Summer-body

Get Bikini Ready With A High Protein Diet

With spring just around the corner you might be starting to think about that summer body. Chances are, if you’re anything like me, warming, winter comfort foods got the better of you over the last few months and extra kilos around the abdomen have been accrued.

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While winter weight gain isn’t uncommon, it’s not particularly healthy – especially if you are storing it around your mid-section. And while you can exercise your butt off, the problem generally lies with your eating habits; this is where a diet high in protein can help.

“High protein foods are shown to prolong satiety, meaning that you feel more satisfied for longer and are less likely to over-eat,” dietician and nutritionist for IsoWhey, Belinda Reynolds, told SHESAID. “When on a weight loss program they are useful as they promote the maintenance of lean muscle mass and help to promote the loss of fat.

“High protein foods also tend to have a lower glycaemic index, meaning that any sugar from the meal is released into the blood at a more steady pace, reducing the risk of sugar cravings and energy slumps that see you reaching for the wrong type of food as a pick-me-up,” she added.

While you might associate a high-protein diet with eating beef mince for breakfast and chicken and broccoli for lunch, this is hardly the case. In fact, there are loads of creative and tasty ways that you can incorporate more protein into your day, without going OTT.

Belinda says: “Tins of tuna or salmon can be a good… while edamame beans, sacha inchi seeds and sunflower seeds can be ideal options also. You can also get creative and make chia seed puddings (e.g. chia seeds soaked in almond milk with a little vanilla extract and greek yoghurt, berries and other seeds added – this option is high in fibre also).

“Consider too, celery with nut butter or carrot/celery with hummus, and wholegrain crisp bread with avocado and smoked salmon.”

If you are trying to trim down in time for the summer months, keep in mind that high protein foods still contain calories and over indulging will compromise your goals, says Reynolds. You still need to take into account portion sizes – especially when eating foods such as nuts – and it’s important to “take into account your individual dietary needs.”

“Be sure to include a variety of different snacks and also aim for a majority of your diet to be made of plant-based foods,” she advises. “The reason for this is that a wide variety of different proteins provides a nice combination of different amino acids, essential fats, fibre, essential micro-nutrients and other beneficial compounds.

“Amino acids provided by protein are essential for a plethora of functions in the body including muscle maintenance, hair, skin and nail health, detoxification, mood health, the production of enzymes, energy, metabolism…the list goes on!”

So what’s the ideal amount of protein to include in your diet? “Aiming to consume 0.8-1g protein per kilogram of body-weight is ideal,” recommends Belinda, however she also points out that this increases with more physical activity.

Image via Shutterstock

August 14, 2015

How To Get A Flat Belly For Summer

Since it is summer time, the number one thing everyone wants for a bikini-ready body is a flat stomach. This can only be achieved by regular exercise and a healthy diet, but sometimes it isn’t enough to control where any unwanted fat can go!

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Try the following tips to tone-up your abdominals, de-bloat your belly and to help you keep healthy all-year round.

Water

Drink between 8-10 glasses of water each day to flush the system from harmful toxins. This is essential if you want to burn fat and cleanse your body from the inside out.

Fat-burning foods

There are a variety of foods to incorporate into your diet which can actually help to burn body fat. They include ‘good fats’ such as avocado, olive oil, and hummus; all of which are tasty and easy to snack on.

Protein

Foods rich in protein are ideal since they help to keep the body feeling nourished for longer. Eggs, fish and lean meat are all great options because they actually decrease the level of fat and promote muscle growth. Make sure your diet is balanced, however, and never cut out a particular food group without the advise of your doctor.

Green tea

Sipping on green tea after meals is another great way to speed-up your metabolism and help the body to de-bloat.

Foods to avoid

As a general rule, it’s best to avoid foods which contain refined sugar and carbohydrates since they don’t benefit the body in any particular way. Choose whole grain options over white bread and substitute refined sugars for something simple like a fruit.

Abdominal exercises

Try a few of these exercises which will tone your abdominal muscles and help keep any excess fat away from your belly! Combined with a healthy diet, it’s the best way to workout if you don’t have time on your side.

Side plank

How To Get A Flat Belly For Summer

Feet up crunch

How To Get A Flat Belly For Summer

Plank

How To Get A Flat Belly For Summer

Bicycle crunch

How To Get A Flat Belly For Summer

Images via Gym Flow 100, Womens Health Mag

July 6, 2015

Why You Should Start Working On Your Summer Body Now

Summer has just passed us here in Australia and it’s coming around soon for those in the northern hemisphere. But while you may have slacked off as autumn hit and put away your bikinis, you shouldn’t let yourself go just because the weather is getting colder. In fact, you should be working on your summer body all year round.

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When the seasons change, it’s human nature to get out our sweats and slodge around the house after work, snacking on comfort food and snuggling under soft blankets while watching Sex and the City re-runs. Or is that just me? Hibernation often seems like the best option to survive autumn and winter, and when the warmer months come around, we have to really push ourselves to be bikini ready in time for the pool party or beach trip.

Around the same time each year, respective to your hemisphere, magazines will bring out articles about how to get your perfect summer body within a matter of weeks, but how realistic is that? Maybe if you didn’t eat the whole time. And is that going to be a long term result? Probably not, because you will switch back into the same cycle that you do every year.

This is exactly why we need to start working on our summer bodies right now. Whatever time of year it is, we need to continuously hit the gym, so we can feel and look fabulous, so we won’t have to go on a dramatic diet to shrink down come summer.

Personal trainer and Fitness On Toast blogger Faya Nilsson agrees that when summer comes, we’re compelled to pursue unattainable deadlines that are set at certain times during the year for special events such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas and the summer months.

working on your summer body year round

“This typically involves radically changing your entire fitness regime, nutrition requirements and social life. But with 4 weeks until holiday, do you want to be a monk, shun dinner with friends, go teetotal, spend every spare moment on the treadmill, eat lettuce religiously and remove all fun from life?” she asks.

As a personal trainer, Faya knows all too well how we often seek quick fixes for special events that just don’t work because they are unrealistic, short term plans. Knowing that developing and maintaining a great bikini body is hard work, Faya encourages everyone to start working on their goal bodies with plenty of time to spare.

“This will guarantee you can have a life but actually make slow, steady progress towards your goal. Eat and enjoy wholesome foods with nutritional purpose and delicious flavour. Watch your body grow stronger – lift heavier, run faster, recover quicker. You can sculpt your body and ultimately the results you feel and see over time are more likely to stay with you over time because they become habits. A short term push has an end date in mind, beyond which you probably relinquish all of your progress!”

By creating good habits, you’re more likely to succeed and keep up your fabulous special event body all year round. Not only is this more sustainable, but it’s better for your body than a continuous yoyo diet. By taking things slow, you can really appreciate the results your body is giving you from your dedication and you’ll feel much better than depriving yourself for a month, only to binge afterwards and see your hard work disappear.

Faya says that starting your summer body early and keeping it up all year round is a much more realistic approach than changing your whole life for one month and then slipping back into old habits. Instead, new, healthier habits will be created and your goal will be much easier to reach.

“The final month push is fine too, but you’ll be starting from a higher base, and are more likely to achieve your target result!” Faya encourages.

summer body, workout, year round

After all, a balanced lifestyle is much easier to maintain than an extreme fitness and diet plan that will only last for two to four weeks. Start living happily and healthy and your body will show the results.

This is just the motivation we need to keep up our fitness routines as the evenings get colder and the mornings get darker. Plus, a great excuse to buy a few new pairs of tights for our winter workout wardrobe.

Images via fitnessontoast.com

March 29, 2015