It might not feel like it right now, but summer is coming up fast. Long, hot days and star-studded nights will be here sooner than you think.
And if you’re of a mind to get a “summer bod,” then you’ll want to start now.
Everyone’s ideal summer body is a little bit different. But the basic steps you have to take to achieve it are all the same: clean up your diet, turn up your water intake, and get moving.
As simple as these sound, however, these changes can be hard to act on.
My advice? Make it fun!
And though you might not think that cleaning up your diet can be fun, I assure you it can! I’ve gathered up a few tried-and-true tricks to help you make the changes you need to achieve the summer look you want.
The best part about starting now is that you have plenty of time to work these changes into your daily habits until they’re second nature!
1) Clean Up Your Diet
By “diet,” I don’t mean that you need to cut all carbs or jump on a new fad eating trend. I just mean that you need to look at the foods you already eat and see where you need to make some changes.
The first thing you want to look for are foods that cause bloating. These are usually processed foods high in hidden sugars and sodium.
Both compounds cause your body to retain water, which leads to bloating. It can also raise your blood pressure, which is why doctors now recommend cutting both sugar and salt if you’re trying to lower yours!
In addition, there are some scientific belly bloat cures that are really easy to implement. These include digestive enzymes, as well as getting more fiber in your diet.
So once you know you’ve cut out (or reduced) the things that make you bloat, you’ll want to focus on making sure you’re eating enough fiber, as I mentioned.
Fiber helps your body digest the food you eat. This means you won’t get backed up and swollen.
And it also means that your body won’t retain as much fat or fluid while it pulls nutrients more efficiently from what you eat. Altogether, this leads you to eat less and feel fuller, longer.
Talk about a win-win!
As helpful as all of this is—and believe me, it is very helpful—you’re probably asking yourself how to make it fun. And the answer is that you focus on the things you can bring into your cleaned-up diet rather than the things you cut out of it.
Flavor-free Metamucil is a great way to bring fiber into your diet. You can add it nearly anything, including a delicious chocolate breakfast smoothie.
This sweet morning treat will get you up and moving with a smile. And that fiber will keep everything else moving the way it should.
2) Turn Up Your Water Intake
If you’ve been browsing health and wellness articles for a while, you’re probably tired of hearing about the importance of your water intake. You’ve heard that it helps you feel fuller, longer. And you know that it’s important to your digestion process.
But did you know that drinking enough water can also help keep your skin clear and healthy? Or that being dehydrated can leave you feeling tired and mentally drained?
And the closer you get to summer, the less you’ll want to deal with fatigue or bad skin.
After all, it’s hard to stay out all night enjoying time with family and friends if you’re too tired to leave the house. Just make sure that those long summer nights aren’t filled with excessive alcohol as that opens up a whole host of other health issues.
This tip sounds so simple on paper, but I’ll be the first to admit that getting enough water every day is harder than it sounds! And, no, water with flavor packets in it does not count. (See the warning about added sugar in the previous section!)
I finally cracked the water-drinking problem by using a cute app that helped me track my water intake. There are a couple of different ones out there, so you’re sure to find one that fits your needs. Just seeing the actual numbers on the screen was the boost I needed to get myself hydrated.
When you like your environment, you’re happier and more focused. If you want to stay hydrated, make your water bottle part of that!
3) Get Moving
Most summer activities involve a lot of moving around. There are hikes… and swimming… and going out with friends. But all of that activity will be hard to keep up with if you don’t start now.
It’s probably cold and grey outside as you’re reading this. But there is still plenty you can do that’s almost as fun as all those summer festivities you’re looking forward to!
I’m a big fan of dance workouts on YouTube. There are so many to choose from that I never get bored. And if dancing is your thing, you’ll barely even notice that you’re working up a sweat!
You can also drag your friends in on the fun. After all, most outdoor winter activities are much more fun when you’re with friends.
And if you get enough people together, you can always head to a nearby park and start a casual volleyball or soccer group!
Summer is coming up fast, but you’ve got plenty of time to get ready. And as much as you might dread the idea of venturing outside right now, you’ll thank yourself later when you’re dashing through summer activities without a care.
Of course, your fitter physique is a nice bonus!
These tips are a great place to start, but don’t let it be where you stop! If you find that you like all of your new activities, you can find more like them.
And if you enjoy changing up your diet, every season brings delicious new foods you can try. By the time summer gets here, you’ll be ready and raring to go!