As the weather warms up, no longer can you hide indoors under woolly jumpers and baggy sweaters, instead it’s spaghetti-strap dresses, teeny shorts and trips to the beach.
Fear not. Try these tips in Bulk Powders’ bikini body guide for a hot, healthy body and remember that real change doesn’t happen immediately – and that real progress lasts. Stick at it, ladies.
Before you set out to transform your body for the beach, take stock of your current shape or weight and set yourself some goals. Are you targeting a particular part of your body? Are you looking for more muscle definition? Or is it just general weight loss? If you know what you’re working towards, it’ll be easier to track progress.
You’ll find these potentially big lifestyle changes easier to manage if you’ve taken the pressure off by planning. Based on the goals you’ve set yourself, spend some time organising your workouts, creating meal plans and shopping for healthy, fresh foods.
Often when you picture yourself fitting into that bikini, you assume you’ll have to stop eating. Wrong! Food is fuel, and the women that look best at the beach definitely eat – but the old adage is true: Eat rubbish, feel rubbish. No more processed foods or easy microwave meals, even if they claim to be ‘low in fat’.
Take the time to prepare your meals from scratch and try eating little and often (say, every three to four hours) instead of three square meals a day. Your soon-to-be-bikini-clad body needs a balanced diet of roughly 35 per cent protein for muscle growth, 45 per cent complex carbohydrates for fuel and 20 per cent fats to keep you satiated.
Experts suggest the ideal daily protein intake for active individuals is 1.5-2 grams per kilo of bodyweight. Chicken, red meat, fish and eggs are great sources of protein, but more and more women are regularly using protein powder post-workout to aid muscle repair and support their bodies with healthy nutrition.
Many women are under the impression that the only way to get in shape is by committing to the treadmill. While cardio certainly has its part to play in your exercise regime, a couple of 25 – 45 minute sessions a week puts you firmly in the ‘fat burning zone’. Any more and you risk your strength training process.
OK, maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves here, but weight training is a great way to increase lean muscle mass and no, it won’t make you look big and bulky. It’ll actually do the opposite. Weight training encourages fat loss whilst helping make you look more toned and defined for a killer shape in your new bikini.
Every woman has their least favourite body part, and we’ve all got those bits we’d change if we could. In order to target those problem areas, train them from different angles to make sure you’re hitting every muscle. Also focus on compound exercises and moves that include several muscle groups at a time instead of obsessing on just your abs. Results will come.
Whenever you push your body and want it to adapt, sleep should be high on your agenda, so make sure you’re getting enough – the recommended amount of sleep is between seven and nine hours for adults. Allow for a rest day in your regime too. Use it to prepare for another successful week by planning your meals and keeping motivated.
Everyone has good days and bad days, but the trick is to not let the bad days get you down. Real results don’t happen overnight but jotting down any and all of your progress observations as well as thoughts and feelings about how you’re doing can help. Fuel your motivation by seeing just what you have achieved from one week to the next.
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BIOGRAPHY: Daniel Sturridge
BIOGRAPHY: Kepa Arrizabalaga