June is here, which means summer is just around the corner. With that realization often comes panic from people who might not yet be summer body ready.
Have you been neglecting your workout regime during the winter months in favor of hibernating and staying warm? You definitely aren’t alone, but if you still want to make some healthy changes, you don’t have to wait until January 1 to get started.
Watch What You Eat
You don’t have to go crazy with cutting everything out of your diet, but making a few small changes can have a huge impact.
One small change that can make a big difference is cutting out sugary drinks. In fact, a recent study found that a 20-ounce bottle of soda has 250 calories, and 16 tablespoons of sugar, which takes nearly an hour—50 minutes—of exercise, or walking five miles to burn off.
Grazing not Gorging
While changing what you eat will undoubtedly have an impact on your fitness goals and self-improvement, changing how much and how often you eat can also contribute to your summer body.
Eating smaller meals more frequently helps speed up your metabolism. It helps you feel full throughout the day, which makes it easier to stick to your allotted calories for the day.
Eating smaller, frequent meals also helps stabilize blood sugar levels.
For some people, eating more often is an easy adjustment. However, for others, it’s a change their schedule can’t accommodate.
An easy alternative is intermittent fasting, which involves eating for a certain number of hours during the day and fasting for the rest. Most people who practice intermittent fasting eat during an eight-hour window, and fast for the remaining 16 hours (which includes sleep).
This technique facilitates weight loss, as the body burns more fat during fasting; as well as reduces inflammation; and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Change your Habits
While exercise is one of the most common ways people attempt to get ‘summer body ready’ it’s often associated with spending hours in the gym, lifting weights and running on a treadmill.
Because of this perception, many people abandon exercise altogether because they can’t find the time to fit it into their schedule.
However, there are ways to get your daily dose of exercise, without spending hours in a gym. Walking is one of the most underrated forms of exercise, and it can be done virtually anywhere.
Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, eating lunch in the park across the street as opposed to at your desk, and walking to the next transit stop instead of sitting and waiting for the bus/subway can all increase the amount of walking you do in a day, which will increase the number of calories you burn, and help you get closer to that summer body.
Just making a few adjustments to your diet and daily routine can be the difference between avoiding the beach entirely, or flaunting a summer body that everyone will be jealous of.