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Not too late to get into summer shape

Diet, fitness are the keys to a summer-worthy body
By: Justin A. Lawson Journal Staff Writer
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The smattering of 90-plus degree days the area has seen already are a reminder that summer is near. Soon sun-seekers will be out at the confluence, swimming at Sierra Pool and enjoying backyard barbecues with family and friends. Some people, though, will be reminded of the five to 10 pounds of extra weight they?ve toted around since the holidays or Easter and with the first day of summer about four weeks away, the window to shed that weight is closing fast. ?Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet and you've got to be prepared to put in the work and change your diet to get the results you're after,? said Suzanne Gove, owner of ProActive Personal Training. The key to losing weight quickly is to burn more calories than you consume. The Mayo Clinic suggests weight loss in only one to two pound increments per week. In order to reach that goal over the course of a week you would have to create a caloric deficiency of 3,500-7,000 calories through a combination of exercise and diet. The warm weather has worked as an inhibitor to pull people off the treadmill or maybe the couch and hit the streets for a run or bike ride. While those are both better than sitting on the couch, Jessy Owen, the fitness director at Auburn Racquet and Fitness Club suggests a high-intensity, full-body workout to maximize results. ?A half-hour workout program using full-body exercises, using the whole body during the movements, creates the highest caloric burn during your program, which is going to get you the fastest results,? Owen said. ?So stay away from machines, you want to be doing pushups and squats and lunges and exercises that get your whole body into the movement.? Some full-body exercises to consider are squats with curls or an overhead press with, plank to pushup or change your run routine from pure distance to short bursts separated by walking, also known as interval training. Perhaps more important than the workout itself is the diet, said Owen. ?The first thing I always tell people is we focus on the diet first because if you?re going to try to lose any weight, 80 percent of your weight-related goals to tone up are going to come from primarily your nutrition,? he said. That means remove processed foods from your diet en lieu of whole foods like chicken, vegetables and fruit. Warm-weather cookouts usually cater to this type of diet with barbecued meats and salads readily available. Barbecues also hold a few pitfalls that people looking to lose weight should avoid. ?Frankly speaking though, it's often the condiments and toppings, sauces that go on the foods as they are grilled or when they come off the grill that send the calorie count through the roof and pack on the pounds,? Gove said. ?Mayo, ketchup and barbecue sauces are high in either fat or sugar so take it easy when adding these to your foods and of course mayo-laden potato salad is crazy high in calories.? Hot dogs, a summertime staple at barbecues and sporting events, are one of the biggest culprits. Americans consume more than 7 billion hot dogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, but on average they contain more fat (14.5 grams) than protein (eight). For most people even a few hot dogs won?t derail their summer fitness goals as long as they stay on the right path. ?I just tell people the biggest thing coming up to summer is to make sure that your workout program is consistent,? Owen said. ?You don?t have to do like five hours a day to lose weight quickly just start working out 30 minutes a day to an hour a day is the most you need and then just do it consistently. The things you do consistently are going to be the things that pay off the biggest in the end.?