How to Stay Bikini Ready Year Round

Hi everyone! I know it has been awhile since I posted, but quarter 2 has been super crazy! But, I all I have left are finals & I will be free for a week !!!

As many of you guys know, my two favorite places to be at are in the gym and at the pool/beach. Because of this, I'm beach ready pretty much year-round. Summer is in full-effect, and many of you guys have inquired how I achieve this beach ready body.



  




First off, diet is so so so important! I know there are crazy "get skinny-fast" diets out there. Though they may be effective initially, they do not promise long term results. In the beginning, your body loses weight at a consistent rate, however, over time, your body begins to think it is starving itself, and instead of burning fat, it often times, starts burning muscle. I am not a nutritionist by any means, but I do know that your body needs a healthy balanced diet to function. I have never been a big fan of the many the popular "fad" diets such as Atkins, South Beach. Paleo and Mediterranean diets, as these diets deplete you of certain food groups that are imperative for your body such as carbohydrates. Glucose is the main energy source for your body, and carbohydrates are your main source of glucose. Without carbs, your body is being depleted of this, and your body has to utilize other sources for energy such as proteins, which isn't a terrible thing, but it is not ideal.  


Me in Miami two years ago for my 25th birthday

According to an article from Health.com, low-carb diets can potentially make you fatter. Your body thinks it is starving itself, which causes a systemic stress environment. Because of this, your body releases a hormone called cortisol, which causes carbohydrate cravings, increased blood sugar due to insulin (which lowers blood sugar) resistance, fat deposits on the face, neck and belly, decreased immunity, and elevated blood pressure. Another adverse effect of low-carb diets is belly bloating, which is often a result of constipation. A lot of fiber can be found in certain carbohydrates, and fiber is very important in regulating your bowel movements, and low fiber in your diet can lead to constipation and ultimately, bloating. 

I have had pretty much the same eating habits since I was in high school, and my weight has been constant since I graduated 9 years ago. I attribute this to the fact that I do not deprive myself of anything. If I want a chocolate piece cake, I get it. If I want Mexican food, I eat it. The key to this is that I eat everything in moderation. I never eat the whole thing, and I do not do this often. I mostly eat a clean balanced diet on a daily basis, but when I have those cravings, I do not avoid them. It is okay to feed into your cravings sometimes, but don't overdue it. By restricting yourself my certain food items, you are putting yourself at an increased risk for binge eating. So for those that want that chocolate cake, enjoy :)  ChooseMyPlate is a good resource for those that need further guidance on what a balanced diet consists of. Also, make sure you are drinking 8 glasses of water daily! Water is very imperative to staying hydrated and losing weight (and it makes your skin glow!).


Me when I just turned 21


Another thing that I have incorporated is leading an active lifestyle. Since being in PA school, my activity level has decreased tremendously, and to remedy this, I now work out for at least 1 hour and study at the same time right after classes. Sitting for 8 hours with 30 minute to 1 hour breaks in between classes puts a toll on your body, and by working out right after classes, this allows the blood to flow to my body and clears my mind. I have seen a big impact on my mood, and I have found that I retain more information when I work out and study at the same time. I am not doing anything intense; I usually walk on the treadmill at an incline at very low speeds. I know this might not be feasible for everyone that is currently in PA school or live demanding lifestyles, but there are alternatives to increase your activity level such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking your car further away from your destination or walking on your breaks at work.

On the weekends, my workouts are more intense. Listed below is a description what my typical workout looks like.


8AM: I usually use coffee for my pre-workout and I also make sure I eat some type of carbohydrate, like a slice of bread and a piece of fruit, prior to working out.

8:30AM: I always start with cardio, which is usually walking on the treadmill at an incline at 3.5 speed for 1 hour. While doing this, I always do my arm workouts with light weights as well. I do bicep curls, triceps extension, and lateral raises -- three sets each being 1 minute.

9:30AM: I always follow up with abs. I have been using the same ab routine since high school, and this has enabled me to retain my washboard abs. Fitness.com has a good description of all of the ab routines that have used throughout the years. Just a disclaimer, they are very intense but effective! If you want to increase the intensity, you can use a medicine ball to add that extra resistance.





10:30AM: After abs, I proceed to legs. My favorite thing to do is squats. It works out all of your major muscles in your legs. Below is my current squat routine. When I am feeling ambitious, I will use the traditional squat bar, but I find that creates bulkier muscles, and my goal is not to have bulky muscles, but long, slender, toned muscles. I am naturally athletic build, so it is very easy for my muscles to bulk up, and achieving slender muscles have always been a problem. 



Along with squats, I will do lunges, leg curls, or leg presses. I usually utilize low weight, high reps, which promotes long slender muscles, and I do 3-4 sets.

11:30AM: I do a 15 minute cool down. During this time, I make sure I stretch, and I might walk for 5 minutes on the treadmill. 




Aside from eating a well balanced diet, drinking water, and working out, patience is a key in achieving #bodygoals. Genetics has a lot to do with how your body is made and how it responds to different workouts and diets. Like I stated earlier, I am naturally athletic build, so it does not take much for me to start seeing results, but this is not the case for everyone. I have been an athlete the majority of my life, and in high school, I had a personal trainer who provided me with a lot of nutritional tips, so I have an advantage over most people. If you do not see instant results, DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED. The main goal is be healthy, and losing an insane amount of weight in a short amount of time is not healthy. What ends up happening is that you end up gaining the weight back once your resort back to your old habits and start incorporating food back into your diet, so please be patient about your journey. These results do not happen over night, and the sad reality is that it takes some people longer than others to achieve their desired results. Like I said earlier, I am not by any means a nutritionist nor personal trainer. I am just providing insight on what works for ME. My routine might not be the same for everyone else, but if I can help in anyway, I will want to do just that!


Me a few weeks before my 26th birthday last summer


If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask! What are you guys workout routines? Do not forget to subscribe and remember to follow me on Instagram (ambzthepa___xo)

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