Wellness | 10 Tips to Slim Down By Summer
By: Christina Rico, Health Coach & Personal Trainer
Summer is right around the corner, which means it is almost time to bust out your swimsuit, uncover the grill, and crank up the music for pool parties. Do you feel like your body ready for bikini season? If not, the good news is that there is still plenty of time to tone up and slim down for Summer. Follow these 10 tips, and you will feel comfortable and confident when you head to the beach. Just remember, being fit and healthy is a lifestyle change. It is not about making short term changes for one season. Turn these simple tips into habits, and watch your body reap the benefits of long-term results.
1. Drink more water
Ditch the sugar-laden beverages, and fill up on pure water instead. Not only does water keep you hydrated and feeling refreshed, but it also improves digestion, increases metabolism, helps to clear the skin, and it may also reduce stomach bloating. Slowly increase your water intake and reduce your consumption of caloric beverages—your stomach and skin will thank you!
2. Focus on eating balanced meals of lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.
Make it a point to consume whole foods at each meal, and avoid packaged food varieties. Lean proteins like chicken and fish will fill you up and satiate you, complex carbohydrates like quinoa and sweet potatoes will provide a boost of energy, and healthy fats like coconut oil and avocados will help you burn fat. When you focus on eating whole foods, your body will feel more satisfied and energized throughout the day.
3. Ditch high sugar and processed foods
Snacks that are loaded with sugar and preservatives wreak havoc on your health and waistline. Simple carbohydrates like white bread and candy are quickly broken down, so they do not provide sustained energy, and excess sugar can readily be stored as body fat. Packaged foods also contain preservatives and chemicals that may prompt digestive issues. Concentrate on reducing your sugar intake and consuming less packaged foods, and you will quickly notice a difference in your stomach area.
4. Eat a hearty breakfast
Start your day off right with a breakfast that is packed full of nutrient dense foods that will energize you throughout the morning. Pastries, cereal, and juice may cause you to have a sugar crash before you even begin the day. A breakfast consisting of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats will give you sustained energy. Try beginning your day with eggs, oatmeal or a protein breakfast smoothie.
5. Load up on plant based foods (fruits and vegetables)
Fruits and vegetables are high in nutrients and low in sugar, so they make great snacks. Instead of reaching for a bag of chips when you are hungry, grab some chopped vegetables, and save hundreds of calories.
6. Tone and tighten with strength training
It is a common misconception that lifting weights will make you big and bulky—this couldn't be further from the truth. Strength training will help you to build lean, toned muscle, and burn excess body fat. To achieve the fit and slim look you desire, pick up a pair of weights, and start lifting a few times a week.
7. Blast calories with high intensity intervals
You can torch more calories in less time by implementing sprint intervals into your workout routine. Sprinting is proven to be more effective at burning fat than spending long hours on the treadmill. For your next cardiovascular workout, try sprinting at maximum effort for 30 seconds, followed by a 30-60 second rest period. Perform these intervals for 20 minutes and you will blast through calories, and set your metabolism on fire.
8. Plan for success
Take one day each week to plan your workout routine and healthy meals for the upcoming week. Create a workout schedule for yourself, and treat it as if you have scheduled appointments. Commit yourself to showing up even if you would rather be doing something else—your goals are worth it! Prepare some or all of your food in bulk, so you will always have some healthy meals to take with you. When the chaos of your work week sets in, you will be glad that you planned ahead. Preparation is the key to fitness success!
9. Believe in yourself
Positive belief is one of the most important components to achieving your fitness goals. You must dig deep, and find what inspires you to become healthy, and then believe that you are capable of accomplishing it. Once you realize that you have the ability to control your results, that you are capable of accomplishing your goals, and that your body is worth it, you will see long lasting change.
10. Get adequate rest
A good night's sleep is a critical part of reaching your fitness goals and achieving a healthy weight loss. When you are tired, motivation decreases, and junk food may be more appealing. Get a good night's rest, and you will feel energized, motivated and ready to give 100% at each workout.