Below are some simple diet, training and lifestyle habits to adopt to ensure you feel your best and step onto that beach with confidence.
1. Give yourself a realistic time frame! And in general, 4 weeks is not enough! 8-12 weeks would be a realistic time frame if you already work out and have a base level of muscle development and fitness. Remember the shorter time frame you use, the more drastic your changes will need to be and the less sustainable they will be in the long term.
2. Lower your calorie intake. Don’t do this drastically however a 15-20% deficit is plenty as long as your calories are coming from the right sources.
3. Use training methods such as German volume training, giant sets, dropsets, strength circuits and German body composition which create a huge calorie expenditure during and after training.
4. Weight training should be your training priority but now is also the time to add in some cardio. Stick with high intensity sprint sessions or fasted morning cardio. Be sure not to over train however: if you stress your body too much you will knock your hormones out of sync, hampering your results.
5. Eat a protein rich diet. Protein not only supports lean muscle growth, but the metabolic cost of digestion is higher than for fat or carbs, which in turn speeds up your metabolism.
6. Cut out sugars and reduce heavy carbohydrates like pasta, bread, rice. Instead get your carbohydrates from green vegetables, sweet potatoes and oats (not the instant packet type).
7. Don’t waste endless time in the gym doing abs! 1000 sit ups a day does not give you a six pack – a well balanced training program and a reduction in body fat does. Core exercises should be in your program, but alone they are simply not enough.
8. Take advantage of natural fat burners such as green tea extract and coffee.
9. Get plenty of sleep! Your body re-charges and regulates its hormones during this time. See our previous post on sleep here…
10. Limit alcohol! Alcohol adds empty calories to your diet as well as spiking your insulin and playing havoc with your body composition.