Finally! The sun has started to shine through. With it brings the traditional summer cut, ahead of that beach holiday. We were here last year, no? Well, with these simple steps, you will be back looking your best and ready for the sun. To avoid any mistakes, take a look at our article Five mistakes for a Summer cut. But here’s out top tips in getting started on the right track:
- Set a realistic target – Be realistic with what you want to achieve and within a manageable timeframe. Challenge yourself, of course, but be mindful of the possibilities. You may struggle to lose 4 stone in a month.
- Start with the end goal in mind – Looking ripped for the beach – check! But have some smaller stepping stone goals in mind to keep you focused. A lot of people fall off the band wagon due to slow progress.
- Create a calorie deficit – getting that six pack to show through, isn’t just about having a strong core. It’s not about doing 1000 sit ups a day. The key is shedding the fat, and to do that you need to use up that stored fat. Consuming less calories and/or exercising more, will encourage your body to use your fat storage as energy.
- A double negative is a positive - The most effective way is to cut your calorie intake and increase your training output (duration, intensity, modality). Start by reducing your overall calorie load by 20%. Don’t skip meals, reduce your portion sizes and limit food choices.
- Treat don’t cheat – having the odd treat as a reward is a good way to have a little of what you crave, just be careful to avoid turning the odd treat into a habit, and soon enough you’ll be back where you started.
- Preparation is the paramount – become a Tupperware Timmy! Plan your lunches and snacks on Sunday, to avoid making unhealthy choices. Always cook a bit extra at dinner or reduce your usual dinner portion – eat the leftovers for lunch.
- Carbs aren’t the enemy – restrict a bulging carb diet, for sure, but cutting carbs out will more likely lead to failure. Limit your diet to 50-60% carbohydrate and reach for the natural sources, vegetables, fruits, beans and pulses, rather than the plentiful processed refined carbs, such as pasta, bread, sugary cereals etc.
- Fat fighter – It’s easy to say avoid fat but the reality is that it’s a vital part of our diet. Avoid the saturated fats found in cakes, biscuits, chocolate, but reach for the good fats found in fish, seafood, nuts and avocados. Approximately 20-25% of your diet should come from fat. Always check the food labels as fat is over double the calories found in protein and carbs.
- Don’t forget fibre – Fibre is the Digestion General. A healthy gut holds untold benefits. Start by switching your white carb choices for brown or wholemeal variants. Perhaps add a probiotic or natural healthy bacteria, found in foods, such as yoghurt, to support fibre.
- Pack in the protein – to help grow, repair or maintain muscle mass, protein is the key ingredient. It’s especially important when cutting calories as the body will search for the next available source – we want to avoid that being muscle catabolism. 20-25% of your diet should be protein – spread it across the day into 20-30 feeds, every 3-4 hours.
Always start with real food but plug any gaps or convenience alternatives with supplementation. Take a look at the Maximuscle Lean range to get you started. For more dietary advice and meal plans click here.