So, I understand this is something people are aware of, but yes, summer is literally just around the corner. The jeans are soon to become shorts, skirt and dresses. Coats, hoodies and jumpers become string tops and crop tops. The layers are becoming less. The bikinis are being bought. Summer songs are being released. And those beach holidays are looming.
You’re in the dressing room, trying on that bikini or board shorts for the pool party you’re planning to attend on your holidays, and you’re left a little upset at what you see. It’s normal for most of us to have put on a few lbs over the winter months. Long nights spent inside because it was too cold or wet to venture outside, may have left you reaching for a chocolate bar or 2 on a regular basis, and now you’re left feeling a little bit like a beached whale in the bikini you wanted to buy.
Don’t panic. You’re not alone. And the good news, you have a solid 6-8 weeks before June to get your ass back in gear, get to the gym, clean up your diet and get back in summer body ready shape.
Let me help. I’m going to give you a few hints, tips and suggestions on how to kickstart your summer body transformation, but more importantly, I’m going to highlight what not to do.
So let’s start with what NOT to do.
– Don’t make drastic food cuts. This might seem like the logical thing to do. You’ve been comfort eating during the winter months, now you’re panicked, and you’re thinking.. I’ll just cut carbs. I will eat salad and chicken for the next few months and it will be fine. Let me promise you, it won’t. while that may be a temporary short-term solution (a week or 2 max of water weight loss), your weight loss will plateau, you could also end up binging because you’ve been starving yourself, or when you finally do allow yourself let loose, bloat like a balloon because your body won’t be able to handle the influx of carbs, salt, fats etc. you have been depriving yourself off and actually end up heavier. Or more serious issues long-term problems might be, you will damage your metabolism, or end up very sick because of malnourishment.
– Don’t overdo it with the exercise. This also might seem like a logical thing to do. You’re thinking, yup, 2 sessions a day: hours of treadmill running, a million ab crunches. You’re desperate to shed the pounds in a short frame of time. Killing yourself in the gym will only lead to you exhausting yourself, and the more exhausted you are, the less energy you have to give your sessions. It might also result in you developing a negative relationship with the gym. Take it from someone who fell into this trap last summer, it’s not worth it, the results won’t come any faster, and it’s not sustainable.
– Don’t turn to those ‘marketed’ measures. No skinny tea works. No diet pills work. Fat burners.. DO NOT WORK. The Clean 9 diet.. DOES NOT WORK. Don’t fall into the trap. All they really make you do is poop. Yup I said it. And mess up your system. The minute you stop taking them, the weight piles back on. And ladies, a very important note, all the above come with a warning that most people don’t read, they can result in your pill not working.. I’ll let you figure out why.
– Don’t let it consume you. People often think that embarking on a fitness journey or having a short term goal to reach means alienating yourself from all social activities and making everyday life miserable until you reach it. That is not true, and I have learnt the hard way. Take it from someone who let it consume her summer last year, my social life suffered, I was miserable every day, I missed out on so much activities, all because I wanted to be in ‘shape’ by the pool for that one Instagram pic. It’s not worth it.
So what CAN you do.
– Start by tracking your food. It might be necessary for you to clean up your diet, and switch some foods for healthier alternatives. The only way to do so is to keep a weekly food diary. And analyse it at the end of every week especially the first week. See what healthier options you can substitute and replace the higher calorific foods with. Download ‘My Fitness Pal’ app, this is the easiest way to track your food if you’re new to food tracking.
– Clean up your diet. Once you’ve tracked a weeks food, this is where you need to make the swaps. Swap out your white potatoes for sweet potatoe. Switch up your bag of crisps for some rice cakes. Add in more fruits and veg as snacks. Switch your latte for an Americano.
– Be prepared. We all know how much I preach meal prep; but seriously, it is the best way of avoiding cheating on your diet. Bring your meals to work. Be prepared. Incorporate meal prep Sunday into your routines. Pre-preparing your meals will mean you will be less likely to grab that hot chicken wrap from the deli and more likely to stay on track and eat healthy.
– Get moving more. Determine an exercise regime that fits your lifestyle and works best for you. But make it sustainable and enjoyable. Don’t punish yourself, everything in moderation. This may be attending gym classes on your lunch breaks, or sacrificing a little sleep and getting in an early morning session 2-3 times per week. Make the most of the evenings; why not incorporate 2-3 evening hour walks around the block. Grab your friends, and go to pilates/yoga classes together. Do some home workouts. Walk to work instead of taking the bus. Take the stairs. Simply moving more and sitting less can boost your health because of the calorie burning called NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis. It takes energy — calories — to move even the smallest muscle. So get moving more and you will soon see those waist lines get slimmer, and that bodyfat drop.
– Incorporate full body circuit weight training. Unfortunately, you cannot spot reduce fat (frustrating, I know!!!!! Love handles be gone). So to ensure that you’re both toning and burning fat at the same time, it’s important to not only incorporate weights to build muscle, which gives the toned look. But also get your heartrate up throughout your workout, which will burn the fat and leave those muscles looking more visible. My best advice on how to do so, weights circuit training. Build a workout around 4-5 conditioning exercises, for eg. Kettlebell swings, battle ropes, weighted sit-ups, walking lunges, box jumps. Do 4 rounds of each, a minute per exercise. I gaurenteeeee you, that after the 25 minutes have passed, not only will your muscles be sore, but your heart rate will be elevated and the sweat pouring.
– And if the above doesn’t tickle your fancy, then just lift some heavy ass weights. Devise a challenging workout split that suits your schedule, and push yourself every session 100%. There has been countless transformations come out of the weight lifting V cardio only saga. Siobhan O’Hagan (Oh Fitness) a prime example. So don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. I’ve written previous posts that explain my own workout splits alongside a post on how to structure your own. There’s also a post there about how to tackle entering the weight lifting zone. All can be found under the Workouts/Fitness Tabs.
– Be patient but be realistic. Reaching your summer body goals is achievable. You can get summer ready in the next 2 months. It will require some discipline, and a slight change in routine but make sure you set a realistic goal. And then strive for better the following year. Treat this as the starting point to adapting a healthier overall lifestyle.
Anyone looking for nutritional plan leading up to summer, don’t hesitate to drop me an email or click on the contact tab above 😊
Let’s get summer ready,