Summer is right around the corner (we hope) and now the moment we all dreaded seems closer than ever: why didn't we start working out three months ago? Don't worry, we got you covered. Follow these tips we've carefully selected to slim down and get the perfect summer body before you go on holiday:
1. Set a goal that doesn't involve losing weight
If you set all expectations and motivations on the number on the scale, you're very likely to lose all motivation once you hit a plateau. The best way to stay focused on achieving your goals is to make your aim to hike a beautiful but quite steep trail, run a marathon or swim some extra laps; an achievable goal that motivates you and will bring you joy beyond weightloss. Remember, the stronger you are, the better you will perform on these activities, no matter what the scale says.
2. Eat healthy, don't restrict
This is extremely important and it's something most of us tend to forget about. It makes no sense to delete every single food you enjoy from yout diet. If you refrain from eating all the things you like, what will happen is that you'll end up bingeing, which leads to feelings of guilt and could turn into a very dangerous and unhealthy relationship with your body and food. The best rule to live by is 80/20. If 80% of what you eat is healhy and wholesome, and you exercise regularly, you should treat yourself sometimes (20%), in order to stay consistent with your diet. Also, exaclty how you won't automatically lose half a stone because you eat a salad one day, you won't gain a significant amount of weight by eating a donut.
3. Create a plan and stick to it
This is very important. You should not set 5 days a week to work out if you simply don't have the time to comply. Here's where having a fitness machine at home makes your life extremely easy, since simply by waking up 30 min before you usally do means you can include exercise into you daily routine. Make sure your plan is achievable and don't set goals that are impossible to get, since this only leads to failure.
4. If you don't like your routine, change it
Are you bored of your regular exercises? You dread going for a run in the mud? It's simple, don't do it! The time you're wasting doing something you don't enjoy could be spent wonderfully in some other activity. There are so many different ways to exercise that sticking to a routine you don't like isn't acceptable. Get out of your comfort zone and try aerial yoga. Go to that salsa dancing class you've been wanting to join since last year, sign up with a mountaineering group and explore! Seriously, you will thank me.
5. Drink, drink, drink
Honestly, I cannot stress enough how important it is to load up on water every day. Keep a bottle by your side at all times. If water is too boring for you, make it fun by infusing it with cut up fruits and vegetables (lemons, cucumber, strawberries, mint...) so the flavor is more interesting. You should also increase your tea intake, since it will give you extra antioxiants. Finally, if you want to drink, do so responsibly, and pick vodka with a splash of soda and some lemon juice; which is about 100 calories, instead of your usual 500-kcal margarita. Oh, and not only will you lose weight and reduce bloating, but you'll see how your hair and nails grow stronger and less brittle, and how your skin feels so much more smooth and clear.
6. Get a fitness buddy
You are so much more likely to stick to your fitness plan if you have a friend to work out with. Set a time aside for both of you to go on a run, or to do some yoga at home. For instance, if you have only one treadmill, you can start by doing cardio while your friend does some bodyweight training and then change. This way, you will motivate each other to stay consistent with your fitness plan.
7. Do some research!
Nowadays you can find dozens of healthy recipes on the internet that don't involve much time and/or effort. You should also try and incorporate new ingredients to your meals, not just exotic ones like chia seeds and the like, but also vegetables and fruits you had seen but hadn't really paid much attention to.
8. Believe in yourself
This is the final but most important step for a consistent fitness routine: you need to believe that you can do everything you've set out to. Even if it seems difficult, or hard, or even impossible now, if you stay on track and focused on your ultimate goals, there's nothing you cannot achieve,