As the warmer weather heats up and the days become longer, we are seeing ourselves spending more time outdoors. Some of us may be feeling a little self-conscious that we were not in the best shape we hoped to be in, especially being beach ready. Feeling good should not come at a cost of sweating it out at the gym every day and eating zero calories but creating new habits to support your mindset change. Here are the 3 key things you should be doing that will get you in the healthiest mindset for this Summer.
1. Food and Hydration
Food Tracking: Calories and Macronutrients
Something we think we may have covered until we actually document it; what it is that we actually eat? It may come as no small surprise to you that you may not be eating a balanced diet every day, or that you may be consuming much more than you know. Finding an effective method of tracking what you eat may be the tool you have been missing. This could be via consuming meals through a meal prep company that states the calories, protein etc. Using a calorie tracking app such as MyFitnessPal can also take the guesswork out of this process.
Excluding/minimizing Processed Sugars and Alcohol
Other things to consider would be to cut out or reduce processed sugars and alcohol. Although it may be a struggle to eliminate these all at once, you can definitely try stopping one and then the other. There are also so many great alternatives to substitute the real thing. Swapping sugar to sugar free or opting to try vegan desserts which always have some sort of cocoa base to them helping you with those chocolate cravings and then alcohol to alcohol-free drinks. Gone are the days where you could only find one brand of non-alcoholic beer, now there are so many that actually taste like beer.
Limiting Takeaway/Junk Foods
Stay away or limit your take-away meals. Choosing healthy take away options and avoiding snacking unless you're choosing healthier options, or have accounted for these calories otherwise.
Lastly, you have heard it many times before but hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink up to 3L of water a day. I was definitely someone who could not manage 3L of water until I got a bottle with the intake on it to keep me in check. So much easier than counting actual glasses of water.
With all these things said, moderating your nutrition in a sustainable way is the key to not only reaching but maintaining your summer body. Losing the weight quickly through a strict diet and large volumes of exercise can get a you a result but for how long? Consider finding a new healthy way of living rather than the quick result.
2. Physical Activity: Cardiovascular and Resistance Training
You either love it or hate it, but doing cardio is one of those things that we should all reconsider adding to our fitness regime. First, cardiovascular fitness is the body’s ability to handle aerobically challenging situations of varying duration. The easier it is for your body to pump blood through your body, the less taxing it will be on your heart. Combined with Resistance Training, whether via calisthenics (bodyweight) or in the weights room, benefits can include:
- Fat Loss
- Increased Muscle Mass/Definition
- Increased Strength
- Lowered Blood Pressure
- Lowered Stress Levels
- Increased Daily Energy Expenditure
- Slow and Prevent the Development of Diabetes
- Increase Strength
- Improve Bone Density
Start with exercises that you may enjoy more such as group training, walking/running outdoors or swimming. Variety can help this seem like less of a chore and an activity you may grow to look forward too.
Sleep is important for losing weight. A lack of sleep can increase appetite by changing hormones, making us more likely to eat unhealthy foods (midnight/unnecessary snacking), and influences how body fat is lost while counting our calories.
There are so many features on our phone and apps that can help assist us in getting ourselves ready for an early bedtime. Like our food changes, you do not have to commit to a complete time change but gradually bring your sleep time 30 minutes earlier than the night before. A healthy recommended amount of sleep is 7–9 hours per night so start today if you’re someone managing less.
Making these 3 changes to your everyday lifestyle will not only help you get your body ready for Summer, but it will be a long-term change that your mind and body will thank you for.