Get in shape for Summer with these tips from Advertiser.ie

In association with Advertiser Classifieds, your Classifieds website

In association with the Galway Advertiser's Classifieds website, www.classifieds.advertiser.ie, we give some advice on how to obtain your dream summer body

With summer fast approaching, the big fitness drive is kicking in. There is nothing worse than feeling overweight when the weather gets warm and clothes get that bit skimpier. There is no doubt that winter woolies are more forgiving to our figures. Whether you are planning on going on a foreign holiday or staying at home, you will undoubtedly feel all the better for dropping a few pounds.

Any diet or workout plan that promises ‘instant’ results is either very unhealthy or complete nonsense. Be realistic in your goals, it is not possible to safely drop from a size 20 to a size 12 in a matter of weeks. In order to get fit and healthy for summer, you need to do so in a healthy way, making sure that your body is getting all the essential nutrients it needs.

The key component to getting healthy, is eating healthily and that means ditching the fad diets and juice cleanses which will probably yield results, but most likely in the short term only. If you are going to extremes like cutting out carbohydrates or fat altogether, your body will eventually suffer. The majority of people who lose a lot of weight over a short period of time will tell you that the pounds creep on straight away when you resume your 'normal' eating habits.

And that is the key to successful healthy weight-loss - if your everyday diet is erratic incorporating lots of junk-food, your tastebuds need to change, and your diet needs a long term overhaul. Forget the quick fix, you need to start eating three balanced meals with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats, fish and carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, brown rice and whole-grain bread. These are also all slow-release energy foods which keep your blood sugar levels more stable between meals and help you feel fuller. These are the foods which healthy people eat on a daily basis - good wholesome grub and plenty of it. There is no diet out there on which you should be hungry, in fact if you begin eating the right foods, you should be eating more than ever. It is time to overhaul your tastebuds and become accustomed to this new way of life. This will not happen overnight, but with plenty of perseverance and healthy home cooked meals, you will experience weight loss that is maintainable for life.

Some people have the mistaken idea that 'healthy' food equates to tasteless food. This could not be further from the truth. Do yourself a favour and purchase one of the hundreds of cookbooks that advocate healthy eating, if you try a few of the recipes, you will be pleasantly surprised at what you can do with herbs and spices and a little imagination. There is no doubt that a healthy home cooked meal can be every bit as tasty and filling as a fatty takeaway which is not doing a whole lot for you except lightening your pocket and thickening your waistline.

It is better to find healthy foods that you like and will eat in the long term rather than trying to stick to a rigid diet which you are unlikely to maintain. A good slogan to remember is ‘everything in moderation’. A balanced diet is vitally important for your health. A balanced diet includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats, fish, and carbohydrates that have a high nutritional value such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, and whole-grain bread.

Weight loss is 80 per cent diet and 20 per cent exercise and to supplement your new healthier way of living, there is no doubt that movement will speed up weight-loss. Any form of exercise which gets your heart racing is what really burns calories. It is recommended that you get at least 30 minutes of exercise, five to six days per week for aerobic and fitness improvement. This could include a brisk walk, jogging, running, or lifting weights as strength training is an excellent way to boost your metabolism, burn calories, and increase your overall strength and muscle mass.

Sleep is another very important aspect of your journey to improving your health and fitness. Getting a good night's sleep will make you feel fresh and motivated to exercise. It is well known that with a poor night's sleep, one can make poor food choices due to tiredness. An adult should be getting at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night, so going to bed even a half an hour to an hour earlier than usual can make a difference to your mood and health.

Another worthwhile tip is to encourage a friend, family member, or spouse to join you in your efforts to get healthy and fit for summer. Sharing your journey to optimal health and fitness can help you reach your goals together.

By making some gradual changes to your lifestyle, you can get your body into great shape, and not only look but feel great this summer. You will also increase your confidence, self-esteem and self worth. Remember a healthy body equates to a healthy mind.

Find all you need to start your healthy new lifestyle on Advertiser Classifieds.

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