Guest blogger, Carol Dunlop is certified through FiTour as a Personal Trainer and through the American Red Cross as a CPR, AED and First Aid Instructor. She has competed and placed in several Fitness America and National Bodybuilding competitions. To receive your Free E-course “How to Burn Calories While you Sleep,” check out her website, OptimumBodySculpting.com.
Aaaah Spring! The images that come to mind; flowers, sun, sand and bikini season! There, I said it, that dreaded 2-word phrase that can cause you to run to the cottage cheese isle for weeks on end. Wait! It doesn’t have to be this way. Follow my 7-Step guide and make this bikini season the one that makes you utter, “Bring it on, baby!”
Step 1: Eat Breakfast: Never skip breakfast, it’s the most important meal of the day. Skipping breakfast makes your body believe that you’re starving. Eating breakfast gives you an energy boost and prevents you from overeating later in the day, not to mention keeping you alert and attentive to detail.
Step 2: Get Moving: If you want to get rid of that “muffin top,” you have to burn calories. The most effective method of burning calories is to exercise. Exercise can take on a whole array of methods from kick-boxing to yoga classes to riding your bike in the park or even running the vacuum over the downstairs family room. Whatever you choose to do, just get started and do it, at least 3 times per week for 20 minutes each.
Step 3: Control Your Portions: You can’t manage what you don’t measure. When planning your meals, it is extremely important to measure out the foods you are eating. It’s simple: eat more calories than you burn off, you gain weight. Eat less calories than you burn, you lose weight. If you have no idea how many calories you are consuming, you won’t know how to adjust them in order to maximize fat loss.
Step 4: Tread lightly with the Sugars: Simple sugars and refined carbohydrates, or “processed foods” such as soda, fast food, chips, white bread, white pasta, white rice or meals in a box/bag are high in calories and have little to no nutritional value. These types of foods send your blood sugar levels into overdrive, resulting in hunger and fatigue which causes your body to go into fat storage mode and slows your metabolism.
Step 5: Drop that Weight, Then Pick it Up: The best thing you can do for your body is to build strong, sculpted muscle and the best way to do that is to start lifting weights. No, you won’t bulk up, I promise, unless you want to and believe me that is a whole other story! But seriously, strong, toned muscle burns fat. Isn’t getting rid of fat our goal here? Need I say more?
Step 6: Snooze to Lose: It may sound strange, but getting enough sleep is key to helping your body burn fat and keep it off. During sleep, your body is actually rejuvenating and re-building cells, bones and tissue. Without proper rest, your body can’t do all that it needs to do to prepare you for the next day, including getting rid of excess fat. So snooze and lose!
Step 7: Drink Up: Water is the most important nutrient in the human body. Did you know that over 70% of your body’s functions take place in water – a lack of water causes all your systems to slow down – including your metabolism. You should consume at least 8 eight ounce glasses of water daily. Proper hydration will increase the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream which increases your body’s fat burning ability.
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