GETTING YOUR BODY beach ready
Getting your body ready for bikini season can take some hard work and dedication, but don’t panic writes TASHA WALL, because it can be done and doesn’t have to feel like torture in the process.
We all want more than anything to have a beautiful body that we can feel confident in when we hit the beach. Here are my top ten tips on achieving a body worth showing off this summer!
Set a goal and then break it down into steps.
Setting a big goal for yourself can seem unachievable and overwhelming until you break it down into steps. Losing 5kg sounds a lot easier then losing 20kg. So set your goal and then decide what you will need to do each month, week and even day in order to get there. For example: I want to lose 5kg this month, so my goal is to get to the gym six times this week and make sure that each day I have my lunch and snacks packed for work. While we all want to see physical results, don’t forget that the most important thing is how you’ll feel once you achieve the body you want so focus on that. How do you want to FEEL when you get to your goal – strong, confident and beautiful?
Make a plan for possible setbacks.
If you have tried and failed in the past, what have the reasons for this been? Emotional eating, night-time munching, too much dining out, no time. Make a solution for what you will do when these events occur. How else can you cope with your emotions without food? What can you do at night when you get bored and reach for the chips? Where can you dine out that will have a healthy alternative? Maybe aim for 20 minutes of exercise on the days you don’t have time. Having a plan ahead of time will prevent you from falling off the wagon.
Create accountability for your progress.
If you know what you want and when you want it and there are real consequences for not following through, you’ll be more likely to continue toward your goal. Find a friend, family member or personal trainer to report your progress to, sign up for a boot-camp or group fitness class, schedule a time with a workout buddy or join a weight loss competition. There are many options out there – it’s just about finding what will motivate you the most.
Eat clean and don’t crash diet. When it comes to food, your nutrition will be a direct reflection of how you look and feel in your bathing suit. Focus on eating six small meals a day, consisting of complex carbs and lean proteins. You don’t need to live off meal replacement shakes to get results. Cut out processed and deep fried food, keep condiments to a minimum and eat plenty of greens.
Prepare your meals ahead of time.
Take the time to pack your lunches and snacks at the beginning of the week. Depending on how busy your schedule looks, you may need to prepare your meals for the entire working week. You will find it much easier to stick to your meal plan if healthy options are ready and available to you. This will prevent dining out and grabbing greasy fast food on the fly.
Challenge your body.
Your body eventually adapts to your exercise, so it’s important to switch things up and challenge yourself. Each week you should be able to increase either your time or your intensity of your exercise. A constant mixture of a variety of different activities will prevent that stubborn plateau. Use a combo of machines, dumbbells and outdoor activities so you don’t get bored.
Strive to be better but don’t forget to be grateful for the body you already have. The perfect body isn’t the key to happiness, but living a healthy lifestyle is certainly a major piece of the puzzle. Instead of focusing on your flaws, find a reason why you are grateful for them. If you don’t like your arms, think of how they allow you to carry things and complete daily tasks. If you hate your thighs, remember how they take you where you need to be throughout the day. Make a list of all the things in your life that bring you happiness and then make goals for incorporating these things into your life as often as you feel suitable. Weight loss is not the only goal – happiness is the real goal.
If you mess up and you will – it’s not the end of the world. If you make one bad choice, it won’t kill you, just make the next one better instead of letting it turn into a whole weekend free for all. So ditch the all or nothing attitude and find a healthy balance of fun and fitness that’s realistic and maintainable with you and your lifestyle. You don’t need to be perfect; just try to do something better each day and don’t EVER give up, not even for a second!
Recording what you eat will help you to be more conscious of what you are putting in your mouth. Sometimes you don’t realize how much mindless snacking you are doing until you start journalling it. You can write it out by hand or download an app that will help you to track your workouts and nutrition. This way if you are not making as much progress as you would like, you can look back on the week or month to see what may have been the cause.
Do a purge.
Clean out your pantry and get rid of all the snacks you used to over indulge in. If you end up wanting a treat, you will need to walk or drive to the store to get it. You can try replacing your snacks with other lower calorie items. Try making your own popcorn without butter or switching chips to rice crackers. I love keeping sugar snap peas in the fridge for when I want to munch on something sweet and I also have fresh chopped veggies ready and available at all times.
You don’t need to be perfect; just try to do something better each day and don’t ever give up, not even for a second!