The sun is shining, summer is looming and the beach is beckoning, so how to look your best once you shed your clothes in the warmer weather? Well the good news is that with just a few small tweaks to your lifestyle you can make a positive difference to how you look and feel, but like anything, the more you’re willing to put in the better the results you can get. So here’s our top 5 tips for getting beach ready: Clean up your diet. We’re not big believers in fad diets – our ethos is from field or sea to table – so grilled lean meats and fish, salads, stir frys, lightly grilled or steamed vegetables. If you start this about a month out, then you’ll see a big difference by the time your holiday rolls around. Cut out the refined foods, the processed foods, the heavy carbs – simple rule, if what you’re putting in your mouth has gone through more than three processes (eg dried, ground, baked) then it’s too many. Stick to this and you’ll see the weight start to come off. Cut the booze. Not a popular one for many, but alcohol is empty calories. Again, cut your consumption a month out. Try to budget yourself to drinking moderately only one or two nights a week maximum. Better if you can go without totally. If you’re accustomed to a few glasses of wine a week or similar, just cutting this out will yield big results. Get active. Common sense, the more you move, the more calories you burn. If you’ve cleaned up your diet then it’s likely you’re consuming less calories (do you know how long you have to run for to burn off a muffin?). Walk more, take the stairs rather than the lift, just get moving. Get intense. If you really want to see a big difference then hit your body up with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) two to three times a week. These types of exercise are the cornerstone of our Optimal Fitness and Optimal Weight Loss retreats, we mix up circuits with sprint work, Tabata intervals and more. You’re aiming to work at high intensity for short bursts then rest or work at a low pace to recover, before pushing yourself hard again. Design yourself a circuit, do one set, rest a couple of minutes, then push it again, or even easier, find a decent hill, sprint up it, walk back down and repeat ten times. You’ll not only improve your cardiovascular fitness but you’ll tone up, and spike your metabolism to get a fat burning effect that lasts for hours after you’ve stopped exercising. Lift weight. If you increase your muscle mass your resting metabolic rate increases, as muscle requires more energy even at rest. So, lift heavy weight two to three times a week and as you add muscle tone, you’ll be burning more calories, not just in your workout, but even when resting. There you go, if you like the sound of it, why not join us at one our Optimal Fitness or Optimal Weight Loss retreats for a fun, effective jumpstart to your summer body?