Sure it's chilly outside, but swimsuit season is closer than you might think. Does the water season give you chills? Well, there's good news. You can be happy in your swimsuit by June - if you follow these seven principles:
NO. 1 - DON'T DRINK YOUR CALORIES
Juice, soda, fruit-like drinks, sweet tea, fancy coffee concoctions and other beverages are all packed with sugar. (Yes, juice is the nutritional equivalent of soda.) Sugar, especially liquid sugar is the most fattening stuff there is. When you drink it, your brain (hypothalamus to be specific) doesn't register it as calories in, so it doesn't dampen your appetite accordingly, so you just keep eating or drinking. To make it worse, sugar is more addictive than cocaine.
NO. 2 - TRAIN SMART
The first thing that most people think of for fat-loss exercise is slow, steady state aerobics ("cardio"). However, trying to use "cardio" for fat-loss is a lot like using bloodletting to cure disease. Both are traditions based on dogma - neither science nor real world results - and both have/had the powers that be endorse them. Save your time for what really matters like metabolic resistance training and interval training. Exercises like squats, lunges, deadlifts, pushups, and sprints will get you far better results in less time than jogging and jogging ever will.
NO. 3 - WAIT UNTIL FRIDAY OR SATURDAY
It's a rare person who can make it a whole week without a "treat" such as French fries. On average most people will only be able to get away with two treats (maybe three) per week and still make progress. Where people get into trouble is that they have far more treats than their body can handle. If you have your first treat on Monday, then you only have one left for the entire week. That's not going to work and you will end up way over budget on noncompliant food. Wait until Friday or Saturday and your week will be so much easier, and your results so much better.
NO. 4 - USE PRESSURE TO YOUR ADVANTAGE.
Pressure isn't usually comfortable, but it is always powerful. Tell the positive people in your life what you're doing so they can help you stay on track. Positive peer pressure is a wonderful thing.
NO. 5 - KNOW YOUR NUMBERS
Measure! Every week or two you need to measure your progress or lack thereof. The tape measure beats the scale as a useful measure especially for females. (How much do you weigh in the mirror?) It is oh so easy to kid yourself into thinking that skipping a workout or having extra "treat meals" won't slow you down, but it's a powerful wake up call to see that the little lie you told yourself is not true when you go to check the measuring tape. Measure regularly. Record the numbers. Adjust your behavior or possibly your perception of your behavior accordingly.
NO. 6 - STAY IN THE REAL WORLD
Measuring will let you know what is or is not happening. It's really important that you keep yourself grounded on planet Earth. At the end of one gym member's program, he said that the best thing to happen to him over the past month was, "Finding a cinnamon bun the size of my head." He then said he was not satisfied with his rate of progress in the gym. It is impossible to be "doing everything right and eating perfectly" and to simultaneously make no progress.
NO. 7 - BE REALISTIC
Last but not least, please be realistic about what you are going to get done in 100 days or less. To look like the folks on the cover of a magazine you need to have their genes and you need to work at physical perfection as a full time job. On top of that, you then need to use a few tricks to peak for the photo, a tan, professional lighting, a professional photographer, possibly some body make up, and then a little bit of PhotoShop to boot.