Summer is just around the corner and now is the time to think about getting your body beach ready. In this post, I will lay out a plan for you now, to get in your best shape and have abs in time for beach season.
It’s a 6-step process that is going to get you into the best shape you’ve ever been this summer.
Set Your Goals Now
The first stage, as ever, is setting your goals. Now is the time to be thinking about the summer. Most people leave it too late and don’t have enough time to change their body as much as they want to. Don’t fall into that trap, give yourself plenty of time to make the changes you want to make.
Set your goals now, and give yourself a few weeks at the end to maintain once you’re at your target. If you go from dieting straight into partying, going on holiday, eating rich food, etc. you’re going to quickly regain a lot of weight.
Instead, try and maintain at your goal weight for a while, this will create a set point and allow your body to become comfortable at that point. This will make it a lot easier to maintain your weight around that point, and not quickly regain a lot of fat the moment you finish dieting.
Write your goal down, and create a vision of what it will be like once you achieve it. Write a couple of pages of narrative about how life will be when you’ve achieved your goal. Maybe it will be at a party, or on the beach on holiday. Write down how you will feel, how you will look, how other people will react to you, etc.
This vision is much more powerful than just writing a target number. It makes it real and meaningful for you.
Commit to the Process
What do you need to do to achieve your goal? Commit the time to your schedule now, so that it is already planned in, and you never have an excuse. If it means being in the gym every morning to do cardio, then schedule it into your diary now. Every morning, first thing you will get up and go do your cardio.
Goals are important to us when we first set them, but can easily take the back burner when life gets in the way. Don’t let that be an issue, prioritize your training in your schedule so you are sure it will get done.
Pre-Plan Your Meals
Getting lean for summer comes mostly from dieting. That means you need to set your calories and macronutrients at the beginning, and ensure that you meet them each week.
The best way to do this is to pre-plan everything in advance. Eating the same thing every week will make it much easier to follow. The worst part of dieting is when you’re struggling to figure out what you can eat. It’s not conducive to doing the right thing.
Don’t get stuck in this situation by making all the decisions upfront, know what you are going to eat, so that all you have to do in the moment is follow your plan.
Most diets work for most people, if they are followed. Things go wrong for people because they are unable to stick to a plan, and they don’t successfully follow the diet for an extended period. If you can overcome this problem, you will succeed.
By planning your meals in advance, batch shopping at the weekends and bulk preparing food whenever you can, you are giving yourself the best possible chance to follow the plan and be successful.
Work out how many calories you need, and then prepare several meals that fit the profile for what you’re aiming to eat. Keep them in the fridge or freezer, ready to pull out each day and eat. If you’re prepared and plan, following a diet should be easy. That’s not to say it will be fun, but it’s a short-term sacrifice, to get in great shape.
Plan Your Cheat Meals
If you’re going to be dieting for an extended period, you will want to have a meal off now and then. It is best to plan your cheat meals in advance, have them as part of your plan. This gives you something to look forward to, and stops the guilt you might feel if you fall off the plan.
You’re going to want to enjoy the process as much as possible, and having cheat meals to look forward to can really help raise your enjoyment levels.
Cheat meals can also serve a practical purpose, to kick-start your metabolism and keep it firing on all cylinders. This is important because extended periods of calorie restriction can slow your thyroid down. By having a cheat meal where you eat a larger number of calories, you will kick everything back into full speed again and ensure you don’t slow your metabolism.
Create a Contingency Plan
Nobody is perfect and there is a good chance that something will go wrong at some point. It is almost inevitable. Rather than wait for it to happen, and then be thrown for a loop, create a contingency plan. What are you going to do if something goes wrong?
Even just asking that question prepares you for it happening and allows you to take any bumps in the road without getting thrown off course.
Find A Friend
Dieting is not the most fun you will ever have. Having a buddy in it with you for support can make a big difference. There’s going to be times when you don’t feel like training, or you’re wondering why you’re doing this, and having someone in it with you will help pull you through the tough times.
If you can find a friend to go through it with you, it will be great motivation. You can push each other on when you don’t feel like it, and the extra motivation will make a difference. If you can find a buddy to diet with, it will be worth it.