There is a lot to get excited about in 2021. Being able to travel, socialise and spend time outdoors is big news, and we’re here for it. One thing I’m getting a lot of requests about as a personal trainer is how to quickly get back into shape for summer.
Here is my best advice that I give anyone wanting to look and feel their most confident.
- Find Your ‘Why’
When you can attach a feeling to your desired outcome, that feeling becomes your ‘Why’. It then becomes easier to enjoy the process of getting there. For example, instead of constantly feeling unhappy about the way that your body looks, when you do decide to start exercising and eating better, you choose to feel good. This is because it is something that helps you feel strong, healthy and well maintained. When you make your ‘Why’ something with a positive association, you will have much less resistance along the way.
- SMART Goal Setting
Think of specific short term and long term goals. If you have a goal to change your body composition, be sure to also have goals that are related to performance. These tend to be more rewarding when you achieve them. It doesn’t need to be running a marathon, but if you think about things that you can’t currently do that you might enjoy doing more of, make that one of your goals! Sometimes the number on the scales can disappoint us, but when you’re able to do things that you couldn’t before, that’s a sure sign you’re making progress.
- Habit Stacking
I like to teach ‘habit stacking’ with my clients. Instead of jumping straight into a new diet, I look at what are the 2-3 most obvious tweaks they could make with their lifestyle that will likely make a big difference. Make sure not to sacrifice too many things that you genuinely really enjoy. Some easy switches could be bringing your own lunch to work, ditching soft drinks and sweetened coffee, cutting back on alcohol on weeknights or adding in a piece of fruit for a snack each day.
- Incidental Movement
Did you know that exercise only contributes about 10% of your total daily energy expenditure (despite what your smart watch might be telling you!)? However, the amount of non-exercise activity (known as NEAT) you do can often contribute more greatly to how many calories you are burning. Use that smart watch to keep track of your daily steps if your goal is to shed body fat. It doesn’t need to be 10,000 steps a day. Start with where you’re currently averaging, and set a goal for an extra, 1000-2000 daily steps instead.
- Make Friends With Resistance Training
More people are beginning to realise the best kept secret when it comes to getting quick results and total body transformation- lifting weights! Building and maintaining muscle helps to prevent the breakdown of lean body mass when losing weight – which means that the weight you are losing is fat loss, not muscle loss. Lean body mass is metabolically active, meaning the more of it that you have, the more calories you are burning when you are resting. Hiring a personal trainer to show you technique is a great investment.
- Nutrition That Satiates And Satisfies
If you want to lose body fat, you need to be eating less calories than you are consuming. This requires a little bit of strategy to make sure that you don’t end up hungry with cravings (some is to be expected- just don’t let it get too out of hand). Pick foods that are going to keep you fuller for longer, that you don’t mind the taste of. Keep higher calorie ‘treat’ foods to less than 20% of your overall diet. Focus the other 80% on lean protein, low GI carbohydrates and fruit and vegetables, and find recipes that teach creative ways to prepare healthy meals.
- Learn To Dial In And Dial Back
Dieting and exercising places stress on the body which can lead to raised stress hormones. During stressful times of life, trying to lose weight can make things worse. Chronically high stress levels are linked to many health issues, and can even make losing weight harder. Every few months, consider taking a week or two at a slower pace, with less exercise and allowing yourself to be less strict with your diet.
Getting in shape needs to be a lifestyle change you are willing to commit to. Set goals, make small changes and think of self care, rather than self punishment. I guarantee you’ll be your most confident when you know that your body is one that feels loved and well looked after!
Which of these tips do you think you’ll be implementing this summer?
About The Author
Hi! My name is Lauren Coleman and I am a registered nutritionist, personal trainer and yoga teacher from Auckland, New Zealand. I have worked in the fitness and wellness industry for the past 5 years. I now run my own in-person studio and online business where I coach people to look after, heal and transform their own bodies with a mind-body approach.
I empower my clients by educating them about how their bodies work from a scientific perspective, and guide them to shift their mindset in a way that sets them up for positive growth – not just in their physical health, but in their life.
I have helped people lose weight, train for competitive events, gain muscle, improve their gut health, improve their relationship with food, heal their metabolism, address hormonal issues and achieve results they never thought could have been possible.
I personally love staying fit by lifting weights, running and doing yoga, but I also love eating chocolate and watching Netflix! My method is all about finding a sustainable routine by making small, positive changes and entering a ‘flow state’ where good health comes naturally and easily. For more information, visit my website www.laurenpersonaltraining.com, all enquiries welcome.