We all know how difficult it can be in shifting flab around the stomach area, but thanks to Michael Nash from My Fitness Boutique in London, I’m posting this handy infographic which will take you through the various reasons we hold onto our gut, and the numerous ways to fight the fat.
Summer is coming and the pressure is on to get the perfect bikini body so we can throw the clothes off and the bikinis on.
But believe it or not, sit-ups and crunches are not the way to go (yes, I was relieved too!).
Here are 9 simple steps to get that bikini body beach-ready for summer.
1. Keep hydrated: Unless you’ve been drinking plenty of water throughout the day, chances are you’re dehydrated right now. In fact, the majority of us are dehydrated. Believe it or not, those hunger pangs we get throughout the day may actually be thirst. So next time you feel hungry, reach for a glass of water. If you’re dehydrated, you won’t be able to perform to the best of your ability – and I don’t just mean in the gym; I mean at work or during other daily tasks too!
2. Cut the salt: Did you know that if you weigh yourself the day after you eat salty foods, you’ll weigh more than if you hadn’t taken in so much salt? Too much salt in your diet will cause you to retain water, which gives you that bloated feeling and makes you look puffy. Physically, this is a short-term thing, but it can knock your confidence by making you feel like you’ll never have that bikini body, so you’re more likely to give up. So don’t worry, that bloated belly after that salty pizza is only short-term; tomorrow you can lower the sodium intake and feel great!
3. Catch some Zzzzz: What? You can get the perfect bikini body by sleeping? It’s true; sleep is one of the most under-rated ways of reducing stress. If you’re fully rested, your mind is able to focus more, and your body will be able to perform better. Sleeping is essential for muscle recovery; believe it or not, the magic happens when you’re resting, not when you’re in the gym. So make sure you get your eight hours!
4. Don’t lift weights that are lighter than your purse: Progressive resistance training three times a week is the perfect way to tone and increase muscle for that bikini body – and yes, that means lifting weights! But make sure it’s a challenge; our handbags may be heavy, but we’re used to that weight. Training two or three times a week is perfect; too much will burn you out, but this is something you could keep up long-term. Bikini body all year round? Yes please!
5. Eat lean protein with every meal: After that resistance training three times a week, your body will need this essential nutrient to aid repair and recovery. Protein has a high satiety, which means you’ll be fuller for longer, and less tempted to hinder the progress to your bikini body by reaching for the snacks. Good examples of lean protein include steak, mince (try to get mince that’s 95% lean), turkey, chicken, eggs, cottage cheese, legumes or beans.
6. Don’t be afraid of fats: The right fats won’t make you fat. In fact, we need the good fats to help us lose fat! In other words, we need fat to get that bikini body. The body needs essential fatty acids such as Omega 3, 6 and 9 for a healthy metabolism. These can be found in Flaxeed, oily fish, eggs, fish oil supplements or oils such as olive oil. So to lose that fat, make sure you eat the good fats and cut down on the bad fats like butter or fast food.
7. Attach a ‘why’: Why do you want to achieve this goal? If you attach a strong internal reason why you want that killer bikini body, you’re more likely to achieve it. A strong ‘why’ will give you an internal motivation to keep strong and keep going.
8. Buy the bikini: “She wore an itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, yellow polka-dot bikini that she wore for the first time today”. Whoever ‘she’ is must have looked good in that bikini if people felt inclined to sing about her. That will be you. Buy that bikini. Hang it up in whatever room you use to work out. Look at it every day and imagine yourself with that bikini body. Tweet it to the world, or blog about it. Then you’ll have something physical to give you the drive and motivation to succeed.
9. Strive towards success: Do something every day to bring you closer to your goal, no matter how small; action breeds momentum; momentum breeds success; success breeds a killer bikini body!
BONUS: Don’t give up; if your goal is worthy enough, it’ll get tough, it’ll get hard. If you do slip up, recognise the slip-up for what it is – a mere slip up – and keep going. You can do this; you will look good and you will feel great. Listen to Rocky Balboa, he knows what he’s talking about;
“…it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!
Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!”
I’m off to lift some weights. See you on the beach, girls!