Spring Break is getting closer and closer, but before you head off to a sunny destination, you’re likely wondering how you’re going to get your body ready in time. While there isn’t a lot of time left, you can still do a lot to tone up and slim down before you have to dig that bathing suit out of your drawer.
Though you may be inclined to try an extreme fad diet in the hopes of getting huge results, resist the urge. It will only do you harm in the long run and will cause the weight to rebound (and bring extra pounds long with it). Instead, use the following steps to make sure you’re ahead by the time spring break rolls around, and that you’re even more ready once summertime is here.
1. Water, water, water!
Keeping hydrated may not seem like much but it should become your top priority. This doesn’t mean to drown yourself in water until you feel like you’re sloshing every time you walk. However, it does mean that you should try to keep your sodium levels down and your water intake up where it should be. Keep a water bottle or a glass of water with you at all times. Make drinking a glass of water the first thing you do in the morning, even before you get out of bed. It will shrink your appetite, boost your body’s function and fat burning, enhance your digestion and give you a ton of energy.
2. Snack smart
Snacking mid-morning, mid-afternoon and in the evening are all perfectly acceptable activities. When done right, they can actually encourage more effective fat burning. However, the key is to make the right choices. Opt for foods that are nutrient dense, high in fiber and low in calories. They’ll fill you up and give your body more of what it needs without packing on the calories.
3. Gradually increase fiber
If you’re like most people, you’re not getting enough fiber every day. Fortunately, fiber helps with weight loss in many ways, so this is a great excuse to correct that nutrition problem. Gradually add more fiber rich foods to your diet like vegetables, fruits and whole grains. The fiber moves slowly through your digestive system, so it makes you feel full for a longer period of time. It also is vital to regular bowel movements and for blood sugar level control. This means that it’s fantastic for reducing bloating (and constipation) while avoiding mood swings, cravings and a sluggish metabolism. Just make sure not to add too much fiber all at once or you’ll be trapped in the bathroom until spring break is over!
4. Get up and move
It doesn’t matter how busy you are between now and spring break. Every single day (Every. Single. Day.) get up and move for at least a half hour. You need four days of cardio, two days of strength training and at least one day of flexibility training (such as Pilates or yoga) per week.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’ll never achieve your maximum weight management potential. Sleep is just as vital as diet and exercise but never gets as much attention. Make a priority of sleep every night at least until spring break (and hopefully over the long term) if you want the most efficient weight loss and muscle toning.