Need some ways to start working on your summer body in spring? I know what you’re thinking, “it's only February! How dare you try to strip my Netflix and winter snacks from me this early!” And I am here to tell you, I’m not! Spring break is coming up for you college gals, after that Easter, and before you know it you’re going to be blinded by racks of skin-tight, neon swimsuits on your next Target run. College girl or not, I’m not here to tell you to start choking down brown rice and veggies. However, I do have some simple, (mostly) painless tips that’ll make you looser in the jeans before it’s time to bust out your high waisted shorts and crop tops. So here are the best ways to start working on your summer body in spring.
Eating breakfast is one of the best ways to start working on your summer body in spring. I know it’s super easy to skip breakfast. You’re busy, not hungry in the morning, or your Starbucks caramel iced coffee is all you need. This is a huge mistake. I know you guys have probably heard this before, but breakfast is seriously important, not just for your energy levels but for your weight. You should make breakfast your biggest meal of the day and here’s why:
You’ll burn those calories off more than any other meal of the day because you’re just starting your day.
Having a hearty breakfast will keep you from scarfing down a big lunch. A big meal in the middle of the day can make you feel sluggish. You’re gonna feel more energized for the rest of your day.
A filling breakfast doesn’t have to be time-consuming. I get it, who has time to make eggs, turkey sausage, etc. in the morning? I have to run to an office job first thing in the morning, I don’t have time to make an elaborate breakfast. Make something you can take with you. I like overnight oats, or hard boiled eggs with cottage cheese and fruit, maybe a hearty protein shake with a banana, spinach, and chia seeds added to it. Anything substantial that’s gonna keep you full for awhile.
2. DON’T DIET. PORTION
I know there are diets out there that genuinely work for some women. Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach, the list goes on and on. I do not have the discipline to ‘diet’ per se. However, I’ve found that I do have the discipline to stretch my meals out. What I mean is, I’ll get a turkey club and chili for lunch and put half of it away, right away. I do this with whatever I'm craving. I will stretch out something I like into 2 meals, so I don’t feel deprived, and so I’m not eating 2 high-calorie meals in a day. I do this with pizza, big macs, chicken tenders, anything and everything.
This works best if you’re not scarfing down your halved portion too fast. Take a minute midway through and scroll through your favorite blog, or watch your favorite YouTuber. A lot of diet books would kill me for saying this because you’re typically told to be mindful and not focused on other stuff while you’re eating. I find when I break up my eating time with Instagram scrolling or checking my email, I realize that I feel satisfied by the time I’m finished eating. Keyword satisfied, not full.
Feeling full isn’t the goal, feeling comfortably satisfied is. If you like what you’re eating, you’ll be excited to finish the rest later. Also, do not eat out of boredom. This is so easy to do. When you’re going to reach for something but aren’t sure if you’re actually hungry or not, ask yourself, “would I eat an apple or baby carrots right now?” If not, you probably are bored and not hungry.
3. CUT SUGARY DRINKS
I know this one is tough for a lot of people. But, those colas, juices, and Starbucks can really add up to a lot of empty calories over the course of a day. I know you’ve all probably heard "drink water! Stay hydrated!" beat into your heads over and over again, but it is important in looking good and feeling good. If you absolutely must drink sweet drinks, drink diet. Try to find diet drinks with stevia instead of aspartame. Also, try to drink coffee with almond milk and stevia in the morning instead of an over the top coffee shop drink.
4. SWEAT (at LEAST a LITTLE)
Find a workout you don’t hate, and do a half hour every day (after a while you’ll wanna do more). If you don't have the time on a particular day, take a walk or go up and down the stairs a few times. You should find not only a strength training type of workout that tones your muscles but also a form of cardio you like, too. I have always wanted to like spinning and goat cheese. Every few months I’ll try to pick one of them back up, only to be disappointed yet again.
Every time I do a spin class I’m miserable and counting down the minutes until it’s over. The shouting instructor, the show-offs in the front who seem to hit every RPM in perfect sync, and my shaking quads are all a recipe for personal misery. If you find yourself absolutely dreading a workout, don’t do it. Yes you’re supposed to be sore, yes it shouldn’t be too easy, but you should also feel like you’re not gonna pass out or puke while you’re doing it.
Spinning might not be my thing, but I love Zumba! I also love working out at home. YouTube is your friend. Use it for finding workouts you like. I like pilates and barre-style strength training, and dance or 80s jazzercise type cardio. I’ll skim through videos first to be sure that it’s not a workout that’s going to be too overwhelming for me. Set aside 20 to 30 minutes to do something you like. Keep it realistic.
5. The RIGHT MINDSET
Lastly, don’t go into these changes thinking ‘I’m gonna make myself look like a skinny Instagram model.” Keep your focus on doing something healthy and positive for yourself. Eating a little better and exercising has a lot of non-physical benefits as well. Focus on how you feel. Exercise makes us naturally happier, gives us better sleep, and helps us sustain more energy throughout the day.
Don’t start out thinking about how skinny you’re going to get, that’s just going to discourage you when you don’t look like Kendall Jenner in 2 weeks. Take note of your mental changes, and general feelings of well being. Also, when you have a bad day and overeat, don’t think that you’ve ruined everything. We all have bad days, we all overeat, pick up again tomorrow and start over. Be gentle with yourself.