The sun is shining, the beach is calling, and clothes are beginning to shed. But are you really ready to bare what’s underneath? It’s time to burn off that winter weight and get into shape for the summer! Follow these five steps to achieve your ideal physique.
1. All About The Eats
To get ripped, start by eating the right foods that will fuel your metabolism, burn fat, and promote muscle growth. Protein is essential, especially post-workout. Consume 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight to achieve fat loss and daily muscle maintenance. Eat carbs for body, brain, and nervous system functioning, and fats for immune, skin, and joint health.
DO THIS: Get your protein from eggs, fatty fish, poultry, and whey powders. Crave good carbs like whole grains, oats, fruits, and green vegetables. Fuel yourself with fats from fish oil, flax seed, nuts, and avocado. Avoid high glycemic foods that drain energy by causing rapid fluctuations in blood sugar. Always drink plenty of water.
2. Master Your Meal Plan
The key is to eat small, healthy meals several times per day. A common pitfall to a successful diet is assuming that eating your daily nutrient/caloric needs is enough. Your body needs steady nourishment throughout the day in order to perform at peak levels.
DO THIS: Take your current weight and multiply by 12 (sedentary), 13 (moderately-active), or 14 (highly-active) – This is the daily amount of calories you need to maintain your current weight. Add or subtract for weight loss/gain depending on your size, needs, and goals. Eat 5-6 meals per day consisting of 40% protein, 40% carbs, and 20% fats (300-500 calories per meal).
3. Heat Up with High-Intensity Intervals
Interval training is the most effective exercise method to build muscle and incinerate fat. It allows your body to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. The concept is to alternate bursts of high-intensity exercise with short periods of rest. A fluctuating heart rate strengthens and improves your metabolic functioning.
DO THIS: Create strength training exercise circuits using squats, pull-ups, push-ups, deadlifts, and lunges. Work each exercise for 30 seconds at your highest intensity, then take a 60-second rest for recovery. Alternate these activities for 30 minutes. Finish with 10-20 minutes of cardio intervals (strong sprint for 30 seconds, then rest for 60 seconds).
4. Sleep Like a Baby
Sleep has an incredible impact on metabolism, hormones, and weight loss. A sleep-deprived body craves foods packed with fat and sugar. You tend to eat bigger portions and eat at the wrong times. Sleep is critical for the regulation of hormones, including those that communicate hunger and fullness messages to the brain. Cortisol production and your body’s ability to process insulin are greatly affected by insufficient sleep. This means instead of burning fat, your body begins storing fat for the conservation of energy.
DO THIS: The best way to get your ZZZs is to establish a sleep/wake schedule. Avoid electronics at least one hour before bed. Try calming activities like reading or meditation. Avoid alcohol at nighttime and caffeine after 2:00pm.
5. Give ‘em Some Skin
Nothing sizzles in the summer like a sexy tan. Self-tanning solutions are the safest and easiest way to achieve a golden summer glow. Not only does tanned skin camouflage imperfections, it accentuates muscle definition and gives the appearance of a trimmer and toned body. Remember to apply sunscreen every two hours when outdoors, and to protect all parts of your body, including the face and ears. Choose your SPF wisely – The higher the SPF, the longer you can stay in the sun without getting burned.
DO THIS: Get your tan on in a healthy way! No one wants to be blinded by your baby-white skin. Check out these tips to get expert advice on the perfect men’s sunless tanning techniques to start your summer smoking hot!
Follow these five fundamentals to look and feel your very best. Don’t fall into fad diets and exercise routines. Get back to the basics to find what really works. Eat, sleep, sweat, and tan your way to toned this summer!