Does swimwear season send you into a mass panic? Well, it’s not surprising you nodded your head as we spend most of the year in layers. But, if you think that a crash diet and last-minute HIIT sessions at the gym are the only way to get your body confidence levels up before the beach unveiling, STOP! Simple swaps will help you reach your personal goals and you are more likely to stick to them rather than embarking on a quick-fix plan.
We’ve curated the best diet tips and toning exercises to help you trim and hone your desired physique in a healthy way. No fads here, just facts.
Cut Down on Fatty Foods
Let’s make one thing clear. There’s such thing as ‘good fats’ like avocado, almonds and tuna. By ‘fatty foods’ we mean the bad fats. It’s the glazed donut that tempted you on the way home from work or the Friday night trip to the chippie. It’s best to simply cut back on the junk food to help you combat the bloat.
Snacking is not the enemy here, in fact snacking is a food hack for some. Healthy snacking can help keep your hunger cravings under control until your next meal and stop you overindulging when meal time does come around. It’s the food that you snack on that’s key. Avoid sugary chocolate bars and carb-loaded munchies and instead reach for a banana, a handful of nuts, hard-boiled egg or bowl of fruit-topped porridge.
Put a Ban on Booze
That glass of wine may be calling your name at the end of the working day but it’s no surprise top tipples are responsible for racking up the calories. It’s best to cut down completely a couple of weeks before a holiday – again to help battle the bloat.
Eat more protein
It’s not just bodybuilders that can feel the gain from protein-rich products. Take your cue from the super sculpted and introduce additional protein into your diet with the help of supplementary snacks. More protein means less cravings for sugary or savoury snacks after meals as the body is more satisfied. It also helps keep metabolisms running and blood sugar levels stable.
Maximise your core strength and tone up your look at the same time, with these toning exercises that’ll sculpt your silhouette. Use a combination of reps or work on one muscle group – the choice is yours.
Arms: Triceps Extension
This works both the triceps and the back of your shoulders, perfect for baring all in the summer months.
Choose lightweight dumbbells – around 2-3 pounds for each arm. Get into a lunge position, with a weight in each hand, and place your back heel on the ground. Lean over your front bent knee while lifting your arm straight by your side with the weight facing the ceiling. Lift the weight up by about an inch, without swinging the arm. Repeat x 30 on each side.
Stomach: Side Plank
If the hourglass silhouette is your desired shape, then this exercise will get to work defining your waist line and will also work your abs.
Using a mat – for maximum comfort – lie on your side, propped up by your elbow with your knees straight. Raise your hips until you have an elongated position and hold for 30 seconds at a time. Repeat on the other side.
Legs & Bum: Two-Thirds Jump Squat
While squatting and deadlifts are the bread and butter of toning this area, this tweak on the classic movement will target your hamstrings and quads.
Stand feet shoulder-width apart. Dip into a classic squat, going two-thirds down. Instead of holding the position, jump straight up with arms to the ceiling. When you land go back to the same position and repeat. Do 3 sets of 20 reps.
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