Creating a summer body does not have to be as hard as people make it out to be. With the warm weather arriving and lockdown ending in the coming days, it is time to refocus on our health.
Finishing 2021 on a positive note should be a priority for everyone. The last 20 months have been incredibly challenging for all of us. Everyone has been impacted by this pandemic in more ways that one, and it would be great to finish the year with some positive momentum.
Work from home, not being able to have a normal routine and gyms being closed has meant that people are moving less and eating much more. Combine this with a lack of sleep, an increase in stress levels and there is the perfect storm for weight gain.
Unfortunately, exercise alone is not enough to get the body back in summer shape.
Close to 70% of all results in health and fitness will come down to nutritional choices. There are a few key actions that can be taken to help ensure the summer body is here as soon as possible.
Step #1: Understand the difference between healthy eating and healthy ‘fat loss’ eating
One of the most common misconceptions in the weight loss journey is that you simply need to eat healthy foods in order to lose weight or tone up. Unfortunately, there is a big difference between healthy eating and eating for weight loss.
Yes, many antioxidant fruits and free radical fighting vegetables are beneficial to the human body. However, in a lot of cases their caloric values and sugar content are enough to put your daily calories goals into surplus.
Calorie dense carbohydrate vegetables such as potatoes should be restricted to lunch time at the latest. There should be enough time to burn them off before bed.
The aim should always be to finish the day with a low-carb high protein meal. This ensures that your body has got the right fuel to recover overnight but not go into calorie surplus.
Step #2: Keep clear of anything that ends with ‘ose’
“An apple a day keeps the dentist/doctor away” are words that have been echoed for years. From health-conscious parents trying to educate children that fruit is good for our bodies, to the government.
Yes, this is true for the most part.
However, the fructose found in fruits is an insulin-spiking ingredient.
They can bear the similar consequences of eating table sugar—you can put on weight.
Sucrose (table sugar), lactose (sugar found in milk) and fructose (sugar found in fruit) are all elements that should be limited as much as possible in the effort to get the summer body back.
Please note, this does not mean that you should stay away from all fruit.
Instead, simply look for the lower fructose options (berries, melon) instead of oranges, apples and pineapples.
Step #3: Eat more volume of lower calorie foods
Did you know that a pizza and coke can add up to the whole daily requirement of calories?
If you tried to consume the equal number of calories by eating chicken and salad you will be eating until you are sick.
Every time the body is made to digest food our core temperature raises mimicking a thermogenic effect. Much like an oven heating up, this requires energy or in our case, calories.
In essence, every time we eat, we are burning fat.
It makes sense for us to eat small, low calorie foods at frequent intervals to provide an environment where the body can burn fat much more efficiently.
Less Calories In + More Calories Burned = Fat Loss
Step #4: Eat right for your type
Various foods can affect the body differently for various blood types. As a result, it is recommended to eat right for you type.
Some foods can prove as beneficial, neutral or high on the avoid list.
A great suggestion would be purchasing the book “eat right for you type” and incorporating some of the beneficial and neutral foods whilst eradicating the “avoid” nutrients.
It is always important to remember, and understand, that everyone is different.
As a result, we cannot expect to always eat the same things and exercise the same ways as others and see the same results.
Do the research on your body and implement a few different changes. You would be amazed at how much easier the summer body arrives.
Step #5: Eat fat to lose fat
The speed in which the body digests food can result in an insulin spike and an overload of calories to be transported into fat. The correct fats have a role that can prove very beneficial to the dieter if consumed in the right amount at the right time.
Consuming good fats such as flaxseed oil, taken with carbohydrates, can slow down the digestion of these calories entering the blood stream. This then minimises the risk of fat inducing insulin spikes.
One teaspoon is recommended for an individual that is under 20% body fat. 1/2 spoon is advised for people who are over this amount.
This can be added to meals as a dressing or can be added to your favourite protein shakes.
When purchasing Flaxseed oil, be sure to choose one that requires refrigeration and is packaged in a dark bottle to prevent light damage.
Step #6: Understand the Glycaemic Index
The Glycaemic Index is the chart that measures the rate a calorie is released into the body. This should also be adhered to in order to minimize the possibility of an unwanted insulin spike.
Carbohydrates are the nutrients that should be chosen carefully from the Index chart below in order to fully benefit from the foods that can assist you with your weight loss potential.
The Glycaemic Index
|Desirable Foods||Moderately Desirable||Less Desirable Foods|
Coarse European -Style, Whole Grain wheat or Rye Pita Bread, Cracked or Sprouted Whole wheatCereals:
Compact noodle-like high bran cereals (All-Bran, Fiber One) Coarse Oatmeal, Porridge, Coarse Whole Grain (Kashi) Cereal mixed with Psyllium (Fiberwise)Pasta, Grains and Starchy Vegetables:
Pasta (all types) Barley, Bulgur, Buckwheat (kasha) Couscous, Kidney Beans dry, (Lentils, Black-eyed peas, Chick-peas Kidney beans, Lima beans, Peas, Sweet Potato, Yam (soybeans lowest) Most Vegetables.
Skim, 1%, cottage cheese, (lowfat or regular), Buttermilk, Low-fat plain yogurt, Low-fat fruited yogurt, Low-fat frozen yogurt ( artificial sweetener)
Shellfish, “white” fish (cod, flounder, trout, tuna in water), Chicken, turkey, Cornish hen, venison (white meat no skin), Egg substitutes (cholesterol free) cottage cheeseBreads:
100% Stone Ground whole Wheat, Pumpernickel, 100% whole grain Rye Crisp CrackerCereals:
Grape-nut cereal, medium-fine grain oatmeal, (5-minute variety)
Pasta, Grains and Starchy Vegetables:
Rice, Boiled Potato, Corn Navy beans, Kidney beans (canned), Baked beans. Beets.
2% milk, cheese, Regular plain yogurt
Banana, Kiwi, Mango, papaya, orange juice.
Higher fat fish, (salmon, herring, lean cuts of Beef, Pork, Veal. Low-fat imitation luncheon meat, low-fat. cheese, Eggs.Breads:
White bread, most commercial whole wheat breads, English muffins, bagel, French bread, most commercial matzohCereals:
Corn flakes, puffed rice, puffed wheat, flaked cereals, instant “Quick” or pre-cooked cereals. Oatbran, rolled oats. Shredded wheat, Muesli.
Pasta, Grains and Starchy Vegetables:
Instant rice, Brown rice, instant precooked grains, Baked potato, micro-waved potato, instant potato, Winter squash (acorn, butternut), carrots, parsnips.
Whole milk, ice milk, ice cream, Yogurt sweetened with sugar, Low-fat frozen desserts with sugar added, Low-fat and regular frozen yogurt with sugar added. Tofu ice cream.
Pineapple, raisins, watermelon, fruit juices sweetened with sugar.
Most cuts of beef, pork, lamb, hot dogs (including “low-fat’ versions) cheese, luncheon meats, peanut
If you combine the above six steps with a fantastic and consistent exercise program, then the summer body will not be far away. The key to any level of success in this world however comes down to the level of commitment and the consistency of that effort on a weekly basis. If you start to see results initially, then make sure you continue to follow that plan moving forward and they will continue to show up.
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