For many of you, your summer holiday is just around the corner. You have probably been planning to hit the gym and get in shape so you look great in that bikini or speedo’s (please don’t wear speedo’s). If you are not completely happy with how you look it could have a big impact on your holiday.
We have put together a few nutrition tips to help you tighten things up before you go on holiday. Don’t worry, you still have enough time and if you stick to these tips you can get some great results.
1) Abs are made in the kitchen
The key to getting a flat stomach or ripped abs all comes down to what you put in your mouth. An approach we advise many to follow is an 80:20 rule. 80% diet and 20% exercise. No matter how hard you are working in the gym, you cant out train a bad diet. The next few tips on here will help you ensure you diet is in ship shape.
2) The 80:20 or 90:10 rule??
The 80:20 rule is very common when it comes to just dieting. Most will say to make sure that you eat 80% healthy clean food and then you can afford to be a little more flexible the other 20% of the time.
For me, this is a little too loose. I personally try and follow a 90:10 rule. This means that 90% of the time my diet is strict and I eat for my goals, leaving the final 10% of my diet to be more flexible and filled with things I tend to crave. I find that the 90:10 rule produces much better results.
3) Calorie cycling
Calorie cycling involves changing the amount of calories you consume on a daily basis. This is a great tool for those looking to drop body fat. By allowing your metabolism to constantly adjust to your dietary routine it prevents it from slowing down and taking it easy, which is a large factor in why many of us struggle to lose weight.
For maximum weight loss eat a calorie deficit for 5 days (300kcal) on and one day off. At first you might find this difficult and crave sugary foods on that one day off. Remember why you are doing this and stay focused. On that one day off try and use those extra calories for good nutritious foods that will help you achieve your goals.
4) Consume plenty of protein
Protein is essential when trying to change your body composition. When trying to lose fat one thing you really don’t want to sacrifice is the amount of lean muscle mass you already have. Maintaining lean muscle mass will give you that lean look many are after. Consuming plenty of protein will help you achieve this. A protein rich diet will also help suppress hunger levels and fuel your metabolism to keep turning over calories. Try and aim for around 1.6-2g per kg of body weight.
5) Plan your meals.
Meal planning and preparation is a key component to changing your body composition. We suggest that whatever you do, ensure your breakfast is correct. Make your first meal of the day a high protein meal and avoid sugary carbohydrates. This will set you up well for the rest of the day and prevent you from craving sugar.
Planning the rest of the meals you consume that day will also stop you from reaching for certain foods/products which are not going to help you achieve the look you want.
Staying hydrated is very important, especially in the hot weather. Water will help suppress your hunger levels and liquids such as green tea and coffee have great thermogenic capabilities. These will help ramp up your metabolism and keep you burning calories. Just remember to not over do it on the coffee.
7) Eat natural foods
Put all your focus into eating foods from the earth. If it comes in a packet with an ingredients list longer than your arm, do not put it in your mouth. Real foods do not require an ingredients list, they are the ingredient. If you stick to consuming single ingredient foods you will find you achieve much better results in a quicker tine frame.
8) Add some flavor
Instead of drowning your salad in a dressing full of calories, use some tasty spices on your food to add some great flavor. Cinnamon, ginger and chilli are great alternatives. They are low in calories and great for firing up your metabolism.
9) Consume plenty of fibre
Ensuring you eat plenty of colourful, leafy veg and not only full of great nutrition, but provide loads of fibre. Keeping you fuller for longer, firbe is an essential nutrient. It will help sustain blood sugar levels and keep your gut healthy.
10) Enjoy your food
Experiment with the foods you cook. Adding spices, lots of colour and plenty of variety will keep you interested in sticking to the plan. Don’t think that to produce results you need to stick to same old boring foods day in, day out. This is a very old school way of looking at things. Have fun, experiment with your food and enjoy what you eat. Remember you need to make this a lifestyle and not a quick fix.