Six things you should be doing now to be fit for summer.
With summer rapidly approaching, now is the time to have your fitness routine in full swing so that you can leave the winter gains in the past and move steadily toward your bathing-suit bod. The tendency for most people, however, is to wait until the last minute. But by the time May rolls around, it’s too late to make any real progress by June.
To that end, let’s take a look at a few things you should be doing now if you want to look and feel your best by the time summer is here.
Track Your Calories
Gym attendance tends to climb in the months preceding summer, but the fact is that all your sweat will be for nothing if you’re not consistently eating in a caloric deficit, which means that you’re eating less calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight. The easiest way to accomplish this is by using a free calorie tracking app like MyFitnessPal, which allows you to enter your weight along with your weight loss (or weight gain, for those who are trying to bulk up) goals, then provides you with your daily calorie limits. From there, it’s a matter of carefully entering everything you eat. And I do mean everything. A missed glob of mayonnaise can mean 100 calories, and these little omissions
add up fast.
Cut Out the Sugary Drinks
Few things sneak hidden calories into your diet like sugary drinks. Juice, energy drinks, coffee or tea drinks laden with sweeteners and other additives — all of this can translate into hundreds of calories per day. Reduce or eliminate the amount of sweetener you add to your morning coffee. Drink water instead of juice. And if you’re craving something with flavour, these days there are plenty of zero-calorie, flavoured water drinks on the market.
Cut Out Cheat Days
I know that it’s become something of a tradition to add a “cheat day” into a health routine that allows you to have one day a week in which you can eat whatever you want, but here’s the thing — cheat days oftentimes lead to cheat weekends, which can spiral quickly into a cheat week. Suddenly you realize that you’ve had an entire cheat month. But I know how important it is to eat the foods you love from time to time, so here’s what I recommend — a cheat meal. That can mean one bout of snacking during a movie, or one meal where you eat all the fried stuff you want, or whatever. Just don’t prolong it into an entire day.
You know that app I mentioned above? It’s going to prompt you to set weekly weight-loss goals, and maintaining these goals can be essential for weight loss success. Doctors say that healthy weight loss should be limited to 1.5 or two pounds per week at the most, so set a monthly goal that is safe and achievable. Four to eight pounds per month is certainly doable. So get started now, set a goal for your halfway point, and start hitting the weekly milestones that will take you there.
Find Your Support
It can be extremely difficult to go the healthy lifestyle alone, especially if you’re surrounded by people who aren’t engaged in the same endeavour, so look for friends or family members who have similar goals. These people can act as your workout partner, can join you for healthy meals, or can just be there to talk to and provide motivation and support through the ups and downs.