We are into the heart of spring and can almost taste summer. Four weeks from now I’ll be getting ready to hit the beaches of Hawaii and like many of you who may be getting Memorial Day ready, I’m getting into my “fine-tune mode.”
This is also known as code red I have to wear a bathing suit soon. Help!
If you’ve been slacking and falling behind on your workouts and nutrition don’t panic, but we have to get serious immediately. Believe it or not, four-six weeks is enough time to see some differences and to have that confidence you want at the beach. Here are some dietary keys to getting the body you want in six weeks.
I know I’m always preaching to limit your sugar, but now is crunch time. Sugar has been proven to force the body to hold onto those last fat deposits especially around your mid section. I find most people feel like they aren’t eating lots of sugars in their diets, but your daily sugar intake can sneak up on you quickly. The most deceptive places are juices, breads and alcohol. Whenever I’m really cutting down, I always count out the amount of grams of sugar I take in and shoot to keep it under 20 grams per day. It’s tough at first, but it’s worth it.
Jump off the juices
Fruit juices are laced with high amounts of sugar, without the healthy fiber that helps to control how much sugar is actually absorbed into your bloodstream. Even the 100 percent all natural, fresh squeezed and vita-mixed juices are still sugar sanctuaries and can play a major role in blocking you from achieving your goals. The best plan during cut-down crunch time is to stick to water all the time. If you need some type of flavor, try adding lemon, cucumber or slices of your favorite fruit to your water. Placing fruit slices into your water will add flavor without the sugar. Another great solution is using soda or carbonated water to help give the water a refreshing taste without the empty calories that come along with juices. As someone who wasn’t a super fan of water growing up or even now, using carbonated water and fruit flavors has really helped me to include more water into my diet.
Unfortunately bread doesn’t always present itself to us in its true loaf form. Sometimes it sneaks its way into our diets; think crackers, cookies, pretzels and anything else that you’re putting flour into. Remember food doesn’t necessarily have to taste sweet to act like a sugar in your body. Once these flour-based foods are broken down in the body, it spikes your blood sugar up and puts you in a fat-storing zone, which is not the zone we want at all.
Try alternatives like lettuce wraps, kale wraps, cheese crisps or kale chips to replace the bread-based food in your diet. If bread is your go to and it’s not going to change, try using less. Open-faced sandwiches or sandwiches made with only one slice of bread and then folded over can serve as better options. My game plan for reducing the bread from your diet over the next four weeks is as follows: Start by removing your bread intake from one meal each week. This week no bread at dinner, next week none for lunch and dinner, and finally in weeks three and four cutting it out completely. Remember you can still include healthier complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, quinoa, farro and beans to get a well-balanced diet. If you’re going to include bread, make sure its darker and you make it yourself with flour from ancient grains.
Abstinence for alcohol
Alcohol is the main culprit to that spare tire many of you have around your waist. Not only is the alcohol not allowing your body to break down the stored fat it wants to burn, but it’s usually coupled with even more bad calories. If you’re going to drink, try to drink cocktails straight or with club soda and lime. If you’re serious about dropping the weight, your first step needs to be dropping the bottle. Two rules I live by are one, I only drink on the weekends and two, I only drink on days that I work out twice. If you are packing on the calories, you better pack yourself in the gym.
Follow these nutrition goals for the next four weeks along with some serious cardio and you’ll be Memorial Day ready in no time.