The weather is getting warmer, the days are longer, and summer is around the corner. With summer comes shorts, sleeveless shirts, sundresses, and the often dreaded swimsuit. No need to dread the swimsuit this year. Follow these 5 tips and you will be on your way to a beach body.
1. Drink more water. Water is a natural appetite suppressant and also aids in the body’s metabolism of stored fat.. Without proper hydration the kidneys cannot function as they should and they have to put some of their load on the liver. The liver having this extra workload will metabolize less fat and store it. Often times we mistake dehydration for hunger. If we reach for a glass of water before we reach for a snack we can sometimes curb that craving. The average person should drink 8, 8oz glasses of water a day. More if you are working out. Drinking cold water can actually help boost your metabolism.
2. Kick processed food to the curb. Eat foods as much as possible in their natural state. Avoid frozen meals, white, starchy foods, fried foods, foods high in sodium and salt, chips, excess cheese, fatty salad dressings, and calorie-rich, nutrient deficient foods. Try eating more lean meats such as chicken and fish, whole grains, fresh produce, nuts such as walnuts and almonds, and fiber rich foods. Never skip breakfast! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Try old fashioned oatmeal with flaxseed and a banana, scrambled egg whites with while grain toast, or plan greek yogurt with natural granola and slice strawberries. Eating 5-6 small meals a day with help fire up your metabolism and help from overeating at meals. Have healthy snacks readily available so you don’t reach for the vending machine food when the 3:00 slump hits. Remember nutrition plays a very important role, exercise cannot make up for a poor diet.
3. Limit white sugar intake. Read your nutritional labels. If it has 9 grams or more of sugar, don’t eat it. Look out for ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup. Trade sodas, even diet sodas for water. Avoid or limit alcohol intake.
4. Get moving! Cardio exercises will torch the calories. Choose an activity that you enjoy such as running, walking, biking, swimming, jumping rope and do it 5-6 days a week for at least 45 minutes- 1 hour. Try changing it up and doing different cardio workouts throughout the week to avoid a plateau. Give interval training a try. Interval training has proven to be a great way to burn lots of calories fast. Walk for 2 min, jog for 1 min, run as fast as you can for 1 min, recover for 2, repeat throughout your workout. Try joining an exercise class for extra motivation and support.
5. Don’t skimp on the weights. While cardio will burn the calories, it is weight training that will help you keep it off. Adding muscle to your body will help speed up your resting metabolism as well as give you that nice, toned body. Plan to work the major muscle groups (quads, hamstrings, gluteus, calves, chest, back, biceps, tricep, and abs) a minimum of 2 days a week. Allow each muscle group a recovery of 24-48 hours before working them again. If you unsure of what type of exercises to do think about hiring a personal trainer to get you started on a program designed especially for you.