If you’re a CrossFit connoisseur, already shredded and in tip-top physical condition, then this isn’t for you. If you rarely step foot in the gym and you’re still effortlessly in good shape, then this also isn’t for you. However, if you’re just like me, sick of putting in work every day and still impatiently waiting for results, then this is for you. I, too, know the struggle of hitting the gym everyday and perfecting every meal just to fall just short of your ideal body. Here are a few hacks that will bring you closer to your perfect summer bod.
Adding these 10 tricks to your lifestyle, while not replacing any fitness program, will tear down any obstacle left standing between you and your smokin’ summer bod. These tricks helped me crush my goal, giving me a grand slam body:
1. Cut out bread
As much as I enjoyed a crispy pastry or a steaming roll right out of the oven, tossing out bread tossed out all my unwanted curves right with it.
2. Know when to grub
We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but did you know it’s supposed to be the biggest too? Metabolism is at its peak in the morning and progressively slows throughout the day. So, if you’re going to grub, or even just cheat a little, do it while the sun is rising. More importantly, don’t do it while it’s setting. Ever wonder why that midnight pint of Ben and Jerry’s takes such a toll? Cheating past 9 p.m., when your metabolism is at its slowest, is setting your body up for failure.
3. Remember to rest
Just five minutes apart from the noise and stress of society will do wonders for your body. Allowing your mind even a small break prevents the release of cortisol, a stress hormone, that triggers your body’s survival mode and holds tight onto any stored fat.
4. Cut (prolonged) cardio
While we’re on our not-so-fun friend cortisol — prolonged cardio also triggers this little guy. For this reason, five-to-10 mile jogs really cause more harm than good. Opting instead for high intensity interval training (HIIT) will help you burn more fat and still give your heart a good workout.
5. Treat Yourself
Yes, you heard me right. It’s as simple as swapping out processed, man-made sugar, shoved down our throats every day, for some natural sugar, made to be enjoyed. So trade in your Twinkies and Starbursts for some real cocoa and raspberries.
6. Stay Hydrated
The recommended water intake is about 2.2 to 3 liters every day, and for good reason. Hydration, point blank, keeps everything working right. What you didn’t know is that hydration also keeps your metabolism high, burning calories at maximum capacity just for keeping you alive.
7. Don’t say ‘later’ to your latte
Aside from the caffeine, sugar and touch of cream in your daily cup of joe, coffee has another ingredient, known as chlorogenic acid. An important anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, regular consumption of chlorogenic acid lowers blood pressure and slows the long-term rate of weight gain.
8. Eat fat to lose fat
Defying what pop culture would have you believe, you have to eat fat to burn fat. But, that’s not a free pass to eat Cheetos and cheesecake. There is another kind of fat. a “good” kind, that’s readily used when your body is building muscle. Congrats, your new shopping list includes whole milk, deli cheese and lots of nuts.
9. Eat your meat
You must eat fat to burn fat, just as you must eat protein to build muscle. If you don’t fuel your body this way, you might as well skip the gym.
10. Metamucil Magic
You mean that Metamucil old people drink? Yep, that’s the stuff. More than aiding digestion, a high-fiber diet acts like a constant exfoliant for your gut, leaving you looking lean and mean, even on your bloated days.