Top 10 tips for staying in shape this summer

Most people find it hard to have a good balance between their training, diet, work life and social life. Let’s face it it’s not easy! And these days where convenience food is only ever around the corner, it makes it even harder to stay on track with your training and nutritional goals.

Staying in shape is a lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy all the other things that you like to do in life!

Here are my top 10 tips for staying in shape this summer!

  1. PREPARE YOUR MEALS If you are planning a day out somewhere while the weather is nice then go and enjoy it! The main reason people go off track with their diet is when they’ve not prepared any meals and then end up having to buy something while they’re out, which usually ends up being something junk food related and that will then spiral out of control and the whole day is a write off nutritionally! So prepare your meals and then you don’t have any excuse to not stick your plan and you can still enjoy the day whilst being happy in the fact that you have stayed on track.

  2. ENJOY YOUR TRAINING Sounds simple but many people will never consider this. They will keep slogging out the same work outs month after month and not enjoying their time in the gym! Keep things fresh with your training. Yes, you’re there for results but results will come quicker if you’re enjoying the training! Try doing your usual work out the opposite way round - you’ll be surprised how different it feels.

  3. EATING CLEAN DOESN’T MEAN BORING Be more adventurous with your foods. Use spices like pink Himalayan salt, peri peri, black pepper, garlic, turmeric, ginger etc to make your food more tasty. Low calorie or sugar free sauces can make all the difference compared to plain chicken and rice. Even adding in some onion and mushrooms can liven up your food. Making your chicken and veg into a chicken stir fry can taste like a totally different meal so enjoy your diet and it will be much easier to stick to.

  4. CURBING SUGAR CRAVINGS When eating healthily and staying in shape, sugar shouldn’t be a part of your diet regime. It serves no use and is the the main reason for the rise in obesity figures that we see on a daily basis. So how do we fix a sugar craving? Well luckily for us there are no LOADS of sugar free products out there to help us in our quest for health and lean physiques! Obviously moderation is key as some of these products do have artificial sweeteners in them which aren’t good to be having all the time but they certainly won’t be to any detriment to your diet. Zero sugar drinks, zero calorie syrups (great in a black coffee), sugar free gum, zero calorie ketchup style sauces to add to your food will all curb the sugar cravings.

  5. SET GOALS TO KEEP ON TRACK AND MOTIVATED Many people don’t set goals, or just have one goal which may be to lose weight or to gain muscle etc.... but it may take a long time to get to your goal so set your self small, medium and long term goals or ‘SMART’ goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely). You could have an end goal of fitting into a size 8 bikini and being body confident on the beach, but your short term goal could be to lose 1 dress size and increase fitness, good medium term goal could be to lose 2 stone and run 10k, so you’re then reaching new goals each time instead of focusing on one end goal which could be holding your progress back if you’re not reaching it.

  6. MAKE EXERCISE PART OF YOUR DAILY ROUTINE Don’t look at going to the gym as a chore. This instantly puts exercising/working out as a negative thought in your mind. Look at your time in the gym as time for you. We live in a fast pace world where everything is 100 mph and stress is a massive factor in most people’s lives. Exercising at the gym will help to relive stress, depression, increase confidence and release endorphins in the brain that make us feel good! What more reason could you need for going to the gym?!

  7. HAVE A PLANNED CHEAT MEAL BUT KEEP IT CONTROLLED Many people will be good with their diets during the week, but as soon as Friday is here they go off the rails and eat themselves into an oblivion until late Sunday night! (Is this you?). There’s nothing wrong with having a planned cheat meal and you can fit that into your diet with no real issue but keep it controlled... by that I mean keep it to a main and a desert and then you can look forward to eating you’d favourite foods without going way off track and can still make progress by doing so.

  8. IF YOU STRUGGLE TO GET TO THE GYM AFTER WORK, THEN START TRAINING FIRST THING IN THE MORNING Many people say they cannot train in a morning as they are too tired. Well I used to say the same thing until I became a personal trainer and training in a morning fitted around my schedule much better. After a couple of weeks you just get used to training early and it feels totally normal. The benefits of this are that you’re training is done for the day and when you finish work you can come straight home and feel very smug in the fact that you have already worked out and can now relax after a long day at work. This allows you more time to do other things and is a much more productive way of making use of your time.

  9. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE It might sound cliche, but having people around you that have your best interests at heart and want you to succeed in everything that you do will only ever help you in your life choices. Negative people will often want to see you fail in what you do whether that is your career, your relationships, or your training and diet. Positive people breed positivity so get rid of the negative people and watch your life improve!

  10. LEARN TO SAY NO If you work in an office environment then it’s safe to say that there will be at-least 1 day per week where people bring in cakes, crisps, sweets and everything else that you are trying so hard to avoid! When people know that you are following a diet they often want to make you feel obliged to eating all of the sugary treats that they have brought in. SAY NO! Don’t let people embarrass you into having something that will send you off track with your fitness goals. Half the time the only reason they want to do this is because they wish they had the will power that you have, and watching you fall off track will make them feel better. It’s your life and your choice, you don’t try and force feed them chicken and broccoli so don’t let them do the same to you! Be proud of your will power and dedication. Yes, you probably could get away with ‘only having one’ but why bother? Keep on track and I guarantee you will feel great for saying no when you’re at the gym later on instead of in a food coma!