Fat loss specialist Dave Fletcher shares his top five tips to perfecting your bikini body
Summer holiday creeping up on you? Do you need to get into bikini body shape, fast? Check out Women’s Fitness’ fat loss specialist and personal trainer Dave Fletcher’s top tips to get a flat tum that’s more than beach worthy.
1. Choose the right carbs
Whether you’re looking to turn heads on the beach or just shed some unwanted body fat to look slimmer this summer, choosing the right carbohydrates is an essential part to your fat loss programme. Firstly, you need to split your carbohydrates into two groups: carbohydrates suitable for days of exercise, and carbohydrates suitable for days of rest. The idea is that when you exercise, you chose a low glycaemic carbohydrate as part of one or two of your main meals to help with replacing your glycogen stores. These include rye bread, oats, brown rice or sweet potato. On days of rest, stick with vegetable source carbohydrates and avoid the complex ones. Spinach, green beans, kale, cabbage and broccoli are all good examples.
2. Exercise at a high intensity
Quite simply, the harder you train, the more calories you will burn after each workout. By following a high rep routine in the gym (anything above 15 reps) you will struggle to maximise the post-workout burn. Using reps of 12 and below whilst weight training and interval training on the cardio machines is a far more targeted approach towards fat loss.
3. Sleep for 8 hours per night
This is arguably the most important one for the bikini body. A lack of sleep will prevent you from burning optimum amounts of fat and is likely to raise your cortisol levels (commonly known as your stress hormone). Elevated cortisol can have many knock-on effects, several of which will prevent you from optimising your body’s fat burning process.
4. Consume protein with each main meal
Unlike carbohydrates, protein won’t spike your blood sugar levels which causes fat storage (mainly around the stomach area). Having some protein with each meal helps to stabilise your blood sugar levels allowing you to burn more fat and store less of it. This is particularly true after each workout. A healthy piece of salmon or turkey with salad and lentils are both great options. If your workout lands in between meals, the same rules apply with protein-based snacks. A handful of almonds or some coconut chunks will go a long way in your bikini body quest.
5. Use compound movements in the gym
For maximum fat burning effect during and post-workout, you need to chose exercises which are going to stimulate the greatest response from your nervous system. This means that including squats, deadlifts and press-ups are all crucial exercises simply because they recruit so many major muscle groups which requires greater activation from the nervous system. Generally speaking, the more you do this, the more fat you will burn. This backs up the importance of using heavier weights, sprints, intervals and kickboxing into your fat loss routine.