Although getting the body of your dreams is natural for some, many others have to relentlessly work at it. This could mean pushing yourself to go and work out on days when you’re exhausted or resisting the urge to eat that high-calorie burger. Whatever the case may be, it often requires a level of self-discipline and dedication unless you happen to have a fast metabolism naturally. In the instance that you don’t fall into this category, you may be wondering what it takes to get the summer body you’ll be proud of. This article aims to help you out by listing five bad habits you should avoid to achieve your idea of an ideal body this summer.
When it’s time to work on your body, that can be the easiest time to come up with a million and one excuses why you can’t. These excuses may range from things such as being too tired, being afraid of pulling a muscle, not wanting to miss your favorite show when it’s time to jog, or not having any motivation. However, if you’re going to get the body you want, some determination is key. It is imperative that you find a way to become more disciplined and focus on the end goal. Some science-based ways to motivate yourself to work out and stop making excuses include finding a friend that won’t let you off the hook, engaging in friendly workout competition, not always making exercise about how you look, and tagging your friends on social media in workout posts. Another idea is to use fitness accountability apps like PACT and Diet Bet as they make you set fitness goals and if you don’t end up reaching those goals you have to pay cash directly from your bank account. However, in the instance that you meet your fitness goals, you win money and also get a few steps closer to attaining your summer body goal!
Focusing Too much on Your Body
Everyone has different reasons for wanting to work out, but for the sake of this article, the focus is on attaining a summer body. In as much as this is a valid reason to want to work out, focusing too much on it may not be enough motivation to get you past your desired finish mark. You should, instead, try and focus on the holistic benefits of working out. Some of them are that it helps relieve stress, reduces your risk of heart disease, can improve both your mental health and mood, improves your sleep, and strengthens your bones and muscles. If these benefits alone aren’t enough to have you wanting to sprint to the gym, you may be pleased to know that exercise can also improve your sexual health, help your body manage sugar and insulin levels, and improve your chances of living longer. For these reasons, you should try not to obsesses too much about the physical benefits. As important as they may be to you, sometimes it takes time to see results outwardly. Therefore, in order not to become easily discouraged, you should think about the benefits as a whole.
Setting Unrealistic Goals
When trying to achieve any goal in life, it’s important that you try to be as realistic as possible. If you’re wondering what this means, it implies not setting a target to do five hundred lunges and sit-ups every morning when you’ve barely gotten the hang of doing three. You should, therefore, set goals that align with your current fitness levels as well as your physical capabilities. This, of course, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t push yourself so that you can achieve much more. Tips on setting realistic fitness goals are first checking the Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines on the types and amount of activity a healthy adult should participate in. This should give you an indication of how much exercise you should be doing, to begin with, so that you don’t overdo it. In addition to this, you should also write short and long-term goals that you’re sure you can commit to, choose exercises and activities that you know that you’ll enjoy, and be realistic about when you’re likely to see results. Doing these things should help you stay motivated and avoid feelings of disappointment.
Alcohol and Substance Abuse
When trying to attain your ideal summer body, avoiding things that aren’t the best for your body is advisable. This means trying to stay away from your favorite greasy fried foods and resisting the urge to indulge in a bag of assorted chocolate. In addition to this, binge drinking, and smoking can also make reaching your summer body goals far more difficult. For one, alcohol has more calories than you may realize, so by drinking more than you should you’re likely to gain unwanted weight. In addition to this, using certain drugs could cause you to lose too much weight or stunt your physical growth. For this reason, if you happen to be finding it difficult to knock unhealthy alcohol and drug-related habits, you should think about trying drug rehab as an option. All in all, it’s best to stick to healthy habits when trying to get and stay fit as anything else could be counterproductive.
Eating Out Often
If you eat out often, the chances of you buying a chicken salad every time are probably not very high. When you take time out to cook at home, however, you have a better chance of meal planning. Doing this can give you better control over what you eat and help you resist the temptation to indulge in unhealthy fast food. It is understandable that you may not have as much time as you’d like to cook between working, going to the gym when you can, and trying to hold the rest of your life together. However, if you learn to meal prep, it could save you a lot of time and set you on the path to healthy eating. Some ways that you can meal prep include getting the items you’re going to cook with ready the night before, creating weekly or monthly meal plans, and choosing meals that are quick and easy to make.
There are many bad habits such as the ones mentioned above in addition to others that can keep you from attaining the level of fitness you hope for. Achieving the body, you want takes persistence and in many cases, patience. In light of this, if you want the body of your dreams this summer, it’s not too early to start now.
Photo by Matthew Kane
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