slim down for summer

Shape Up for Summer

It looks like summer is finally on its way! The days are getting longer and the temperature is hovering around the 70s and 80s. Are you ready for the warmer weather? A lot of people are still looking for some ways to slim down and tone up. If that’s you, check out these tips.

Slim Down

Drop the fast food. A sobering article from LIVESTRONG sets the record straight. In a 2012 study on behaviors of obese individuals, researchers found that “fast food consumption had the largest impact on obesity levels.” Besides increasing your waistline, fast food raises your blood sugar and blood pressure levels, both of which can have devastating impacts on your health.

Switch out some carbs for protein and healthy fats. This doesn’t necessarily mean to go on a low-carb diet—carbs are an important energy source for our bodies. But an article published by the Los Angeles Times points out that carbs make up over half of the average American’s daily caloric intake. We really don’t need that many. All those extra carbs make it impossible for your body to burn stored fat, so change out some of your carbs for proteins and healthy fats. Foods that are high in protein include nuts, chicken, tuna, and salmon. Foods that are filled with healthy fats include avocados, cheese, eggs, and extra virgin olive oil.

Bust out the grill. Texans love their fried food, but the high fat content increases your cholesterol levels and calorie intake. When you grill your meat, some of the excess fat will drip off during the grilling process, meaning that you end up with a great taste and a leaner protein. If grilling isn’t your thing, try steaming or baking instead.

Tone Up

Keep it simple, but consistent. You don’t have to spend two hours at the gym everyday to see results, but you do have to show up on a regular basis. Health professionals will tell you that you should be actively moving for at least 60 minutes a day, but you don’t have to do that all at once. Take a 30-minute walk during your lunch break (or before work, if your lunch break isn’t long enough) and then hit the gym for 30 minutes after work.

Get moving and stay moving. Your best strategy is to keep moving throughout the day, which can be tough for people working desk jobs. Make it a point to stand up and stretch your legs for at least five minutes every hour. It can help rev your metabolism and help clear your mind so that you’re more efficient and productive at your desk.

Mix it up. At the gym, alternate between weights, cardio, interval, and resistance work. Focusing on one of those areas alone probably won’t get you the results you’re looking for. Do some active stretching exercises as a warm-up (think high knees, lunges, jumping jacks, etc.), and don’t forget to stretch afterwards!

If you want help reaching your health goals for summer, LT Men’s Clinic is here to help! Schedule an appointment by calling (817) 416-5698 today.