There's no wrong time to pursue health and fitness, but for many of us, the first sign of warmer weather is the motivation we need to get started with our wellness goals.
You've spent months indoors, and you're ready to get back to spending your days walking on the beach or relaxing by the pool. When you imagine yourself doing these things, isn't the image made even better by picturing yourself with a summer ready body?
And keep in mind there is NO one size fits all! At American Dream Nut Butter we believe every body truly is a beach body (all you need is the water, some sand and the perfect swimsuit!), but we also recognize that so many of our nut butter loving fans are also health-conscious, so we're excited to help support your wellness journey and your goals!
Using the tips listed below, you'll see improvements not only in how you look but how you feel as well. No crash diets or running yourself ragged in the gym, simply taking steps to improve your health and wellness overall. You might even find that the lifestyle you build in your journey toward your personal ideal summer body sticks with you all year long.
Watch What You Eat
When it comes to making changes in your appearance and getting beach ready, exercise is important but your diet is going to be 90% of the battle.
First of all, you should always remember that the food you use to fuel your body has an impact on every facet of your health. But in addition to that, the fact of the matter is this: you cannot outwork a bad diet.
Even if you have the perfect fitness routine, you won't see the changes in your body that you're hoping for if you're fighting an uphill battle by making poor diet choices. By eating healthy, you'll find that you have more energy and feel happier in your day-to-day life. Not to mention, your summer body will be much easier to reach.
Do your best to include as many whole, nutrient-dense foods as possible in your daily diet. Fruits and vegetables should be included in every meal in addition to lean protein and healthy fats and carbohydrates.
And just because you're eating healthy doesn't mean your diet has to be boring! There are endless meal options out there that are both nutritious and delicious.
For example, instead of eating basic peanut butter toast before a workout, you could treat yourself to some peanut butter granola! As long as you're choosing foods that aren't loaded with added sugars and sodium, you're headed in the right direction.
Increase Your Protein Intake
Speaking of peanut butter toast, ensuring that you're getting enough protein in your diet is one of the best nutrition tips we can give you. Protein is a key ingredient in both gaining muscle and losing fat.
In fact, in a study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that consuming protein throughout the day promotes weight loss while preserving lean mass. In other words, for those who want to build a summer ready body, protein is your answer.
Aim for eating protein at every meal. A few excellent food choices high in protein include fatty fish, eggs, broccoli, oats, cottage cheese, and, of course, peanut butter.
If your goal is to gain muscle (and therefore gain weight), you should be getting between 0.5 and 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight. Those who want to lose weight should ensure that protein makes up about 25-30% of their caloric intake.
Perfect Your Sleep Schedule
If you're one of the many people who look at sleep as an inconvenience and your sleep schedule is often put on the back burner because of it, it's time to change your outlook. Sleep is an absolute necessity, both for our mental and physical health.
Without a solid sleep schedule, you'll find it almost impossible to reach your body goals, whether you want to gain muscle or lose fat. This is because inadequate sleep prevents your body from recovering from exercise, disrupts your hormone balance, and causes cravings. And that's only a few of the negative side effects.
According to the Sleep Foundation, if you're of working age (between the ages of 18 and 65), you need 7-9 hours of high-quality sleep every night.
The best way to ensure that your sleep is high-quality is to balance your circadian rhythm. To do this, you need to go to sleep and wake up at approximately the same time every day - yes, even on the weekends!
If you find it difficult to fall or stay asleep, consider limiting your caffeine to the morning hours or creating a relaxing nighttime routine to help your body learn when you want to go to sleep.
Drink More Water
Your body is made up of about 60% water with some of your vital organs such as your brain and heart having an even higher water content. This means that the importance of staying hydrated truly cannot be overstated.
Severe dehydration can lead to a variety of negative outcomes, but even mild dehydration can impede your performance and fat-burning potential. On the flip side, staying hydrated will flush excess water weight, improve the look and feel of your skin, and help you stay energized and craving-free.
For maximum benefits, you should be drinking 1 ounce of water per pound of your body weight per day, but be sure to drink at least 0.5 ounces per pound.
If and when you get tired of drinking water, switch to tea or black coffee, as long as you're being mindful of your afternoon caffeine consumption. If tea is your drink of choice, flavors such as lemon, peppermint, and chamomile will aid in digestion and ease bloating.
Cutting out high-calorie drink options such as sodas, cocktails, wine, and beer can do wonders for your physique. Not only is alcohol itself high in calories but it lowers your inhibitions making you more likely to cheat on your diet.
Build an Exercise Routine
The two pillars of health are diet and exercise with sleep being the foundation upon which they stand. We've talked about diet and sleep; now let's dive into exercise.
When you're building your exercise routine, your starting point should be 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. Broken down, this is just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. You can always exercise more than that too, but also be weary of overexercise as well.
A quick internet search will reveal endless get fitness tips, many of which have merit. However, the best way to approach fitness is to find an activity you love! If exercise feels like a chore, you're far less likely to stick to your routine.
Choose an activity that you'll look forward to doing more often than not. If you're not a fan of the gym, there's no need to force yourself to go. Pick up rollerblading, take your dog for a run, or sign up for a dance class! The more fun, the better.
Move as Often as You Can
In addition to making time for intentional exercise, you'll be amazed by the results you can get simply by making an effort to move more. How many hours a day do you spend sitting at a desk or in front of a TV? Cutting back on that time can make all the difference.
You don't even have to change your habits to reduce the amount of time you're sedentary. Next time you're enjoying your favorite show, try some yoga flows, add in some lunges or even consider using a stepper while you watch rather than sitting on the couch. And, if you have the option, consider replacing your traditional desk with one that can be adjusted to allow you to work from a standing position.
If you want to take it up a notch, add an evening or morning walk to your routine to help center you before or after your day. It's also a good idea to bike or walk as often as you can rather than driving everywhere. If your community isn't friendly for walking or biking, taking steps as small as parking further away from the grocery store will add up over time.
Start Your Journey to Being Summer Ready Today
As you can see, there's no miracle switch to be flipped. In order to have the summer body of your dreams, the answer is simple: you have to put your health first. But with a little hard work and dedication, you'll reach your body goals before you know it.
Ready to step up your health and get a summer-ready body in the process? Our high-protein, low-sugar nut butters can help satisfy your sweet tooth while chasing good nutrition.
Take a look at our products and start down the road to good health and a great body today!