Summer Body Overhaul

If the idea of sun, sand and (gasp!) bikinis makes you run screaming for the first full-length kaftan in sight, it might be time for a summer body overhaul - quick smart! Fitness and nutrition expert Libby Babet has put together a plan of attack to fix your top three summer body concerns.

The sun is well and truly out and the humidity is rising fast... yep, feels like summer! But if the idea of sun, sand and (gasp!) bikinis makes you run screaming for the first full-length kaftan in sight, it might be time for a summer body overhaul!

To help, fitness expert Libby Babet has put together a list of of the top three summer body concerns and what you can do to fix them - quick smart! And remember ladies, if all else fails... get a spray tan!

SUMMER BODY CRISIS #1: CELLULITE

What causes it:
I hate to break it to you, but cellulite = fat. There are no hidden secrets to those bumpy bits, they’re just excess fat teamed with lack of muscle tone. For most though, the good news is it’s not entirely your fault – that chocky indulgence might not be to blame. This type of fat or cellulite is likely the result of hormonal imbalance (you are probably too oestrogenic) and toxin build-up. The key thing to understand when tackling cellulite is that you need to get your body into a fat fighting state. That means regular exercise, a mix of cardio and strength, plus major diet control to flush out those oestrogens.

Get rid of it now by:

Loading up on 4-5 serves of green veggies a day (even at brekky!) to help flush out that extra oestrogen and eliminate toxins
Remove Soy and all processed/packaged foods from your diet, as these can encourage your body to hold on to oestrogens/toxins and therefore cellulite!
Drink as much water and green tea as you can handle. Both are big cellulite busters.
Include good fats like avocado, egg, oily fish, seeds/nuts and cold-pressed veggie oils at every meal; incredibly, good fats help to flush bad fats from your body!
Include resistance/weights training into your exercise regimen to increase tone, metabolism and fat-burning potential!

SUMMER BODY CRISIS #2: TUMMY FAT

What causes it:
If there was a dollar for every time health professionals heard the words, “I just can’t lose my tummy”, we’d all be multi-zillionaires! You know the deal; you used to eat whatever you liked and had the world’s flattest stomach but now if you so much as look at a muffin, it goes straight to your belly! For most people, a case of the taught-tummy-turned-tubby occurs because of increased insulin resistance, which happens naturally with age. Insulin’s job is to help the body move glucose into our cells to produce energy and if your body can’t manage insulin effectively it can cause drops in blood sugar, leading to low energy levels, sugar/caffeine cravings and ultimately weight gain in the tummy area.

Get rid of it now by:

No matter what you do, until you get your diet right, nothing will change! A diet high in lean proteins, good fats, veggies and fruit is a must. Forget about sugar, bread, pasta, white rice and potatoes and also cut down on dairy. Harsh but effective and we promise, you’ll grow to love choosing broccoli over bread!
Stock up on a good quality Fish Oil supplement and also a magnesium supplement, as both help with insulin resistance and therefore tummy fat.
Limit alcohol, or better yet… cut it out of your diet! Alcohol impairs liver function and as one of the liver’s main jobs is to metabolise fat, if it’s not doing this effectively you have a problem. When your liver is processing alcohol it will stop all other metabolic functions, meaning every scrap of food you eat while alcohol is in your system will be stored and nutrients won’t be absorbed. Not good.
Cut down on caffeine and other stimulants too, as they can encourage the production of cortisol (stress hormone), leading to lower abdominal fat.
Do plenty of resistance training and interval-based cardio that gets your heart rate right up. Also, stop wasting your time on hundreds of crunches! If you carry weight in your midsection, you will just build muscle under fat.

SUMMER BODY CRISIS#3: FLABBY ARMS

What causes it:
They’re called ‘tuckshop lady arms’ for a reason; women are much more prone to flabby arms than men. Why? A lack of desire to spend time lifting weights is only part of the equation. New scientific studies show that a lack of androgens (male sex hormones) and too many oestrogens in the body could be to blame for bingo wings.

Get rid of it now by:

First up, boost your testosterone levels naturally by consuming more protein, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins and eat foods containing flavonoids (found in dark-skinned berries, garlic, broccoli, asparagus, beans, basil and lettuce/cabbage).
Avoid all oestrogenic foods; soy products, preservatives, packaged foods, white wine/beer.
If you’re a drinker, stick to red wine, which actually helps with the production of testosterone thanks to something called Resveratrol, which is found in the skin of red grapes and helps to manage blood sugar levels and encourages the production of testosterone.
Importantly, incorporate some resistance training into your routine. A good place to start, if you’re not a gym junkie is with push-ups, pull-ups and tricep dips.

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