We check out the three quickest ways to get ready for summer.
Here in the Newsroom we understand a thing or two about wanting the perfect summer body – and it’s not just the girls, the guys also want to get ripped for summer! There are different ways to tone up and many conflicting messages out there about what works and what doesn’t. We thought we should test out a few of the most common to figure out for ourselves – and you – which ones are worth trying. After trialling each method for 30 days, we wrote down our thoughts and then asked nutritionist, personal trainer and health editor at Flamingo Pink Pip Reed for her expert verdict. Here’s what we found:
Method one: SkinnyMe Tea
What the tester thought: Mel Henricks, 19, feature writer
“I had heard plenty about SkinnyMe tea before and as summer quickly approached I thought that it would be a good idea to finally give it a go. The idea of the tea is to cleanse your system and aid in weight loss – but it’s not a diet as they like to remind you – it’s a lifestyle. All you do is drink herbal tea in the morning and a colon cleanse tea at night every second day. Easy enough, but I really didn’t like it that much. The tea tasted gross (although I have friends who have really enjoyed them) and it was tough on my sensitive stomach. However I made it through a good two weeks of forcing the tea down my throat (and more importantly keeping it down) and continued eating healthy and completing 30 minutes of exercise daily. At the end of the two weeks I had lost a total of four kilos which is pretty good for me considering it takes me a while to shed weight.”
What Pip thought:
I don’t mind the SkinnyMe tea as it contains organic, natural ingredients – I just hate the name of it. There is absolutely no harm in drinking herbal teas, especially as so many have proven health benefits such as liver cleansing, metabolism boosting, circulation improvement and sleep inducement – although it’s doubtful the tea alone would make you lose weight, hence why they encourage you to exercise and eat healthy to achieve weight loss. Realistically this is what is going to cause weight loss, more than any tea! Whilst the tea does undoubtedly have some great health properties, I think the action of sipping on the tea all day best works as a constant reminder that you’re on a detox. I give it a tick, but mainly because it promotes healthy eating, exercise and drinking lots of fluid. If they took the focus off being skinny, I’d like it more!
If you’ve got the cash to burn then definitely give this one a go! If you’re on more of a tight budget then a possible alternative is to head to your local grocery store and pick up some herbal teas. Try not to sweeten them and keep up your daily exercise.
Method two: The 30 Day Squat Challenge
What the tester thought: Bene Earl, 21, editor
“My challenge was rather daunting. I must admit, I started with an enthusiasm that shocked me and, in turn, my seldom-used butt muscles. By day four, I had trouble sitting down. Getting up stairs was a real challenge. Let’s just say once I made it to a position I was comfortable with I wasn’t moving. I tried to incorporate the squat challenge into daily tasks – blow drying my hair, waiting at the bus stop (as you would imagine I only tried that once), even in the shower. When there were less than 100 to do in a day it wasn’t such a challenge, but when it reached 250 I was running out of time in my busy schedule. At about day 20 I was in a bikini with a group of friends and the classic frenemy suggested I do some squats as my derriere was looking a little “saggy”. That was enough to tip me off the wagon. That night, feeling pretty bad about myself, I went to bed without doing my squats. I think mentally I wasn’t ready to continue if I didn’t have the support around me and the results just weren’t showing. In retrospect I shouldn’t have let the comment get to me – but I had been working so hard! To be honest, I feel it’s a great challenge but 30 days is mentally punishing. Between work, university and my regular exercise regime I struggled for time, and energy! I continue to do squats when I’m blowdrying my hair, using a hair mask or waiting for my nails to dry, but every night is a commitment I just can’t make right now.”
What Pip thought:
Ah, The 30 Day Squat Challenge. I’ve actually tried this one and it bloody hurts, especially when you’re getting up to 200 squats in a day! I’m not sure it’s going to be very good for weight loss, unless you really tweaked your diet and have come from a sedentary lifestyle, in which case you’d see results simply because you’ve increased daily movement. Add some other muscle groups into the session – arms, core, back etc and you’d almost definitely be looking at a slimmer, more toned physique in a few weeks. Combined with good food of course!
We might have to go with Pip on this one. We are focusing on weight loss here and the squats alone won’t help you lose weight, but they do tone so it shouldn’t be excluded.
Method three: The 7 Minute Work Out
What the tester thought: Zac Pittas, 18, features editor.
“After already completing the 30-day SkinnyMe Tea program (yes, an 18-year-old guy did SkinnyMe Tea) and successfully losing just over 15 kilograms, I committed to the 7-minute workout for toning. It involved 12 different cardio and muscular exercises undertaken for 30 seconds each, with a 10 second rest in between each round. You begin with jumping jacks, wall sits, push ups, sit ups, chair step-ups, squats, chair dips, plank, high knees, lunges (which I’m pretty sure do the same thing as squats), rotating push ups and finishing with the hardest of them all, side plank. The first day I tried it out, I think I died. By the time I got to the chair dips (about half way through) I was craving the 10-second rest to ponder why I was putting myself through this torture! But when I make a commitment, I stick to it and I was set on doing the 7-minute workout every day and, since beginning over a month ago, I have. It got easier every day and results in my triceps and biceps began to show almost instantly… my upper thighs have been burning since the get go. However, while it was a great workout to help gain muscle, it did nothing to aid my weight loss, but I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants an intense at-home workout.
What Pip thought:
The 7 minute workout: wouldn’t that be amazing if that was all it took!?! Sadly this one doesn’t sit very well with me although I do love interval training and believe it achieves the fastest results when it comes to improving fitness. Sadly just not this fast, with even the makers suggesting to do it 2 -3 times a day, which really makes it a 21 minute workout… That’s like saying lose weight on 3000 calories a day but you’ll need to divide that number by three if you actually want to lose weight. Also, it doesn’t aim at every fitness level and may be too high in intensity for the unfit. The exercises and interval training get a tick – and it’s better than doing nothing – but try slowing it down and increasing the duration of the workout for better results.
We reckon maybe we should give this one a miss. As Pip said, it’s actually a 21 minute workout! We think you should just go for a light 30 minute jog – you still get all the endorphins and benefits that you would get out of 7/21 minutes of weird wall sits and what not.
After sampling these fads we think the best way to remain healthy and happy this summer is to eat clean and get exercising!
Drop us a comment and let us know your thoughts on these fitness fads if you’ve given them a go! – Melissa Henricks
Top photo from Glenn Euloth’s Flickr photostream.