You cannot out train a bad diet, with a good training session. Getting lean for summer requires much more than a good workout. So no matter how hard you workout your diet needs to be spot on.
Fail to plan = plan to fail, therefore preparation is the key to start the week well. Planning our meals for the week in advance reduces the risks of being hungry all the time, which can then lead to buy unhealthy food as a quick fix.
Summer is the time of the year where everyone wants to look good and feel confident in their own skin. For many people, the warm weather is an craving killer, which leads to low calorie consumption during the day and a lot of bingeing at night. Instead of eating heavy meals, trick your stomach into beating the summer slump by changing up your mealtime plan. Eating a huge meal will make you feel sluggish, special during the hot summer months.
Eating smaller meals more frequently is the solution. For example, eating 4-5 small meals every 2-3 hours instead of three large meals per day. When it’s hot, you want to feel light and active. This timing and portioning will keep you fuelled, but not overly full, throughout the day.
Not only will the sun’s hot rays leave you more dehydrated than normal, even slight amounts of dehydration can impair your athletic performance, slowing down your fat-burning process.
The easy solution: always carry a bottle of water with you all the time! There are hundreds of water fountains/taps around nowadays so there is no excuses to keep your body hydrated.
Even more so, water boosts your calorie burn. When we eat or drink, our bodies naturally work (i.e. burn calories) to process whatever has just entered the body. This is also known as ‘diet-induced thermogenesis,’ and works for water pretty much the same way it works for anything that contains calories.
One common mistake many people make is eating excessive amounts of fruit to replace other otherwise unhealthy snack options and sugar cravings. Yes, fresh fruit is extremely good for you, and much better than having some biscuits and cake, but it still contains plenty of natural sugars, known as fructose. Consuming too many calories, even if they are from healthier sugar sources, can still lead to gaining weight.
Aim to limit the fruit intake to 1-2 servings per day, only eating them within two hours of a workout. This helps ensure those carbohydrates get used as fuel, or to restock instead of being stored as fat.
Remember that not all fruits contain the same amount of sugar. For example there’s only 5.4 grams of sugar in one cup of raspberries, but there’s 23.4 grams of sugar in one cup of grapes. Your choice of fruit really makes a difference in your total sugar consumption for the day.
Blackberries (1 cup = 7g sugar)
Strawberries (1 cup = 7g sugar)
Grapefruit (1/2 = 8g sugar)
Peaches (1 medium = 13g sugar)
Nutrition is just as important as getting active and without a good diet all your exercising efforts to lose weight will be wasted. Once you’ve reached your get-lean goal for the summer, don’t completely ditch your diet. Diet is more important than ever at this point. This is what you’ve been working so hard for, and the last thing you want to do is throw it all away by relaxing completely.
Another trick to make healthy eating simple is to have a few ready-to-go healthy meals. Increase the veggies and lean protein intake, like grilled chicken breast or tuna.
The choices you make on a daily basis will affect your speed of weight loss.