Summer Nutrition

Summer Nutrition

Whether it’s a bit of Christmas timber lingering on or the results of a successful winter bulk, it’s not unusual for us to be carrying a little bit of extra weight going into the summer months, but your diet is the perfect way to start your summer weight loss.

It may be something as simple as letting go of the takeaways, the pizzas and the chocolate bars of course, but for some it’s much more complicated than that.

For those who took on a winter bulk for some winter warmth, they could be looking at a full blown cut in calories. Firstly, work out how much weight you plan to lose and a time scale. It may be that you’re going on holiday or you’re starting a summer sport such as cricket or tennis, so make sure you leave yourself enough time to achieve your desired weight and therefore you won’t need to go without.

You must be mentally tough to make a cut. Going from say 3,000 calories to early 2000s won’t be easy for your body to cope with. Ensure you don’t make a sudden drop and gradually drop your calories, by say 150 or 200 per fortnight, so your body has more than enough time to adjust.

Any cut programme should last at least six weeks, but if you’re cutting 10 pounds or less you should aim for a cut of around 2-3 months, with 20 pounds or more 4-5 months in duration.

In summer foods like watermelon, green beans and cucumber will be readily available so try and encompass these into your diet accordingly, whilst chicken will probably be your best friend over the summer months. Fish is the next low-fat alternative and some porks can also be very low fat, whilst still providing the protein you need to train.

Cardio will also become much more of a factor in your routine opposed to the winter months so make sure you’re still getting in carbs, but you’ll still cut a percentage of those out too. The major cut of course is clearly fat, you’ll only lose weight if you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming, so make sure you track your calorie intake closely day by day to achieve a successful summer weight loss programme.

Mealtimes

Mealtimes

The cornerstone of any day is our meals and the times we eat. Those who go to the gym regularly often base their day around their meals and spend hours a week planning and preparing meals for the coming days. However, it could come as more than a surprise how these mealtimes arrived at their everyday names we give them today such as breakfast, lunch, dinner or tea.

As our bliss and peaceful sleep is abruptly halted by our rude alarm clocks, the sleep is still lingering in the corner of our eyes and our pyjamas are still well and truly on, we trudge down the stairs for breakfast. Breakfast is, literally, what it says on the tin.

Break-fast. The fast being the last few (but never enough, of course) hours happily asleep. Fast, coincidentally, is what the meal is designed to be. A quick meal to break the hours without food, hence why our most important meal of the day is typically a juicy ripe apple or a crunchy light cereal bar, or even a slice of toast drowned in baked beans or topped with a scrambled egg or two. Unfortunately, about 18 percent of males and 13 percent of females between the ages of 35 and 54 decide not to opt for a fry up or a bacon sarnie in the morning, according to a 2011 study by the market research company NPD group.

Moving onto what I like to call lunch, or some dinner, this derives from a time when life was much different. From Roman times to the Middle Ages, people used to get up and go to work a lot earlier and had often been grafting hard at work for six hours come midday. In the Middle Ages, deprived of watches or electricity, lunch was taken on the basis of daylight.

As man-made light became a more modern concept, lunch or dinner became a later meal and the word lunch started to become more common for the earlier meal, taken from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘nuncheon’, which meant a quick snack between meals that you can hold in your hands, often bread and cheese, the start of the sandwich.

Sandwiches take their name from the Earl of Sandwich, who used to have sandwiches as a late-night snack. However, this started to become more and more common on the lunchtime menu as workers needed something quick to eat around noon and lunch became even more prominent during the 19th century and the industrial revolution, when Britain became the first country to offer industrialised food in the form of pies to workers.

Dinner or supper, even tea to those potentially in the northern regions of the country, derives from Roman times. This was the only meal they ate all day with breakfast frowned upon. The rich and famous ate a luxurious, ravishing meal around noon, to show off if you will. As artificial light pushed this meal back, it became a meal for when the working day was over and people ate at home after a long day. As white goods became a popular purchase in the 1950s, the traditional family dinner was born as the housewife would cook ready for the husband, who’d been at work all day.

The word dinner comes from the derogatory Latin word ‘disjējūnāre’ meaning ‘to break one’s fast’ and was at first used to describe breakfast, but can be used at any time of the day to break any type of fast so is a broader word for a meal, hence the argument whether dinner is eaten as lunch or supper. Supper refers to food eaten later in the day and originates from the old French word ‘souper’ meaning ‘evening meal’, commonly used by more upper or middle class families. In contrast, ‘tea’ is traditionally eaten at around half past six and is a working class phrase.

Rest Days

Rest Days

For me, today is everybody’s favourite day of the week… rest day. However, not everybody treats rest day correctly, or does the right things to compliment a hard week of workouts in the gym.

Firstly, it is important know why rest days are important. Of course most of us cannot make it to the gym seven days a week for various reasons, but lots of people make the effort to go as often as they can. Rest days considerably lower your risk of overtraining, defined as: ‘exceeding the body’s recovery capacity, indicated by excessive fatigue both physically and mentally and resulting in impaired performance.’

Overtraining is often known as staleness and can severely impede performance and your rate of improvement, as well as put you at risk of injury. A lack of rest days can also lead to burnout, physical or mental exhaustion cause by long-term stress, or in case of the gym, exercise without a break.

Rest day should be carried out at least once a week, if not twice, but this doesn’t mean you should pig out on any food you can find and sit in front of the TV on the sofa refusing to move all day.

  1. Keep mobile
    As much as sitting around on the sofa is the easiest thing to do on a rest day, it’s a rest, not a day off. Keep mobile and include some dynamic stretching. This will improve your flexibility to do acute exercises and increasing mobility will put you at a lower risk of injury for quick, snapping movements during exercise.
  2. Do some cardio or a leisure activity
    Not heavy cardio, of course, but a light jog or some interval training will keep you up and about without putting stresses and strains on your body. Alternatively, go and play a game of football or go on a bike ride with your family or a swim, something active but also enjoyable, you might not even realise you’re exercising!
  3. Continue to eat well
    Rest day should include extra protein for muscle growth and repair. You can also drop your carbs as you don’t need as much energy as you would for a day at the gym. Excess protein may lead to excess fat, but that’s not a problem, neither is a little chocolate bar or pack of sweets. Who’s going to know?!
  4. Add extra nutrients
    Apart from your macronutrients, excess fruit and vegetables can reduce inflammation around the muscles and speed up recovery, reducing soreness. Try out some new recipes on rest day too, it is meant to be a one off after all, have fun!
1236

Categories

bhf_logo

Impact SLF are supporters of the British Heart Foundation

Contact Impact

Impact Spa, Leisure & Fitness,
60 Staveley Road,
Dunstable,
Bedfordshire
LU6 3QQ.
© 2017 Impact SLF | site by Zonkey