Bears purposely add fat during the summer, so that they can just sleep through the winter and use the fuel they’ve stored in their body to survive months without eating.

Humans tend to do this a little backwards.

Throughout winter, we shy away from physical activity. We have a habit of choosing a Netflix binge with hot chocolate and a plethora of comfort food over braving the cold to pursue any strenuous activity.

Most often we’ll willingly pick a pint of bitter, or glass of wine next to an open fire over going for a jog with friends- and don’t even get me started on the concept of an early morning gym session with it’s close to freezing outside!

This lack of activity and over consumption commonly displayed throughout the colder months culminates in the development of a…. ‘winter layer’ let’s say.

No, we’ve done quite the opposite of the bear- we’ve added fat in the winter; and now it’s time to address that, and get our ‘summer shred on’.

Although it is probably best we address this here: Summer bodies are most often crafted in the winter.

That is to say; the hard work you put in whilst you’re mostly wearing sweaters and coats will pay off once it’s swimsuit and shorts season.

However, if this year you didn’t quite take the initiative, and you allowed yourself to be a touch lax with your diet and training over the winter months? All is not lost! There’s still time to build an admirable and toned physique before sun-screen season- and in this blog we’ll discuss exactly how you can do it.

Get-That-Summer-Body Tip Number 1
Start getting active RIGHT NOW!

We’ll discuss the actual ‘training’ aspect of getting in shape in a moment, but first I wanted to address an often overlooked contributor to fat loss- moving more on a day to day basis.

In its simplest form, fat loss is dictated by a simple calculation: you need to be burning a larger amount of calories than you’re consuming.

Now obviously it’s a touch more complicated than that in actuality, with macro and micronutrients, hormonal imbalances, genetics and many other factors that need to be taken into account.

However, if we were to pinpoint a single fact that tends to rule the fat-loss space, it would be that- Burn off more than you eat, and you’ll lose weight.

Do you know what burns those pesky calories?

Moving.

Something as simple as walking that 15 minutes to the shop and back instead of driving is going to burn off an extra hundred or so calories you would have otherwise stored.

If you make that 30-minute stroll everyday you’ll have taken off 700 full calories per week.

Now what if you started taking the stairs at work instead of the lift?

What if it were you that popped out to grab the coffees mid-morning instead of your colleague?

How many more steps would you take if you got off the bus a few stops early and walked the rest of the way, or even if you hovered the house instead of moaning at your partner to do it (they’ll thank me for that suggestion!)?

Simple, non-exhausting movements can acclimate a large amount of calories burnt.

I’m not suggesting a walk to the shops is going to magically reveal your lower abs- but sustainable progress is the results of lots of little efforts, so what ‘little effort’ could you begin making, to get closer to that summer bod?

Get-That-Summer-Body Tip Number 2
Limit Yourself to These Three Drinks

Black coffee, herbal teas and water.

These three beverages (especially if the ‘herbal tea’ is green) all ramp up your metabolic rate upon consumption.

Not a crazy amount, but, as we covered in the previous point- every little helps.

But the main way limited your liquid intake to these three items is going to help transform your body before you hit the beach?

There all contain next to zero calories.

Fizzy drinks, fancy Cappuccinos and even Fruit Juice’s all contain calories.

And the calories they contain tend to be the poorly processed unnatural sugary variant.

Not only will this tip help you fit into those summer clothes you’ve had to skip wearing for the last few years, it’s also going to have a positive impact on your skin, health and energy levels.

(Portion wise- try and stick to 2 black coffees a day MAX, and ideally before mid-afternoon to avoid negatively affecting sleep. Herbal Teas can be enjoyed more frequently, and water should be sipped throughout the day, consuming at LEAST 2 litres (probably closer to 3, depending on your size and activity levels)).

Get-That-Summer-Body Tip Number 3
Lift Weights

They’ll be a few of you that read that statement and scrunched up your nose, immediately envisioning that upon lifting a single dumbbell overhead you’ll sprout more muscles than 70s Arnie.

That is not the case.

Training with weights has a been proven to improve body composition at a far faster and more effective rate than just cardio training.

We won’t go into the numerous health benefits, such as increased life expectancy, bone density, decreased chance of disease and countless others, instead we’ll focus on the weight training benefit most relevant looking awesome on the beach- lifting elevates your metabolic rate.

Which means you’re going to burn a target amount of calories at rest.

Remember the first two points, where we talked about losing fat being largely influenced by the amount of calories you’re burning compared to the calories you’re consuming?

A well planned training routine is going to cause your body to burn even more calories, even whilst you’re not being physically active.

See the thing is, your body is using calories all the time- even when you’re lazing around watching TV, your body is using fuel for various functions you don’t even need to think about.

However if you’d hit the gym that morning and performed some squats and other weight baring movements, the number of calories you’re torching through whilst House Of Cards is playing is significantly higher, meaning you’ll be dropping body fat at a faster rate.

Oh, and the additional muscle you’ll build means you’ll fill out the swim suit (or shorts) far more athletically than if you were to forgo lifting for simple cardio.

Get-That-Summer-Body Tip Number 4
Do HIIT Training

So after singing the praises of weight training above cardio in the last point, I’m now going to discuss the one form of ‘cardio’ that’s going to be the most effective at crafting the perfect summer body.

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. In essence this means performing an exercise that elevates your heart rate sharply, maintaining it for a short period of time before resting to allow it to return to normal (or near to), before repeating the process a set number of times.

This elevation and relaxation of the heart rate provides a superior metabolic boost to just cardio training alone, and when done in conjunction with weight training has been proven to ramp up your metabolism for up to 72 hours post training!

One such example would be the ‘tabata’ protocol- whereby you perform an exercise (such as spin-bike sprints) for a 20 second period, rest for 10 and repeat for 8 total sets; perform those with the correct intensity and that 4 minutes of exercise will provide a calorie burning-boost for hours after you’re done.

Putting It All Together

The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to dropping body fat and looking lean and athletic for the summer months.

But by increasing your daily activity levels, limiting your beverage choices to calorie free, metabolism boosting options and introducing weight and HIIT training you’ll be setting yourself up for a successful unveiling come beach time.

If you’d like a personalisedl programme designed to get you the summer body you want, get in contact today akua@figr8fitness.com for your complementary assessment and taster session or complementary online and together we’ll make this your best summer yet