The top 5 mistakes people make when trying to get in shape for the summer

I know summer is approaching. Some of you might be a little concerned that you’re not looking in the best shape this pool party season, and that is totally understandable. As far as we’ve come in terms of body positivity and acceptance, many of us still feel insecure about the way we look.  A lot of concerns I hear from new clients this season deals with time constraints. They have a high school reunion coming up, they have a huge event like a wedding coming up, they have to sh*t on their ex at this July 4th party…all of that. I understand the time crunch factor can push people to do illogical things, and I’m here to talk you out of making some crucial mistakes when you’re trying to get your summer body right.

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1. Buying detox tea

Quick fixes are not your friend, as tempting as their Facetuned promotion pictures may be. You’re going to end up messing with your gut health and digestive system in the long run by resorting to these methods, and that is SO not worth it. Instead, I suggest making sure you’re getting in enough water throughout the day. I would LOVE if you could work your way up to a gallon a day, but slowly increase your water intake day by day or you’ll risk diluting the sodium in your blood. By increasing your water intake, you’re naturally suppressing your appetite (thirst often manifests itself as hunger) and providing your body with the resource it needs to naturally “detox” your body.

2. Working out too hard

If you are not already consistently in the gym, do not start going every damn day and working yourself to the bone. Not only does that not translate to quicker results, but you’re also risking injuring yourself. I would rather you be able to work out efficiently for three days a week for next four months (ideally for years to come, but one step at a time) than work out six days a week for the next two weeks then you’re out of commission because you hurt yourself. For workout ideas, check out this circuit you can do right at home or my Instagram’s Fit Friday posts.

3. Going on a fast or extreme diet

Instead of using this time to further reinforce yourself in a cycle of restrictive fad diets that don’t work, why don’t we try something new? Let’s try something a little more achievable so that this will be the last time you have to feel this kind of pressure during the summer. Start making little changes every week, whether that’s swapping soda for unsweetened tea or water, or replacing the buns on your burgers with lettuce, and see how these little changes positively contribute to your physical and mental health.

4. Consuming artificial sh*t

So let’s say you’ve already got the workout and diet part on lock and want to give it a little nudge because we’re prepping for some parties. Starting right now (unless you’re a week away from your event date), start to increase your intake of fiber and prebiotics. The reason I have you starting now is that sometimes the side effect of increasing fiber intake is bloating, which can last up to a week. But after the bloating, the fiber helps your stomach stay on flat-flat. So double that intake of vegetables and keep it that way all through the summer. Trust me. A week out from the event, I suggest decreasing your sodium intake and limiting sugar in your diet to fruits only. And don’t try to cheat with Splenda or Sweet-n-Low. Stop putting fake, artificial sh*t in your body.

5. Expecting dramatic results

At the four-week mark, if you’ve been working out consistently and eating cleaner, you could expect slight weight loss and increased overall tone. You’ll definitely fit in your clothes better, and I’m hoping, you’ll gain a whole lot of confidence. If you’re hoping for a Princess Diaries-style transformation in four weeks, it’s probably not going to safely happen. Here’s the deal: if you’re unhappy with your body, chances are it didn’t take four weeks to get you to that point, so don’t expect four weeks of good behavior to completely transform you. A lot of people you see with bangin’ bodies have put years of work and consistency into their diet and fitness routines, so stop comparing yourself to someone who’s already completed three laps when you just got in the race. That’s unfair to yourself. You’re you and that’s enough. You’re trying to be a better version of you, and I commend you for that. Let’s look long-term, and schedule your transformation for next summer, instead of aiming for a one-month transformation, because desperation never leads to anything good.
This article originally appeared on Betches.

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