With the summer holidays almost upon us, over the next few weeks we will provide you with everything you need to know to get summer ready. Think of it as your Summer Survival Guide, with simple tips on how to stay healthy this summer, and how to make the most of the longer days, whilst juggling work, kids, home and life in general...
With temperatures starting to rise, holiday time getting nearer and the need to wear less clothes, we share our top tips on how to feel good this summer. Being healthy and happy is always our number one priority and having body confidence at any dress size is a brilliant and powerful thing, something we celebrate and promote! However, we also support anyone wanting to drop a few pounds if this is going to help with feeling more comfortable on the beach - and there is nothing wrong with wanting to do so; especially if this allows for you to add in some healthier practices to your daily routine. So read on for everything you need to know, so that in a few weeks you will look and feel your very best!
Body positivity starts with how you feel, not how you look. Here are some ways that you can use to help you have more positive thoughts about your body:
- Focus on your body's strengths. Make a list of all the things you like about your body. This could include your physical appearance, your strength, your flexibility, or your ability in the gym or studio. A small study on 100 women asked one group to focus on their body's strengths and the other group to focus on their body’s weaknesses, each for 10 minutes a day for 12 weeks. At the end of the 3-month period, the women in the group that focused on their strengths had significantly improved body image compared to the women in the group that focused on their weaknesses! (1).
- Recognise and re-frame any negative thoughts about your body image, particularly around what you look like in a bikini on the beach. When you have any negative thoughts about your body, challenge them. Remember that despite what you may see on social media (which is often highly edited and curated), in reality no-one looks like a super model and everyone else is probably worrying about what they look like too. Studies have shown that challenging negative body image thoughts can help improve body image by increasing body acceptance and improving coping skills (2). Once you realise that nobody is perfect, it can help you reframe you own body image, so that you can let go of expectations and unnecessary pressure.
- Practice self-compassion. Self-compassion is the practice of being kind and understanding to yourself, even when you make mistakes or don’t meet your own expectations. Talk to yourself, like you would talk to a friend – compassionately! If you are trying to lose weight, remember to be kind to yourself too. Studies have shown that practicing self-compassion can help improve body image.
- Avoid comparing yourself to others. It’s easy to compare yourself to others, but this can be harmful to your body image. Remember that everyone’s body is different and beautiful in its own way. Studies have shown that comparing yourself to others can lead to negative body image. One study involved women who were asked to complete a survey about their body image and their tendency to compare themselves to others. The women who reported comparing themselves to others more often also reported having more negative body image (3).
- Find swimwear that makes you feel confident. When you feel good in your swimwear, whether it’s a bikini or a swimsuit, it really shows. Take some time to try on different options until you find one that makes you feel your best and don’t just focus on what you look like in it! Summer is a time to enjoy the sun and the water, so finding the right swimwear is important.
Finally, it’s important to remember that everyone’s body is different and is beautiful in its own way. Don’t compare yourself to others and focus on loving your own body. Remember that you are beautiful, no matter what your body looks like! If you are struggling with negative body image, it may be helpful to seek professional help. A therapist can help you challenge negative thoughts about your body, develop a more positive body image, and cope with any emotional distress that may be associated with negative body image.
What’s the best form of exercise to burn fat?
Exercise can improve body image, in several ways, helping you to feel good. It can help you to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. It can also help you feel more confident and capable, which can improve your overall body image. If weight loss is your goal, the best form of exercise is a combination of aerobic and resistance training, which is supported by various studies. Aerobic exercise, such as running, cycling, or swimming, helps burn calories and fat, while resistance training, such as weightlifting or bodyweight exercises, helps build lean muscle mass, which increases metabolism and burns more calories at rest.
One study found that individuals who combined aerobic and resistance training lost more fat and preserved more muscle mass than those who only did aerobic exercise (4). Another study showed that resistance training can increase resting metabolic rate by up to 7%, leading to long-term weight loss (5). Moreover, another study found that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is more effective for weight loss than moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) (6). HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest, while MICT involves longer periods of moderate-intensity exercise. Researchers found that HIIT participants lost more body fat and improved their insulin sensitivity more than MICT participants.
As there are benefits to both, a combination of aerobic and resistance training, with added emphasis on HIIT would be the best strategy for weight loss. This approach not only burns calories during the workout but also increases metabolism and burns more fat at rest.
What nutrients may aid weight loss?
Eating a healthy and balanced diet that contains lots of colourful vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, good amounts of lean protein, and some healthy fats is key to help aid weight loss. Avoiding processed foods, unhealthy fats (like vegetable oils) and keeping refined sugar to a minimum will help aid weight loss and support blood sugar balance too. There are also some powerful active ingredients that we would love to highlight for their ability to boost the metabolism, enhance energy, curb cravings and prolong satiety.
Glucomannan is a natural, water-soluble dietary fibre extracted from the roots of the elephant yam, also known as konjac. It is commonly used as a weight loss supplement due to its ability to promote feelings of fullness and reduce appetite. When taken with water, glucomannan forms a thick gel in the stomach, which slows down the emptying of the stomach and delays the absorption of nutrients. This leads to a slower, steady release of glucose into the bloodstream, helping to regulate blood sugar levels and control insulin response. Additionally, the gel-like consistency of glucomannan helps to increase satiety and reduce hunger, ultimately leading to a reduction in calorie intake. Several studies have supported this, with one study in overweight individuals showing that those taking glucomannan supplements lost an average of 5.5 pounds over an eight-week period (7).
