Summer is right around the corner! I. Can’t. Wait! When I think about summer I think about the sun….patio season…..the beach….rotating my closet by jamming all my cozy sweaters and boots as far into the back of my closet as possible. Then bring on, all of my fun summery tops, shorts, dresses, sandals, every last thing ……but I should still go shopping 🙂
Summer is the season that feels better to be in your best shape, whatever that vision is for yourself. It’s a fun time of year to dress with the trends and maybe even throw a bikini on and feel good about it.
As summer fast approaches, you may be feeling a little extra motivated to make some changes to your body. The good news is, there is still some time to get ready for the bikinis and fun summer clothes. But here’s the thing, if you’re making the effort to change your body, you want to be doing the right things. You need to look at what you’re eating, and have a plan for your workouts.
Before getting into some of the details, let’s debunk one myth: spot reduction. This is the idea that you can target train a particular “problem area” on your body and get rid of the fat on that spot. We all have our problem areas the spots on our body where we hold a little extra fat, maybe it’s your stomach, flabby arms, or maybe your thighs. Whatever it is, it does NOT work to focus your exercise on that area alone and expect the fat will burn off, it just doesn’t work like that. For instance, many people really hone in on training their abs by doing endless crunches, side bends, planks, etc., in hopes of a toned, flat stomach. If this is you, stop, you will not make the fat burn off that spot! The thing is, you have abs, we all have abs, they are there! But, they are covered up by some fat, maybe a little extra fat, maybe a lot extra.
Doing exercises for your core can be great, it strengthens the muscles, it might give them a little extra shape, but you need to broaden your strategy. You need to focus on all muscle groups, the larger ones especially through resistance exercises and doing some cardiovascular exercise. The metabolic effect of doing BOTH of these hand in hand, is most ideal for helping with the fat burning process. You will lower body fat throughout your body and as a result, the fat covering your abs will begin to decease as well. With consistency, your abs will be able to show through.
The other big (BIGGEST) piece to getting abs is what you eat. What you put in your body everyday plays a huge part in how your body looks. No matter how much working out you do, your diet is what really manipulates everything. You can’t out run a bad diet (I’ve tried a couple times, seriously I have), if you eat junk, it doesn’t not matter how hard you workout or for how long, you won’t get abs.
So what do you do???? Take a close look at your diet, and if you’re really serious, try keep a food journal for a few days so you can see exactly what your diet really looks like. From there, you will see the big things and maybe the little things that might be derailing your progress. From there you can make the nececcary changes.
What to watch for?
- Sugar. Cut back on sugar as much as you can. Sugar will not help you get abs, ever.
- Cut out greasy and deep fried foods.
- Cut out as many packaged, processed foods as possible.
- Do you have a carb heavy diet? I you are really stalled in your progress look at the amount of carbs you are consuming in a day, and more importantly, what kind of carbs. The type of carbs you consume matter, I have found that avoiding breads, pastas, crackers, granola (sugary), processed cereals (sugar), etc., have always made a huge difference in my progress. I swap for
- Use spices and herbs instead of sauces in your cooking. This will help you control what is on your plate. Often sauces and dressings contain a lot of sugars, fats, and preservatives, and those things, especially in excess can add a whole lot of extra calories to your diet without you even noticing. Sugar and preservatives you want to avoid as much as possible. Good fats are important in your diet, but you don’t need huge amounts of it, so be mindful about this.
In the upcoming posts I will get into more details about some things to consider when you are trying to burn body fat and I will share some of my experiences.
So today we talked about abs and little about food, tomorrow I will post a workout!