Spring into Summer

With summer approaching

our thoughts turn to warmer weather, summer holidays, 'daring to bare' and hopefully wearing less layers of clothes.

With this in mind, I've enlisted the help of a personal trainer to help me get in shape - mentally and physically. Whilst we all benefit from being more active, our attitude to nutrition is potentially more important.

Here are 10 top tips from personal trainer Stewart Robinson :

1. Eat more protein
Your body uses protein to burn fat, tone lean muscle and repair damaged muscle fibres after training. It also helps you to feel full, so it’s easier to make good food choices.

2. Reduce potential food allergens
Food allergens can hinder weight loss as your body produces the stress hormone cortisol which encourages your body to store energy as fat. Bread, white rice and white pasta are the most common - so try and reduce the amount you eat for a few weeks and notice the difference to your waiste line and energy levels.

3. Eat more 
vegetables
They're packed with nutrients, low in carbs and unlike some fruits, your blood sugar levels won’t spike.

4. 
Don’t drink fizzy drinks!
Enough said. Switch to water - try adding a slice of lemon, ginger or even cucumber. Or try drinking chilled herbal teas as a refreshing alternative.

5. Try not to snack in the evening
When trying to tone up and improve fitness, ideally finish dinner 2 or 3 hours before you go to bed and try not to eat again until the next morning. Quality sleep is prime time for fat burning / lean muscle building – but not if you go to bed with a really full stomach.


6. Everything in moderation
Red wine and dark cholocate are good in moderation. Try sticking to 1 or 2 glasses at a time. Just remember that a glass of wine is the equivalent to a chocolate éclair - you probably wouldn't tend to sit and eat 4 or 5 of them watching TV on a Friday night. If you’re going for chocolate try to stick to dark chocolate (70%+ cocoa), again in moderation.


7. Portion control
Stop eating when you feel full rather than when the plate is empty.

8. Keep hydrated
Drink plenty of water so that you eat when you're hungry and hydrated.

9. Have a cheat day
And look forward to it when you feel tempted. Instead of saying ‘I’ll never eat biscuits again’ (or whatever your vice is) just make lots of small choices every time you feel tempted and remind yourself that the cheat day isn't far away.


10. Don’t go absolutely berserk on your cheat day
Keep your end goal in mind whilst enjoying the journey.