10 Weeks to Summer: Seven Habit Changes to Help You Burn Fat
Being fit and lean is a good thing at any time of year, but there’s something extra alluring about feeling confident on the beach in the height of summer, as waves crash in the background, the sun beaming down from overhead.
Luckily, there’s still a little while left before the sunny season rolls around again. Why lucky? Well, because it means you’ve still got time to trim, of course.
Here are a seven habit changes you can make now, to help you shred in time for beach season.
Introduce an HIIT session each week
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) — usually performed as sprint intervals, Tabata sessions, or the like — is known to be one of the best ways out there of supercharging fat loss.
Get your heart rate up and try and see if you can complete our free HIIT video workout next time you're in the gym.
Begin eating probiotic foods
Probiotic foods — specifically, fermented foods like kombucha, kefir and sauerkraut, which contain healthy microorganisms — may help your fat loss mission.
It’s known that the gut microbiomes of obese people differ from those of their non-obese counterparts. Culturing a healthy microbiome may, therefore, help to steer the body towards fat loss rather than fat gain.
The importance to our overall health of drinking enough water cannot be overstated. Our bodies need a near constant supply of water to keep going, and not getting enough leads to a whole host of problems, not least that it could slow your metabolism and leave you feeling hungry.
When your cells are low on water, they begin to shrink. Your body then senses this change and takes it as a signal to slow down metabolism, reducing your fat burn. Over time, dehydration can cause lethargy and tiredness, meaning less physical activity, and therefore less pre-summer shredding.
The Eatwell Guide recommends we all drink six to eight glasses a day, but if you’re doing lots of physical activity, you’ll need even more than this. It’s vital you replace the fluid you’ve lost. By getting enough water, you’ll ensure you have the energy to keep going towards that summer body goal.
For tips on how to stay hydrated, check out this blog piece.
Eat fresh, in-season produce
The run up to summer is the time when many of our favourite fruit and vegetables are sprouting from the ground or emerging on trees. When produce is this fresh, its nutritional benefit and flavour are at their peak. This is because nutrients such as vitamin C and folate naturally deplete over time, so the storage time required to bring these particular products to us out-of-season means they don’t always reach us at their best.
Fruit and veg that’ll be at their best over the next few weeks include grapefruits, potatoes, rhubarb and spring greens – so get plenty of these in your diet.
Go for a walk each day
Walking may not be the sexiest type of exercise out there, but it’s well worth doing nonetheless.
A 2002 study found that subjects who walked for either 30 or 60 minutes, 5 times a week, along with a diet, lost significantly more weight than subjects who only followed the diet but didn’t go for regular walks.
Focus on getting better sleep
Contrary to what caffeine-wired hustlers would have you believe, sleep isn’t just a luxury; it’s actually crucial for your physical and mental health and fitness.
A 2013 review found a correlation between sleep deprivation and obesity, with a lack of sleep increasing hunger and stress hormones.
Throw yourself into the world of home-cooked meals
Easily one of the best ways of promoting weight loss is simply to commit to cooking all — or at least the vast majority of — your meals from scratch.
Not only will you know exactly what you’re putting on your plate, this way, you’ll also be avoiding well-known processed poisons like High Fructose Corn Syrup, which researchers have decisively linked with the obesity epidemic.
For healthy recipes ideas, check out the Nutrition section on our blog.