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Tips to Get Fit for Summer Without Stress or Starvation

Avoid the stress of getting the perfect beach body this summer.

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Photo: Shuttertock

The upcoming summer season heightens our body insecurities. As such, 85 percent of women opt out of important life activities due to low body esteem, and 42 percent of people feel pressured to have a “beach body.”

And with the summer season fast approaching, Google searches for “lose body fat fast” have soared by more than 499 percent in the past month, often making people resort to starvation and exhausting workout routines.

“People tend to start worrying about their bodies when summer is on the horizon—and we all know the outcome,” says Walter Gjergja, former professional athlete and chief wellness officer at AI personal trainer Zing Coach. “They pick a miracle weight loss plan, cut their caloric intake, and exercise excessively to lose a few pounds… and likely achieve negligible changes, and regain the weight as soon as the vacation is over. Studies show that the body can burn approximately 2.2 pounds of fat each week, which requires cutting your average calorie intake in half. The number might drop drastically on the scales, but that’s water and muscle mass, which is undesirable both in terms of health and aesthetics. Furthermore, as soon as you stop, your metabolism will anticipate your next diet attempt and pile it all back on.”

Here, Gjergja shares some low-key tips to get ready for the summer without stress or starvation.

1. Get your steps in
If you can get somewhere in under 30 minutes on foot, walk briskly. It’s a low-impact exercise that most can manage and burns a surprising number of calories. Not only will your improved metabolism make a noticeable difference to your weight but each step will also help to tone up your cardiovascular health and muscle mass.

2. Schedule micro-workouts
If daily workouts are too overwhelming, try micro-workouts instead. These bursts of movement, done multiple times a day, add up. Ideally, you need at least 15 minutes of exercise—running up the stairs, jumping jacks, or a set of squats—spread throughout the day. As long as you’re exerting yourself for more than 20 seconds and no longer than 10 minutes to ensure you’re maintaining the pace, you can tailor your routine to work around your schedule.

3. Ignore the urge to snack
You’ll never achieve your weight goal if you’re constantly snacking. Even if you reach for relatively low-calorie foods, each bite still takes you a step further from achieving the caloric deficit required to slim down. It also sends your hormones into overdrive, causing spikes in insulin, ghrelin (the hunger hormone), and leptin (the satiety hormone), disrupting your body’s ability to burn fat. If you want to shed the pounds, you must establish structured mealtimes and avoid the urge to snack.

4. Go easy on the ‘healthy’ treats
If the packaging says “diet,” “keto,” or “low carb,” it must be healthy, right? Look at the ingredients and nutritional values. You will be shocked at how many calories, carbs, and added sugars they contain. One or two won’t hurt, but that “diet” label doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you desire. Don’t deny yourself entirely—or you will inevitably give up—but do take it easy on the “healthy” snacks.

5. Follow a protein and veg-heavy diet
Many diets advise eating less, but the portion size doesn’t matter; the calories and macronutrients do. Smaller portions will only leave you feeling hungry, encouraging you to snack. Instead, follow a lean protein and vegetables-heavy diet, as they have fewer calories, so you can eat more without packing on the pounds, as well as a higher satiety index (meaning we feel full sooner) and ensure the necessary protein to maintain muscles while losing fat. Minimize carbohydrates and especially sugars, which inversely stimulate the appetite and cravings, as well as having high caloric density.

About The Author
julieKeller_author-1

Julie is the co-founder of Well Defined and a longtime influencer and advocate in the wellness world. Along with her work at Well Defined, she is an executive recruiter and marketing specialist for Hutchinson Consulting. She is also a consultant and content strategist for numerous wellness brands. She is the former editor-in-chief and publisher of American Spa and was named a 2019 Folio Top Woman in Media in the Industry Trailblazers category and a 2018 winner of ISPA’s Innovate Award. She is also a seasoned journalist, specializing in spa, travel, health, fitness, wellness, sustainability, and beauty. She has been published in Departures, ForbesTraveler.com, E! Online, Gayot.com, Insider’s Guide to Spas, Luxury Travel Advisor, Marin Magazine, Ocean Home, Smart Meetings, Spa Asia, and Travel Agent.