5 Ways to Slim Down for Summer


1. Cut Out The Sugar

Sugar is terrible for you plain and simple. It stresses your organs, makes you insulin resistant which wrecks your metabolism, and causes addiction and withdrawal symptoms with severity similar to those of hard drugs such as cocaine

According to Ian K. Smith, MD, author of the New York Times bestselling book Blast The Sugar Out breaking up with added sweeteners isn’t as torturous as it sounds, even for the most hardcore chocoholic.

Okay, let’s get the bad news out of the way first: Dr. Smith warns that you should brace yourself for withdrawal symptoms during the first three to five days of reducing sugar. “The first thing people notice is they typically get headaches, similar to caffeine withdrawal,” he says. “They also report having decreased energy levels and mental acuity, as well as gastrointestinal distress.”

Physically speaking, this can feel a lot like withdrawal symptoms from hard core drugs because, well, see above re; cocaine. Or here for another study.

But the good news awaits on the other side of these first couple days because you will enjoy:

  • Cutting weight quickly because of a massive reduction in calories
  • Lose a lot of the blubber and loose skin caused by sugar bloating
  • Have more consistent and overall higher energy levels
  • You’ll look younger
  • Enjoy reduced inflammation so less pain and soreness

The added benefit of quitting sugar? You won’t miss it! And even if you do indulge from time to time, you’ll be so sensitive to sugar at this point that even the slightest sweetness will be more than enough for you!

 

2. Keep It Moving

Too many people do not begin, or give up on, their weight loss progress because they think that they need to do complex, hardcore lifts and movements.

But, according to science, the best way to burn the highest percentage of fat is to do lower intensity workouts such as a brisk walk.  

Here are some of the keys to leverage walking as your weight loss movement of choice:

  • Aim for a 45 minute walk as this signals to your body to start burning fat, rather than carbohydrates, as its main fuel source.
  • Focus on keeping your pacing swift.  You are shooting for a heart rate of 60% of your maximal heart rate.  For those that will walk on a treadmill this translates to between 3.3 - 4.0 m.p.h. Another rule of thumb is that you should be able to still carry on a conversation, but with a noticeable level of effort.
  • To earn bonus points, get out for a walk first thing in the morning, before you eat breakfast.  Not only does a walk first thing in the morning have incredible mental, physical, and even spiritual benefits, but if you get your walk in before your morning meal you will be burning additional fat stores and set your metabolism to ‘fatburn’ for the rest of the day.
  • Track, Monitor, and Share: Try grabbing one of these popular walking apps that will help you monitor your pace, calories burned, total miles, keep you consistent and if you share with a friend, accountable which drastically increases your chances of success.
  • Hydrate with water before, during, and after your walk.  Ok we will admit that often we swap out coffee for water during our morning walk.  But make sure you grab a nice tall glass before and after if you choose coffee or tea during your walk. If you do bring a water bottle with you during your walk, you can even use it like a dumbbell to double down on your calorie burn.

 

3. Rest and Recover

As important as movement and exercise is to your weight loss goals, the number one reason people do not see themselves through their goals is burnout and/or injury.

Both of these are symptoms of trying to do too much, too soon, and with out first establishing a good foundation. A good goal is to start out with is a 60-75 day program and outlook.  

Here are the top tips for making sure your body is recovering:

  • Drink plenty of water: not sports drinks (see above re: sugar), not pre-packaged protein shakes (sugar, other crap), and be aware that for every glass of coffee and tea, you should be adding an extra cup of water per coffee/tea drink.  
  • Stretch: I used to hate stretching and avoided it with all my stubborn might. Then I got injured. Now I stretch everyday and feel remarkable. Do it, even if you don’t like it at first, you will soon. Trust me on this one.  A great guide on how to stretch correctly and outline the amazing benefits can be found HERE.

 

4. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Plain old water is the undisputed king when it comes to rehydrating your body and giving it exactly what your muscles and organs are asking for.

Not only will you experience less soreness, more energy, better skin, and improved energy throughout the day, but your brain and mood will experience a noticeable boost!

Starting a new routine is challenging and we have yet to meet a person that is initially thrilled to get up and take a walk in the morning. However, after following a water – walk - water morning routine people report that the boost in confidence, mood, energy, and improved performance at work makes it much easier to stick to the routine because they feel great! Here is our suggestion for your best morning ever routine:

  • Drink a glass of water immediately upon rising: This kickstarts your metabolism and is the healthiest way to begin to wake up your muscles and organs.
  • Get (and stay) on your feet: Don’t take a seat for a moment to check your phone, don’t hit snooze, and do not tell yourself you need “15 more minutes of rest.” The chances of skipping your routine are highest if you negotiate with yourself in the first 5 minutes after waking up.

 

5. Celebrate Yourself!

You did it, you’re out the door, moving, living, enjoying the new day and living your best life. You will already feel like you are starting the day off with a win, keep the good vibes going by smiling and taking time to be proud of yourself.

Most people will not make small adjustments like you are doing to greatly improve their lives; but not you! You deserve praise for your efforts and no one better to hear it from than you!

Positive self talk has been proven to have massive impact combating depression and generalized anxiety.  

PRO TIP:

When practicing positive self-talk do not refer to yourself in first person (“I or “me”) instead refer to yourself by your name.

PRO TIP #2:

Make fun of your inner demons.  Dr. Brené Brown refers to her negative thoughts as gremlins, and @holycrapimfat (our favorite Instagram superstar) calls her “evil twin,” ‘Stan.’  By giving these perfectly normal, yet negative, thoughts a name they are both separating themselves and poking fun at these thoughts, taking away their power.

BONUS:

Give Gratitude!

The benefits of gratitude can be proved by science and by logic. It is impossible to be upset, depressed, or anxious when you are in a state of gratitude.

Think about it, since our brains are only capable of processing one emotion at a time, if we are currently in a state of gratitude it is logically impossible to feel anything else.

How do you enter and maintain a state of gratitude? By telling yourself the things you are grateful for.

If you are walking then you are alive, living, in good health, and have the opportunity to do the things you love with people who you love. If you are in a funk, or dealing with a hard time in your life like the death of a pet or a relative, you can STILL practice gratitude.

Read this article if this describes your current state of mind.

 

Now What?:

Now you have the initial building blocks to start slimming down for those beach days and pool parties! All you have to do is put them to the test!

If you are looking for more tips and workouts that will help you push to be better, then please subscribe to our newsletter where once a week we provide the most valuable information for how you can be healthier physically, mentally, and spiritually!

If you have any tips or tricks that you know, feel free to join us on Facebook or Instagram and join our #GOActiveFamily where we are all on board with helping each other crush our goals!

Finally, if you are ready to started right now, then let us help you stay hydrated with on of our Fitness Active Grip insulated water bottles that are specifically designed to be used for a workout!