They say summer bodies are made in the winter. For some of you, spring came out of nowhere and you’re slightly freaking out about the thought of wearing shorts and a tank, or – wait for it – a swimsuit!
Don’t throw your hands up and commit to cover-ups and a summer of dread. There’s still time to get that summer bod you’ve had your heart set on. Spoiler: there is no magic bullet here, so get ready to go hard.
It will take the right mindset, intentional workouts, and careful food choices to pull this off. But don’t panic, because we’re here to help.
Brace yourself; summer is coming.
Prepare For Battle
The thought of shedding your winter weight fast can cause you to panic. Don’t go crazy by overdoing it in the gym and throwing out everything your pantry.
Let’s first assess where you are now and how far you are from your summer body goals.
If you’re so close you can taste it, turn it up a notch with your workout routine and tighten up your food choices a bit. If you’re so far away you’re already feeling discouraged, prepare your mind for this battle. It’s going to take a lot of hard work to reach your goals – it’ll require stepping outside your comfort zone to get the results you’re after.
Achieving your fitness goals is partly hard work but also partly mindset. If you go into this thinking there’s no way you’ll reach your summer body dreams, you won’t get there. So take some time to prepare yourself for the work ahead. Once you’re ready to embrace it – looking at inspirational photos can help! – it’s time to go to war.
Go To War
Getting toned up in a few short months is impossible without the right workouts, the right quantity of workouts, and some gold old-fashioned encouragement.
High-Intensity Interval Training
HIIT, or High-Intensity Interval Training – is your golden ticket to shedding weight and building muscle mass fast.
HIIT is a training technique that blends intense, all-out effort with short, active recovery periods. For example, you might sprint for 20 seconds and walk for 10 seconds for a total of 8 sets. You can do this on/off method with any kind of exercise – bodyweight movements, small weights, etc.
The beauty of HIIT for fast weight loss is what we call the afterburn effect. After you do a high-intensity workout with very short resting periods, your body starts consuming more oxygen to restore, repair, and adapt. (The fancy word for this is Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC.)
During EPOC, your body burns more calories than it normally does. This ramps up your metabolism and helps you achieve a calorie deficit, which is the key to losing weight.
That afterburn effect may last up to 24 hours after your HIIT workout, and studies have also shown that HIIT can increase fat burn. In fact, compared to regular cardio, HIIT may actually burn up to 9x more fat (ScienceDirect).
Five times per week
In order to achieve your summer body, you need to be doing at least 5 workouts per week. No excuses! Consistency is going to be a huge factor in whether you can reach your goals in the time crunch.
You might find that getting to the gym in the morning keeps you motivated, particularly in the winter and spring months. Beyond starting your day off right and avoiding the dread of yet another thing after work, exercising in the morning can help you eat healthier for the rest of the day.
One additional way to keep yourself accountable? Consider a challenge. Whether it’s a 12-week plan or 30 days of squats, those who thrive off of competing might enjoy making this summer bod goal a real challenge!
Get in a group
Group classes work wonders for keeping you accountable and giving you the instruction you need. They can also push you to keep going – are you really going to be the one person in the class who just gives up? No way!
When I was first introduced to group classes, the entire composition of my body changed in just 90 days – and that was going twice per week. I highly encourage you to look into a group fitness class if you want to get in shape for the summer.
A huge benefit of going to a group class? You don’t have to map out a workout routine or hire a personal trainer. Just show up.
Read more: Exercise Is Better Together
Work out online
If you can’t make it to the gym (new moms, I’m looking at you!), consider working out online.
Here at McClure Fitness, we offer a group exercise class environment online. It’s not just a collection of videos – each program is designed with a series of classes to help you get the summer body you’ve been dying to have.
The videos are recorded live during real classes at McClure Fitness, and you can watch and participate with any device, anywhere.
If you can’t come in for the real thing, working out online is a great option.
Stay the Course
Exercise – particularly HIIT – is going to help you reach your summer bod goals. But poor food choices can derail all of your hard work.
I’m personally all about balance, but if it’s go-time, I get pretty strict.
Keep your pantry clean
It’s easy to make poor food choices when bad decisions are pulling at you from the back of the pantry. Prep your kitchen by making it easy to make great food choices.
Keep a bowl of fruit on the counter, chop up some snacking veggies, and keep nuts and seeds on the ready. Don’t buy cookies and chips if you can’t resist them easily. If that’s not possible, tell your spouse or children to hide any of their snacks that might ruin your efforts.
Go for protein
High-protein snacks after your workout can help your muscles repair and build. Some great choices include:
- Greek yogurt
- Hard-boiled egg
- Protein shake
- Cottage cheese
Create an evening cutoff time
Late-night snacking can ruin your entire day of healthy eating. Create a cutoff time at, say 7pm, where you will not eat anything else for the rest of the night.
It can help to set a strict boundary like that, but be sure to tell your family. They can keep you on board if they see you raiding the fridge at 9pm.
Eat eggs for breakfast
Eggs are the perfect breakfast food due to their protein content and balance of essential amino acids. They are incredible for keeping you full and staving off cravings throughout the day.
Start your day out right by cooking up some scrambled eggs (or however you enjoy them!).
Say goodbye to restaurants
While there are always exceptions, for the most part, eating out isn’t ideal. When you cook yourself, you know exactly what’s going into your meals, and you also benefit from saving some serious cash!
Start packing a lunch to help you shed weight fast in time for summer. A quick tip is to make extra dinner so that you have leftovers for lunch the next day.
Drink more water
Sip on water throughout the day to make sure you’re not eating when you’re really just thirsty. Drinking water before a meal can actually help you consume fewer calories.
You might also consider having a broth-based soup for lunch or an appetizer. Scientists at Pennsylvania State University found that people who ate broth-based (or low-fat cream-based) soups two times a day were more successful in losing weight than those who ate the same amount of calories in snack food (Shape).
Your Summer Body Is In Sight
If you are serious about getting your summer body, McClure Fitness can support you in every way necessary. Whether it’s keeping you on track with our helpful articles or giving you access to an online group class environment, we want to help you reach your goals for the summer!
As long as you’re prepared to do the work – and you take it seriously – I’m confident you will succeed.
Other articles you might like: