10 Easy Steps To Head Towards The Summer Body You’ve Always Wanted

As warmer weather approaches, many of us find ourselves slipping into some of our favorite summer ensembles from last year and grimacing. Sometimes this is because we’re looking in the mirror and questioning our fashion choices, like, I can’t believe I wore that in public. Other times it’s because our favorite pair of cutoff shorts (you know, the old reliable pair that’s lasted a good three years?) are a little snug. Crash dieting ensues. We start Googling “how to lose weight fast.” We keep ourselves on such a tight leash that we subsequently end up binge eating a box of 100 calorie brownies because, you know, fiber. Either that, or we go out on the weekend and drink a week’s worth of calories because dieting makes us miserable. But really, you don’t need to diet. You need lifestyle changes. The perfect bikini body is a well-nourished, healthy one. Here’s some lifestyle changes you should be gradually incorporating into your routine, pronto.
Todd Quackenbush
Todd Quackenbush

1. Ditch the coffee and soda. Okay, so maybe not altogether. I mean sure, grab some Starbucks when you’re out shopping with your friends, but aside from that, leave it. Drink water. Lots of it. Substitute green tea for coffee for your morning pick me up. I won’t go into the details of how good water and green tea are for you, and how bad artificial sugars are. You know these things, get on it.

2. Exercise. Here’s the thing: it’s better to do short, intense bursts of exercise than to do the opposite. So the whole excuse of not having the time? Bologna. Find something that works for you, and when it starts to become easy, switch it up. Our bodies adjust to our routines, so the regimen that works initially to keep off weight won’t work forever.

3. Fruit, fruit, fruit. When I started eating more fruit I was honestly astounded that I hadn’t started earlier. I mean, there’s so many options and they’re all so delicious. Oranges are basically precut by nature for easy eating. Bananas require no prep. There’s literally so many varieties of apples and they all taste completely different. Don’t even get me started on the tropical stuff. Eat. More. Fruit.

4. Big breakfast, medium lunch, small dinner. It’s crazy how most of us do the opposite. I know I’m guilty of it. But when you really think about it, it makes sense. You have the whole day to burn the calories from your breakfast, that’s not so much the case with your dinner. Go to bed hungry.

5. Eat healthy salads. Yes, you need vegetables and greens. Healthy salads are great, emphasis on the healthy part. It’s easy to fall into the iceberg lettuce, grape tomatoes, ranch dressing world of salads and be convinced that you’re doing the right thing. Meanwhile you’re eating as many calories as that burger you’re wishing you got and you aren’t doing your body any good. Eat dark, leafy greens; think kale and spinach. There are better things than croutons for crunch. Throw out your ranch dressing. There’s so many delicious options for healthy salads, get to pinning them on Pinterest.

6. Catch your Zzzs. You really should be sleeping an adequate amount. Don’t feel guilty if you have to skip your workout routine because you missed out on sleep or you’re sick. It doesn’t help your body to push through when these things are going on. You need to rest.

7. Change your thoughts on food. So many people underestimate the psychological part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It’s hard, especially in a culture where eating food is something we do for fun. You have to look at food as fuel, because that’s what it is. It gives short term satisfaction, but in the long run, we’re much happier if we’re not feeling tired all the time due to unhealthy habits.

8. Treat yourself. But with something non-food related. Think about it, would a smoker reward themselves with a smoke if they had stopped smoking for a week? No. So why reward yourself with mass amounts of sugar and fat after going a brief period without them? This throws your body off, and doesn’t help with weight loss. It also doesn’t help to stop the cravings, which will (mostly) stop if you’re diligent. I treat myself with some online shopping. Whatever motivates you, do it.

9. Don’t guilt yourself. You’ll eat some pizza, a slice of cake, and drink a soda when you’re at a party. You’ll have a rough day and be completely unable to do anything aside from sobbing with a can of Pringles as you watch Netflix. You’ll slip up and you’ll gain back 5 pounds after losing 10. It’s okay. You’re fine and good. You can climb back aboard the healthy eating bus the next day.

10. Don’t be appearance focused or motivated. Beauty is in the content of your character. It’s a cliché, but it’s actually true. If you’re feeling particularly insecure, do something good for someone else. It can feel impossible to stick to nourishing your body for the long term when you’re stuck in the present. It’s so easy to shed that weight and then pick at yourself for some other flaw. You really should go and love yourself. TC mark

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