Summer is just around the corner. You know what that means: it’s time to rummage through your dresser drawers, pull out that swimsuit and face the mirror. Hiding under sweaters and long-sleeved shirts is no longer an option with all of those pool parties, beach weekends and vacations on the calendar.
If you’re not feeling swimsuit ready just yet, don’t fret. There are some things you can do to jump start a summer slimdown:
1. Diet do-over
If your springtime diet has been less than stellar, now is the time to crack down and clean it up. With a few simple changes, you’ll be able to see and feel a difference, especially in the abdominal region (goodbye bloating!). I recommend eating five to six small meals daily instead of the traditional three with snacks. Focus on lean protein (fish, chicken, egg whites), complex carbohydrates (brown rice, oatmeal, potatoes) and healthy fats (nuts/nut butters, avocado).
Also be sure to get enough fiber to help fill you up and relieve bloating. Flax seeds are a good source of fiber and can be easily added to oatmeal, yogurt, protein shakes or even salads. You might also enjoy the occasional fiber snack bar, such as South Beach Diet Fudge Graham Chewy Granola Fiber Bars or Gnu Foods Peanut Butter Flavor & Fiber Bars. One of these can be counted as one of your six small daily meals.
2 Rev up your workouts
Next, you’ll need to step up your workouts, concentrating on elevating your heart rate. When trying to lose weight, interval training””which can be done at the gym or at home””is a great option. Aim to use lighter weights and perform more repetitions for best results.
Try setting up a circuit of several machines, free weights and exercises, and move quickly from one to the other, resting for no more than 30 seconds between exercises. To increase your heart rate even more, do step ups on a bench or use a jump rope for 30 seconds between exercises. At home, you might also incorporate an exercise video such as Gaiam Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss.
3 Add supplement support
While there isn’t a supplement or pill that will magically melt away an entire season’s worth of weight gain, you can support healthy diet and exercise efforts with certain helpful nutrients. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), for example, is a natural substance that’s been shown to positively affect fatty acid oxidation and promote healthy weight when included with a regular diet and exercise program.
You might also try an herbal blend such as USP Labs OxyElite Pro Super Thermo, which contains Bauhinia purpurea, yohimbe and other ingredients or a cutting-edge formula such as Labrada Raspberry Ketones Metabolic Enhancer, featuring 100 mg of rapberry ketones per capsule.
NPC National Figure competitor Melissa Transou, a fitness expert, wife and mother, blogs about the unique sports and nutrition needs of women and female athletes exclusively for Vitacost.com. Learn more about Melissa in this recent RXMuscle.com spotlight article, connect with her on Facebook or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.