It’s always the concept of calories in vs calories out when it comes to achieving a healthy weight. However, in reality, I think we can all agree it’s not as easy as it seems. For starters, we’re bombarded with social media influencers coming up with crazy diet fads and exercises promising it will change your body forever. This noise can stray you away from your fitness routine and is extremely distracting.
In the COVID-19 era, our stress levels are through the roof, further reducing our willpower to reach our goals.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. With some simplifying and tweaking your daily habits, you can make the scale tip in your favor. In this article, we’ll go over four great ways you can achieve a healthier weight over the summer!
Exercise selection and sticking to it
No matter what your fitness goals are, you should incorporate both weight training and cardiovascular exercises in your exercise regimen. However, strike the right balance between the two that support your goals. If you are looking to lose weight, consider a 70/30 cardio-to-weight training split. While weight training does burn calories, the calories burnt lifting weights aren’t as substantial as, say, a 30-min cycling session. The opposite ratio of 30/70 will apply to those trying to put on some muscle.
Your energy and time are finite resources, so you need to be smart about where you direct them.
Strive for progress every consecutive session. Whether it’s adding one more rep to your bicep curl or increasing the incline on the treadmill, you should feel your sessions get tougher each time you go in. Stick to the same routines week in, week out for at least a month to see changes.
Healthy snacking over processed meals
The frustrating part about achieving fitness goals isn’t always the gym. Rather, most people struggle with dieting especially when they have gotten into the habit of reaching out for the bag of chips while they type away on their keyboard.
I don’t suggest abruptly cutting out the junk food, especially if you “depend” on it. Instead, gradually replace them with healthy snacks. My favorite is greek yogurt and berries, but mixed nuts (without salt and preservatives) are also a go-to for many people.
When compared to the bag of chips, healthy, nutrient-dense foods keep you satiated longer. You don’t feel hungry immediately after you eat them, making it easier to stick to your calorie goals. In the case of junk food, you often find yourself hungry after devouring them, making you want to eat more unnecessarily.
Sleep like a baby
The third part of the equation is sleep. You’ve heard this before, but you need seven to eight hours of quality snooze time at night. This is when your muscles grow and connective tissue heals. Sleep is also when your body replenishes its energy levels, priming you for the following day’s routine.
If you are sleep deprived, your train of thought is impaired, your motivation drops, you can’t train as intensely and your progress hinders. This can lead to a negative feedback loop that drags you back to square one!
Work on your habits
As they say, fitness is a lifestyle. Getting into habits that reduce the friction between you and achieving your goals is crucial. If you are guilty of not getting enough sleep, build a routine that signals your body it’s time to shut down. This could be reading a book after brushing your teeth or dimming the lights an hour before bed.
If you find yourself eating junk food out of convenience, you may want to consider meal prepping a few times a week. Stick to a few yummy dishes at a time so that you don’t overwhelm yourself with learning new dishes.