With swimsuit weather right around the corner, it's the perfect time to start getting into shape. Laren Skaggs, an Auburn nutrition major, from Birmingham, Ala. gives her tips and advice on achieving the results you want before spring break.
Skaggs stresses the importance of proper nutrition to get into shape. She says to always eat breakfast because it jump starts your metabolism. Eat several small meals throughout the day instead of three large meals. This will keep your metabolism going all day, burning more calories.
"It is ok to cheat one meal or two a week to prevent yourself from burning out on your diet and completely splurging, ruining all your hard work," says Skaggs.
Skaggs says if you are going to get carbs, try to stick to whole grain and whole wheat products. When choosing bread, pick out whole wheat bread instead of multigrain. Always try to stick to foods that are higher in protein.
Just as variety is important in a workout, it is also an important aspect of diet, so be sure to incorporate several different veggies, fruits and meals in your diet instead of eating the same thing every day.
When shopping at the grocery store, try to shop on the outside perimeter because the center isles are where all the foods are packed with preservatives.
Skaggs says to count calories and try to keep track of what you are eating. It is easy to lose track of how much you're actually eating each day, especially when you are eating snacks out of bags and boxes. That is why it is important to put your snacks on a plate or napkin so you can keep track of your portion size and not overeat.
Your nutrition is only half of the way to a great body, the other part is exercise.
For fast fat burning, cardio is the best way. Skaggs says that running is the most effective cardio exercise.
"It is important that when doing cardio, you go for at least 30 minutes keeping your heart rate up," says Skaggs. “Anything less is not effective.”
Lifting weights is also a great way to get in shape and should be incorporate into your exercise routine. After you are finished doing cardio, your body stops burning calories, but after lifting weights your muscles continue to burn that fat all day, even when resting on the couch.
"Alternating cardio and weight lifting, taking one day off a week for your body to recover is a great way to get your body looking like you want it to," says Skaggs.
It is never too late to start getting into shape. Try these tips, and you will be pleasantly surprised by your results before spring break.