Summer is almost here. Is your body ready for the infamous ‘beach season?’ If your activity levels went down during the winter because you stayed away from exercise, you may not be too happy with what you see in the mirror when you try on your bikini or swimsuit. However, instead of feeling depressed, know that it’s not too late to improve your figure. Here are some easy tips that you can try to jumpstart your summer weight loss goals:
- Put on Your Swimwear and Take a Before Picture
No matter how badly you think you’re out of shape, take a picture of yourself in your bikini. You don’t have to show it to anyone. Use the first picture to remind yourself that you need to burn fat fast and to give you an idea on how much you fat need to burn. Snap pictures at the end of each week to see the progress of your weight loss program.
- Don’t Overdo It in the Beginning
An exercise layoff decreases your fitness levels and deposits fat in your body. However, resist the urge to get back to your previous fitness level as quickly as possible because this can cause burnout and increase your risk of injury. Take things slowly at the beginning and gradually increase your exercise intensity.
- Cut Down on Your Sugar Consumption
Drastically limiting the amount of grains, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and refined sugar in your diet will help support your summer workout regimen. HFCS is typically found in most processed foods, commercial fruit juices, and carbonated drinks and is a key contributor to weight gain.
- Try Intermittent Fasting or Scheduled Eating
Now, this isn’t one of those fad diets. Fasting is drastically reducing your food intake at regular intervals. A growing body of research suggests that fasting can be beneficial for weight loss. Fasting triggers the production of human growth hormone (HGH), which helps you burn fat fast, and normalizes the levels of ghrelin, the hormone associated with hunger.
- Do More Sprint Exercises Instead of Regular Cardio
Forget about running while wearing a sweat suit in the sweltering heat because you just might end up in the hospital due to severe dehydration. Too much cardio is not good for your body. Try high intensity interval training or sprint exercises instead. After warming up, use a recumbent bike, treadmill, or elliptical machine, going all out and as hard as you can for 30 seconds. Rest for 90 seconds and go all out again. Go for three repetitions for your first time, with eight repetitions being your target for the next workouts. This type of exercise will help you lose lower body fat, improve your muscle tone, and boost your energy while cutting your workout time.
- Don’t be Afraid to Lift Weights
You want a bikini bod, but you don’t want to be buff so you do zero strength training. Well, strength training is not the same as bodybuilding. Using light weights or resistance bands three times a week will help you reduce body fat, allowing you to burn calories even while at rest. Muscle is hard to gain so don’t worry about suddenly becoming like She-Hulk.
- Do More Effective Abdominal Exercises
Traditional sit-ups don’t really do much to help sculpt your abs because they only work the superficial muscles. You need a total core workout if you want to have sexy abs. Do exercise ball crunches, elbow planks, bicycle crunches, twisting side planks, seated Russian twists, reverse curls, pushups, and other exercises that target your different core muscles.
- Get Sexy with Squats
Squats were thought to be harmful to your knees but when done correctly, they actually help boost knee stability and strength. More importantly, doing squats allow you to tone your abs, butt, and legs. Squats also help you maintain mobility, improve balance, and build muscle – which is one of the keys to attaining a more effective fat burn.
- Get Some Sleep
You will no doubt be on a busy schedule trying to squeeze in all the workouts after work or school and household chores. Don’t forget to allot enough time for sleep. Lack of sleep has been linked to weight gain as it increases ghrelin levels and makes you more likely to eat sweet and starchy foods, which will definitely ruin whatever healthy eating plan you have.