Get in shape for the summer: You can do it with these tricks + unexpected BONUS!
The first warm days served as a reminder for many of us that summer is coming and the moment when we show how we took care of our bodies during winter is coming too. It’s given that these days fitness centres and trainers are getting new clients that are looking for fast ways of getting in shape for the summer. Whether you like it or not, if you want to show off your six pack at the swimming pool, you’ll have to make some sacrifices and be resilient. Nobody got in shape overnight just by sitting on a couch. With this advice from NEBBIA, you should get in shape in about two months.
Start with cardio
Getting into shape in 60 days is a realistic target, you just have to understand your starting point and your previous experiences with weight loss and exercise. That will allow you to set reasonable targets and a correct diet and sports activities. Find a cardio activity that you’ll enjoy for the next two months. Do it three times a week between 20 to 30 minutes during the first weeks. Then add weight training that will get you the curves that you want. If you’re starting with weight training, it’s advised to get a personal trainer that will teach you how to do the basic movements correctly. If you’re looking for some home workouts inspiration, you’ll find it on our YouTube channel that is full of online training that are suitable for beginners.
These are the cardio activities we recommend for beginners: fast walking, switching between running and walking, swimming, cycling or elliptical. Don’t exclude team sports either! If you love music, join a Zumba or dancing class. If you like something dynamic try jumping, spinning, or boxing. There are infinite options to move nowadays. We are positive that you’ll find a sport that will be challenging, and you’ll be passionate about. You just have to break up with your current partner – the couch.
● Read more: Running or weightlifting? Learn How to Combine Them
More effective workouts thanks to HIIT
It won’t be enough if you’re more advanced. Regular weight and cardio training are a normal part of their routine. You can add HIIT into your routine to get faster results. This type of training builds your aerobic capacity and your muscle mass. You kill two birds with one stone! When doing HIIT, you alternate between high-intensity exercises and short rest breaks. This strategy allows you to get good results while spending less time at the gym.
How to do HIIT correctly? Generally, it is recommended to do 30 to 60 second intervals of intense training and 30 to 60 seconds of rest or easy activity. A classic example of HIIT would be sprinting and walking. You can also use it when doing weightlifting by implementing circuit training. You alternate between weight exercise and light cardio activity. Ideal exercises include pushing sled, rope exercises, tyre flips, box jumps and others. All these activities require maximum focus and a lot of energy in a short time.
Since you're advanced, you need to start doing HIIT two to three times a week. Or replace one of your cardio or weight training sessions. The disadvantage of HIIT is the fact that you’ll be hungrier afterwards and therefore you should keep the contents of your fridge in check. More about that in the next paragraph.
● Read more: How to do HIIT correctly
The diet nightmare
There’s no pill without calories that will make you full and stop your cravings. You must learn to eat properly, understand nutritional values of food, and control your hunger. The hardest part about getting into shape isn’t the training but being able to control your calorie intake. Losing weight in a healthy way isn’t about starving yourself. You must realise that one healthy meal won’t make you fit and one unhealthy meal won’t make you fat. The idea behind sustainable weight loss is to find balance between intake and output.
So, how do you change your meal plan for the better? Write down everything you eat for three days. Count your average calorie intake, subtract between 200 to 300 kcal. The upcoming week, keep your intake on that level and watch how you feel and whether you lost some weight. If you did, don’t change anything, and simply continue. If you’re stagnating, it’s a bit more complicated. Maybe your intake is already lower than your basal metabolism or you’re not precise enough in counting your calorie intake. Don’t lower your calorie intake right away. If you have to change something, increase your output.
Focus on your NEAT
NEAT stands for “Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis”. Meaning all the activities not related to any sports or exercises that you do during the day except for sleeping. It can be just standing in a bus or washing floors or gesticulation. Lately, researchers have been focusing on this type of movement because it can be one of the ways to lose excess weight effectively and sustainably.
If you’ve been trying to lose weight for some time, spending time at the gym doesn’t have to be enough. Besides regular workouts, try to walk more and be active outside of the gym. One hour spent at the gym might not be enough to shed the weight, especially if you sit or lay around for the rest of the day. Your goal should be to change the way you approach burning calories. It’s better to see the whole day as a battlefield where you encounter the excess energy stored in fat. This battlefield is your opportunity to find ways to increase your daily energy expenditure without feeling like you’re exercising.
How to increase your NEAT for weight loss? Be honest with yourself and ask yourself where and when you sit the most. Try to replace these periods of time with standing or walking. Don’t write a message to your colleague, go to his desk, and talk to him. Listen to your podcast while walking, not while you lay in bed. Don’t go to a car wash, wash your car yourself. Walk to work at least partly or use a bike!
BONUS: Meal plan for weight loss
This meal plan contains about 1700 kcal. It’s suitable for a woman that works out between three to four times a week and weighs about 65 kg. It’s only an example that should serve as inspiration. Something that suits one person doesn’t have to be the right fit for somebody else. Adjust the portion sizes to your needs. Meal prep contains great recipes that can only make things better!
Scrambled eggs made from three eggs, 10 g of butter + three pieces of rice bread and some vegetables
White Greek yoghourt (fat free) with banana slices
Chilli con carne, 50 g of rice
Beef chilli con carne (4 servings)
- 400g of minced beef (or turkey)
- 400g of tomato puree
- 300g of cooked beans
- 150g of corn
- 150g of grated carrot
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
Sauté the chopped onion using olive oil in a deep pan, add meat, carrot, and smashed garlic. Add salt and spices to taste. Cook the meat till it starts releasing its juice. Add the tomato puree and cook it for about 15 minutes. At the end of cooking add the corn from a can. Frozen ones work well too.
Serve with rice (50 g of dried rice per serving).
Poppy Seed muffins 2 pieces and a protein drink (30 g of protein)
Poppy Seed muffins (12 pieces)
- 200 g of ground oats
- 190 g of apple puree
- 50g ground poppyseeds
- 1 scoop of vanilla protein
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoons of baking powder
- 4 teaspoons of sweetener
Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk the egg whites. Add the egg yolks and apple puree to the dry ingredients. Add water, create a batter and incorporate the whites. Add sweeter or powdered sugar to taste. Pour the batter into the muffin sheet and bake at 160°C for about 25 minutes. Check the muffins with a toothpick. If they’re still sticky on the inside, leave them in the oven for longer.
Courgette pizza (½ portion)
- 1 small courgette
- 2 eggs
- 1 tomato
- 50 g of spelt flour
- 100 g of ham
- 125 g of light mozzarella cheese
- 1 teaspoon of pizza spice mix
Combine the grated courgette with eggs, spelt flour, and pizza spice mix. Put the batter on a pan and bake at 180°C for about 10 minutes. Take it out and add sliced tomatoes, ham, light mozzarella cheese and put it back into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. After it’s done, let it cool down, cut it into pieces, and serve.