I want to take a moment to address something that I feel very strongly about. Now that summer is within arms reach, people are going to start attempting to achieve that bikini body. You know what that means! Crash diets, cardio over-load, and restriction. Yeah, well, I’m not ok with that.
Every time I go to the store I see all these products: “LOW CALORIE” “100 CALORIE PACK!” “LOW FAT”, the list goes on. I am going to say something that may blow your mind: nutritional factors matter way more than calorie amount. Just because something say “low calorie” does not translate to healthy.
I hear it so often: “Oh, I love these and I can have them because they’re only 100 calories.” Ok, yes. They may be. But, nutritionally, they’re usually garbage. Calories are important, yes, but why don’t people pay more attention to fat, protein, carbs, sodium, fiber, and cholesterol? Those things tell you so much more about what food consists of than the calories.
People who are dieting often freak out about high calorie foods, but some of the best foods for you have higher calories! Take one of my favorite protein sources, for example: Chicken! 4 oz of baked chicken breast (boneless, skinless) is around 180 calories. That may seem kind-of high calorie-wise, but it is a great source of lean protein, around 36 grams worth!
Let’s do another example, 2 tablespoons of all-natural peanut butter (without salt): 188 calories. Also pretty calorie dense! But, let’s look at the other stats: 16 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbs. Peanut butter is a great source of healthy fat. Yes, fat is healthy. Some people hear the word “fat” and associate it with being fat. I eat anywhere from 2-5 tablespoons of peanut butter a day. Seriously. Fat is necessary in your diet. It is one of the body’s energy sources. There are also studies that say that eating healthy fats can actually help you burn fat! Some examples of healthy fats that I eat are raw unsalted nuts, avocado, all-natural nut butters, coconut oil, fish, chia seeds, and extra virgin olive oil. Don’t fear the fat!
If you clean up your diet, eat very few processed foods, drink water, and have consistently in your diet and exercise, you will see results! Excessive amounts of cardio and restricting yourself in terms of diet will not get you a toned, healthy looking body that will look slamming in a bikini. Incorporate some weights into your workout routine, or do some body-weight exercises. Do less steady-state cardio and do some interval training! You will burn calories faster in a shorter amount of time, and it will burn calories for a longer period after you are done training. It keeps your body guessing because the intensity changes. I love to do HIIT for 10-15 minutes following about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes of weight training.
The more muscle you have, the more fat you burn. It takes more effort to keep muscle on than fat, so with more muscle you will burn more calories just existing! Don’t be afraid to learn how to use weights! Go to www.bodybuilding.com and access their amazing database of information and tutorials of how to perform moves properly. Form is so important! The program I started with was Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer.
Or, if you can work with a personal trainer, do so! They can help you form a goal and teach you how to achieve it!
Good luck achieving that healthy fit body that looks killer on the beach, but try and make being healthy and fit a change for life. Don’t just be fit for the summer! I have confidence in each and every one of you!
Love this! I’ve tried staying away from those low-cal low-fat snacks and just stick to stuff that is more nutritious! ALWAYS look at the labels. There can be tons fat, sugar, etc. in these low-cal snacks. I’d take the extra calories for a more nutritious meal!