One of the biggest keys to getting in shape for summer is starting before it hits! It is right around the corner so don't wait 'till June 1st to decide that its time to get in shape.
To truly see the best results possible you should give yourself at least six weeks; when I really want to get in phenomenal shape I allow nine weeks for my body to see optimal results. It's April... you've got exactly two months before June so let's begin ASAP!
Three aspects to concentrate on:
- And of course Exercise
Diet and Supplementation
I was rear ended last year and couldn't train for six months from neck injuries and back pain. I am just now able to get back into the shape that I had maintained for a few years. In doing so I discovered several little fun tips and short cuts!
I changed my diet in several regards. I added grapefruit in the morning with my egg whites; it has an incredibly low glycemic index as far as what spikes your blood sugar, and is a natural diuretic. I force feed myself six small meals a day, all not filling enough and yet still making me feel like I was eating too much!
Six Meals A Day
You have to cook everything early that morning or the night before and pack it with you to wherever your schedule carries you.
It's not abnormal for me to pull out a plain ground turkey burger and eat it going down the road wrapped in a napkin on the way to an audition.
I added lots of fish, dropped soy products which I found to make me retain water, and made sure all six meals total did not exceed twelve hundred calories a day. For a woman trying to lose weight and body fat, I think 1200 calories a day is perfect. Obviously you have to play with it, and if you are training harder than normal you might need more. The key is to listen to your body.
Cut Out Sauces
Ketchup, barbeque sauce, honey mustard, all of the above; or any other dressings, etc. you have been eating. I am a ketchup freak, and used to slather it all over everything (probably because I'm not the best cook in the world).
Those are tons of extra calories and sugar that all add up. Calories matter! Any beverage you are drinking is liquid calories... unless its diet and or sugar free. Whether its fruit juice, alcohol, coke, whatever, cut it out... even if just for the remainder of the six-nine weeks. You can always add it back in once you are on a maintenance program, but to get there you are going to make some sacrifices.
My sweet tooth cravings now are satisfied one of two ways: either yams with cinnamon and Splenda caked on them, or grapefruits. I come from the South where they over season everything, and at first all this plain non sauce bearing lean turkey and fish was making me want to gag, but you get used to it, I promise!
Make sure you get plenty of protein: the basic rule is one gram per pound you weigh, and if you are eating six meals a day, you are going to have to portion it out carefully (normally I do six ounces of meat, and six ounces of carbs per meal).
The first two meals are grapefruit and or oatmeal interchangeably with protein, the third and fourth meals are usually lean turkey or chicken with a yam (cut in half, I eat one half at the third meal, one half at the fourth).
The fifth and six meals are white fish or egg whites with veggies (usually spinach, broccoli or asparagus). If you are a great cook and have time, bake any whitefish like orange roughy, tilapia, etc in the oven and consume. If you are however, lazy, like me, then you can buy frozen fish in the grocery store that you pop in the microwave for five minutes and viola, a meal.
I like Gorton's grilled fish fillets; they are always pretty decent. As far as seasoning: you can still use anything that is low in sodium. My favorite seasoning, that I put on everything from fish to eggs, is KC Masterpiece Premium BBQ seasoning. It sounds funny, but it only has 5% of your daily intake for sodium per serving, and tastes amazing.
I definitely use fat burners and energy drinks. This is a personal preference that you will have to also try several different brands until one works for you. Something new that I added to my regimen is more holistic in nature. I recently began taking activated charcoal in pill form (available at any whole foods).
Charcoal contains small chambers and cavities that capture or bind up unwanted toxins or metals in the bloodstream and body. The charcoal then carries it thru the digestive tract and out of the body. It is more of a toxin buildup remover. I also love using Super Dieters Tea once a week; it truly cleans out your colon, and helps you maintain a flat stomach and regularly healthy working system—It can be found at any grocery store.
Visualize, visualize, visualize. Have you ever meditated? Now is the time to start. Even if you can only find ten minutes a day to picture what you will look like, the end result. The key is seeing yourself on the beach in your two piece, with a flat stomach or whatever it is that drives you the most.
If you have old pictures of yourself when you were in the shape you desire pull those out and picture it now. If not, pull out pictures of people whose bodies that you admire and visualize it. Affirm to yourself that you are worthy and will have the body you dream of by the time you are done.
A picture in your mind and these affirmations will force you to go to the gym when nothing else will. Hang the pictures on your refrigerator or make them your screen saver at work. Nothing will come between you and your goal.
When you are pressured socially to cheat or go off your diet, merely tell them you are working towards leaning out, and staying away from anything counterproductive to your goal right now. When presented that way, no one will give you a hard time. Anyone who sets a goal, sticks to it, and maintains it is very admirable.
Here it is: You knew in a "Getting beach ready" article there had to be a training regimen. That is because beach bodies we admire are not merely skinny, they are also toned! And guess what? That absolutely comes from training.
If you are trying to get in the best shape possible you should be doing cardio EVERY day for at least 45 minutes. Take Sunday off if you have too. Weights for a woman should be 3-4 times a week, lots of concentration on circuits and core training with your own body weight. Stretching is a huge necessity as well.
Men should be doing 4-5 days of weight training, with actual weights and concentrating on keeping their heart rate up by waiting no more than 30 seconds between each set. This goes for women and men. The way I do my training is over the course of a four day circuit training split.
Every other day, I train with weights. I do abs every time I train weights, and hanging ab raises are always the core basic exercise that I do along with reverse crunches. Bicycle crunches are also great.
The Four Day Weight Split
Day 1: Upper Body
Usually circuits which include arms, shoulders, and back (3-4 exercises repeated one after the other); I count this as one; repeat three times.
For example, I will do one set of curls, one set of kick-backs, one set of back rows, and one set of shoulder press. All without stopping, then I rest for 30 seconds, and stretch. Then I repeat this entire process three times. I usually do two-three groups of circuits for upper body.
Day 2: Lower Body
Heavy concentration on wall squats, reverse lunges, walking lunges, step-ups, and resistance bands.
Day 3: Upper Body Again
Day 4: Lower Body
(I throw in anything I feel is lagging on my body as a touch up)—Weight training usually takes me 30-45 minutes, and cardio about an hour. It is always ideal to do cardio in the morning first thing on an empty stomach. However, if you can't, just make sure that you don't eat an hour before you go to the gym to allow your body to digest what you eat prior to training.
Those are the three top keys to any regimented weight loss program. Follow any program you dedicate yourself to wisely and listen to your own body. If you follow these tips there are no limits to what you can accomplish. Here's to looking beach body ready when its time!