Are you the type of person who does whatever you want in the colder months and then once spring is in full swing realize you are nowhere close to being ready for summer? If that sounds like you and you end up going in full-blown summer shredding mode, you're going to want to pay close attention to the five things listed below that can help speed up the process for you.
First off, I would highly recommend you make health and fitness a lifestyle choice. Eating whatever you want and letting yourself go in the colder months isn't healthy and as you may be experiencing right now, can cause a lot of stress when you realize that summer vacation is coming up and you don't exactly fit into your swimsuit anymore. But, don't worry, you aren't alone and I'm about to show you some key things to focus on to help you with your summer shredding.
1. Decrease your calories
The first thing you will want to do is get into a caloric deficit. What this means is consuming fewer calories than what is needed for you to maintain your weight. If 2,500 calories keeps your body weight the same, lowering down to 2,000 calories each day will help you lose around one pound of body weight each week. Once you start making progress, you will need to make further changes to your calories and possibly lower them again so that you continue to see the results you desire.
However, there are a few other things that I'm going to touch on that will help you keep your calories up, yet allow you to burn more each day so you can enjoy the meals you eat.
2. Cook your own meals
Cooking your own meals is key for summer shredding. You want to know exactly what is in each of your meals and control how it is prepared. When you eat out at restaurants or even fast food, you really have no control over how they prepare your meals unless you give them specifics (and even then, you have your fingers crossed that they follow your wishes). Simplify things by meal prepping your meals so you know exactly what you are consuming, in the exact portions you want, and with the precise macronutrient breakdown you need to see results.
3. Increase cardio
Cardio should be a staple during your summer shredding efforts. Cardio will help you burn calories throughout the day, as well as allow you to keep your calories up higher than if you didn't do cardio at all and were expecting to see the numbers dropping on the scale. Doing as little as 30 minutes of cardio a few times a week to start would definitely help. From there you can always increase the duration of your cardio per session (say to around 45 minutes) or you can add in an extra day or two of cardio per week.
4. Hit the weights
Unfortunately, many people skip weight training and think it doesn't do much when it comes to weight loss. Well, I'm here to tell you that if you want to speed up your summer shredding results, you need to hit the weights. Weight training not only burns calories, but it helps build lean muscle mass.
Now, you might be wondering why you would want to build anything if you're trying to lose. The fact of the matter is that the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn each day (even while at rest). Muscle needs energy and because of that, it needs to burn fuel from the foods you consume or body fat itself in order to not only function but to maintain its size.
Ladies, you especially need to understand that you will not get HUGE lifting weights. You don't possess the same amount of testosterone as men so it's naturally impossible to get big. That being said, adding some quality lean mass will help the overall appearance of your physique and will improve your strength as well.
5. Drink plenty of water
Water! Your body is made up of primarily water and for that reason, it needs to constantly be replenished to function optimally. Water helps all of the processes that take place in your body. Everything from muscle function to cognitive thinking. When you become dehydrated, you will find your physical and mental performance will decline.
It is recommended that you drink water throughout the day to maintain proper levels as well as to maintain hydration. Those who exercise (like you) need even more water during the day to replenish what you lost during workouts. Therefore, I would recommend carrying around a water bottle everywhere you go and when it is empty, fill it back up.