As the temperature rises and spring gives way to summer, everyone’s thoughts are turning to the beach, sunshine and of course, having the perfect summer body. Let’s face it, if you are like most men, you will have put on a few pounds over the autumn and winter months.
A few beers more than usual, combined with the unavoidable overeating over the winter holidays can leave you with a body that is not exactly ripped and beach ready. However, with the right attitude and a little self-discipline, you can shed those extra winter pounds in no time.
When it comes to losing weight and toning your body, nothing comes close to cardio exercises. There are many ways to fit a comprehensive cardio workout schedule into your everyday activities. Analyse your daily routine and consider making small changes.
For example, instead of driving to work, you might consider cycling. It is a much healthier option than driving, and has the added advantage of turning a dreary commute into an adventure in the fresh air. The same applies for walking.
If you are going somewhere relatively close, a brisk walk is always a good idea. Walking, jogging and cycling will increase your cardiovascular fitness, improve body posture and help you shed those extra pounds.
It is no coincidence that bodybuilders apply vast amounts of fake tan before any competition, and that there is not a pale pasty body in sight. A healthy looking dark tan helps to accentuate and define muscles and curves.
Just by having a tanned body, you can look fitter, healthier, and more ripped. If you have the time and opportunity, be sure to spend some time in the sun. Sunbathe responsibly, do not go outside when the sun is at its hottest, and of course; sun tan lotion is a must.
If, however, you do not have the time or opportunity to spend time in the sun, a fake tan is a great alternative, not to mention fast and convenient.
If you are looking to get the most bang for your buck, the gym is an unavoidable necessity. The biggest mistake most people make is to go straight to the big stuff: heavy weights, bench presses and the like.
When it comes to shedding weight and gaining definition, the big weights won’t do anything apart from knacker you out. More reps with less weight is what you should be aiming for, as well as exercises that burn stubborn belly fat.
Your gym regimen should also include upper back training. This is one of the most effective exercises you can do if your goal is to make your waist look smaller and more defined. Otherwise, you may have lost weight in other parts of your body but your upper body is left behind. This can make your body look disproportioned, making it look bigger than it is.
Other helpful exercise regimens for you to apply includes:
- Training for better posture;
- Using high-intensity training to burn fat faster;
- Increase your physical activity even when you’re not at the gym, such as taking the stairs more often.
Take advantage of the services of a personal trainer, as they will tailor make a workout schedule that best suits your body type and goals. Sticking to a strict workout regimen is of paramount importance, as skipping one gym day can quickly snowball into giving up all together.
You are what you eat, and the word diet has become much dreaded and misunderstood in popular culture. Dieting in no way means starving yourself, but rather paying attention to what you eat, and how often.
Whilst everyone has a different metabolism with different needs, there are a few facts that ring true for everyone. Eating many small meals a day will yield results, no matter what your body type is.
Portion control is key, as is avoiding unhealthy eating habits such as snacking, late night meals and junk food. Replace chips and other tasty but fattening snacks with healthy alternatives such as fruit and nuts.
Try out various nutrition schedules and see what suits you best. A good rule of thumb is; if you feel overly hungry or full at any time during the day, you are doing something wrong.
Moreover, having protein with every meal is very important. If you can’t have this through natural meal sources, you can also supplement, like greens powder. First off, protein is very important for you to increase your muscle mass. As you achieve this, you’re also able to lose fat. The key tip is not for you to beef up with protein in just one meal. Rather, it’s better to spread this out across your three meals.
Here are other tips that you can apply when trying to have a healthy diet:
- Stop snacking, even if you consider it as healthy. Keep your meals focused on the three major meals throughout the day so you don’t accidentally slip into dependency on snacks.
- Cut out alcoholic beverages, especially beer, as this can get you bloated. You need your body to burn stored fat, not add more.
- Avoid food that’s packed in sodium as this can increase your water retention. You want to focus on food that avoids retention, such as oranges, kiwis, and avocados.
Whatever diet principle you apply, the basic rule you should follow is to eat lesser calories than what your body can burn in a day. This may be a little challenging at first, but, in time, it’ll become a lifestyle that you’ll already grow accustomed to.
Last but not least – water. It might seem like redundant advice, but hydration is of paramount importance both for getting the summer body of your dreams and for your general health and well-being. Although water does not have any magical properties that burn fat, it is an invaluable tool in your weight loss journey.
Drinking a glass of water before every meal both helps digestion and prevents overeating. A few glasses of water a day is what nutritionists recommend. Any time you feel like a soda or other sugary drink, pour yourself a cool glass of water instead.
If you feel that you lack the self-discipline to maintain the level of hydration you need, there are many apps that remind you to keep hydrated, or you can set alarms for yourself.
Following these five tips will put you on the right path towards that much coveted lean and ripped beach body most of us desire. Remember that your diet and exercise routines are only as good as your willpower to follow through with them.
Maintaining a disciplined mindset may be challenging at times, but taking the time every day to do something beneficial for your body is a reward in itself. Not to mention the heads you will turn this bathing season.
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