Nothing snaps us back to the reality of summer arriving quite like trying on the newest bathing suit styles under the harsh lights of a department store dressing room. Ask any woman. All the dessert, wine, cheese and who knows what else we filled up on during the long winter months is showing in places that don’t make that adorable suit hanging on the rack look very flattering on the body. Winter in most areas is long and being trapped indoors with a well-stocked pantry is an Achilles’ heel for many of us. Well, summer is right around the corner and we all like to show a little more of ourselves.
So NOW is the time to think about shaping up for that summer body!
Getting that sexy beach body for summer is best achieved by reducing body fat and building muscle.
Many women are leery of muscle. But sculpting muscle does NOT mean you have to look like a weight lifter. Muscle creates a structure for sleek and sexy lines, and don’t forget it creates a more efficient FAT BURNING MACHINE.
Keep in mind that you will not efficiently reduce body fat without some muscle building and you won’t increase your muscle mass without a correct diet. The right combination of diet, muscle building and cardiovascular conditioning is necessary for that leaner and sexier body. Proper nutrition is the first place to start.
Here is a list of TIPS FOR GETTING YOUR DIET IN ORDER:
- START A FOOD JOURNAL – It’s easy to mentally tune out the food that’s adding pounds. We all minimize the little cheats in our minds. But little, infrequent cheats start to become a regular part of our diets without us even noticing. Track everything you are eating. You will see by doing an honest assessment of what and when you are eating where the weight gain is coming from.
- MEALS AND PORTION CONTROL – Most of us don’t honestly know how much we should be eating.
- CALCULATE YOUR BASAL METABOLIC RATE (BMR) –
http://www.myfitnesspal.com/tools/bmr-calculator. Simplified, this is the amount of energy your body needs to run all systems in a resting state. Any BMR calculator found online will give you the minimum amount of calories you need in a day. Obviously, the activities and/or exercise you are doing are going to increase your energy needs. Eating 4-6 smaller meals per day that consist of a low fat protein, starchy carbohydrates earlier in the day (rice, oatmeal, whole grains, potatoes) and then protein with fibrous carbohydrates (vegetables) in the evening will help to fuel your metabolism and provide a constant source of energy for your daily activity.
- DRINK WATER – Most of us don’t drink enough water. A gallon a day should be the goal. Water helps flush out toxins through urine and sweat, increases muscle performance (muscle tissue is about 75% water,) decreases feelings of hunger, decreases joint pain by keeping joints and tendons soft and hydrated, helps circulate nutrients through the body, and keeps your skin hydrated and glowing.
- EMPTY THE PANTRY – Get rid of all the foods in your pantry that are high in fat, sugar, and calories in general. Don’t test your ability to resist in your own house. You will have to show enough resistance while you’re out and about in the world.
- REST – Getting enough sleep is vital to weight loss. Studies have shown sleep deprivation causes the pleasure center in the brain to have a higher response and craving for high fat foods. Lack of sleep also negatively impacts the quality of your exercise. The body also uses less energy while in a resting state in the person who is sleep deprived.
- ALCOHOL – Alcohol has carbohydrates, calories, and lacks nutrients. It dehydrates the body as well. It is a toxin to the body. Toxins + Carbohydrates + Nutrient Empty Calories = Weight Gain.
Consider THIS about diet; weight loss is often reduced to calories in, calories out. That may work but rarely produces lasting results and it certainly does not build a strong and lean body. What you eat, when you eat, and the amount you eat will impact everything from metabolism, to muscle growth, to cardiovascular conditioning. It’s a complex relationship between the body and diet. Don’t hesitate to seek a professional diet consultation.
WELL ROUNDED HEALTH & FITNESS can provide just such a consultation. Their area of expertise is helping people understand the importance of diet to maintain a healthy and fit body and assessing individual’s nutritional needs.
The other piece of the puzzle to getting that rockin’ summer body is EXERCISE! Strength training is vital for muscle building. Building muscle coupled with diet will help reduce body fat. As you reduce body fat, you will start to see the muscle definition everyone talks about when they say they want to be toned. Strength training does not need to consist of only weight lifting. Pilates, Yoga, TRX, and Band and Body weight movements will also help achieve muscle gains. Remember, though, that the strength training needs to be coupled with a nutritionally supportive diet. The body needs enough protein to assist in muscle gain and sufficient carbohydrates for energy. But not so many calories that your body has to go to its fat stores for additional energy. That is how you will LEAN OUT; by burning your fat stores. Three times per week of strength training is plenty to get your body burning fat.
Couple the weight training with cardiovascular exercise. When you do intense cardio exercise it obviously raises your heart rate. Your body’s energy needs will increase and it will need to use your fat stores, just like in the strength training. AGAIN, using fat stores means the body starts to lean out. It also speeds up other processes in the body and essentially your metabolism starts to burn energy faster. Try doing High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT. Take any cardiovascular exercise and try doing FOUR MINUTES of that exercise at a moderate pace and ONE MINUTE all out, as hard as you can go. HIIT burns up to nine times more fat than traditional cardiovascular exercise and keeps your metabolism elevated for more than 24 hours following. This means you are going to KEEP BURNING CALORIES long after you have finished exercising!!! Steady state cardio also has value. You may want to do a moderate cardiovascular hour after your weight training and save the HIIT for your non-strength training days.
You may already have a good working knowledge of strength training and cardiovascular exercise and need to put it back into practice or you may be just starting out but for those who want a change WELL ROUNDED HEALTH & FITNESS is home to THE PROJECT 42. This program encompasses all the elements covered in this blog. It incorporates education and diet consultation in an amazing, life changing and results driven 42 day program of strength training and intense cardio. It is life changing because it provides the skills necessary to make a lifestyle change even after the program ends. Promoting a healthy body through proper diet and exercise is their goal. They offer a comprehensive array of services and programs that haven’t been duplicated elsewhere. If you don’t live in the area, most gyms have classes for both strength training and cardiovascular activity and you can still contact WELL ROUNDED HEALTH & FITNESS for diet and exercise programs!!
Summer is almost here. Get out of that chair and start training YOUR body. Have an incredible fitness journey!