How Audrie is Slimming Down for Summer
Spring has spring, and that means summer is right around the corner! It was a particularly rough winter here in St. Louis (and pretty much everywhere in the Midwest), so when I say “I’m soooo ready for summer” I really really mean it. In the spirit of summer, and in anticipation of the many hours I hope to spend at the pool or the beach, I’m putting conscious effort into a bit of a summer slim-down.
Let’s talk about what I mean by “slim-down.” It’s not a crazy crash diet, or a super intense or time-consuming fitness regimen. It’s an easy, sustainable and intentional effort to be a little more active every day, while being mindful of what I’m eating. I’ll go ahead and include my usual disclaimer that I’m not a certified trainer, health coach, or dietitian. I’m an attorney who happens to have several years of experience with fitness of all types, and I’m hoping that my experience can help others in their own fitness endeavors!
My goals with this “slim-down” are primarily to lose a little bit of my ever-stubborn lower belly pooch (honestly, I know it won’t ever disappear entirely and that’s just fine because I’m an adult woman who enjoys eating good food and drinking good wine - #sorrynotsorry), and to just generally tone up a little bit. I know this will make me feel extra confident and empowered this summer.
So what am I doing to accomplish this? Here’s my list of changes I’m making to my usual routine:
I’m drinking even MORE water. Yes, it’s true. I refill my giant 40 oz Hydoflask at least 3 times during the work day, and I make sure to refill my BCAA shaker at the gym a couple of times each morning. A lot of water means a lot of bathroom trips, but hey - my job is sedentary so it gives me an excuse to get up and move around. And speaking of moving around, that brings me to my next change….
I’m walking more. This has a lot to do with the beautiful spring weather and many hours of daylight I get to enjoy when I get home from work. Walking doesn’t necessarily feel like a “workout,” but all of that extra activity adds up. I’m taking my dog on more frequent and longer walks, going for the occasional walk during lunchtime, and just generally trying to spend less time sitting on my butt. By increasing my Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), I’m burning more calories every day without really thinking about it… so win-win!
I’m adding more high intensity cardio to my workout routine. Whether its jumping rope in between sets, or adding 10-15 minutes of sprints at the end of my workout, I’ve been upping my cardio - especially on upper body days. I’m still crushing the weightlifting, I’m just making sure I give myself enough time to do a bit of HIIT (“high intensity interval training”) at least 3 days a week. Stay tuned for a future post with details on my favorite HIIT workouts!
I’m being more mindful with my food. Look, I’ve never been one to deprive myself if there’s something I want to eat. I also love wine and other drinks. That being said, I’ve started being more mindful and intentional with my meals. I’m eating more veggies and protein-rich snacks, rather than filling up on things like chips, cookies, and whatever baked goods happen to be sitting around my office on any given day. Packing my own healthy lunch and snacks each day has been major key in this effort. If I already have health goodies on hand, I’m less tempted to over-indulge on other food. Bonus: bringing my lunch is way cheaper than buying lunch, and I’m all about saving some dolla billz.
I’m consistently taking a daily probiotic. I think I finally have the whole “take your vitamins” thing down, and since having started consistently taking a probiotic every day I have noticed a significant reduction in belly bloat. If you’re someone who struggles with bloat or (ahem) irregularity, try adding a probiotic into your vitamin regimen and see how you’re feeling after a couple of weeks. I’ve found that it makes a huge difference!
If any of these strategies make sense for your health and fitness routine, give them a try and let me know about your experience! After a few weeks, I’m already noticing that my midsection is less “fluffy” than it was before, and I’m excited to feel extra confident at the pool this summer!