1) Have a workout buddy
Having a friend or training partner to workout with creates accountability and will encourage you to work hard and stick to your plan – especially if they happen to have similar goals to yours.
If you want or have to train solo, try and make your sessions part of your daily routine where possible. This will create a new habit and you will complete them just like any other tasks you do on a daily basis. It is also important that you treat your sessions as you would an important meeting at work. Do all you can to attend and try not to miss any unless it is necessary.
2) Be realistic in your goals
Although a lot can be achieved in a short period of time with both training and dieting, try to be realistic with your goals. Your health is your wealth and dramatic short term weight loss can be dangerous but also cause further weight gain at a later stage.
Set short term goals but also some long term goals too that will keep you motivated long after summer has gone. Getting into shape over summer should be the incentive to live healthily all-year-round!
3) Avoid crash diets
Avoid extreme diets that promise the world. While they may provide short term weight loss, they also may cost you your hard earned muscle and metabolism in the long run. If you eat with your health and goals in mind most of the time and exercise portion control you will not go far wrong.
There should be no need to resort to drastic measures such as cutting out entire food groups unless you have a specific medical condition and have been advised to do so by a doctor. You also should not restrict treats and foods you love entirely just because they are not good for you. A small bit of cake will not cost you your goals but constant binge eating because you have been restricting yourself constantly might.
4) Don’t over-train
It can be very tempting to add in extra workouts when you are trying to slim down for bikini season. That is absolutely fine provided you are not overtraining in the process.
Your growth and improvements happens while you are in the recovery phase, if you skip out on this time by overloading yourself with extra training, you will hinder your progress and potentially cause yourself a stress injury from overworking particular areas.
5) Get enough sleep
Sleep is one of the most underappreciated activities by many athletes. Not only is this a time that your body uses to recover from training sessions, but not getting enough sleep also releases stress hormones and has an impact on your appetite.
People who do not get enough sleep tend to be hungrier and make worse nutritional choices than well rested individuals do. There are also links between lack of sleep and belly fat. If you are exhausted you also will not be able to train at the intensity needed to make changes.
6) Don’t over-do the cardio
Cardio is great for shedding fat, but too much cardio will also shed muscle and that will slow your metabolism down which is not ideal in a cut or for the long term.
Where possible, incorporate HIIT training into your routine in place of steady state cardio. This form of training has been shown in bodies to be effective for burning fat but also had a higher rate of muscle retention than steady state cardio.
7) Be consistent
Being consistent is so much better than occasional perfection when it comes to reaching your goals. Make all your training sessions and stick to your meal plan as best you can consistently. It may seem difficult at first – but two weeks of consistency consciously turns into habit – get through them couple of weeks!
All the small things add up and you will be unstoppable if you can be consistent irrespective of if you are not perfect all the time with training and food. Show them the physique that you’re capable of creating!
8) Take care of yourself
It is crucial that you prioritise your health and ensure that you are taking proper care of yourself, especially whilst on a weight loss journey. After all – your body is your home. Treat it well!
The majority of your food choices should be healthy and nutrient dense to keep your immune system strong and to aid in recovery after your training sessions. You may also find additional benefits from supplementing to cover any nutritional gaps in your diet.
9) Supplement wisely
Supplements, although not essential, are a fantastic tool to have to hand while cutting body fat for the Summer! Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) are effective at times of calorie restriction and will help with muscle retention – they’ll help with boosting your energy whilst aiding the recovery of your sore muscles.
Whey protein is also a great staple supplement to enjoy at any time in the day – mix it in a smoothie or bowl of oats for breakfast, protein pancakes for lunch or throw a scoop in a blender with a banana for really basic but effective post-workout snack!
All combinations will help promote recovery and will satisfy your taste buds as well as your stomach. It will also help to take a multivitamin to bridge any nutritional gaps in your diet, especially whilst you’re slimming down!
10) Drink lots of water
Water should be your drink of choice to aid performance and help promote weight loss! Many people dislike drinking water or can’t seem to drink enough of it – try adding berries/chopped up fruit (or even a flavoured tea bag!) to make it that bit more appealing. This, I’d definitely recommend!
If you do not drink enough water, you body will retain it which causes bloating. Being well hydrated is also crucial to performance in the gym; if you are dehydrated you will not be able to train at the high intensity you need to for progression. Chug, chug, chug!