Six Steps To Your Best Summer Body
It’s shredding season! Warm weather has a strange effect on us Brits – prompting us to head to the beach as soon as there’s a slight stretch of blue sky. When the sunnies come out and the tops come off, make sure you’re beach ready this summer with these 6 best-body tips…
1) Start early
The earlier you start your summer shred, the better. The more rapid and ‘crash’ a diet is, the costlier it will prove to both your physique and mental well-being. A crash diet may result in pounds being shed, but in doing so you are also likely to sacrifice a lot of muscle tissue. The ends do not justify the means here.
A more gradual process with small, incremental steps can safely protect the muscle mass that you worked so hard during the off-season to gain. In addition to this, you can also continue to be flexible with your diet while enjoying your food – without drastically cutting anything out like you would have to do with more short-term diet plans. The key to any successful diet is adherence – if you can stick to it, your body will thank you.
This is also the perfect time to train in a group, with the days getting longer, warmer weather and more people outside, furthermore training as part of a team has many benefits but by far the best one has to be that you will be more likely to stick to it and form a better lifestyle. A team can be anything from a walking club to a local sports team and who knows you may even find yourself joining on a sports tour!
2) Have a plan
Don’t just wing it and hope for the best. The chances of you just stumbling across your ideal fat loss programme are slim – there’s a much greater chance you won’t make sufficient progress. Take the time to calculate your optimal calorie intake, as well as your ideal macronutrient ratio (proteins, carbohydrates and fats). Here is a quick formula you can apply:
Example for a moderately active male that weighs 80kg:
- Protein: 2g per kilo of bodyweight = 160g
- Carbs: 3g per kilo of bodyweight = 240g
- Fat: 0.6g per kilo of bodyweight = 48g
When calculating calories, remember that protein and carbs are generally 4 calories per gram, with fats around 9 calories. Total calories: protein (640 cals) + carbs (960 cals) + fats (432 cals) = 2032 calories. This is only a very basic figure. Don’t forget that figures will differ based on body weight, body fat percentage and activity level.
Want to know more about how much protein you should consume? Read this in-depth article written by Reflex Nutrition Athlete Dr Emil Goliath.
3) Rest up and recover
When looking to lose weight, the impulse is often to ‘smash the gym’ with every fibre of your being. You need your intense training sessions, of course, but you also need to remember the importance of sleep and recovery to body composition goals (muscle gain + fat loss).
For most people, it is optimal to get around 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Sufficient amounts of deep sleep can help your body to produce natural testosterone and growth hormone, helping to protect muscle tissue while also ensuring the body utilises fat for fuel. A study at the University of Chicago found that reduced sleep over a 7-day period could reduce testosterone levels by up to 10%.
4) Don’t forget fibre
The right ratio of calories and macros is certainly pivotal to succeeding with any diet plan. Within that, many people make the error of focussing too much on proteins, carbs and fats – forgetting that fibre intake is hugely important. Firstly, fibre can help you feel fuller for longer. It also takes longer to digest when compared to carb sources that are more rapidly digested into the bloodstream. The following foods are rich in fibre:
- Whole wheat pasta
- Certain fruits (apples & pears for example)
These kinds of food also contain a relatively high proportion of muscle protecting protein, too. Failing that, you can supplement with fibre through liquids or a product such as psyllium husks.
There is a great article on the importance of dietary fibre and maintaining a healthy gut.
5) Measure your progress
In this day and age, people tend to measure their fitness progress by way of sticking a cheeky selfie up on social media and seeing how many likes it rakes in. There are arguably more accurate ways of assessment. Weigh yourself once a week, first thing in the morning.
There are people who obsess over weighing themselves every single day, sometimes numerous times a day. Any changes noted within a given day are likely going to stem from food intake and water manipulation. A once-weekly weigh-in offers a far more accurate representation of your fat loss.
You also need to make use of your gym facilities. Most reputable gyms offer body fat assessments, often as part of a general membership. Most PTs in commercial gyms should also be equipped to measure your subcutaneous fat (fat visible on the body) and levels of visceral fat (within the body, surrounding organs).
6) Pick the right supplements
A calorie deficit is the main driver behind fat loss. It doesn’t matter what fat burners you’ve purchased – if you aren’t burning off more calories than you take in, then losing weight won’t happen. Before you go splashing the cash on expensive supps, work out which ones will actually benefit you. Here a few proven nutrition and performance aids wouldn’t go amiss:
Caffeine: a hot cup of Joe can help to prolong the amount of exercise performed at a high intensity. It also suppresses the use of carbs for fuel, helping to increase lipolysis (fat burning).
Green tea: the catechins present in green tea can help boost fat loss. Green tea also possesses similar thermic effects to caffeine.
Fish oil: if you’re not already eating much oily fish, then supplementing with fish oil is imperative. Research continues to reinforce the effects of fish oil’s essential fatty acids (EFAs) to a variety of processes such as heart and cognitive function, joint health and carbohydrate breakdown. The latter is particularly important in the context of fat loss.
As always Team CSN are here to help, call or email us today and we can give you professional, unbiased advice on all your nutrition and supplement needs.