Summer officially kicks off Memorial Day weekend!
That’s only 8 weeks away.
Are you looking for the fastest way to get rid of some belly flab?
Want to look and feel great wearing your favorite tank tops all season long?
If you’ve still got a way to go to get fit for your summer, then pay close attention.
Here are my 5 best tips to shape up quickly…
STEP ONE: Cut the Carbs - Strategically!
We all get used to eating a little more during the fall and winter with holidays and parties. Now it’s time to leave behind a significant portion of those tasty carbs to help you slim down.
Two points of emphasis I want to share with you; concentrate on eating natural foods for your carbohydrates and cut any carbs after 2pm each day. This means making sure you select fruits and starches for your early day meals and snacks to help fuel you, then switching to just fibrous veggies in the afternoon and evening meals.
For example, you could have oatmeal with some added fruit and a lean protein for breakfast. A mid-morning snack of a protein shake and a piece of fruit. For lunch, a grilled chicken breast with sweet potato and green beans. And then for the rest of the day, your eating should consist of lean protein and veggies like spinach, broccoli, a salad with balsamic dressing, etc.
STEP TWO: Focus on Total Body Exercises
To get more bang for your buck when it comes to your workout routine, focusing on performing exercises that work as much of your body as possible helps you burn more calories during your workout, builds better overall strength, and helps you develop a more fit looking physique.
One of my favorite exercises that fits the bill is the Dumbbell Squat, Curl and Press. When performed properly, this exercise challenges every muscle group in your body so that you get way more results from just one movement.
Total body movements and workouts are what I focus on with my clients to help them get great results as part of their personal training program at Club Fit. Making this part of your workout regimen will help you get a way better workout in less time with results you will enjoy!
STEP THREE: Don’t Skimp on Lean Proteins
Lean proteins are the most thermogenic foods we eat. Which means foods like chicken breast, fish and lean cuts of red meat helps boost your metabolism more than carbohydrates and fats.
I always ask my clients to make sure they eat a healthy portion of lean proteins with each meal or snack throughout the day. The aim here is twofold. Lean proteins help keep you satiated between feedings, and they keep your metabolism pumped up as part of the digestion process, which means you burn more calories than if you didn’t eat any protein at all.
For all your meals and snacks, make sure you have some lean proteins!
STEP FOUR: Cardio Six Days Per Week
If your goal is to get rid of body fat, then performing fat burning cardio has to be part of your plan six days per week. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it!
Cardiovascular activity is primarily meant to stimulate your heart and lungs, but it is a great calorie burning exercise as well, provided you do it the right way.
One of the major lessons I teach my clients is to perform high intensity interval cardio. When your body is challenged with high intensity cardio you get more results than performing the same old steady state cardio all the time.
In fact, research has proven many times that your metabolism stays red hot and boosted for up to 36 hours after a high intensity cardio workout, thus helping you burn way more calories between workouts and helping you get to your fitness goals. Steady state cardio is better than not doing cardio at all, but you still won’t get the metabolic boost like you do with high intensity cardio.
High intensity interval cardio can be as simple as working hard, like running, for 30 seconds and then slowing down to a walk for 90 seconds. That would be a single interval that results in 2 minutes’ worth of time. Repeat that same 30 seconds of hard work and 90 seconds of slow walk to recover for 20 to 30 minutes and you’ll feel as though you ran the entire time!
Putting in the effort to work as hard as you can in a short bout of time and then slowing down to recover will help you get in better shape aerobically and rev up your metabolic engine to burn off more body fat between workouts.
STEP 5: Keep Yourself Accountable on a Weekly Basis
I’ve got a couple of ways that you can help keep yourself accountable to your health and fitness goals. Both require you to be honest with yourself to stay on track or adjust if necessary.
First, tell several people you know about your goals. Ask them to contact you once a week and ask, “how’s it going with _____?” If you truly care about your goals and the people you are sharing those with then you will do your best to follow through and succeed!
Next, use that tight fitting pair of jeans or a snug dress shirt in your closet to gauge your week-by-week success. Once per week on the same day and at the same time, put on that pair of tight-fitting jeans or dress shirt to see if they are fitting looser. If the jeans and/or dress shirt is getting looser and looking better on you then you are heading in the right direction.
Since we're talking about getting fit for summer, you could use a swimsuit or swimming trunks to help with this tip. If you’re looking sleek and trim, then your hard work is paying off!
I ask my personal training clients to do this as a measure of how their past week has gone and they are always amazed at how that simple task helps keep them focused on their goals and what they need to do to continue getting results.