Green Coffee Bean Extract
Green Coffee Bean Extract (GCBE) has been associated with weight loss due to its high content of chlorogenic acids (CGAs), which are compounds that are found in coffee beans. Chlorogenic acids are known to reduce the absorption of carbohydrates in the gut, inhibit the release of glucose into the bloodstream, and help utilise fats for energy, leading to weight loss. Studies have shown that GCBE can significantly decrease body weight, body mass index (BMI), and body fat percentage when taken in combination alongside dietary changes and regular exercise. One study found that daily supplementation of GCBE for 12 weeks resulted in a significant decrease in body weight and BMI compared with the placebo group (8). Another study demonstrated that GCBE supplementation for 22 weeks resulted in a significant reduction in body weight, body fat, and waist circumference (9).
Maitake Mushroom Extract
Maitake mushrooms are a type of fungus that has been shown to have several health benefits, including weight loss. Maitake mushrooms contain a compound called beta-glucans, which have been shown to boost the immune system, lower cholesterol, and promote weight loss. One study found that people who took a maitake mushroom extract for 12 weeks lost significantly more weight than those who didn’t (10). Another study found that maitake mushrooms can help to reduce the absorption of fat from food. The study participants who ate a meal containing maitake mushrooms absorbed 25% less fat than those who ate a meal without maitake mushrooms (11).
Raspberry extract may help increase metabolism, which is the rate at which the body burns calories. A study found that people who took a raspberry ketone supplement for 12 weeks had a significant increase in their metabolic rate (12). Raspberry extract may also help reduce appetite and boost fat burning. A study found that raspberry ketones can help to increase the activity of enzymes that break down fat (13).
Siberian Ginseng, also known as Eleuthero, has been reported to promote weight loss through various ways. Firstly, this herb is believed to have thermogenic properties that increase metabolic rate, leading to more energy expenditure. Studies have also linked Siberian Ginseng with improving insulin sensitivity, which can result in better blood sugar management, reduced fat storage and less cravings. One study on Siberian Ginseng and weight loss found that individuals who took the herb had a significant decrease in Body Mass Index (BMI), body weight, and waist circumference (14). Another study found that taking Siberian Ginseng extract led to a significant reduction in abdominal fat in participants. These studies suggest that Siberian Ginseng can be a useful natural supplement to aid in weight management (15).
We have included these nutrients in Lean Formula alongside vitamins, minerals and probiotics to help boost the metabolism, enhance energy, curb cravings, prolong satiety and support hormones and adrenals. Developed specifically to support and sustain weight management, in conjunction with a healthy diet. It’s everything you need in one bottle to feel good in your bikini this summer.
Tylka, T. A., & Wood-Barnes, S. (2015). Body image strengths and weaknesses: Associations with body image and psychological well-being. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 39, pp. 166-177.
Cychosz, M. E., & Tylka, T. A. (2015). The effects of a cognitive-behavioral intervention on body image and eating pathology in college women. Body image, 12, pp. 121-129
Tiggemann, M., & Brooks, A. (2010). The role of social comparison in body dissatisfaction: A review of the literature. Body Image, 7, pp. 250-263.
Willis LH, Slentz CA, Bateman LA, et al. (2012) Effects of aerobic and/or resistance training on body mass and fat mass in overweight or obese adults. Journal of Applied Physiology (1985). 113(12), pp. 1831-1837.
Hunter GR, Byrne NM, Sirikul B, et al. (2008). Resistance training conserves fat-free mass and resting energy expenditure following weight loss. Obes Res. 16(5), pp. 1045-1051.
Boutcher SH. (2011). High-intensity intermittent exercise and fat loss. International Journal of Obesity, pp. 868305.
Onakpoya et al. (2014). The effect of glucomannan on body weight in overweight or obese individuals: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
Onakpoya, I., Terry, R., & Ernst, E. (2012). The use of green coffee extract as a weight loss supplement: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials. Gastroenterology research and practice.
Thom, E. (2007). The effect of chlorogenic acid enriched coffee on glucose absorption in healthy volunteers and its effect on body mass when used long-term in overweight and obese people. The Journal of international medical research, 35(6), pp. 900-908.
Kwon, O.-S. et al. (2016). "The Effects of Maitake Mushroom (Grifola frondosa) Extract on Body Weight and Body Composition in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Nutrition and Metabolism, pp. 159-166.
Saito, Y., Sugiyama, T., Ohta, T., & Kurihara, K (2013). Effect of Grifola frondosa (Maitake) Mushroom on Dietary Fat Absorption in Healthy Volunteers. Fitoterapia.
Kwon, O.-S., Kim, J.-Y., Kim, J.-H., Kim, K.-H., Kim, S.-H., & Kim, Y.-S. (2016). The effects of raspberry ketone supplementation on body weight and body composition in overweight and obese adults: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Nutrition and Metabolism, 13(1), pp. 159-166.
Saito, Y., Sugiyama, T., Ohta, T., & Kurihara, K. (2013). Effect of raspberry ketone on thermogenesis and adipose tissue metabolism in healthy volunteers. Fitoterapia, 84(6), pp. 970-973.
Kim, J. H., Park, S. J., Park, Y. J., & Kim, S. H. (2014). Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng) as a natural weight-loss product in obese Korean adults: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 155(3), 1041-1046.
Radziuk, D., & Jones, G. (2009). Efficacy of Eleutherococcus senticosus supplementation on aerobic capacity and anaerobic exercise performance. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 6(1), p. 1.