You don't need yet another reminder about how summer is right around the corner.
What you need is some real help getting ready for it. Swapping pasta for produce is causing you to go broke, your personal trainer is more interested in who they just crossed paths with on Happn than they are focused on helping you achieve your fitness goals and the bakery across the street from your office is filling the air with temptation.
When it comes to getting in shape in time for summer, the struggle is definitely real. Here are five obstacles you'll run into while you try to achieve your beach bod goals and how to overcome them:
1. Going broke from buying healthy food.
Why is healthy food so expensive? If you track your spending, you'll want to cry when you see how much money this "healthier choice" is costing you. Although a pasta dinner is a fraction of the cost of a chicken and veggie stir fry, it's not impossible to eat healthy without breaking the bank. If you want to watch your spending and eat healthy on a budget, you're in luck because you can.
In this podcast, "How to Save Money and Still Eat Healthy," health expert Jennifer Fugo advises, “Always cook extra and save extra portions in tupperware in your freezer, rather than 'saving' some of your ingredients for later.” She explains that many people will only use some of their veggies or some of their chicken in fear that they'll make too much, but then that chicken and those mushrooms go bad and have to be thrown away. You're throwing your money away when you could have just cooked all of it and put those extra servings in the freezer.
Same thing goes with fruit: When your bananas are going brown, freeze them instead of throwing them away. They're great in smoothies when they're browner and sweeter. Another tip is to head to local farmers markets and offer to buy their ugly fruit or the produce they need to get rid of and are, therefore, willing to sell for less.
2. Finding the energy to work out is impossible.
Every single time you decide you're too tired to go to the gym, you're getting yourself that much farther away from your fitness goals. To overcome this struggle, try going to the gym right after work instead of going home first. If you go home first, you'll get distracted by Netflix and your phone. Before you know it, it'll be bed time. Pack your gym clothes and be ready to leave for the gym as soon as work finishes.
Remember that even if you're tired, working out dramatically improves your energy levels as it is a natural endorphin booster. There are also plenty of natural ways you can increase your energy before a workout, such as eating kiwis or drinking a cold-pressed green juice. Better yet, do your workout outside. Go kayaking or hiking. The fresh air will wake you up like nothing else, and it is National Great Outdoors Month, after all.
3. Personal trainers make everything more complicated.
The struggle of finding a good personal trainer is a big one. Many of us will hire a personal trainer in hopes that their expertise will help us achieve our summer bod goals sooner rather than later. What we forget, though, is that many personal trainers are doing this as a side gig for a bit of extra income, and therefore, not taking the job seriously.
Think about it: If you worked all day and had to go train a client afterward, wouldn't you be tired and not that into the session? And if personal training isn't their main source of income, they're probably not taking it all that seriously to begin with.
That's why your personal trainer is on their phone checking their messages on Happn, scrolling through Instagram and yawning during your session. What they should be doing is correcting you on your form, yelling at you and motivating you to work harder to achieve your goals.
4. Resisting the urge to eat when you're bored is too hard.
When you're watching TV, surfing the internet or working on your latest article, you'll be tempted to eat something while you're doing it. We tend to eat the most when we're alone, when we're bored and when we're stressed. If you need something in your mouth, what you really need is a big drawer of lollipops. I'm serious. There are tons of sugar-free, diet-friendly lollipops that will keep your mouth occupied and stop you from eating when you're bored. It really is the perfect solution.
5. Restaurant temptations are real.
If your friends love to eat out, you'll be facing some major challenges. The best way to overcome this obstacle is through your own research. Call around and find out which sushi restaurants offer brown rice sushi, and suggest those places to your friends.
Go to your favorite restaurant's website and see if the nutritional information is listed next to each menu item (it sometimes is) and if it's not, email them and the manager will provide it. Order something that's high in fiber so it will fill you up enough to deter you from ordering dessert. If you can, suggest a brunch date instead of dinner, since dinner tends to come with more temptation and more calories than brunch.