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5 Steps to Maintain Your Summer Body Year Round


Keep it tight!

Well, you did it! You emerged from your winter cocoon as a beautiful summer butterfly, but with the seasons changing and the holidays looming, your hard-won warm-weather body could soon be a distant memory. The good news is, you've already done the hard part, so now is the easy(ish) part: maintaining it.

Here are a few tips to staying svelte the other nine months of the year.

1. Return of the Macros
The average adult male needs about 2,300 calories a day to maintain his weight. Of course, who really has the time or the patience to count calories for each meal? In truth, what matters isn't really how many calories you eat but rather the kind of calories you eat.

Macronutrients -- or macros, as the cool fit kids call it -- are types of foods you need in your daily diet, the three most common and important being fat, carbs, and protein. It's easier to keep track of these simply because you know which foods are higher in protein (meat), which are higher in carbs (bread, Oprah, bread!), and which are highest in fats (dairy).

Generally, if you want to stay lean, you want to stay away from high-carb foods while indulging in lean protein and keeping your fat consumption relatively low. Think of a 40-30-30 calorie split -- 40% protein, 30% carbs, 30% fats.

2. The Rather Bearable Lightness of Lifting
There's no need to live in the gym, unless you go to one of those really fancy, expensive gyms that's nicer than your apartment. In that case, feel free to move in. But when it comes to working out, three times a week should do the trick. You can do two or three exercises for each body part, with three sets of 10 to 12 reps. You don't have to go heavy on the weights, but you still want to leave the gym feeling like you put in some actual work.

3. Don't Sweat the Cardio
Cardio is essential for getting lean, but when it comes to staying lean, you can half-ass it. Depending on how lazy you feel, you can do low-intensity cardio (walking, taking the stairs instead of the elevator) daily, do moderate-intensity cardio (jogging, swimming) two or three times a week for 20 to 30 minutes, or just pack it all into one day of high-intensity cardio (high-intensity interval training seems to be a big HIIT).

4. Water It Down
Water is not only an essential element of life; it's also a great appetite suppressant -- because the thirst is real. Sometimes when you feel hungry, you might just be dehydrated. And when you actually are hungry, a glass of water before a meal can help you control the urge to eat everything in sight.

5. Snack's All Folks
Nutrition is really the key when it comes to snatching and keeping your waistline, so if three meals a day isn't enough, it's important to supplement them with healthy, high-protein snacks like Quest bars, Greek yogurt, almonds, or jerky. Protein is not only a great source of energy but also can help to reduce cravings.

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