By Pedro Sun, CSCS, Catalyst Personal Trainer
As summer approaches, people all around San Diego are preparing to put their beach bodies on display. Crash diets, detoxes, working out ‘til every part of your anatomy is sore, and workout challenges are popular in the months leading up to beach season.
Have you ever asked yourself, “Is it worth it?” A better question might be, “Is there an alternative method to help me achieve my “summer body” without causing me to hate exercise and food?”
Here are three tips to help you attain your summer physique, and enjoy the process.
1. Toning exercises are irrelevant without a good foundation.
There’s no one way to get more toned, but there are better ways to go about it. You should first pick an activity you like, then do that activity three times or more per week. Whether it be Zumba, weight training, or spin class – becoming more consistent with movement is the most important goal you should set. Once you’re consistent, then you can ask, “What can I do to lose more fat, get a 6-pack, etc.” Without creating a foundation of consistent movement, and enjoying it, you probably won’t stick to any plan.
2. You can’t out-exercise a crappy diet.
You’ve probably heard this saying, and, it’s very true. If your goal is a “beach body”, then how much you eat is extremely important. There’s no one special diet that will make you lose more fat, but rather it’s the amount of calories that you eat week after week that’s most important for weight loss. Whether it be clean, paleo, or gluten-free, your diet must be consistent in one main component: eating less calories. However, being more mindful of food options that include more vegetables, fiber, and protein are proven strategies across most weight-loss diets. And, once again, consistency is key.
3. Be realistic with your goals.
Far too often, trying to shoot for the stars is the goal. It always seems that falling short is the outcome. This may lead to feelings of guilt and failure. Please realize that everyone starts from a different place, and that cookie-cutter programs, or the most popular diets are not the best approaches. Making realistic goals can build a lot of momentum into reaching long term goals. Small victories lead to greater experience, knowing what you’re capable of, and better gauging what strategies work best for you. Keeping a positive mindset in addition to having met your short term goals will definitely lead you to a more consistent path than the pitfalls of going “all in” on something unrealistic.
If you can apply these three principles to your current program, I have no doubt that you’ll be on path to success. If you’re having trouble understanding how to get there, consider hiring a specialist to help. Whether it be what exercises to use and how to perform them, pain while exercising, or nutrition coaching, the staff here at Catalyst would love to help you knock down any barriers that stand in your way.