The clocks have changed, the day’s are becoming longer and you’re already seeing bikinis being sold in shops. It’s THAT time of year when we all start to look forward to summer and everything that comes with it (ice cream? YES PLEASE!). It’s also a time when us girls start to think about getting that ‘summer bod’- well who doesn’t want to look awesome in their holiday photos? Short shorts and crop tops can make us to do some crazy things however. The fear of having to get flesh out often triggers some pretty disastrous diet techniques- we know, we’ve done it. Lack of knowledge and common food and exercise misconceptions are why girls will unsuccessfully start ‘toning up’ and potentially damage their bodies in the process. So before you guys start thinking about changing those beautiful bodies, please have a read of how NOT to get a summer body!
Cut out carbs..
Carbs are the enemy, right? We see it EVERYWHERE! In magazines and insta photos we see low carb diets, paleo this, keto that…
Carbohydrates are actually going to be your best friend in your process of losing a bit of body fat and toning up. They will keep your energy levels up and stop the slumps or any foggy headedness, which is when you feel you need a sugar hit so you head for the biscuit tin. Carbohydrates, the wholesome ones, are low calorie and filling, thus keeping you satiated and less likely to snack an hour later. The low carb diets we see on social media do have some benefits when done correctly, it’s true, but ultimately they will only provide short term results. They work by making you drop water weight quickly, because carbohydrates store more water than fats and proteins. However, it is not a maintainable nor balanced lifestyle. We highly recommend adding some potatoes or rice to meals, snack on rice cakes or hit that sweet spot with delicious juicy fruits.
Go cardio crazy..
Cardio is important for functional training and health- it works different types of aerobic systems and burns different types of energy stores, so it will not only help you slim down but also keep your heart and cardiovascular system healthy. BUT over doing it could damage your joints and muscles and can lead to adrenal fatigue- basically your body will be stressed out to the max! This is not going to help you attain a healthy happy body. Any exercise is a stress on the body. Sometimes we need a little stress for our muscles to grow, but too much and it will have reverse effects so we need to be sensible. Think slow and steady wins the race. There are various types of cardio: low intensity steady state such as quick walking or a long jog works aerobically and burns fat stores; high intensity cardio like sprinting or HIIT works anaerobically and burns up glycogen (carb) stores first. A combination of the two types will be great as a part of your workout routine, so start by introducing one of each once a week, and slowly you’ll start to see changes and an improvement in fitness levels.
There’s still one teeny tiny little thing that’s missing from that workout routine though… WEIGHTS! Honestly girls, resistance training will NOT make you bulky or big, quite the opposite! Having a higher muscle mass has so many benefits- it increases your metabolism, meaning you not only get to eat more, but your resting metabolic rate also increases, meaning you burn more calories by simply doing nothing! Lifting heavy weights will increase your muscle size creating some sexy butts and waist lines perfect for that bikini you had your eye on. But as we mentioned in our protein post, your muscles aren’t suddenly going to grow out of control. You definitely won’t wake up one day with bulging biceps and huge quads. This takes a HELL of a lot of time, commitment and work (alongside some extra substances which you defo won’t be using)!
Tip-toeing around the meat heads in the weight section and don’t know where to start? The best thing to do is to keep things simple to start with: work each muscle group at least once a week, lifting a heavy enough weight that you can manage about 3 sets of 8-10 reps. Push yourself people!! If you’re not sure what you’re doing, just ask someone for help! No doubt a hoard of sweaty muscular guys in vests will come running…. ALSO we’ll be posting a full body workout plan over the coming weeks which will give you a few workout ideas and gym tips so keep an eye out for that!
As soon as people think ‘weight loss’, they seem to mistake it for ‘drop my calories so low that I ruin my metabolism and become a permanently hungry miserable cow’. What was probably already a sound diet which maybe just needed a few tweaks here and there, they switch for anything low-cal, living off a boring repetitive diet of chicken salads and fat free natural yogurt. There’s nothing wrong with those foods, but they do not solely constitute a diet. For anyone to drop their calories below 1200 is DANGEROUS and UNHEALTHY. Dropping your calories too low too quickly will only have negative side effects. Yes, to lose fat our bodies must be in a calorific deficit, but not to the extent where it makes us crazy hangry women. Again, think slow and steady, think healthy and sustainable. Write down what a normal food day for you looks like, and even without counting the calories you can make a difference by making some healthy swaps. That large Starbucks cappucino with syrup you get every day- switch it for a smaller one or have a sugar free syrup! Here’s some ideas for small switches you can make but will have great effects….
SWAP Sugary cereal FOR rolled oats – oats are high in protein and low in fat, yay!
SWAP Flavoured yogurts FOR full fat natural yogurt – avoid the fat free yogurts! The naturally occuring healthy fats are replaced by sugars!
SWAP shop bought meal deals FOR homemade packed lunches – ready made meals can be high in salt, fat or sugars, but if you’re making your own you know exactly what’s going into it! Try a lean meat wrap with salad and avocado with a yoghurt and a piece of fruit for dessert.
SWAP crisps or biscuits FOR nuts and seeds – we love to nibble when we’re busy studying, and snacks are great to keep that metabolism fired up throughout the day! This swap will add some healthy fats to your diet, keep you feeling full and reduce those sudden sugar dips.
SWAP shop bought sauces FOR homemade sauces – again, that ready made sauce for your chicken and rice or pasta can be ladled with sugars and salts, check the packet before you buy, or BETTER STILL make a simple healthy homemade alternative using fresh tomatoes, garlic and herbs.
Obsess over macros..
Now we know what a summer body diet shouldn’t look like, the next thing NOT to do is become obsessive about what you eat! It’s good to be goal-oriented and focussed, but that does not mean forgetting to enjoy the process because you’re getting stressed out about what percentages of your meal should be protein blah blah blah. The more you over think it, the more likely you are to jeopardise it.
Focus on the end result..
‘Why isn’t my bum peachier yet?!’… ‘Where are my abs?!’…
Of course we need to know what our goals are first, otherwise we won’t know if we’re on the right track, but over focussing on the desired result will not give you that desired result! We as humans are highly self-analytical and self-critical which can be great for motivation and drive, but can also be very detrimental for our positivity. Change won’t happen over night, the body is an intricate machine and needs its time to work its magic. But if you remain consistent and positive, sure enough you’ll get there eventually. Too often people want fast results but aren’t committed to the process of getting there, we’ve become very impatient. There’s one quote which helped Ella immensely in her recovery, when she was putting in all the hard work but the results came slowly:
“Focus on results and you will never change. Focus on change and you will get results.”
That’s to say, instead of spending 10 minutes looking in the mirror every morning, squeezing your bum asking yourself why it’s looking floppy and picking out every flaw, it would be more productive to go for a walk instead or get busy prepping your healthy lunch for the day. In a months time you’ll look in the mirror with a more positive mindset and probably see more a positive reflection.
So whatever you do guys, just make sure that you have your health and happiness in mind! Enjoy the process, focus on yourself and stop worrying about everyone else around you. Getting into shape doesn’t have to be stressful or even hard work. Make achievable goals, do what works for you and HAVE FUN WITH IT!
Happy and healthy summer bodies will be by far the most beautiful!
The MissFits xxx