Summertime is the ideal season to show off that fabulous body. If you’re feeling a little doughy and reluctant to take it all off, here are six strategies to help you get shredded in no time at all!

Ironically, the first step toward getting leaner and maintaining a killer metabolism is to begin your day with a healthy and substantial breakfast. If you skip this first and most important meal, your body will likely go into a starvation mode and you’ll begin to store fat like crazy. Plus, without the right fuel in the AM you’re bound to feel tired and sluggish by midday. That means you’re more likely to hit the couch than the gym after work. A healthy breakfast of 3 parts carbohydrates, 2 parts protein and 1 part fat first thing in the morning is the best strategy for staying lean and fueled all day long.

Secondly, you must stay hydrated because water plays an essential role in all bodily functions. If you’re even 2% dehydrated you’ll suffer performance issues in the gym. Aim for 8-10 tall glasses per day and when you train in the summer heat, go for a gallon a day. Tip: even before your coffee, chug a tall glass of water first thing every morning!

Thirdly, if you want to shed fat, but continue to build lean muscle then you’ve got to incorporate more protein into your meals. Protein requires your body to expend more calories in the digestion process. It also helps regulate blood sugar, provides nitrogen to the brain, and allows muscles to take in amino acids needed for growth and recovery from training. Besides lean chicken, fish, beef and low-fat dairy you may want to consider using a low carb, low sugar whey protein to help you get those extra protein calories.

Fourthly, performing weight training before cardio will ensure that you’re at your strongest when you’re pumping heavy iron. Lifting weights that are challenging depletes glycogen stores so that when you jump on the tread mill or go for a run after hard training, you’ll be more likely to burn fat for energy helping you to get leaner than if you did cardio first.

Fifthly, many guys train abdominals relentlessly thinking that endless crunches and contortions will bring them that sexy six pack. In order to burn off the layer of fat over your abs you’ve got to train all muscle groups hard and consistently. Never underestimate the importance of your dietary strategy, i.e. portion control, cutting back on carbs and fats, and eating more protein. 

Finally, try a little coconut oil. This supplement contains medium chain triglycerides, it helps with brain health, increases energy and decreases appetite. I haven’t tried it yet, but many guys report great results by taking a tablespoon of coconut oil first thing in the morning. Give it a try and let me know what you think?