Spring is drawing to a close and summer’s just around the corner. For many of us this means looking forward to jetting off somewhere exotic and getting away from all of our troubles and responsibilities for a week or two. Yet, for many more the thought of stepping out on the beach in a bikini is enough to set our hearts aflutter with anxiety. How can you possibly venture out in your bathing suit when the body you’re currently wearing bears absolutely no relation to the one you envisioned you’d have by now back at the start of the year (remember all those promised you made to yourself).
It’s not that you haven’t been trying.
You go to the gym 3 or 4 times a week.
You’ve kicked your cream cake habit.
You buy kale. Regularly!
Sometimes you even eat it!
Yet, for all your hard work and endeavour that perfect bikini-ready body you envisage still eludes you. These might be some of the reasons why…
Your workplace vending machine
We’ve all been there. 11 o’clock rolls round and your belly starts growling fiercely. You need something to tide you over until lunch. Yet, with no healthy options available to you, your only recourse is to venture over to the break room vending machine to get yourself a bag of crisps or a bar of chocolate. Do this four or five times a week and it’s bound to hold you back in your efforts at the gym. Make sure you take healthy snacks with you to work like bags of nuts and seeds. These are high in protein, fibre and fats which can help you to feel satiated between breakfast and lunch. Or perhaps you could find a lower calorie version of your old favourites!
For some of us, a few glasses of wine are the perfect way to wind down after a busy week of work. For others, our relationship with alcohol is more complicated. But whether it’s because you’ve just checked out of the ANA treatment centre or because you’re growing increasingly skint, it’s a good idea to kick booze to the kerb when you’re trying to get in shape. Aside from all the empty calories, alcohol slows your metabolism making it harder to burn calories throughout the day.
Prepackaged health foods
How many times have you picked up some garishly coloured treat at the supermarket and assumed it was healthy because, well, it said so on the packet. There are a lot of snacks on the market that sell themselves as being healthy but a glance at the ingredients list quickly reveals otherwise. It doesn’t matter if it has 20g of protein per bar, if it also contains 30g of sugar, you’re not going to see much benefit from it.
Spending too much time on the treadmill
Don’t get me wrong, cardio is important. But spending all your time at the gym on the treadmill can be counterproductive. You should spend your time combining cardio with strength training. Strength training can help to give your body more shape, improve your posture so that you carry your weight better and also boost your metabolism so that you burn more calories even when your body is at rest.
Finally, maybe your body has been perfect all along and you’ve never even realised. If your partner or friends always give you compliments about your figure yet when you look in the mirror you see something markedly different to what they do, you may have body dysmorphic disorder, an unfortunately common condition that warps our perspective and prevents us from seeing our own inherent beauty.