize the thinner, firmer, healthy, more energetic person that you want to be this summer. Focus on the clothes that you want to wear and the places where you would like to be more comfortable. Remember, the reason why you started your fitness/ nutrition program in the first place! Create a clear mental picture and use it next time you feel like you are losing site of your fitness goal.
2. Set Realistic Goals – Enthusiasm often wanes when pounds don’t magically disappear overnight which is why most new year’s resolutions fail. You can not undo years (or months) of bad habits and achieve the body you want in a few weeks. What you can do is START NOW by making changes, adding workouts, increasing intensity or simply adding in something new. With an effective nutrition plan and fitness program, you can easily drop 1-2 dress sizes in 6-8 weeks and make measurable steps to lifting, building and firming a body that looks better in anything you put on.
3. Pack in the Protein – Not only does Protein help to add body sculpting, butt lifting muscle but it helps you feel fuller at each meal and curb hunger. Our clients generally eat 20-30% of their daily calories from protein a day. Eat a protein source at EVERY meal and try to incorporate some into snacks. You can check out my list of best protein sources on our Facebook page. If you want to know why this so important, you can check out my blog post about protein and weight loss at Fat Loss University. Both of these are available on the page listed in the resource box.
4. Always eat breakfast – Food fuels your metabolism – Studies show that those who skip the first meal, end up eating more total calories throughout the day and tend to make less healthy choices. Skipping breakfast sends the message to your body that you’re starving because you haven’t had food for a while. As a protective mechanism, your metabolism will slow down. As I’ve mentioned before, skip the cereals and bagels and head for the protein if you want to feel full longer and avoid the post carb crash.
5. Ditch the boxed and pre packed foods (yes, even “diet” foods) – They often contain chemicals and preservatives which can wreak havoc with your fat loss efforts, don’t contain enough protein and are full of salt which causes bloat and puffiness.
6. Don’t starve yourself – If you start now, you are far enough out to drop a full 2 dress sizes without taking drastic measures like low calorie diets or crazy 6 day a week fitness programs. Less than 1,200 calories is usually not enough to support your basal metabolism and thus will slow your body’s calorie-burning ability and cause your body to burn muscle for energy. Very low calorie diets will help you lose weight in the short term but they’re extremely difficult to maintain. You’ll gradually become tired and irritable & lack the energy to exercise usually putting the end to your fitness program and leading to the beginning of a binge cycle.
7. Eat 5 – 6 small meals a day – Try to eat at least 3 meals a day. Optimally you should spread your calories throughout 5 -6 small meals per day each of which includes a protein. This will keep your metabolism roaring, your hunger in check and your blood sugar level even to help avoid binging.
8. Drink Plenty Of water – Drinking water helps keep you feeling full. Many times dehydration can mask itself as hunger so if you are feeling “snacky” try a glass of water before you eat. Water also helps keep the kidneys flushed which helps the liver metabolize fat at full force.
9. Follow the 90% to 10% rule. If you watch what you eat 90% of the time, the other 10% is not a problem.
10. Eat your fruits & Veggies – Freshness Counts – The packaging and processing generally found in “convenience” foods generally reduce the nutrient values of foods and substantially raise the caloric content. The simple sugars found in processed foods generally leave people feeling hungry and craving carbohydrates – The American Dietetic Association recommends at least 3 – 5 fruit servings per day and 3 – 7 vegetable servings. Since fruits & vegetables are nutritionally dense and full of fiber eating plenty will keep your hunger satisfied and your body shrinking.
11. Just do it – The difference between the people strutting their stuff in the summer’s skin bearing fashions and those hiding their stuff is simply habits. There are the same amount of hours and stress in each week for every one of us – those who fit exercise and healthy eating into their lifestyles don’t have more time or less stress, they just have healthier habits. The next time that you are unable to follow through on one of your weight loss goals – Identify the challenge and prepare a plan for the next time. Don’t dwell on it or make excuses for why you can’t do it.