Get a bikini. Put it on your body. Fat or thin, toned or soft and squidgy, you look beautiful!

Getting your body ready for bikini season will take some hard work and dedication, but it doesn’t have to be torture. Read this article to learn how to lose weight the healthy way, and have fun along the way!

Setting Goals

Determine where you want to improve. This will help you choose which diet and exercise route is right for you. Ask yourself the following questions: Do I want to lose weight? How much weight do I want to lose? Do I want to gain muscle? Am I happy with my weight, but want to tone up?

Weigh yourself and take measurements. This will help you track your progress. Remember that muscle weighs more than fat, so if your goal is to add bulk or tone up your muscles, then you might gain some overall weight. If this is the case, then focus on your measurements rather than the number on the scale.

Take a “before” picture. This will help keep you motivated, and will make you feel incredibly satisfied when you finally take that “after” picture.

Eating Healthily

If you are trying to lose weight it is important to reduce your caloric intake and adopt a healthier diet. Remember that exercise alone will not make you lose weight; you will absolutely have to change your diet.

Start eating plenty of vegetables and fruits. These foods are full of vitamins and minerals, and will help keep you full and energized throughout the day. Leafy green vegetables and non-starchy vegetables are the best for you; keep fruit to just a few pieces a day. Learn to love lean proteins. Turkey, chicken and fish are low in fat but rich in protein. If you are a vegetarian, try tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers, and eggs. It is VERY important to stay hydrated so make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day.

These are just some quick helpers to really help you achieve your goals ask your family doctor for a referral to a nutritionist who will be able to give you a personalized plan and make sure all your hard work pays off!

Performing Aerobic Exercise

There are many ways to get in your aerobic exercise. Ideally you want to do 30 minutes of cardio 3-5 times a week. Examples include walking, running, jogging, biking, swimming, and/or hiking. Exercises like these improve your cardiovascular health and increase your metabolism, even after you have finished exercising. It helps if you choose an exercise that you enjoy. This way you are more likely to stick with it.

If you are having trouble staying motivated on your own, try joining a gym. Being around other people might help. Plus, if you are paying for a gym membership, you will likely feel obligated more to exercise.

  • If all this sounds too much you could just start with a few simple lifestyle changes. If you can’t find the time to do a formal exercise, then make simple changes to make your daily routine more active.
  • Park further away from your destination and walk.
  • Walk around the local mall or park for a few hours.
  • Clean the house or do other errands that require you to be on your feet.

Toning Up

Yoga, pilates, or other total-body toning exercises are great for toning up and can be done at any level of fitness. These are especially useful for women who want to stay lean. They also improve flexibility, posture, and mood.

To target your arms, lift weights. Stick to around 10-20 reps, if you can do more than that, then the resistance chosen is too light and if you perform less than 10-20 reps the weight is too heavy. (Always lift till failure)

The dreaded push up will also help to tone your arms. For a modified version, keep your knees on the ground. To help tone your abs, hold a plank for as long as you can. Be sure you keep your body straight; don’t let your hips sag. (Perform in front of a mirror to check form.) Do NOT DO Crunches. Crunches can ruin your spinal disks (which will not heal).

And finally strengthening your legs you can use a stationary bike or elliptical on high resistance. Static lunges are great for working all the major muscles of the hips, glutes and thighs. Squats will help you tone up your butt!!

As with any exercise if you feel pain anywhere, stop what you are doing and seek medical advice. Ignoring pain could cause you long term maybe even life changing problems. Don’t be a hero!

Staying Motivated

Staying motivated can be a challenge in itself so here are a few tips:

  • Keep a food and/or exercise journal. People who keep track of what they eat tend to lose more weight than those who don’t. Be sure to read food labels and include toppings, dressings, and sauces when calculating your caloric intake.
  • Exercise with other people. This will keep you both entertained and motivated during your workout.
  • Find a friend or family member to run, jog, or hike with you.
  • Join an exercise class at your gym if you are a member.
  • Get a personal trainer.
  • Find a weight loss buddy. You can help keep each other motivated when motivation levels are low, and even compete with one another as an extra incentive.

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