We are around three months away from the beginning of beach season, so it’s time to shape up a little so you look your best in your bathing suit – and your skimpier summer outfits.
If your tummy has expanded a little over the cold winter months, then you might be looking for some help to get it back into tip-top shape for summer.
Now is the time to begin! You have a few months to jump-start your healthy eating and weight-loss plan so that you don’t turn to a dangerous and ineffective crash diet a week before your summer holiday.
Remember, weight loss is a long-term thing. You won’t drop five kilogrammes in the next two days. And you certainly won’t keep it off if you don’t change your daily eating and exercise habits.
Your goals ARE achievable! So don’t get demotivated just because they take time. The investment in your health and weight loss will have LONG-TERM benefits. Not just for the summer season, but for your overall fitness into old age and your general quality of life.
Go on, start now… you can do it!
Here are some tips to help you start your journey towards your weight-loss goal:
1. Get your eating sorted
Let’s start with the obvious basics.
The thing with getting into summer shape is that if you’re not eating the right foods (healthy ones) in the right quantities (think ‘smaller than you imagine’) then you’re not even leaving the starting line.
You need to focus your diet on vegetables and fruits, unprocessed starches, whole grains and legumes, and a little animal protein and dairy. If you can get that sorted and moderate your portion sizing you’re winning the most important battle.
2. Get stronger
Working your abdominal muscles seems like the answer to a great tummy. But the REAL secret is making your whole body stronger.
This results in a few positive effects – one, your whole body (including your abs) looks better; two, your whole body burns more calories at rest due to greater muscle mass; and three, you gain strength (which is vitally important as you age). So train your whole body to get stronger.
3. Get sweaty
Doing some aerobic activity makes you fitter for life, but more importantly for us today, it makes fat burning happen faster than if you don’t do it.
It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do something. So whether you prefer to walk briskly, jog, run sprints, swim, cycle, do circuits, or whatever other ‘cardio’ exercise, you need to do something. Make sure it’s tough enough to really get your heart going.
4. Do some ab-specific exercises
Doing whole-body resistance exercise should account for the majority of your training, but your tummy muscles are really tough, so doing some targeted exercises (if you have extra training time) can help make them look and perform even better. There are all sorts of exercise videos for abs available online. Choose a couple and do them.
5. Set a (realistic) goal date
Giving yourself a date by which to have made a difference to your appearance is really motivating.
If you don’t do this then there’s not much to inspire you to do the best you can every day. So choose a date, and set a realistic goalyou’d like to achieve by then.
Make the date at least twelve weeks from now – diets take a while to really work – and if you’re really overweight then don’t imagine you’re going to look like a runway model in three months. Be kind to yourself and take it slowly.