It’s nearly spring and winter is thankfully almost over. If you’re like most people, you’re dreaming of warm, summer days outside at the beach or the pool. Of course, when it comes time to take your shirt off (for guys) or slip into the bathing suit (for women), that dream might turn into a nightmare.
While summer is a couple months away, now is the time to start achieving that summer body. Even if you need to only lose 10-15 pounds, you’ll need a couple of months to do that safely. If you need to lose more, you’d better get started sooner.
Remember to consult a doctor before any weight loss or fitness plan. But, here are a few general tips to get your summer body now (or at least start the process).
If you want to lose weight, you’ll have to cut back on calories. This is true even if you exercise (unless you burn a ton of calories). So, getting that summer body will require some form of calorie restriction.
Nutritionists and doctors can help you set a healthy number for your calorie intake. Apps like My Fitness Pal can help you too. Once you have your current calorie intake and a calorie goal, you’ll need to find ways to restrict food so you meet your goal. Let me reiterate…you will not lose weight without calorie restriction of some kind. It’s basic math.
Substitute and Modify
In order to cut calories, some things should absolutely be cut out, like sweets and junk foods. While a person can have these as treats, they should be generally avoided. Also, you need to eat out carefully because of huge portion sizes and hidden calories.
In general, substituting and modifying foods you like should contribute to fewer calories in your diet. For example, like a cheeseburger? Buy leaner meat, drain off the grease, choose a lower calorie cheese, and go for a low calorie/low carb bun. That alone will save around 150-200 calories. If you do this with all your foods, you can save 500 calories a day and 3500 calories a week. That’s exactly one pound lost per week!
Find little ways to save calories and they can really add up. Also, find new recipes for old favorites, or just try something new.
While you can lose weight with just calorie restriction, exercising speeds up the process and will give your body a toned look. Lots of people hate exercise because they think it has to involve jumping on a treadmill for an hour or going to a gym with a bunch of meatheads.
Exercise is getting moving. It can be walking, shoveling snow, basketball, a workout DVD, the gym, etc. Find something that gets you moving and that you enjoy and do it. Most people don’t workout in ways they enjoy so they quit. Find what you like and do it 3-4 times a week.
If you’re overweight, you’re likely to have years of old patterns holding you back. You’ll have to keep motivated in order to stick with your diet and exercise plan.
Motivation isn’t easy, but a couple easy ways are to set goals and rewards. Write down weight and measurement goals. Then, take them once a week. It allows you to see progress and not lose track.
Also, reward yourself. If you lose ten pounds, buy yourself something (not food!). If you go down a clothes size, go out with friends. Or just let your motivation be your new body for the summer. Keep the good feeling you will have with your great body in front of your mind.
Start getting your summer body now. And, stick with it. Being the most attractive man (or woman) on the beach this summer is a great goal.