With spring now in the air our thoughts often turn to the fact that summer is just around the corner; and if you’ve booked your summer holiday you might be feeling sheepish when it comes to dusting down the beachwear.
If you do want to get in shape and feel more confident in your bikini or trunks, there’s still plenty of time and with just a few alterations to your diet and fitness, you’ll be feeling and looking your best by the time summer arrives.
1. Eat more protein
Protein is well known for playing an important part in increasing muscle mass but what isn’t as well known is that it also plays an important role in fat loss too. Traditionally many of us tend to consume the majority of our daily intake of protein with our evening meal, when really we should be spreading our intake over all three meals. Studies have found that people who consume protein steadily throughout the day saw better weight loss results. One of the reasons for this is that protein keeps you feeling fuller for longer, meaning you are less likely to snack or overeat. Try adding some peanut butter to your toast or opt for an omelette to boost your protein intake in the morning.
2. Reduce alcohol intake
Alcohol has a negative impact on both our health and weight loss efforts. Every sip of alcohol means you are ingesting empty calories which will quickly undo all your hard work. I can make you feel bloated and you’ll be much more inclined to make unhealthy food choices after you’ve been drinking. If you are dreaming of a toned beach body this summer, skip your evening glass of wine.
3. Avoid processed foods
The best way to reduce bloating, gain more energy and get a natural glow is to eat a natural diet. This means cutting out, or reducing the amount of processed foods you consume. Processed foods are loaded with salt which is the main trigger for water retention. Opting for foods in their natural state is the best way to fuel your body so load up your plate with plenty of fresh veg, fruit and lean protein.
4. Get plenty of sleep
Getting plenty of quality shut-eye (seven to nine hours a night is recommended) is vital for achieving your physical goals, whether you want to tone up, lose weight or just improve your health. Sleep allows your body to recover from exercise and sleep deprivation can put your new healthy lifestyle in jeopardy. Not only does sleep deprivation disrupt your hormone balance which can lead to excessive hunger and cravings, it can also mean you might skip workouts, all of which halts your overall goal.
5. Up your high-intensity interval training
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a body conditioning workout which involves alternating between short bouts of high-intensity exercise and short recovery breaks. HIIT is proven to be a much more efficient way to lose fat over a shorter time frame as opposed to slogging away on the treadmill for 50 minutes. Check out what HIIT classes are available at your local 1Life club and try to incorporate at least two a week into your workouts.
6. Stay active outside of the gym
You might be upping your workouts in the gym but it’s also worth paying attention to your activity levels outside of the gym too in a bid to enhance the results of your training. Try to make simple changes to your day-to-day routine. For example, take the stairs rather than the lift, get out for a walk at lunchtime, get off the bus a stop early and walk the rest of the way. These small changes will soon add up and don’t take too much time out of your day.
7. Upper back training
The upper-back muscles are often forgotten about when we workout, but what most people don’t realise is that strong, defined upper back muscles can make your waist look more defined and smaller.
8. Core training is key
A strong core underpins a healthy body. Look for ways to work in some extra core training such as doing push-ups instead of bench presses. If you’re training your lower body, do some deadlifts or front squats, which also work your core. Most exercises can be adapted to work your core muscles too, so it’s worth mixing up your usual workout. And if you’re not sure what to do, speak to a member of the 1Life fitness and PT team for help and advice.
The summer might be just around the corner but it’s never too late to start a new healthy living programme. Some simple changes to your diet and fitness routine can make a huge difference to the way you look and feel.
For more information about fitness classes, PT sessions and much more at your local 1Life centre. Find your 1Life centre here.