Everyone complains about that extra weight we have around our core, hips and chest area. It’s where our bodies store excess fat. Getting rid of it however, can be difficult and frustrating. Here are some tips from your local personal trainer at the Rec Center. Why not make a few changes this summer?

Water should always be your main beverage. Try to cut soda, alcohol, and keep juice to a minimum. A bottle of soda contains almost 250 empty calories. As for you weekend drinkers, alcohol increases fat storage while discouraging muscle growth. These drinks make you feel bloated easily. Avoid them and you will see results faster.

Avoid fast food! It is loaded with calories, and most of them from fat. One meal from a fast-food place can contain all the calories you need for a single day. Kiss fast food goodbye and start preparing your own meals at home. Invest in some meal-prep containers and start buying healthful foods at the grocery store. Don’t even think about walking down the snack aisle.

A well-balanced meal consists of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and healthy carbs. Some healthful foods consisting of protein are: lean steaks, turkey ground meat, chicken & turkey breast, egg whites, white fish, tuna, Greek yogurt and don’t forget protein powder.

Protein is the essential building block of life. To see results, aim to eat the amount of protein in grams equal to the body weight you want to achieve. If you’re trying to gain 10 pounds of muscle weight, consume your weight in grams of protein plus 10 more grams to help your body gain that extra muscle.  Some sources of healthful carbs are: sweet potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal, wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta and rice cakes.

Did you know you’re supposed to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day? Doing so will grant you more energy, and you won’t be as hungry! Use fruit as a snack   between meals. Make sure you look at the nutrition label to be aware of portion sizes. This counts for carbs and protein as well. Having a big container full of unmeasured chicken and rice can definitely be an overdose on calories.

Typically aim for a fist-sized main dish, a cup of fruit, a cup of carbs, and a glass of water or a protein shake. If you find yourself craving more, I challenge you to drink two glasses of water before your meal.

In order to tone up, you have to hit the gym and get moving! Aim for a complete workout. Say you have 1-½ hours or 90 minutes to workout. Aim for 45 minutes of weight training, 30 minutes of cardio, and 15 minutes of abs.

You want to aim to be FIT overall. Don’t be that strict lifter that’s buff but can’t run.  Identically, don’t be a strict runner that can’t lift heavy weight. Don’t skip working core either in order to keep those abs tight. A stronger core means more strength improvements overall. 

With strength training balance out working your legs, chest, arms, and back. Aim for an even body shape. Don’t skip leg day and be top heavy; your knees will pay later, but don’t just constantly work the lower body. Work on upper body strength as well.

If you don’t like working out, there are other activities out there that keep your body moving. Look into sports such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, swimming and tennis. Also try outdoor sports such as hiking, kayaking, and biking

Try to workout at least four times a week and find a workout buddy. Having a partner keeps both of you accountable. Provide encouragement to each other and you will be unstoppable.

Follow these tips and you will notice results in as  little as a week. Challenge yourself to follow these tips for a minimum of two weeks. You’ll see results that will encourage you to keep going. Keep it up and hopefully you can make this a habit that can lead to a healthy lifestyle.

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