Summer is right around the corner. This is the time where people generally rev up their physical activity in order to shed a couple extra pounds for the summer. Luckily, if you haven’t followed the “summer bodies are made in the winter” mantra, you only need three ingredients for your summer body: a balanced diet, frequent exercise, and a healthy dose of motivation.
Every fitness guru will tell you: abs are made in the kitchen. A diet high in dairy and grains will not get you those abs you want. That’s not to say you shouldn’t eat any at all, but try your best not to fill up on them as they can cause bloating and assist in keeping the pounds on. If you are going to eat grains, make sure they are whole and unbleached (brown rice, wheat pasta) to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs. There are tons of dairy-free alternatives that you can substitute in your meals. Try an almond milk ice cream for a guilt-free treat! You’ll also want to include a lot of protein, which aids in muscle retention. Try to think outside the box–while meat provides a lot of protein, so do nuts, beans, and vegetables.
Along with eating right, you have to kick your workouts up a notch. We’ve covered HIIT workouts and different types of cardio to shed the pounds, but these should be done at least 3, but no more than 5, times a week. Your muscles need time to rest and recover from training. Working out every day may seem like the right thing to do, but depending on the types of workouts you’re doing it can also hold you back. Variety is the spice of life, so mix up different styles of workouts throughout your week, or choose a day to work on a specific body part. If you lift weights on a Monday, your Tuesday should be spent in yoga or pilates to prevent stiffness and promote flexibility. Remember balance is key.
Don’t worry if its been a week and you don’t see any progress. Hang in there! Everyone loses (and gains) weight at different speeds. Remember to never compare your progress to others; this is your personal journey. To keep yourself motivated you can share your goals with others, providing a sense of accountability for your progress. Keeping goals to yourself makes them easy to let go of, but once you tell someone it’s almost like you have to do it. Create a vision board with photos of your body, life style and meal goals as this will help you to visualize your goals and manifest them. If all else fails to motivate you, buy some cute gym clothes! You can wear your outfit to the gym for your gym bae and get some exercise at the same. damn. time.