The countdown to summer has begun but don’t worry your pretty little head. You can get a summer body before it’s time to lounge by the pool or in the sand without an extreme diet or workout plan. Focus on a few key areas to make big changes just in time for summer. It’ll take commitment but you can build muscle, shred fat, and enjoy summer of 2022 with confidence!
Commit hard for the next 6 weeks. It isn’t a ton of time to whip your butt into shape and you want to avoid any extreme measures. So next year start earlier but here are a few things you need to start or stop doing immediately to make a big difference. First, get committed to being very disciplined for the next 6 weeks but remember that there’s an end date. You’ll be more likely to put in the hard work and effort, even when it isn’t fun, when you know there will be a time very soon when you can ease up a bit.
Cut out alcohol. I know, I know…I’m the bearer of bad news but it’s only for 6 weeks! There is ZERO nutritional value in alcohol and it adds up real quick. Miller Lite – 96 calories per 12 oz. Red wine – 125 calories per 5 oz. IPA beers – 180-200 calories per 12 oz. Google says the average adult drinks 1.3 alcoholic beverages per day. Do a little math and that’s anywhere from 873-1,820 calories per week! There’s 3,500 calories in a pound. Nip it in the bud and you’ll be a lightweight and cheap date come summer!
Eat 5-6 small meals per day of balanced macronutrients. This is something you should be doing regularly anyway. You provide your body with the fuel it needs without wasting it. Under-consuming may be seductive because you lose weight rapidly, but you will eventually even out and your body will rebound in the opposite direction. It’s never too late to start though and in 6 weeks you’ll see a substantial enough of a change before you ease up to enjoy the summer festivities. During these 6 weeks you should be 100% committed to your nutrition plan. After that you can ease up to being ‘clean’ 80% of the time to balance the 20% indulgence. Not sure where to start? Check out this video for the general guidelines to tackle your diet (meaning your habitual way of eating).
Ramp up your workouts! Are you currently active and have a baseline of fitness? Intensity training could be your path. High intensity interval training, known as HIIT, can be an effective style of workouts for you. These are shorter workouts that involve almost maximal-effort bouts of work followed by recovery periods, repeated for 20-30 minute worth of time. Because you’re working at almost maximum levels while you area working, you don’t need to work as long. Nor should you.
Don’t forget to add resistance to your exercises to build muscle! Body weight exercises are great but adding weight forces your body to adapt to the added stressor, increasing the output. Newbies, people coming off injuries and those people who are deconditioned may benefit from a more compartmentalized workout approach. The biggest reason is to prevent injury – if you’re injured you really won’t enjoy the summer!
Track your work with exercise log. Having measurables lend to adherence plus you’ll be able to assess what you want to do in your next workout to increase the challenge. If you’re working for AMRAP – “as many rounds as possible” – you’ll aim to complete a little bit more of a round in the next workout. Check out some sample HIIT workouts here.
Drink up! Water that is. Proper hydration allows the blood cells to carry nutrients to cells and waste out of the body. You’re kicking your workouts into high gear and staying hydrated will help keep your joints lubricated and to regulate your body temperature. Not a fan of plain old water? Flavor it a bit with lemons, oranges, or cucumber and mint. Be weary of the seltzer waters and other pre-packaged beverages. They often contain sodium or sugar.
Try drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning, even before your coffee. Have a full glass of water before every meal and one during your meals. We recommend tracking how much water you intake just like you will your food. Plan to have 8 bottles of water each day or grab yourself a measured bottle you can refill each day like this one.
Don’t forget the power of extra movement in your day! The weather is breaking so take advantage of the longer days and warmer temperatures by taking a walk with your family after dinner each night or during your lunchbreaks. Extra movement in any way is good for the body and adds up.