10 Practical Strategies to Build a Summer-Ready Body Fast

Summer is just around the corner. Is your beach body ready for the fun under the sun? While having a perfect V-taper physique or an hourglass figure is not required to enjoy the beach, summertime provides an excellent opportunity to showcase the results of your hard work and dedication in the gym.

An aesthetically pleasing physique not only boosts your confidence but also conveys a sense of self-discipline and authority to those around you. These qualities are often associated with success and attractiveness in various aspects of life, from personal relationships to professional pursuits.

This article will discuss strategies for achieving your fitness goals and feeling your best this summer season.

If you feel you’ve been slacking off this year, you can still be ready for summer. A few weeks of dedicated time to self-improvement, and the gym can go a long way toward improving your physique, building your confidence, and getting ready for the beach.

The key is to set yourself up for success both mentally and physically. To prepare your body for this summer, you need a holistic approach to your fitness. A combination of nutrition, exercise, and mindset strategies can help you accelerate your fitness progress.

The main goal is to increase your physical activities throughout the day, make the right food choices and eating decisions, and create a mindset that will allow you to appreciate your progress and trust your fitness journey.

1. Reduce carbs

Refined and processed carbs are often high in calories and can massively contribute to weight gain when consumed in excess.

To reduce carb intake, minimize your consumption of foods like:

  • Soda, fruit juices, and sports drinks
  • Pastries (cookies, cakes, donuts)
  • White bread, pasta, and rice
  • Candy and chocolate
  • Chips and crackers

Instead, prioritize nutrient-dense carbohydrates. Meaning, carb-sources that have a high nutritional value to calorie ratio such as leafy greens, broccoli, berries, apples, brown rice, oats, quinoa, and legumes.

If you want to increase lean muscle mass, you need protein to support muscle growth and repair. More importantly, protein helps preserve muscle tissues while promoting feelings of fullness and food satisfaction, which help reduce cravings and prevent overeating.

Some excellent protein sources include:

  • Lean meats (chicken, turkey, beef)
  • Fish and seafood (salmon, tuna, shrimp)
  • Eggs and egg whites
  • Low-fat dairy products (cottage cheese, Greek yogurt)
  • Plant-based proteins (tofu, tempeh, legumes)

The thermic effect of food (TEF) is the energy required to digest, absorb, and metabolize nutrients. Protein has a high TEF of around 20-30%, which is significantly higher than carbs and fats. This means that for every 100 calories consumed from protein, 20-30 calories are burned through the digestive process alone.

By increasing your protein intake, you can slightly boost your overall calorie burn, even at rest.

Your immediate food environment can significantly influence your eating habits, and making strategic changes to your food environment can help you make healthier choices effortlessly.

Research has shown that people tend to eat more when food is easily accessible, visible, and convenient. Studies have shown that people who keep unhealthy snacks like chocolate and cookies visible in their kitchen are more likely to be overweight and obese than those who keep snacks out of plain sight.

Eating can also be a habit— an automatic behavior we often unconsciously do. To fix your stress eating habits and prevent you from reaching for a quick snack:

  • Remove food triggers like chips and cookies or ice cream from your kitchen and fridge
  • Keep healthier food options such as fruits and vegetables in easily accessible and visible places
  • Prepare meals and healthy snacks in advance
  • Create a designated eating area (avoid eating in front of T.V or while working)
  • Avoid distractions when eating, as this also affects satiety

4. Get your 7,500 steps

Don’t underestimate the importance of daily movement. Aiming for a minimum of 7,500 steps per day can have a huge impact on your fitness and contribute massively to your fat loss efforts. Depending on your stride length and pacing, it equals 2.8 to 3.7 miles (4.5km to 6.0km).

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People who take 7,500 steps per day are considered moderately active individuals. A 7,500 or more steps daily is associated with lower body mass index (BMI) and a reduced waist circumference, as well as a 50-70% decrease in early death.

The amazing thing about this is that it only takes about 60-70 minutes of walking at a moderate pace outside or even on a treadmill. In calories, 7500 steps is equivalent to 200-300 calories burned, further contributing to the overall calorie deficit program you have. While this may not seem like much, the cumulative effect of this extra-calorie burn can significantly contribute to your fat loss efforts over time.

It may seem daunting, but you can accumulate these steps throughout the day by:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Park farther away from your destination
  • Walk during your lunch break
  • Work on a standing desk with a walking pad
  • Walk while talking on the phone
  • Take short walking breaks every hour if you have a sedentary job

High-intensity interval Training, or HIIT, workouts are designed to help you burn calories quickly and improve your overall fitness.

HIIT involves alternating short bursts of intense exercise with periods of short rest or low-intensity recovery. It helps boost metabolism, enhance fat loss, and preserve hard-earned muscle mass.

Take advantage of the opportunity to exercise outdoors and enjoy the fresh air while working towards your summer body goals. Outdoor workouts offer a refreshing change of scenery, provide mood-boosting benefits, and can help you stay motivated and consistent with your fitness routine.

Morning runs or cycling can help you get your much-needed vitamin D, which is essential for both your health and immune function. Some exercise classes are held outdoors, such as yoga, boot camp workouts, outdoor dance classes, beach workouts, and trail running.

To reduce body fat and improve lean muscle mass fast, you can take advantage of bodyweight workouts, which can be done virtually anywhere. This allows you to maximize physical movements and prevent barriers to exercising, such as busy schedules or lack of equipment.

Here are some of the essential bodyweight movements to include in your workouts:

If you want to prioritize core strength and flexibility without needing fancy equipment, wall pilates is also a great way to burn additional calories while staying at home.

Here’s plan for women that will help you get summer-ready:

And for men:

8. Develop growth mindset

A growth mindset is the belief that your skills and abilities can be improved through dedication and hard work.

By reframing your current obstacles or present state as opportunities to develop and grow rather than indications of lack of self-discipline or failure, you can maintain motivation and thrive on days that you just don’t feel like it.

To develop a growth mindset:

  • Enjoy challenges
  • Learn from setbacks
  • Avoid negative self-talk
  • Celebrate your efforts
  • Simply enjoy the process
  • Seek out role models
  • Practice self-reflection

If you want to build a summer-ready body fast, you must practice self-compassion and set realistic expectations. Self-compassion involves treating yourself with kindness, understanding, and acceptance, especially during difficult times or when facing setbacks or self-doubts.

Research has shown that self-compassion is associated with greater motivation, improved body image, and better overall well-being. Whatever your fitness results in the next few weeks, be kind to yourself and acknowledge that you have put tons of effort towards improving yourself in a short amount of time.

By being kind and understanding towards yourself, you can create a more positive and supportive inner dialogue that helps you navigate the ups and downs of your fitness journey.

Stepping out of your comfort zone can help you discover new strengths, overcome self-imposed limitations, and develop a greater sense of confidence in your abilities. By regularly pushing yourself beyond your comfort level, you can accelerate your progress and achieve your summer body goals more effectively.

Experiment with different types of exercises or workout styles that you haven't tried before. This could include a new fitness class, a different cardio style, or a challenging strength training routine.

The main goal of building a summer-ready body fast is to adopt a holistic approach that combines increased physical activity, mindful nutrition, and a positive mindset.

It is about integrating sustainable positive changes in your routine that will last in the long run. By committing to these changes not just for the summer but as part of a lasting lifestyle shift, you can achieve your summer body goals while also setting yourself up for long-term health and well-being.

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Bert Bauzon is a licensed physiotherapist specializing in spinal care and sports rehabilitation. He writes articles and books about exercise science and health care.
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