Summer Slimdown Secrets: Get Your Best Summer Body Ever
By: Dianne Villano, CPFI www.mypersonalfitnesscoach.com
For many people, New Years Resolutions have long since been forgotten, and we happily went through the cold months in our many layers of clothes. If you were motivated and focused enough to stick with your New Year’s resolution to get into shape this year, congratulations!
As the rest of you start to shed your winter wardrobes and notice lumps, bumps, and jiggles in places that you would rather not mention, thoughts start to wander to summer and its skin-revealing styles.
Have you lost hope that you can make some serious changes to your body before summer begins? Do you fear the boats, beaches, pool parties, and summer wardrobes? Well, don't lose hope and don't be afraid.
You may not be quite in your “dream” body in a month, but you can make dramatic changes. Starting now can have you looking firmer and more toned in your swimsuit at the start of the summer. Even better, it will have you 3 months closer to really strutting your stuff as the summer ends.
These are the tips and tricks which we have used for years to get our clients’ bodies “summer ready”
1. Set realistic goals. Enthusiasm often wanes when pounds don’t magically disappear overnight. You cannot undo years (or months) of bad habits and achieve the body of your dreams in a few weeks.
2. Look For opportunities to be active. Look for the hard way to do things. Park as far from the store as you can, rather than looking for the closest parking spot. Use the stairs, rather than the elevator. If possible, carry your bags out to your car instead of using the cart.
3. Always eat breakfast. Food fuels your metabolism. Studies show that those who skip the first meal end up eating more total calories throughout the day and tend to make less healthy choices. Skipping breakfast sends the message to your body that you're starving because you haven't had food for a while. As a protective mechanism, your metabolism will slow down.
4. Don’t starve yourself. Less than 1,200 calories is usually not enough to support your basal metabolism. Limiting yourself to this low intake level will slow your body's calorie-burning ability. Very low calorie diets will, in the short term, help you lose weight (some of which will actually be fat) but they’re extremely difficult to maintain. You’ll gradually become tired and irritable. You'll lack the energy to exercise, and this can end your fitness program. This approach is how people get on a binge cycle.
5. Eat 5 to 6 small meals a day. Eat at least 3 meals a day, but don't think of that as proper eating. It's not even close. Optimally, you should spread your calories throughout 5 to 6 small meals per day. This will keep your metabolism roaring, your hunger in check, and your blood sugar level even. This will help you avoid binging, while also maximizing how well your body absorbs the nutrients it needs.
6. Drink plenty of water. Drinking water helps keep you feeling full. Many times dehydration can mask itself as hunger, so if you are feeling “snacky” try a glass of water before you eat. Water also helps keep the kidneys flushed, which helps the liver metabolize fat at full force.
7.Follow the 90% to 10% rule. If you watch what you eat 90% of the time, the other 10% should not be a problem. There's more to life than agonizing over every morsel.
8.Close your eyes and visualize. When the going gets rough or when you just don’t feel like it, stop. Take a moment to visualize the slimmer, firmer, healthier, more energetic person you want to be this summer. Focus on the clothes you want to wear and the places where you would like to be more comfortable. Remember the reason why you started your fitness/ nutrition program in the first place! Create a clear mental picture and use it next time you feel like you are losing sight of your fitness goal.
9.Eat your fruits & veggies. Freshness counts. The packaging and processing generally found in "convenience" foods reduces the nutrient values of foods and substantially raises the caloric content. The simple sugars found in processed foods generally leave people feeling hungry and craving carbohydrates. The American Dietetic Association recommends at least 3 to 5 fruit servings per day and 3 to 7 vegetable servings. Since fruits & vegetables are nutritionally dense and full of fiber, eating plenty will keep your hunger satisfied and your body shrinking
10. Just do it. The difference between the people strutting their stuff in the summer’s skin-baring fashions and those hiding their stuff is simply habits. There are the same amount of hours and stress in each week for every one of us. Those who fit exercise and healthy eating into their lifestyles don't have more time or less stress, they just have healthier habits. If you find yourself unable to follow through on one of your weight loss goals, identify the challenge and prepare a plan for the next time. Don't dwell on it or make excuses for why you can't do it.
Copyright © Custom Bodies, Inc. 2006
Article written by Dianne Villano, President of Custom Bodies in Tampa Bay, Fl. Custom Bodies has been serving the bay area since 1996 with weight loss & fitness programs. Dianne is a personal fitness instructor certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a frequent speaker on health and fitness related topics with articles published in over 20 media outlets. For More articles, fitness tips or information on how to get the body you want, visit www.mypersonalfitnesscoach.com
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