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Getting Your Summer Body: Part 1

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2:41pm 19th May 2015
(Updated 2:42pm 19th May 2015)

Summer is soon to be upon us, with the salty sea, scorching sun and your flabulous body... wait. What?...

...Everyone is chasing that summer body to show off when they're out with their friends, on the beach. Truth is, you probably are as well - otherwise you wouldn't be reading this article. Now, i'm going to be pretty harsh here and say there is no short cut to a healthy, fit, aesthetically pleasing body. None. You're probably going to stop reading here as that's exactly what you want - a shortcut... however, there are things that you can do which can help you.

1. If you're trying to burn stomach fat... stop doing crunches or sit ups!

There's a huge myth in the fitness industry that by doing crunches or sit ups, you're 'burning' away fat at this area... or by doing curls you'll be burning your bingo wings - but this is not true at all. By exercising, you're simply burning calories - you cannot spot reduce fat. When was the last time that you seen someone with a chiselled chest, amazing arms and legs, but a barell for a stomach? Never.

Your body is different to everyone else's, and thus you burn fat off in different places first than everyone else, it's just luck of the draw. In order to burn fat, you should be looking at putting yourself into a calorie deficit, eating below your 'maintenance' amount of calories.

A good website to check out which is vital in calculating your calories and how many you need to maintain your weight is: www.iifym.com (which stands for: If It Fits Your Macros)

Stomach Fat

2. A six pack is made in the gym, and revealed in the kitchen.

Everyone has the muscles required to have a six pack, it's just that in order to show them, and reveal them, you need to have a low enough body fat percentage - which is done through cutting your calories down (only by about 100 - 300 calories under maintenance). Once you're at a low enough body percentage, then it's time to boost your calories back up (to help you build muscle) and to start doing abdominal workouts - in order to make them pop out.

Body Fat Percentages

3. Cutting down: 101

The term cutting, or cutting down, is meant to describe the act of cutting calories down and cutting fat away. In order to cut fat, you need to work out your maintenance calories (use online calculators, our favourite is www.iifym.com) and then to put yourself in a caloric deficit by eating 100 - 300 calories less.

Cardio isn't necessarily going to burn fat because at the end of the day, all cardio does is burns calories from your end of day goal. Cardio doesn't burn fat itself. Depending on the type of cardio, it takes around 20 minutes to burn about 100 calories - the amount of a digestive biscuit - now you tell me. What's easier? Running for 20 minutes, or not eating the biscuit?

4. Protein/Carbohydrates/Fat - What the heck are these?

Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat are called macronutrients. They're the three things that all food matter is made of. Protein is required to build muscle, think of this as food for your muscles. Carbohydrates is used for your body to have energy, and fat is essential for hormone production. In order to have a healthy body, you need to have all of this in your diet.

The reason why I have to tell you about this is because I have a feeling there is a huge misconception about macronutrients; especially fat. People think that fat is a big thing that you shouldn't have in your diet - but this is completely wrong. Fat is required for you to produce hormones; if your hormones are not at the correct level, you'll end up becoming tired. So do yourself a favour, have some fat in your diet.

Typically, each of the macronutrients have the following calories attributed to them:

Protein: 4 calories per gram.

Carbohydrates: 4 calories per gram.

Fat: 9 calories per gram.

 

Find out more, next week, in Part 2...

 

 

 

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