Most of us have dreamed about being a superhero of some sort; Superman, Batman, and Spiderman all have their place in many childhood fantasies. You may have even harbored dreams of becoming a professional athlete. As long as you're young and fit that's still easy to dream about, but when you get older it often takes a lot more work to keep off stubborn chub.
Of course, schooling and working can get in the way. Even if staying in shape came naturally to you before, things may be very different now that you’re a bit older and a lot busier. Over the years, it becomes surprisingly easy to lose track of your health and conditioning.
Then one day you put on your favorite suit. It's like squeezing a pound of sausage into a 4 oz container. You put on your dress shoes and you're like one of Cinderella's ugly step sisters trying on the glass slipper. But all is not lost!
It’s never too late to start reclaiming your fit body. Maybe starring in the NBA or in the latest MCU flick is out of the question, but you can still be a healthier version of yourself and isn’t that worth striving for as well?
Instead of waiting for your fairy godfather to come around and make you an offer you can't refuse, consider these tips to tone your body and get back into shape.
1. Start Phasing Out the SugarThe two keys to getting in better shape will always be following a proper diet and exercising, so let’s focus on the diet part first.
This first tip is not going to be pleasant, but it’s a must if you want to slim down. According to the Rush University Medical Center, eliminating sugary drinks from your diet is crucial to burning your belly fat.
Simply put, sugar can increase the amount of fat stored in your body. Sugary drinks are particularly damaging because it’s so easy to consume too much of them. Before you know it, you may have already downed three or four glasses of soda.
Water is your best friend if you want to lose weight and it’s best to stick to it whenever you get thirsty.
2. Consume More Soluble FiberAfter taking sugary drinks out, you should also add a few things to your diet. What you’ll want to focus on specifically are the foods rich in soluble fiber.
Per Healthline, soluble fiber is great for reducing belly fat because it promotes the growth of helpful bacteria while also filling you up faster.
Soluble fiber can transform into this viscous substance once it hits your gut. Unpleasant as that may seem, that viscous substance prevents you from growing hungry too quickly and gorging on food.
Thankfully, soluble fiber is easy to find. You’ll get it from foods such as apples, beans, carrots, and several other items. Oatmeal is another great source of soluble fiber, which is a good thing because you can eat that either breakfast or as a snack.
3. Perform Some Simple ExercisesLet’s focus on exercising now and you don’t really have to perform any kind of crazy routine regularly just to get in shape.
According to Men’s Health, burpees, mountain climbers, and kettlebell swings are exercises that work well for fat burning because they help you shed so many calories while engaging numerous muscles. To start, you can take it a bit easy with the exercises, but try to ramp up the reps as you progress further into your fitness plan.
4. Avoid Stress and Stressful Situations as Best You CanHunger may be the number one trigger for overeating, but right behind it is stress. When you’re feeling pressured at work or school and you just want something that can make you feel better, it’s hard to say no to those calorie-rich foods. Plus, the cumulative effect of being stressed out all the time can really beat you down and make exercising more difficult.
We all know that avoiding stress entirely is impossible, but do try to minimize its presence in your life as much as possible.
Try to breathe more when dealing with a potentially stressful situation or take a step back and re-assess the situation to realize that it’s not as big of a deal as you’re making it out to be. Perform whichever mental or even physical exercises you need to in order to reduce your stress levels because it can be the reason why your fitness plan fails.
5. Be ConsistentGetting your fitness plan in motion is tough, but it’s not going to be the hardest part of this undertaking. No, the part where most, if not all, will struggle is trudging through those weeks when you’re not seeing any changes, thus leading to you losing motivation.
If you find yourself face-to-face with that problem, just remember that you’re in this for the long haul and as long as you stay committed, you will get to your goal eventually. Maybe taking a big step every day is too much to ask, but at least put in the effort to always move forward.
All of this hard work will pay off, and your future self will be grateful that you stuck to it.