Want a hot bod this summer?

2016-09-11 06:04
These tips can help you get you that summer body you want.

These tips can help you get you that summer body you want.

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With spring having sprung and summer as good as here, some people are boasting about the intense workout regime they have already embarked on at the gym as part of their build-up to obtaining a perfect summer body to show off, come holiday season, in their trendy bikini or swimming trunks.

Discussions about getting in shape for summer have started in earnest, dominating dinner conversation and social-media platforms.

And giving impetus to these chats are healthy eating plans from nutrition enthusiasts.

Then there are those who are too lazy to put in the slog of dedicated training sessions, and instead choose crash diets as they hope for a weight-loss quick fix.

Whichever you fancy, City Press – in partnership with Lara de Santana, the head dietician at food company FutureLife, and Nike trainer Zaakirah Khalek – will bring readers advice on everything from exercising to eating your way to that perfect bikini body for the festive season.

De Santana and Khalek do not encourage quick-fix dieting. Both assert that healthy eating and regular exercise are essential if people want to achieve the best results.

However, for those who prefer quick results that may not last long, we have included the latest crash diet that is on everybody’s lips.

Eat your way to a slimmer you

De Santana says there is no silver bullet to achieve a relatively fast yet sustainable weight loss. “But there are ways to help you shed those extra kilograms in a healthy and sustainable way before summer festivities arrive.

“Start cutting down on carbohydrates by reducing portions, especially at dinner time,” she says.

“And reduce your intake of sugary foods, especially sugar-sweetened drinks – fruit juices included. Watch the amount of sugar you add to your warm drinks.”

By cutting down on carbohydrates, De Santana does not mean eliminating them altogether as they form part of the basic food groups required by the body for optimum functionality.

“Rather fill up on low-carb and high-fibre vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, celery, cabbage, lettuce and spinach; aim to fill at least half your plate with food like this. You can enjoy these veggies in unlimited amounts, so try a vegetable soup between, or in addition to, meals.”

While you are munching on low-carb food, do not forget protein, adds De Santana. “Protein helps weight loss, so always include chicken, tuna or eggs with a main meal.

“Adding healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, seeds or olive oil will keep you fuller for longer, but watch your portion size as they are energy-dense.”

But what would a healthy diet be without strategic snacking? This involves packing snacks to enjoy at specific times around your main meals.

“Healthy snacks include raw and unsalted nuts, fruit and yoghurt, and vegetable sticks with a healthy dip such as hummus or cottage cheese. FutureLife Smart Drink or High Protein LITE Smart Bars are also good options,” she says.

By following these simple tips, De Santana assures readers they will soon wear swimsuits with confidence.

Slim, fit and fabulous

Khalek stresses the importance of exercise for an effective weight loss plan. “Physical activity will help you get closer to your weight goals by burning calories and building muscle,” she says.

But before you launch into an exercise programme that may not yield the desired results, Khalek advises that you do cardiovascular and weight training to burn fat. For example, for those wanting to reduce the size of their waist and hips, Khalek says running, cycling and swimming will help them burn that fat faster.

“This should be done on a moderate to high intensity. To firm up, try squats, lunges, deadlifts, leg extensions, hamstring curls, standing calf raises and hip bridges.

“If you are new to fitness, train three times a week at a moderate intensity. A 30- to 45-minute workout should be fine at a moderate intensity.”

Examples of a moderate intensity workout are brisk walking outdoors or on the treadmill, circuit training, swimming and beginners’ yoga.

So, how soon will you see the results?

Khalek says while weight loss can occur quickly, “results from cardio and weight training depend on how consistent you are in your exercise regime and healthy eating habits. You can expect to notice changes after a month or two.”

Khalek adds that while consistent exercising may produce the desired result faster, it has to be supplemented with healthy eating.

“You will not achieve your weight loss goals unless you are eating right. Nutrition is key to losing weight.

“You exercise for only about 3% of your day.

“What is hard is deciding what to put on your plate as you cannot exercise and see results on a bad diet,” she says.

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Read more on:    fitness  |  summer  |  health

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