As a whole, cheating is just not something we advocate. Cheating on your boyfriend or a test can have pretty disastrous effects, and usually without much to show for it but newfound single-girl status and an F in Physics. Cheating on your diet, while seemingly less-devastating, can still yield some pretty unfortunate consequences.
Many people believe that busting their butt in the gym gives them a free pass to eat however they like, as long as it fits inside a certain calorie count or “approved” diet. Hate to break it to you, but that is not the way the cookie crumbles (even if it is paleo, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, and anything else that essentially ruins the sanctity of enjoying a delicious treat).
We will always encourage balance in your diet, exercise, and life overall, but in the case of achieving a BikiniBOD, that balance is more 80/20 than 50/50. Spending more time in the kitchen can actually leave you wearing less at the beach, and will help you maintain your progress year-round.
Over the past 20 years, home cooked meals have fallen victim to busy schedules and the convenience of grab-and-go snacks. Larger portions and an increase in the use of oils and sweeteners have made weight gain an inevitable epidemic. While it’s a well-known fact that having more control over what you consume—by using fresh ingredients, customizing meals to specific tastes, and avoiding the need for any kind of added chemicals—will yield weight-loss results, it doesn’t seem as though many have gotten the memo.
So simple, yet research shows that some people are ready to opt for the grueling hour-long spin class over even considering giving up gooey mac and cheese. If the subjects studied would spend a fraction of the time they do working out trying to make some tweaks to their eating routine, they’d most likely see much better results.
Diet controls about 75 percent of weight loss. Obviously, exercise isn’t a completely irrelevant part of the plan, but focusing on a smart eating regimen will get you three-fourths of the way to your goal body without you ever having to tie on your running shoes. Getting rid of the extra fat is 80 percent dependent on diet and 20 percent on exercise, and creating those meals yourself not only gives your domestic goddess side a little ego boost, but also helps you keep an eye on appropriate portion sizes and intelligent ingredient choices.
Unlike that restaurant grilled chicken that seems healthy in theory but was most likely doused in sodium, you have the ability to become keenly cognizant of everything on your plate. You also have the option to substitute certain ingredients for healthier alternatives that do not drastically impact the overall taste of the food. For example, replacing sour cream with Greek yogurt, one whole egg with two egg whites, or pasta with zucchini noodles will still satisfy your craving with near-identical flavors and textures while leaving out extra fat, cholesterol, or carbs.
Worried that your homemade concoction will still leave you feeling hungry? Sure, restaurant portions are generous, but we doubt you’ll be high-fiving the waiter for his abundant hospitality when you realize that the average plate of restaurant food can serve you an additional 200 unnecessary calories.
Researchers at Cornell University determined that eating satisfaction is the result of flavor intensity and visual impact of a meal, not the amount served. So break out your smaller plates (a proven method of easily managing portion size) and make them pretty: you’ll end up feeling more content with your creation without the residual guilt of stuffing your face simply because there was still more to eat.
If you’re eating five small meals a day, have found the ideal ratio of carbs to fat to protein that’s left you pounds lighter and light-years more confident and truly believe that your diet game is on point, then you must be quietly slouching in your chair for another reason. Maybe cheating on your workout a little, are ya?
While we support adopting an active lifestyle for its plethora of long-term benefits, we get it: sometimes, there isn’t time. If 25 minutes on the stair climber or 4 sets with the dumbbells just isn’t gonna happen, take advantage of the little tricks sprinkled throughout your day that don’t feel like working out and could still afford you some positive results.
Try taking the stairs over the elevator, riding a bike instead of cabbing it, or strolling to your boss’ office instead of shooting off a quick email. It may not be heart-pumping action, but those things do add up, and we can all pretend we didn’t see you push your gym clothes a little further to the bottom of your bag as you bee lined it straight to your apartment for a night of wonderfully terrible reality TV.
Achieving a BikiniBOD is not just a summertime hobby; if you’re serious about changing your life and your attitude, you’re in this thing for the long haul. Change up your workouts to keep yourself interested and try new activities to keep it exciting year-round, but keep an eye on what’s happening in the light of the refrigerator door.
A good diet is the foundation of a killer body, and disregarding the effects your meals have on your progress could be a major reason behind why you’re not seeing any. Give your skillet some love, and get ready to become your own #thinspo as you eat yourself fit.
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