Aaron Savvy, ACSM Certified Trainer
I failed last summer. What tips can you give me now to ensure my body looks great by summer? —Thomas, Silver Lake
Here are 10 tips you can apply and use to feel a little more confident in showing off your body this summer.
1. Drink Water. Drinking water is crucial to keep your body hydrated, your complexion looking good and, most importantly, to keep your whole central nervous system in working order. Drinking water also acts as a cleanser and diuretic, allowing you to shed weight quickly. I suggest drinking a minimum of four liters of water a day. If you are fairly active, a gallon of water a day is suggested.
2. Avoid Alcohol. Avoiding alcohol will save you big time. You are avoiding a bunch of calories that add zero nutritional value to your health. Drinking alcohol will not only dehydrate you but will act as a sponge preventing your body from absorbing any nutrients from your food.
3. No hard carbohydrates after 4 p.m. Avoiding carbohydrates like breads, pastas, potatoes and rice after 4 p.m. will help you shed unwanted body fat. Fueling your body earlier in the day will ensure you have energy to get you through both your workout and workday. Healthy carbohydrates include oatmeal, sweet potato and brown rice. As evening falls, we have a tendency to slow down, meaning carbs can easily convert into fat.
4. Exercise. Did you see this one coming? Yes, combining both weight training and cardio will ensure optimal results. I suggest training four to five days per week, 60 minutes of weight training and 30-45 minutes of cardio for each day. Weight training will allow you to still burn calories well after your workout, while cardio will ensure you burn twice as many calories in the shortest amount of time.
5. Sleep. Most of us lack the sleep our body needs. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night will ensure our metabolism is in full operative working order. Lack of sleep (six hours or less) makes it difficult for the body to re-energize and replenish itself. In the end, our metabolism slows down holding onto every calorie, resulting in unwanted body fat.
6. Avoid high-saturated fatty foods. Fried foods, beef, desserts and fast food restaurants are just a few items to avoid when wanting to slim down. The goal is to eat clean—consuming lean meats, grains, fruits and vegetables. Also, avoid eating dairy, which will bloat the body.
7. Tan up. Tanning will help enhance and bring out muscle definition, and spray tans work great.
8. Say no to salt. Avoid adding salt or consuming salty foods. Consuming more than 1,500 grams of sodium a day can result in added water retention and a puffy look to your body.
9. Fat burners. If you are exercising and eating well, consuming a fat burner will assist in getting rid of that last little bit of body fat. If you are sensitive to caffeine, purchase a fat burner without caffeine.
10. Hit the NOX. If you want to have a vascular look, I suggest taking nitric oxide to help open up and dilate the veins, allowing more blood flow and increasing muscle pump. For best results, take nitric oxide 30-45 minutes on an empty stomach prior to working out. This will ensure optimal results in vascularity.