It's getting hot outside, and you know what that means. Time for bikinis and the beach. Are you ready for it?
Whether you're at the beach on vacation or just lounging at the pool, you want to feel confident in your swimsuit. Eating healthy and exercising will help tighten up your problem areas and make you look better than you did last summer. Let's get started.
Eating Right is the First Step
Many people gain weight over the winter because they aren't as active as they were in the fall. The first step to regaining your summer shape is eating nutritional foods and snacks that will help you lose pounds and maintain your ideal weight.
Eat seasonal fruit
Summer is the best time to buy fruit. Grocery stores stockpile on fresh, juicy fruit throughout May, June and July. Have plenty on hand and pack them in easy to go containers so you can enjoy them on the way to the park or pool. Fruit is an excellent pick-me-up, particularly post-workout.
But remember: fruit is high in sugar. So you shouldn't consume more than one serving per day.
Make a homemade smoothie
If you aren't on the go, try mixing your fruit together to make a vitamin C-packed smoothie. Smoothies are particularly great meal replacements if you mix in protein powder, nut butters, or Greek yogurt.
Here's a balanced recipe to get you started: Mix one cup of frozen pineapple chunks, one cup of frozen strawberries with three scoops of nonfat Greek yogurt. Blend until smooth. Enjoy on the go for a delicious, tropical treat.
Don't forget the veggies
Vegetables are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and other all-over good nutrients. Swapping out high carb foods with a cup of broccoli, green beans, or turnips is a great way to cut carbs without feeling starved. Nutritionalists recommend you consume at least two cups of veggies a day.
If you hate the way veggies taste, try easing yourself into eating more. Dip celery, carrot, green peppers, and cucumbers in a homemade ranch dip, hummus or tzatziki sauce. You might also try amping up your recipes. A lot of the time, people hate a vegetable because of its texture. Baking or grilling a veggie in olive oil – rather than steaming or microwaving it – can help improve the flavor of the food without stripping it of its nutrients.
Parties are quite common during the summer. One staple of these gatherings is lots and lots of food and drinks. Don't let all the good food and high-calorie beverages rob you of your swimsuit body.
Scope out what is available and make smart choices. Yes, that peach cobbler looks incredible. And if you eat a small bite, you probably won't be dooming yourself to flabby abs. But try to limit yourself. Choose one or two indulgences and eat sensibly from the rest. You'll be able to enjoy the spread without the guilt.
Eating right and watching what you eat is just the beginning. Exercise is a critical part of losing and maintaining weight, too. Here are some of the best ways to tone your muscles:
Make it a habit to go for a walk around the block after dinner. You can do it alone, with a friend, with your spouse or with your kids. Walking is an excellent source of exercise and can tone your abs, glutes and thighs.
Check out a yoga class
Yoga gives your body a great workout without a lot of stress and strain. It's excellent for toning soft muscles and tightening up your entire body. If you aren't very flexible, you should consider starting off with a beginner yoga workout. Otherwise, you might pull a muscle or injure your back.
Join a gym
You can choose from a myriad of classes and workout options to find the right exercise combo for you. Gyms are also great environments for pushing yourself. Bring a friend and embrace your competitive side.
Not sure how to get started? Try out one of our 7-day workout plans to get into shape in time for Summer.