12 Expert Tips For Getting In Shape For Summer

12 Expert Tips For Getting In Shape For Summer

Whether you go to the gym four times a week or just about manage to squeeze in the odd run every now and then, there are a bevvy of workout and nutrition tweaks you can make now to help you feel more confident once you hit the beach. We went straight to the experts for their golden rules – advocating a balanced approach to a strong, healthy body, these are the tips we can totally get on board with...

1. Ten Days Is Enough

“In an ideal world, you should allow anything from six to 12 weeks to make radical changes to your habits if you're looking to make lasting changes to your body, but with just ten days to go, you can still make a difference. Reduce your fruit intake to just two portions per day and base your meals around protein and plenty of veggies, but keep them interesting by cooking with herbs and infused oils. Also, try to reduce your salt intake – this will give the aesthetic of a leaner body but won’t make any difference to muscle mass. Drink plenty of water (but not too much, this can be extremely dangerous), never skip meals and don’t cut carbs entirely – you’ll simply rebound in a day or so if you do.” – Louise Parker, weight loss expert and Founder of the Louise Parker Method

2. Consistency Is Key

“If you’re on a mission to lose a couple of pounds before a holiday, the most important thing you can do is find an activity you love and stick to it religiously – being active is crucial to burning calories. In the run-up to a holiday, working out five days a week with an optional recovery day (long walk or leisurely bike ride) will guarantee results. Just be wary of over-doing it – if you feel like you need a rest day, take one.” – Andy Vincent, Third Space personal trainer

3. Look To HIIT

“Forget cardio when it comes to losing weight and toning up – studies have shown you burn more calories doing resistance-based/strength training, so opt for weighted workouts or cardio in short, sharp bursts. HIIT is a great way to get fit and toned but never, ever do it every day. It’s supposed to be intense and it puts a strain on your central nervous system, so too much of it can have the opposite effect, raising cortisol levels and leaving the body stressed and inflamed.” – Alex Rogers, KXU trainer

4. Beat The Bloat

“If you’ve only got a couple of days until you hit the beach, try to cut back on legumes (lentils, chickpeas and hummus) as well as bread, pasta and gassy vegetables such as broccoli, which can cause bloating. Even something as simple as reducing the size of your meals for a couple of days can make a huge difference.” – Lowri Turner, nutritional therapist & hypnotherapist

5. Mix It Up

“The body is surprisingly savvy at working out what exercise you do on a regular basis. If it’s results you’re after then always mix up your workouts. For the quickest results, try a variety of classes, but remember that in the run-up to a holiday, your diet is going to be 70% more likely to give you results than the gym, so concentrate on your fuel rather than your game.” – Alex Rogers

Your diet is going to be 70% more likely to give you results than the gym, so concentrate on your fuel rather than your game
Alex Rogers, KXU trainer

6. Look To Your Lifestyle

“While a mixture of cardio and strength training (we call it cardio conditioning on the LP Method) is best when it comes to toning and boosting fitness, this goes hand-in-hand with getting plenty of sleep, managing stress and rest and eating a balanced diet. If you’re misinformed on diet or confusing your body with a circus of endless fad diets, no amount of training is going to give you the results you deserve. A lack of sleep can contribute to visceral fat around the tummy by throwing your ghrelin hormone – which regulates appetite – out of whack and can raise cortisol levels, which can also contribute to weight gain and sugar cravings.” – Louise Parker

7. Try A Supplement

“If it’s your sugar intake, or sugar cravings, that you struggle with, it could be worth taking a chromium supplement, which can really help with blood sugar control. I recommend Biocare’s Sucroguard, which contains chromium.” – Lowri Turner

8. Calories Aren’t Everything

“By and large, a deficit of around 500 calories a day is what you should aim for if you’re looking to lose weight. However, it’s not all about calories. Portions matter – a food plan of 1,400 calories that’s made up of 80% carbs isn’t going to yield the same results as one that’s lower in carbs and higher in protein and healthy fats. Never eliminate any food group.” – Louise Parker

9. Work Out On An Empty Stomach

“If your goal is fat loss and you don’t suffer from low blood sugar drops, train before any meal. Studies have shown that working out on an empty stomach (ideally first thing in the morning) can help to burn more fat. However, always refuel properly afterwards, ideally with a decent dose of protein (roughly 20g will do) and some low GI carbs to send fuel to where it’s needed post-workout.” – Louise Parker

10. Abs Are Made In The Kitchen

“You’ve heard it before but good abs really do come down to your diet. If you have excess fat on your tummy, no amount of crunches and planks will get you a defined stomach – if anything, this can make your waist larger as the muscles grow. Instead, cut all refined sugars and aim to do oblique exercises like side planks and Spiderman planks four to five times a week for two to three weeks and you’ll see results.” – Alex Rogers

11. Try TRX

“For more toned arms, try TRX. Even the slightest changes in position can hit different muscles and ensure you’re hitting all the major and minor muscle groups in the arms. Pull-ups are also great and make you feel strong – plus, the more weight you lose, the easier they become.” – Alex Rogers

12. Avoid Drastic Behaviour

“The most common mistake I see my clients making come summer is cutting back on calories. Yes, you may initially see more weight come off, but this will plateau and will come largely from your muscle mass which can drastically affect your metabolism. For example, if you were burning 500 calories in a 45-minute class previously, you could burn just 300 calories doing exactly the same thing if you lost muscle mass. Remember the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn – it really is that simple.” – Alex Rogers
Louise Parker and her team have coached clients through nearly 20,000 programmes since she founded Louise Parker in 2007. The signature Transform programme starts from £1,600 and the Annual Louise Parker Programme coaches clients in the approach over a 12 month period, from £10,000. Price on application and a waiting list applies. There are two Louise Parker Clinics in London – Walton Street and Harrods, which are equipped with private personal training studios. For more information visit LouiseParker.com or visit @louiseparkermethod

For more information or to book an appointment with Lowri, visit LowriTurner.com

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