May long weekend is around the corner, and that means summer right? All of a sudden June is on our doorstep and I know my clients aren’t the only ones starting to step up their training so they feel super confident as the season for stripping down arrives! While there are definitely ways to give your fitness regime a boost and make some rapid improvements in your physique and performance, I hate the term ‘quick-fix’ because it implies that the results are equally ‘quick’ or temporary.
Here are my five rules for achieving your best body this summer, without compromising your health in the process or inviting your body on a hormonal rollercoaster that can only lead to erratic bodyweight and mild insanity.
Play the long game for lasting results
Wanting quick results doesn’t mean training for quick results. Instead, always set a long-term goal – for example, “I want to lose 5% body fat in six months” – and break that goal down into smaller stages. That way you can make substantial and impressive changes in the short term, while putting those improvements in the context of a greater plan. That ultimate goal will also hold you accountable for maintaining your progress and get results that last – because a six-pack is every bit as impressive in the winter as it is in the summer, and holding onto it means you don’t have to start from scratch again next year!
Stay safe and search smart
New Intel Security research found that the most clicked on online ads of the moment are related to losing weight, with search terms like “how to lose weight fast” attracting 34% of search engine users. Stop now. Avert your eyes! Seriously, the days of meal replacements and starvation fads are over. The messages, products and websites behind those ads are not your friend – they will not help you now, and they will not help you in the long run. Intel Security warns us that malicious software is also increasingly linked with these ads, with cyber criminals taking advantage of summertime weight loss panic. So while their products or services are unlikely to help you lose weight, they could lose you a lot of money. There may not even be a genuine company behind the website, so you could come away empty-handed.
Replace your searches with terms like “home workouts for strong abs”, “protein rich breakfasts” and “fitness classes near [your office or home location]”. Don’t click on anything that promises a quick fix, tries to sell you untested nutrition products or derails your efforts to exercise more and eat better. Taking this more positive and beneficial approach to weight loss and fitness means you’ll protect your health by avoiding potentially harmful products and you’ll steer clear of online scams, all while pursuing those long-term long-lasting results.
Focus on eating enough
I’ve touched on the issue of deprivation and meal replacement diets above, but I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to understand the link between eating enough and seeing results. Undereating is as much a problem as overeating, and focusing on what nutrition you are getting will be so beneficial when it comes to making a lasting commitment to healthy eating. Use this daily checklist to make sure you’re getting enough of the ingredients you need for to fuel your metabolism, boost post-exercise recovery and prevent binge eating.
Daily nutrition checklist
- 5+ servings* of vegetables
- 2-3 servings of fruit
- 3-4 servings of protein
- 3-4 servings of whole carbs
- 3-4 servings of healthy fats
*1 serving is roughly a palm-size portion
Want more clean eating advice, an easy-to-follow meal plan and recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks? Check out my Lean Body Jumpstart ebook for a convenient and affordable total health and fitness kickstart.
Lift to get lean
Don’t rely on cardio alone to get lean. The fat burning benefits of cardio can lead to a breakdown in muscle tissue if all you do is put in loads of miles. The best balance is 50% cardio and 50% conditioning. You can focus on these in separate workouts, or combine your cardio and conditioning with circuits and HIIT style intervals. This is how I structure my own personal workouts. If you haven’t already, when you sign up to my newsletter you’ll get 3 free workouts cards to show you how to do the same.
Surround yourself with positivity
Set a motivational song for your alarm, so you wake up feeling pumped about the day! Leave your gym clothes lying out, so there’s no temptation to skip that morning workout. Set a reminder in your phone to make a smoothie before going to bed, so you have a healthy breakfast ready for you first thing. Set aside a specific time to complete your online food shop, and build a list of favourites so it’s easy to order all the healthy ingredients you need for a successful week. Creating a simple routine will keep you positive and help you set healthy habits as you pursue your summer training goals and continue building on your amazing progress.
Good luck guys. Here’s to smashing those summer goals and feeling inspired to set even more targets well into the winter!
This post is sponsored by Intel Security and inspired by their latest research, but all the advice I give is 100% authentic. Thanks for reading!