Summer is one of my favourite times of year, but this year more than ever I feel utterly unprepared for it, from the extra pounds which are covering my hips and thighs, to my transparent skin that hasn’t seen daylight in a seriously long time, to my wardrobe that seems to have transformed into a knitwear store … Spring Summer has hit me with a shock. When I was younger (oh how much I miss being an early twenty something) weight would drop off in a second, and finding summer clothes was almost too easy … now the opposite couldn’t be more true. Pounds are harder to shift, I can’t seem to find spring clothing that’s both modest, flattering and comfortable, and i now feel the need to ‘prepare’ for summer (something i’d never before really needed to do).
And so with my decision to get summer style ready, I thought i’d outline a few steps that are going to help me get there, which might help you too prepare your body and wardrobe for summer dressing.
The spring and summer months are all about getting back to basics with quick and simple meals. And the abundance of healthy, seasonal fresh foods means that they are often even more affordable.
Start your day with a delicious breakfast smoothie packed with colourful summer fruits and vegetables such as rhubarb, strawberries and blueberries. Enjoy refreshing salads with seasonal asparagus, broad beans, cucumber, and leafy greens such as spinach. Choose refreshing snacks such as melons which contain more than 90% water and so hydrate the body. Plus, all of these are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and so provide many health benefits.
If you break out the barbecue, marinade meats before you add them to the grill to reduce the level of cancer-risk chemicals that are produced during barbecuing. For even greater health benefits, produce your own marinade with herbs, spices, vinegars and olive oil.
Find your ideal weight
Finding your ideal weight is all about feeling good. If you want to lose a few excess pounds gained over the winter period then it’s best to start now to see the most benefits by the time summer arrives. Start by drinking wisely. Enjoy the occasional margarita or beer, but try to go without alcohol five nights a week.
Some people find intermittent fasting beneficial for weight loss. Cut back on sugar by keeping added sugar to no more than 10% of your daily calories, and be aware of the types of carbs you are consuming. Unrefined carbs such as oats, brown rice and wholemeal bread can offer many health benefits. In contrast, refined white carbs such as white bread and white rice should be avoided as they trigger spikes in insulin levels which increase fat accumulation.
If you struggle with cravings for sugars or carbs, try a glucomannan supplement. This valuable source of natural fiber reduces hunger by gently expanding in the stomach and balancing blood sugar levels. Finally, don’t drop your routine as soon as summer arrives. For the best results, adopt these tips as part of your lifestyle and continue eating well and taking care of yourself throughout the summer.
The arrival of the warmer weather is the perfect incentive to step away from the gym and head outside. Just fifteen minutes of daily exercise can be beneficial, but for fast results combine a mixture of cardio and toning exercises to target problem areas such as the stomach, thighs, or bingo wings. If you’re not a fan of traditional exercising, try a brisk walk in the park or join a local class.
It’s important to acclimatise to the heat by gradually increasing the intensity of your workouts as you adapt to the conditions. The hotter the weather, the harder your body has to work, so on extra hot days either reduce your speed or shorten your workout. You may find it easier to exercise in the morning before temperatures reach their peak or head to the comfort of an air-conditioned gym.
With the heat, you will also need lightweight, breathable clothing that pulls moisture away from your skin and helps you stay cool. Drinks something cold before, during and after exercise to cool the body down, stay hydrated and replenish electrolytes lost through sweat. However you choose to exercise, start now so that you have a well-established routine by the time summer comes around.