As April showers have rolled away and May flowers begin to bloom, swimsuit season draws near and you know what that means – time to tighten, tone and whip your body back into show-off shape. Follow these top tips to be bikini ready before the sun shines on the first day of summer.
Skip the sugar. A flabby belly is tough to hide in any swimsuit, so keep that in mind when tempting desserts, sodas, white breads and pastas are passed under your nose. Excess sugar turns into stored fat and heads straight for your abdomen. Instead, curb cravings with non-starchy vegetables and choose whole grains and lean proteins for meal times. You will boost satiety and avoid crashes that will cause the seemingly uncontrollable urge to eat everything in sight.
Go lean. Sure, you are probably trying out the low carb diet to ramp up results, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat a steady diet of burgers and sausage. Choose lean meats like white, flaky fish, grilled chicken and lean cuts of turkey. You will save your waistline and your heart with lean choice meats.
Banish the bloat. There is nothing worse than water retention to ruin your bikini debut. Keep bloating to a minimum by reducing your alcohol and sodium intake. Sodium is hard to avoid because it is used as a preservative and flavor-enhancer in almost everything, but you can make a difference in your intake by choosing whole foods over processed foods and skip adding your own salt. Alcohol, on the other hand, does all kinds of bad things to your insides, including adding extra calories, inducing water retention and minimizing your fat-burning ability. In the name of your teeny-bikini, you may want to avoid the 125-calorie glass of wine or the 150-calorie pint of beer.
Straighten up. Your posture that is – slouched posture can add the appearance of unwanted pounds. Check out the state of your shoulders and back, if too much time hunched over a computer has you misaligned, do damage control. Focus on sitting, walking and standing up straight and, when you plan your workouts, choose more exercises that involve pulling rather than pushing. This will help pull hunched shoulders back and build strengthen muscles weakened by “computer posture.”
You’ve got to move it! Move it! Sitting in front of your computer pinning hot bodies on Pinterest won’t do anything for your shape. Get off the couch and make it happen for yourself! Walk, jog, run, bike, dance, rollerblade or cart-wheel your way around town – whatever you choose just move! Move! Move! If you are stuck at your desk for 8 hours a day during the week – take mini-breaks to walk about the office, skip the elevator and take the long route to the copier, fax machine and bathroom. Couple gallivanting about your office with a rigorous cardio routine and you will be ready for the beach!
Multi-task. When you are short on time, not just any exercise routine will do. Get your cardio and your strength training done all in one with high-intensity interval training. Mix in crunches, curls and squats with jumping rope, sprinting and mountain climbers. The constant movement combined with resistance activity will have you sleek and tone in no time.
Don’t just sit there. You probably have a list of your favorite TV shows and you DVR every one until Friday night when you catch up on all you have missed plopped in the recliner. Enjoy those shows and get your body in shape. Squats, lunges, push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, curls and so much more can be done right in front of the TV. Give up your bowls of chips and dips in favor of a Swiss exercise ball and some light dumbbells – and break a sweat with the “Biggest Loser” contestants.
Remember, success is truly all about progress. Face it, nobody’s perfect and no one ever will be. And you certainly won’t find so-called perfection in six weeks. Nonetheless, every effort is a step toward success in being and living healthier – inside and out. Track your goals and celebrate milestones because you deserve to treat yourself well.