No sooner do we take the decorations down, the long-winter nights begin to shorten and our thoughts turn to the summer. When the temperatures start to increase we look up with optimism, but many of us look down and see a waistline that still bears all the hallmarks of a partial winter hibernation. Time to do something about it. It's time to get beach lean!
You'll have undoubtedly heard that the summer body you want, starts in the winter. It's a bit of a cliché, but like all good clichés, it's absolutely true. If you're wanting to look your best on the beach or around the pool this summer, there's no better time to start than right now! That said, if you're going away tomorrow, then you've probably left it a little too late. Sorry!
If you're looking to lose body fat to get the beach body you've always wanted, then I'm here to tell you it's absolutely possible. Give yourself some time and you can do it. I say that without relying on fad diets, starving yourself or doing anything that puts your health and wellbeing at risk. That isn't how we do things here. It's also possible to do so without sacrificing muscle or any negative affects to your metabolism. How? I'm glad you asked.
For too many people, losing fat quickly is about starving yourself, combined with lots of cardiovascular exercises and low-weight, high-rep resistance training. All you're going to get this way is 'skinny fat' or, to give it its proper name, metabolically obese normal weight (MONW). This means that you're under lean (not enough muscle), but over fat (too much fat, especially around the belly). Yes you'll have lost weight, but I doubt you'll be pleased with the results when you look in the mirror because it ruins your body composition. What you really want is to lose fat, but not muscle. Only then will you become beach lean.
To achieve this, what we want is a calorie deficit plan that it relatively aggressive, but not too extreme. You should be looking for a calorie deficit of no more than 25% from what you're on now. For example, if you're taking in around 2000 calories per day, then take that to no less than 1500 going forward. Whatever your number becomes, when it comes to nutrition, you should be eating a high-protein, high-carbohydrate diet. Protein to help your body maintain lean muscle mass and carbs as your body's main source of energy. Remember that low-carb dieting does work for those with fairly sedentary lifestyles, but if you're pretty active already, then carbs are your friend!
The general rule of thumb when you want to lose fat is to max out on cardio. That's not the way to go in this regard. To look your best on the beach, you should be focusing instead on a lot of heavy, compound weight-training. That's not to say you shouldn't do any cardio at all, but keep it to a minimum. I accept that the term 'heavy' is a relative term, but here I'm talking about weights that are about 75 to 85% of your one-rep maximum. Compound means that exercises that work on several major muscle groups at once. Things like the squat, bench press and deadlifts will work fantastically here. Not only will this help you build muscle, but also encourage faster fat loss.
No-one is saying that getting the beach body you want is easy, it's not. Nothing you want in life is, but it's doable. With a little preparation, willpower and planning, you can get lean for the summer. If you put the work in, do the winter miles, you'll get the summer smiles. See what I did there. I'd love to see your progress. Hit me up on social media and let's share your successes.