We are March 31, 2014 so you know what that means don’t you? It means that in just 81 short days it will officially be summer time! Now of course, most of us live in Jacksonville, Tampa, and Orlando Florida so “Beach Season” starts well before the first day of summer, but I think you get where I’m going with this. Summer time is not just synonymous with warm weather, but more noted for the fun in the sun that accompanies it’s arrival! Cookouts, jet skis, vacations, pool parties, fun at the beach; All of these things have one very important factor in common; They are all much better spent if you’re in shape, confident and comfortable with how your body looks! If you’ve stayed on track with your healthy eating and fitness habits then I’m very proud of you. If you’ve been slacking, lost focus, or allowed life’s daily stressors to derail your progress, I’ve got some helpful tips to share that will help you drop body fat and build lean muscle fast, without going into extreme measures!
1. Meal Plan, Meal Plan, Meal Plan!!!
Thinking you can get fit and not prepare your meals ahead of time is like thinking you can jump out of a Boeing 787 at 50,000 feet, holding an over-sized bed sheet, and anticipating a safe landing. It’s just not going to happen.
Depending on your personal goals, level of activity, and body type, you mandatorily need to eat 4-7 balanced (As in with your Macros) meals daily. It is not practical to think you will cook 4-7 times each and everyday. If not using the services of Nutrition Solutions and having pre-made, healthy meals cooked for you, ensure to set aside a day or 2 each week to meal prep so you’re armed and ready for battle! Do your best to incorporate a variety of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and fresh veggies into your weekly menu. Often times we get motivated to get fit, cook a bunch of chicken, brown rice, and broccoli, and think this will satisfy and suit our needs. Then what happens??? By the middle of day 3 we become so repulsed by the look, scent, feel, and taste of these 3 items, that we B line to the nearest drive thru or deviate back to old habits. Don’t be that guy! (or girl)
2. Add 15 Minutes to your Workouts
Exactly what it reads. Whether it’s 15 minutes to your weight training or cardio routines, or split between both, this simple measure can yield significant results in a short period of time!
3. Drink plenty of water!
I’m not going to get into the extensive benefits of drinking a lot of water here today as I’m sure you have heard it all before. But to provide just a little bit of perspective I want to put it like this; If an overweight individual with horrendous, but consistent eating habits changed nothing about their diet other than added water consumption, and reduced intake of sugary juices, milk, and sodas, this person would begin to experience a reduction in weight. So drink up!
4. HIIT it!
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a method of training in which you go all out, full force, with intense bursts of exercise, followed by short periods of active or recovery periods. Change is essential to shocking your body and keeping your results aggressively moving forward. Training in this manner keeps your heart rate up resulting in more fat being burned in shorter periods of time! Try incorporating HIIT into your routine twice a week. Any of you skeptics that think this method of training will burn muscle think about this for a second if you will; What does a marathon runners body typically look like? What does a sprinters body typically look like? Make sense? HIIT training has allowed me to take my body and fitness to a level I never thought possible. Get on it!
Make sure your taking my personal “essential supplement” list. Regardless of goal, gender, or level of activity I think it’s safe to say we would all like to slow down the aging process, reduce body fat, increase lean muscle, have better focus, lower the risk of disease, and have higher levels of energy would it not? If so make sure to take the following to improve on your overall health, wellness, and longevity.
- Digestive Enzyme
- Fish Oil
6. Have a Cheat Meal!
You heard me. Do it. But remember this, a cheat meal is just that; a meal. Not a day, weekend, or anything else of that nature. Taking in some extra calories once a week in conjunction with a sound and meticulous nutrition regimen can actually have benefits on ones metabolism as well as provide significant psychological support in staying true to the “lifestyle”. So have your burger and fries or some ice cream if you must. But 2-3 hours later you have to get your next meal in and be back to clean eating. Try doing your cheat meal after an intense workout so your body is able to utilize the calories to refuel your muscles as opposed to store them as fat.
I want to see all of you enjoy this upcoming summer to the fullest so please put these to good use! If you’re not quite comfortable in your bathing suit just yet, keep in mind you do have time to get there. It simply comes down to consistent and practical application of these highly effective methods. Have fun with it, and here’s to being in the best shape of our lives for this beach season!