IDEA Fitness Convention San Diego 2012 by Len Spoden PhotographyWe just finished a 12-week series that included cardio, muscle, nutrition and lifestyle tips to get you in great shape for summer. We are one month away from the start of summer so you’ve got 4 weeks to ramp it up and get ripped. Today, you’ll get 10 Quick-Fix Hacks for really toning and leaning up right in time for the beach.

  1.  Get really disciplined with your nutrition. Calculate how many calories you need to maintain your weight using a calorie calculator.  Reduce that by 500 calories per day and then distribute those calories throughout the day making sure you are consuming all macro-nutrients including lean protein (20-30 grams per meal), quality carbs like fruits, veggies, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes and healthy fats (20-30% of your daily caloric intake). For example, you might consume 500 calories for breakfast, a 150 calorie snack, 500 calories for lunch, a 150 calorie snack and 500 calories for breakfast to account for a 1800 daily caloric intake. Measure and track your food consumption to make sure you aren’t slipping in excessive calories without even realizing. Get strict and disciplined with your nutrition and you’ll lean up quickly.
  2. Get really strict with your water intake. Purchase a 32 ounce hydro-flask and try to drink 3-4 of them per day filled with water. If you really want to lean up, get strict with your water intake.
  3. Increase your muscle conditioning. If you really want to tone up, you need to develop some extra muscle. Increase your frequency and volume of strength training and lift some heavy things.
  4. Purchase a Heart Rate Monitor. Track your workout intensity and make sure you are training in the right zones and conditioning all energy systems. Sometimes you’ll go long and easy and other times you’ll go short and hard. A heart rate monitor will make sure you working out at the right intensity to maximize your results and can help you track your daily caloric expenditure. Taking a more scientific approach to your cardio can get you in great shape and really help you lean up.
  5. Boost your metabolism with Daily Doubles. Opposite to your workout, do something active to boost your metabolism. So if you go for a run in the morning, do a yoga class at night. If you strength train in the am, try a PM walk. Couple your workouts so you balance out your cardio, muscle and flexibility training.
  6. Log it to lose it. Set your workout goals for the day, week and month and then record and check them off as you complete each workout. For example, you might set a goal to expend 700 calories per day, 5 workouts per week or 12 strength and 20 cardio workouts this month. Use an APP like MyFitnessPal to record your nutrition and workouts against the goals you have set for yourself. It can be very motivating to see your progression and check off each accomplishment.
  7. Sign up for a challenge. Find a race or a challenge of some sort scheduled for one month from now. Maybe it’s a triathlon, a 10K. an obstacle challenge or a CrossFit competition. Register and that will put purpose to your workouts and cause you to work harder and be more consistent with your workouts and nutrition.
  8. Sleep to Shred – Lack of sleep has been associated with weight gain so make sure you focus on getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night. If you struggle with sleep, try keeping your room cooler, reading before bed and/or turning off electronics 30-60 minutes before your bedtime.
  9. Cheat – Being too strict can actually lower your metabolism as your body learns to be more efficient. So it’s actually a good idea to have one or two cheat meals per week. This doesn’t mean you go on an all out binge but instead allow yourself to enjoy some of those foods that aren’t part of your nutrition plan. This will also assure you don’t feel too deprived and depressed thinking you can never indulge in some of those items you really enjoy. In fact, many people do very well on a nutrition plan that is very strict Monday through Friday and then allowing some indulging on the weekend. This is often a plan that many people can commit to for the long term. But as you are trying to really lean out for summer, make sure these are only 1-2 cheat meals NOT full on cheat days.
  10. Minimize sugar, alcohol and salt. If you want to lean up, you’ll need to reduce high calorie, nutrient poor foods so reduce alcohol, processed foods, sugar (naturally occurring sugars are fine) and reduce the number of times you eat out. When you’re not preparing your food, it’s very easy to consume excess calories without even knowing it.

Try these tips for a month and you’ll be impressed to the changes in your body composition.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Note: As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started.  Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.  

Join us for the
Blue Lake Triathlon & Multi-Sport Festival!
June 2nd & 3rd

The 37th Annual Blue Lake Triathlon & MultiSport Festival and kick off the summer racing season. It is a scenic, flat and fast course with Super Sprint, Sprint & Olympic Distances & a KIDS Tri too!


Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at

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