As you anticipate the start of summer and lazy days lounging by the pool, get fitter faster with these eight simple tips that fitness expert and owner of Burn, Lisa Corsello, says will slim you down in six weeks. Corsello is an ACE certified personal trainer, nutrition consultant and group fitness instructor, who created her signature fitness method called Burn. Get ready to sizzle!
1. Plan your meals and snacks
“When life gets busy, most of us end up going too long between meals,” empathizes Corsello. “When we do get a few moments to eat, we don’t always have time to make the healthiest choices and end up eating whatever and whenever we can.” The fitness expert says starving yourself will slow down your metabolism and can lead to binge eating. She recommends planning ahead so you always have a healthy meal and snacks on hand to keep your energy and metabolism from crashing.
2. Research restaurants before dining out
If you’ll be heading out to lunch or dinner, always research the restaurant’s menu beforehand to choose the healthiest option in advance, advises Corsello. This doesn’t mean you have to suffer through a salad (unless the restaurant has really good salads) while your friends pork out, but if weight loss is a goal, be sure to choose healthier options — many restaurants even indicate the healthier choices on their menu.
3. Increase your cardio
“Try to add 15 to 20 extra minutes of cardio to your regular workout routine to burn more calories during and after your workout,” suggests Corsello. “Add a few inspiring songs to your playlist and keep your heart rate up. Your body will thank you for it.” You’ll improve your cardio fitness while also burning more calories.
4. Change your workout routine
If the thought of adding more cardio has you yawning already, Corsello recommends getting on three to four different cardio machines for 5 to 10 minutes each instead of slogging away solely on one. “In addition to the increased cardio, try a new strength training routine,” she adds. “Our bodies and minds adapt to the same old exercises, so be sure to challenge yourself in new ways every other week.”
5. Lighten up your weight lifting
Before you get excited that you can drop your time in the weight room, Corsello says “If you’re used to heavy weights, grab lighter weights and work each muscle group twice as long.” This adds variety to your workouts and it will challenge your muscles in a new way.
6. Get to class
“With so many new workout trends, there’s something for every fitness personality,” enthuses Corsello. “Ask yourself what you enjoy most and search for a class that has a similar fitness philosophy.” Changing up your workouts is good for your mind and body. “Don’t be afraid to call and ask questions or stop by and watch a class before attending. It’s important to find something that is challenging and fun,” the fitness expert adds.
7. Track your calories
It’s true: Nutrition is the most important aspect in weight loss. Corsello recommends that you keep a food journal or choose from one of hundreds of online calorie tracker sites to better understand how what you eat contributes to your weight gains and losses as well as your overall energy levels. Be sure to include even the small handfuls of food you snack on
8. Cut back on the cocktails
Planning a big night out? Committing to weight loss doesn’t necessarily mean the end of your social life. “Simply steer clear of high-calorie cocktails and choose diet soda or diet tonic water if possible,” says Corsello. “Try to set limits for yourself as well, as hangovers tend to lead to overeating the following day.” To help keep your cocktail calories to a minimum, Corsello suggests drinking at least one full glass of water between each round of drinks to stay hydrated and to slow yourself down.