The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Getting that Summer Body
So, you promised yourself back in January that ‘this is it’. You were going to put down the prosecco, hit the gym five times a week and start walking to work.
But now… Well, we’re halfway through spring and your summer body is nowhere to be seen. Your before-and-afters look more like before-and-exactly-the-sames and you’re kind of dreading donning that floaty white dress from Zara that you’ve always loved when the sun’s out.
It’s not too late girls. They say it takes 21 days to break a habit – which means it only takes 21 days to get into a good one. And possibly only 21 days to get into those cool, denim shorts that haven’t seen the outside of the wardrobe since Ibiza 2013.
Tackle Your Eating Plan First
Step away from the (random) snacks and actually think about what’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
There’s a reason that fitness buffs follow eating plans – they’re much easier to stick to and, so long as you don’t fall off the wagon (too much!), they do get results.
If you’re not sure where to start, our eating plan advocates balanced, healthy meal options that are designed to keep your cravings down. Plus if you’re a serial-snacker you’re allowed two of those a day. You’d be surprised how well the odd handful of pistachios can prevent you from feeling those dreaded Friday night pizza pangs.
Avoid processed and packaged foods
We all know that processed foods are packed with sugar. If you’re following a plan it’s easier to prep the night before, helping you to avoid grabbing that packaged supermarket sandwich on a busy lunch break.
It’s not about eating less, it’s about eating right. For energy, fill up on complex carbs. These are high in fibre (to keep you fuller for longer) and are commonly found in whole plant foods so they’re high in vitamins and minerals too. Our faves are:
- Whole grains such as oatmeal, brown pasta and brown rice
- Starchy veg like sweet potato, butternut squash and pumpkin
- Beans (not baked!), peas and lentils
Why we love: oatmeal. It’s a high-fibre superfood that reduces cholesterol and keeps you full for ages. Try our Little Oats topped with berries for breakfast and boost that metabolism every morning.
Don’t drink calories – fruit juice isn’t always your friend
Fortunately, we’re all getting smarter about the hidden sugars in our drinks. People know to avoid alcohol and soft drinks as they’re filled with the sweet stuff, but many of us make the mistake of choosing fruit juices as a healthy alternative.
In fact, fruit juices can be nearly, if not just as bad. It’s actually not the fruit that’s the problem – but rather the juicing process. Ready for the science bit?
Fruit contains high levels of naturally occurring sugar (which still counts!) but when whole, fruit is packed with fibre. This allows the body to process the sugar slowly, and much more efficiently. Juicing actually breaks down the fibre, meaning that the sugars are absorbed into our blood far too quickly. The poor pancreas must release insulin to cope with the sugar rush, and this results in the liver turning that sugar into fat. Yuck!
If you’re going to enjoy fruit juice, always drink it in moderation. Try watering it down – you’ll soon find that when it comes to sugary juices, a little goes a very long way.
Getting Active Again
Although we’re in a rush for that summer body, there’s no quick fix when it comes to fitness – that’s a no-brainer. Getting back in the habit is hard enough, let alone actually really pushing yourself. Start small… And remember – 21 days.
Current gym routine: total couch potato
So your gym kit is covered in cobwebs in the corner of your room, and the furthest ground your trainers have covered is to the Co-Op and back. Don’t worry – you’re most definitely not alone. Ease into your new routine with some squats in the morning.
Find a simple Squat Challenge that works for you – they normally start with 10-15 reps and you can slowly work your way up to the big numbers.
Try setting your alarm 5 minutes earlier, with a motivational message:
‘Think about your bum in a bikini on that beach!!!’
Waking up to something like that is a sure-fire way to start an active day. You’ll soon see yourself shooting up out of that warm, cosy bed.
Current gym routine: up to 4 times a month
If you’ve been in the gym once a week then well done – you could be doing a lot worse. Try upping your game by pairing up with a pal. Gym buddies are great for motivation – ring the girls, see who wants to get involved and head down with a friend. Just avoid the-20-minutes-chatting-on-the-treadmill scenario!
Current gym routine: 3 times a week or more
If you have been hitting the gym pretty hard but you’re not seeing the desired result, try mixing it up a bit. It sounds cheesy, but rollerblading, skipping or trampolining are all amazing calorie-burners and you’re bound to have a laugh - so the exercise part won’t feel like hard work. In fact, you probably won’t even notice when you start to feel the burn.
If you’re feeling bored of the same old cardio, check out weighted training as an alternative. ‘Girls that lift’ is a growing trend and for seriously good reason. Lifting weights is a great way to burn calories – it’s as good, if not better than cardio. It’s also ideal for toning up – just follow a low weight/high reps training regime. If you need some direction, check out our 12-Week Bikini Plan – Gym Edition.
Heavy Weekend SOS Health Fix
Been a good, healthy gym bunny but had a few wines this weekend? Find your nearest hilly area and spend a sunny Sunday hiking. Hiking is a powerful cardio workout that’s great for your heart and lungs. Plus, it burns up to 370 calories an hour if you really go for it.
Top tip: Avoid hiking in Hunters. Wellies are a nightmare when you’re walking on rough terrain – it’ll be blister-city before you know it. So grab some good, sturdy boots and head for the hills… You’ll have fun burning off those hidden booze cals, we promise.
Hiking can burn up to 370 calories an hour, but avoid heading out in Hunters!
Fancy an actual fitness plan?
It’s got a bunch of workouts to help you switch between the areas you want to work on and provides day-to-day guidance to keep you focused on your goals. It’s been developed by industry experts and will encourage you to push yourself until you feel a natural progression in your fitness.
It’s all done from the comfort of your own home, so no pressure if you’re not ready for the gym environment. Plus, you can splash your cash on cute summer outfits (that you’re going to look great in!) rather than a pricey gym membership!
You Can Do It!
It’s not long until summer – but you didn’t need us to tell you that. Don’t panic that the clock is ticking and try to change too much at once.
Going overboard with a new fitness routine or, even worse, going hungry is unsustainable – eventually you’ll give up. And any weight or inches lost will slowly creep back on again. Disaster!
Make Your Transformation Visual
There’s a reason everyone loves before-and-afters. They work. Watching your body change over time is great way to stay motivated… And it’s truly satisfying when you can finally see your transformation.
Good luck! And let us know how you get on…
If you’ve been a lazy girl as of late, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just a few small steps can be a giant leap for your fitness levels – and you’ll soon start to see results. People say that summer bodies are made in winter – but you can make yours whenever you want. Why not start today?
If it takes 21 days to break (or make) a habit, check out our 28-day Teatox. You’ll be well on your way, and still have a week to spare!