Can you believe it? Summer is creeping up, and a lot of us may be stressing out that we are not where we thought we'd be by now after setting new year's intentions. But that's OK. You don't need to reach your goal of getting whatever your version of a perfect Summer body is to feel like you accomplished something. Getting in shape for Summer does not mean fitting into a size 2 or looking like the girl you saw in a bikini on the cover of a magazine. It means feeling like your best self, knowing damn well that you are waking up every single day to care for your body by feeding it right and staying active.
To me, summertime is a precious time if I'm not working or in school. It means I get to enjoy time with my loved ones outdoors. This could be hiking, walking on the beach, paddleboarding, or biking. I like my energy to be high, which means I need to make sure I'm making my health a priority. That's what getting in shape for Summer should mean — feeling as confident and radiant as the sun shining on a hot gorgeous day.
So who better than Dr. Philip Goglia, the official nutritionist for all Marvel Productions and celebrities like Khloé Kardashian and Cara Delevingne, to ask for some guidance.
Dr. Goglia's number one tip is the most important: "Avoid foods that have multiple ingredients, such as breads, muffins, bagels, pastries, cereal, etc." A lot of these products are filled with refined sugars and flours that won't be doing your body any good. If you want to get rid of bloat and make your skin radiant, Dr. Goglia recommends you also eliminate dairy, and focus on eating dark leafy greens and other vegetables. This will make sure your body is getting enough iron to fuel itself with constant energy and lots of fibre to provide good gut bacteria for a healthy digestive system.
Dr. Goglia is also a master at customizing meals for clients through his nutrition app G-Plans, and he really likes to focus on increasing fatty fish intake like salmon and cod. One of his last tips is my favourite: "Eat your snacks. Snacks act like bridges to your next meal and prevent blood sugar crashes." And this means go for that refreshing piece of fruit and almonds, not a bag of chips and candy.
Each week leading up to Summer, you can make one of these changes to your diet. If it all sounds really overwhelming, there are incredible resources out there to help you. Green Chef is a meal-plan service catered to suit your lifestyle whether that is Paleo, vegan, gluten-free, or anything else. Each recipe takes only about 30 minutes so you'll be cooking delicious and organic dinners that will keep you on track for Summer.
We also spoke to celebrity trainer Sebastien Lagree, founder of the world-famous Megaformer fitness empire and Lagree Fitness Method, for some tips on working out. He broke it up into steps for each of the three months leading up to Summer.
- 3 months out: "Consistency. Not worrying about how long you work out for but rather how many times a week you go." Try to make it a habit to go however many days you set your goal to.
- 2 months out: "Focus on low-impact, high-intensity workouts to get the most of your time without injuring yourself." It's game time now. Two months away from Summer means time to step it up a level and move your body in a way that it's never been challenged before.
- 1 month out: "This is the finish line." You want to make sure you are still eating clean while working out just as much as you were the past month, getting stronger and feeling more capable.
If you don't have the means to go to a gym, you still have options. Go for a walk outside, watch an at-home workout video, or download an app like Yoga Studio to start building your core and flexibility all while calming your mind.
You know the saying that we hate to hear but know it's completely true? The saying is that abs are made in the kitchen. Well even more important than eating clean to get abs, if that is your goal, is to have the right mindset. Regardless of your goal, if you want to gain strength, lose fat, and feel healthy, you need to have confidence in yourself and accept where you are at all stages of your life.
Whatever that means for you and whatever it takes to be more kind toward your body, just do it! If that means stepping outside of the house more and enjoying the beautiful weather, go soak up that vitamin D. If that means staying in for a bath or a face mask, do your thing. For me, I love to cook and bake healthy dinners and sweet treats that'll feed my soul and my body.
Just make sure you are staying hydrated at all times, especially in the Summer months. Leah Silberman, RDN and founder of Tovita Nutrition, says you can switch it up from water, too. "Freshly brewed teas or sugar-free flavoured beverages like CORE Organic are great ways to hydrate."
Last but not least, Silberman says, "Eat your SPF! Think carrots, tomatoes, squash, and spinach." If you start incorporating foods like these into your diet now, it will act almost as an insurance policy, as Silberman calls it. Of course, still apply sunscreen. Making sure your skin is on point all throughout Summer by avoiding sunburn is so important to feeling healthy and energized.