Summertime is fast approaching and you desperately want to tone up and slim down. That bikini is calling your name and you want to answer, but first you need to tighten some areas and possibly shed a few unwanted pounds. This is easier than you may think, however, it does require commitment and willpower. Do you have what it takes?
1. Set a Regular Eating Schedule
Eat five to six small meals each day to keep your metabolism running high. You may think the more you eat the more weight you will gain, but just the opposite is true. When you deprive your body of food, it holds onto the fat you have, believing you are trying to starve it. Before you can tone, you need to lose any fat you have surrounding your muscles. Feeding your body frequently aids in this process.
2. Choose the Right Food
Exercising does not give you a free ticket to gorge on french fries and hamburgers. You must make the decision to eat healthy if you are going to succeed at toning and tightening your body. Your five meals should consist of breakfast, lunch and dinner plus two snacks a day. So what foods should comprise these meals and snacks? Protein most definitely. Protein is essential for rebuilding muscle when exercising frequently. Focus on lean protein sources such as fish and skinless chicken breast. Whole wheat pasta, bread, and fruit are carbohydrates your body requires for energy and high fiber carbohybrates such as vegetables are necessary for the vitamins and minerals you need. Snacks should be high protein, as protein takes more calories to burn. Try protein shakes for these.
3. Cardiovascular Exercises
To burn fat you must incorporate cardiovascular exercise into your exercise regimen at least five days a week. For optimal results, perform some type of cardio seven days a week. Your routine should last 30 to 45 minutes, and includes numerous types of activities. You can walk briskly, ride a bike, swim laps, jog or join a gym and participate in an aerobics or spinning class. The greatest benefit of cardiovascular exercise is that it continues burning calories and fat long after you stop exercising.
4. Strength Training
If you want to know how to get a toned body, here is the answer: combine strength training with cardio. You must–absolutely must–pair the two. The best schedule is four days a week–two days of lower body and abdominals, and two days of upper body; take one day off in between. The purpose of strength training is to build more muscle. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism. And don’t worry, you will not bulk up and look like the body builders or the Hulk. You will have a nice, lean muscle tone and a flattering curve to your body. You will have every set of eyes on you no matter where you go. Choose exercises you feel comfortable with, but push your body until the last rep is difficult to complete. With each exercise, complete 12 to 15 repetitions three times.
5. Drink Plenty of Water
The biggest cause of unsightly cellulite in a woman’s body are toxins. Drinking plenty of water–a minimum of eight glasses per day–helps flush these toxins from your body, making it easier for you to obtain and maintain the toned body you want so badly.
The body of your dreams is not as far out of reach as you think it is. It only takes a few tweaks in your diet and a commitment to regular exercise to make it happen. Dig deep within you…it’s worth it.