Find the right bal­ance for a healthy sum­mer

RE­AL­ITY STAR-TURNED-FIT­NESS GURU LUCY MECK­LEN­BURGH TALKS TO LIZ CONNOR ABOUT KEEP­ING UP WITH HER REGIME DUR­ING BEACH AND BAR­BE­CUE SEA­SON

Llanelli Star - - HEALTH & LIFESTYLE -

WHEN the warm weather rolls around, we all know the lure of the pub gar­den, week­end bar­be­cues and rooftop cock­tails can mess with your good in­ten­tions to make it to your reg­u­lar work­out classes.

Sure, you could hit the tread­mill for an hour-long sweat ses­sion – or you could soak up the rays in the gar­den with an Aperol Spritz in­stead.

If this sounds like a fa­mil­iar sce­nario, it’s of­ten re­as­sur­ing to know that even the fittest folk on In­sta­gram can some­times strug­gle to stay on track.

Any­one who fol­lows Lucy Meck­len­burgh on the so­cial me­dia plat­form will know that she never looks any­thing less than per­fectly toned – but she ad­mits that it’s tougher to stick to your gym goals when it’s warm and sunny out­side.

The TV star made a name for her­self on ITV re­al­ity show The Only Way Is Es­sex but has since struck out with her own on­line fit­ness plat­form, Re­sults With Lucy (re­sultswith­lucy. com), which pro­vides work­outs and recipe plans to help women who are look­ing to lose weight and im­prove their fit­ness.

With over one mil­lion fol­low­ers on In­sta­gram, many of her fans look to Lucy for tips and tricks for stay­ing healthy and get­ting the most out of their work­outs. So, how does she make room for fit­ness and sum­mer fun?

Here, the 27-year-old gives us the in­side track on how she keeps the bal­ance dur­ing hol­i­day sea­son...

BE MINDFUL OF THE CALO­RIES IN YOUR DRINKS

SUGAR-SWEET­ENED drinks can of­ten be a for­got­ten source of calo­ries in your diet, and Lucy says that not drink­ing them is one of the eas­i­est ways to see a change.

“Be­ing more con­scious of what you are drink­ing and re­mov­ing empty calo­ries can make a huge dif­fer­ence and it only re­quires small changes,” says Lucy. “For ex­am­ple, if you drink a few cups of tea a day, why not swap a break­fast tea with milk to a herbal tea or even a home­made ice tea?”

“You could also swap squash drinks for home­made fruit flavoured wa­ter, or just wa­ter.”

If you fancy hav­ing an al­co­holic bev­er­age (and we al­ways ad­vise drink­ing in mod­er­a­tion, of course), your choice of tip­ple can make all of the dif­fer­ence too.

Lucy says that there’s “noth­ing wrong” with a rooftop cock­tail now that the evenings are longer and warmer, but it’s worth keep­ing in mind that they’re of­ten sugar-loaded.

She sug­gests en­joy­ing one cock­tail when you ar­rive, and then switch­ing to gin and tonic or vodka, soda and lime af­ter­wards.

MAKE YOUR OWN

STAY­ING healthy doesn’t mean you should have to forgo pop­u­lar picnic foods, or feel guilty about eat­ing them ei­ther.

“Learn to make some of your sum­mer favourite treats at home, rather than buy­ing them,” says Lucy.

“That way you know ex­actly what goes into the food you are eat­ing.”

In­stead of buy­ing ice lol­lies con­tain­ing ar­ti­fi­cial colours and sugar, for ex­am­ple, she sug­gests find­ing a de­li­cious recipe for fresh fruit ice lol­lies that will be just as re­fresh­ing and tasty.

“Em­brace a health­ier BBQ and swap shop-bought coleslaw and potato salad, which is of­ten high in fat, to a health­ier, home­made ver­sion,” she adds.

MOVE YOUR WORK­OUTS OUT­DOORS

IF YOU don’t like to spend beau­ti­ful sunny days hid­den away in the gym, it doesn’t mean you should exercise less over sum­mer.

Lucy says: “Warmer weather means that pop­ping out for a walk is much more appealing. “Walk­ing is a re­ally ef­fec­tive form of exercise and it’s some­thing you can do with friends and fam­ily. “Swap shorter trips you take in the car or on the train with walk­ing,” she sug­gests. “You could walk or even cy­cle to work. I also fol­low the rule of tak­ing the stairs in­stead of the lift when I can.”

GET YOUR PALS IN­VOLVED

“I FIND it’s much eas­ier to work out and stay mo­ti­vated if I have a train­ing buddy,” ad­mits Lucy.

“It’s a good idea to plan your work­outs with your buddy, and to­gether you can help each other stick to them.”

Lucy says that if your friend or col­league ex­pects that you are go­ing to do a work­out on a Mon­day evening, it makes it much harder to ditch exercise for the sofa.

“You can share work­outs, pho­tos, recipes and tips with each other to keep sup­port and mo­ti­va­tion high.”

PLAN WORK­OUTS AT HOME TOO

PIC­NICS, sunny happy hours, trips to the beach – with so many fun so­cial events go­ing on, it can be harder to find time for get­ting to that HIIT class.

Here’s the great thing though: You can still stay in shape with a short liv­ing room ses­sion, while the kids are get­ting ready for school in the morn­ing or be­fore head­ing out to work.

“Work­ing out at home is a great time and money-saver and it can be just as ef­fec­tive as work­ing out in a gym,” says Lucy.

“It all comes down to plan­ning. If you’re time-poor, look at your week in ad­vance and fig­ure out where you will re­al­is­ti­cally be able to squeeze in a 20-30 minute at-home ses­sion.

“You can find hun­dreds of work­outs on­line. On Re­sults with Lucy, for in­stance, we have thou­sands of pre-filmed work­outs you can fol­low.

“Body weight ex­er­cises are great but if you want to add a sep­a­rate weight, you can find a set of cheap dumb­bells or ket­tle bells on­line too.”

HAVE A POS­I­TIVE MIND­SET

THE power of pos­i­tive think­ing is a pop­u­lar con­cept. Stud­ies have found that it can help to boost con­fi­dence and im­prove your mood, and ul­ti­mately keep you mo­ti­vated.

“It’s a sad truth, but lots of us will start our day think­ing neg­a­tive things about our­selves,” says Lucy.

“We tend to fo­cus on neg­a­tives, es­pe­cially when it comes to how we look and our per­cep­tion of how suc­cess­ful we are. It may feel strange at first, and it will take some prac­tice, but try and say a few pos­i­tive af­fir­ma­tions to your­self when you wake up in the morn­ing,” she adds.

She sug­gests say­ing three things you like about your­self each day, for ex­am­ple: ‘My skin looks great’, ‘I love this new top I’m wear­ing’, ‘I’m go­ing to be amaz­ing in my meet­ing to­day’.

Lucy says: “I be­lieve do­ing this re­ally builds your con­fi­dence, opens you up to new opportunit­ies, and makes life much more en­joy­able.”

Lucy Meck­len­burgh is co-founder of on­line fit­ness, health and nu­tri­tion plat­form, Re­sults with Lucy. Beach Body with Lucy is a new six-week fit­ness pro­gramme avail­able on the site. See re­sultswith­lucy.com for fur­ther de­tails.

Work­ing out at home is a great time and money-saver Lucy Meck­len­burgh

Lucy Meck­len­burgh on the beach

Find a gym buddy for ex­tra mo­ti­va­tion

Walk­ing is a win­ner

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