Spring may have taken its time this year, but I know what won’t be lagging behind: summer. That’s right; it’s just over 30 days away, and once those pool-party invites start rolling in, there’s no turning back. Point blank, you’re going to have to show some skin.
So if you’re already fretting about this season of endless sunshine or think you’ll have to wait until next year to join the never-ending crop-top trend, you can think again. I have seven quick fixes that cost nothing but can change everything. Get ready to trade your spring outerwear for some swimwear!
1. Schedule an attitude adjustment.
That’s right: The first thing you need to do in order to be summer-ready can’t be found at the gym or in your kitchen. It’s in your mind. In my 10 years of changing bodies, my No. 1 philosophy has always been, “Change your mind, change your body, change your life.” I’m not trying to get all Iyanla: Fix My Life on you, but unless you truly believe you are worthy of changing your health and ultimately your life, then nothing I or anyone else says will matter.
Homework time. Wait, don’t close your browser just yet. It will literally take 10 minutes and will honestly change these next 30 days tenfold. Whip out your cellphone (try not to go on Instagram; I know it’s hard) and open whatever “notes” app you have. Then write in all caps: “I AM WORTHY.” Beneath this, write five (at least) reasons that you deserve to look and feel your best.
Listen, though; it can’t be about anything materialistic or unrealistic. For example, you can’t be like, “Because if I’m skinny, that hottie on the third floor will ask me out.” You can, however, be like, “Because if I commit to eating healthier at lunch every day, I will have more energy to work on my dream project after work.”
Knowing why you are doing something instantly fail-proofs it. So think hard, dig deep and schedule this attitude adjustment before you read any of these other quick tips (I promise, no more homework).
2. The 30-and-over club.
Let’s talk about sweat. Maybe you hate it and maybe you love it, but if you want to see your body and health change for good, then you have to do it. In fact, commit to 30 minutes or more of sweat each day for the next 30 days. Anything that pumps up your heart rate counts, so be creative, make it fun and get it done.
3. Sucka-punch sodium.
Water weight is real, and you can really drop it by limiting your daily amount of sodium. The maximum recommended level of sodium intake is 2,300 milligrams per day, but the average American consumes between 2,300 and 3,100 milligrams. Drop the saltshaker, reduce your consumption of processed foods and enjoy the natural flavor of fresh food.
4. Two-drink maximum.
I know the rule at your favorite comedy club is that you have to throw back at least two cocktails just to be there, but the rule at the “summer-ready club” is that you can only throw back two. Alcoholic beverages are not only a sure way to suck down empty calories; they’re also a sure way to down a plate of nachos solo. The more we drink, the less we think. It’s that simple.
Stay in control and control the amount of booze you have. Instead, party at club H20. Proper hydration is miraculous because most people confuse thirst with hunger—so you also eat less when you drink more water.
5. Pimp your metabolism.
Our metabolism can be funny-acting. When we were younger, it was (as the young kids say) on fleek, but the older we get, the slower it becomes. Don’t freak out, though; you aren’t doomed just because your DOB makes you wiser than others. In fact, you can actually trick your metabolism.
One easy way is to roll with my boy Joe. By drinking 8 ounces of coffee one hour before your workout, you can energize your sweat session in a major way. How so? Well, caffeine makes you burn more calories without even realizing you’re pushing yourself harder, that’s how.
6. White’s not right.
News alert: I may be a fit pro, but I’m on team carbs. And honestly, you should join, too. Carbs are energy, so unless you want to fall out trying to get your 30 minutes of sweat, you have to eat them.
Quick rule, though: Not all carbs are created equal, so cut out all white carbs (do this forever). The simple carbs in white grain products (pasta, bread, rice, etc.) cause bloating (especially around your belly), and they also digest crazy quick. Hello, hunger again one hour later. Straight up—white’s not right. Let it go.
7. You snooze, you lose.
Superhumans who don’t sleep aren’t that super after all. Sleeping is your body’s opportunity to rebuild and restore, so fluff that pillow—stat. Seven to eight hours of solid shut-eye is best, but even a simple extra half hour a night can make a huge difference. Well-rested people are more refreshed, and refreshed people make better decisions.