Get Your Spring Break Body
There isn’t a whole lot of appeal to winter wardrobes, if you ask me. Dark colors and one boring sweater after another only deepen my desire for spring to come faster. Here’s what sweaters are good for, though: hiding those few extra pounds that crept up over winter break.
Well, spring break’s just around the corner, so the jig’s almost up if you’re planning a warm-weather vacation. So start prepping your body now with these toning and slimming tips.
First thing’s first: no matter how much you work out, you will never get the body you want if your diet’s a train wreck. Philly trainers Kimberly Garrison and Alassane Ndianye agree that your food intake is crucial to achieving desired results. Says Garrison, “Looking good is 80 percent about what you’re eating and only 20 percent of what you’re putting in at the gym.”
Even the fittest, strongest person clocking in hours at the gym will not appear in shape if a layer of fat conceals her muscles; you need to be lean to see definition. Ndianye says that changing your diet is especially important when you don’t have much time to work with, since building visible muscles usually requires about an eight-week program.
To ease into healthier habits, start by decreasing your portion sizes and avoiding blatantly unhealthy choices like rich desserts and fast food. Ndianye advises using the “substitution method,” in which you can replace items with healthier choices as opposed to deleting them entirely, making you less likely to binge later on. A simple swap from whole milk to skim milk can add up to a lot less fat and calories.
Need faster results? Try a low-carb, high-protein diet rich in green vegetables and lean protein options like chicken or fish. Garrison says it’s all about going as natural as possible. Like, you know those Special K diet and protein shakes? Squash those. Opt for fresh fruits and veggies instead, which Garrison says offer all the carbohydrates you could ever need.
What you’re drinking is just as critical as what you’re eating. Make water your primary liquid and avoid juice and soda. Garrison says that eliminating beer, wine and cocktails is especially important since alcohol is essentially condensed sugar (cue sad trombone). Besides, drinking tends to lead to late-night eating and unhealthy food choices, so it’s a bad idea all around.
Now that we’ve got the eating under control, you can focus on what exercises to do to look sexy and toned. Ndianye says that “the body needs to be shocked” in order for it to change. If you aren’t doing much differently, how can you expect to wake up one day with killer abs? While the treadmill is a good start, it’s not enough if you’re looking to see results soon. Ndianye advises choosing an exercise that you actually enjoy. That way, you’re likely to do it more often and with more intensity.
Garrison adds that the small stuff adds up as well. She advises purchasing a pedometer to make sure you’re moving around enough throughout the day. She says you can also see results without going to the gym by working with your own body weight at home, doing exercises such as pushups, lunges and sit-ups.
So if you’re feeling a little pudgy with spring break just weeks away, don’t panic. You can make a real change in a short amount of time by focusing most of your efforts on eating right while upping the ante of your exercise regimen.
Don’t spend your spring break untagging Facebook photos—flaunt that hot beach body!