With spring on the horizon once again, you’ve no doubt already begun to think about heading to the pool or taking a trip to the beach. This can be a somewhat harrowing thought if you’ve spent much of the winter in hibernation and feel that you’ve let your beach body slip away. Fortunately, there’s plenty of time left for you to get yourself into shape and bring out that six-pack yet again.
Spend time in the kitchen
Shredding the fat around your abs starts with an effective, safe diet. The editors of Men’s Journal recommend that you eat five to six meals each day, including a large carb consumption after your morning workout and a lighter meal in the evening. The key here is eating before you get hungry to stay ahead of the curve. According to Jason Phillips, author and nutrition coach, a healthy food plan involves ingesting 10-12 calories for each pound of your current body weight. Split up these calories with protein, fats and carbs.
Nutrition coach Jason Phillips writes for Onnit Academy that you should consume 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight to sustain your muscle — great sources include lean meats, eggs, fish and protein supplements. This should make up 30 percent of your calories. Your intake of fats should be between 20 and 40 percent of your calorie count, with an emphasis on healthy fats like those found in fish and nuts. Fibrous carbohydrates should make up the remaining 30 to 50 percent of your intake — fruits, vegetables, sweet potatoes, rice and oatmeal are healthy sources that are great for giving you a healthy boost of energy.
Work out so abs stick out
Defining your abdominal region requires time-interval cardio and ab exercises. You should do some cardio five to seven days a week for maximum results. A great way to shred pounds is high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, in which you would alternate between sprinting and walking for a minute at a time for up to 20 minutes. Hanging leg raises, stability ball crunches and cable crunches are great ways to focus on your core. Other exercises that come in handy include burpees, pushups, planks and sit-ups. No matter your exercise of choice, Phillips recommends that you increase the amount of repetitions or exercises over time to ensure you are building muscle.
Keep these things in mind
Your hard work does not stop at what you eat and how you exercise. Drinking water is an important part of breaking down proteins and carbs in your body. Men’s Journal recommends that you drink at least 10 cups of water and upwards of a gallon every day to stay adequately hydrated. Sleep is also key for recovery and maximizing your productivity in your workouts. Phillips recommends seven to nine hours of sleep per night and suggests a routine where you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day to create a better rhythm.
Before undertaking any significant changes to your dietary or fitness regimen, talk with your doctor. Once you’ve got the green light, stay focused on your goal and you’ll find yourself happily showing off at the pool or beach this spring.
This article is presented by Jennings Chevrolet in Glenview, Illinois.