How to get your body beach-ready
The days are getting longer, the temperature is getting warmer and the sun is peeping its head out more and more often. Yes – it’s getting towards that time of year again – holiday time. A chance to head away, kick off your shoes and put on that lovely, revealing … unforgiving bikini. Uh-oh.
Even the name of the dreaded garment sends shivers down the spines of most mere mortals – aka those who don’t go by the name of Giselle, Elle McPherson or Naomi Campbell.
All you want to do is lie on the beach, read a good book, get a great tan and fully unwind, but you know you’re more likely to spend your time attempting to suck your “I’m still carrying some Christmas weight” stomach in, draping a sarong over your wobbly bits or putting sun cream on while remaining seated so no one catches sight of your cellulite.
But don’t panic, whether it is months or mere weeks until your break, there’s still plenty of time to transform yourself into a toned, slimmer-looking and more confident you that will strut along the sand like a beach goddess.
Set goals and devise an exercise plan
Those with the desire to tone up and lose weight before their holiday should start by creating a set of goals.
These could include weight loss of half a stone, increasing your body confidence or getting rid of that dastardly cellulite on your thighs.
If you have months to go until your trip, ease yourself into exercise – don’t try to hit the gym for hours every day straight away or you might find you get fed up very quickly.
Sit down and devise a personal fitness plan that includes a variety exercises – nothing puts a person off staying active quite like a boring, repetitive routine.
Mix intense cardio sessions on the treadmill, cross trainer and exercise bike with more enjoyable workouts – try going to one yoga class a week, one 45-minute-long swimming session and a dance class like Zumba.
One of the best exercise classes for those heading on a beach break is legs, bums and tums. As the name suggests, it targets the key areas that most women fear putting on show.
If you have just a few weeks to go until your trip, you should aim to do around an hour of high-intensity exercise a day. This may sound like hell but it’ll be worth it in the end when you turn heads by stretching your toned, svelte figure across your beach towel.
Cut out the carbs, introduce greens and guzzle water
Another way that you can achieve your weight loss and streamline your figure in time for donning your bikini is by reassessing your eating habits.
The first three things you should do are eat three meals a day, cut out snacking and reduce your portion sizes.
Researchers at Purdue University in the US recently conducted a study, which found that eating three protein-rich meals a day makes slimmers feel full for longer and so removes the urge to snack which leads to weight loss.
Try and cut down on your carbohydrate intake by replacing cereal and toast with fruit salad and yogurt and swapping potatoes and pasta for an extra portion of vegetables – preferably greens.
Drinking eight glasses of water a day fills the stomach, helping you to resist those food cravings, and it hydrates every part of the body, including the skin, which helps a tan to glow and hair to shine.
Cheat with fake tan and makeup
Those with the knowhow can make themselves look slimmer with the aid of fake tan and carefully-applied makeup.
“Playing with shadows and highlights will give you definition where you have none,” former Baywatch babe Jamie Kern Lima, founder of It Cosmetics, told Marie Claire magazine.
She recommended using bronzer and tan all over the body and then applying a highlighter on favoured features like the firm tops of arms, shoulders and collar bones.
Build your confidence
Nothing screams sexy more than uber confidence, so work on increasing yours. To make yourself feel more comfortable and confident in your bikini or swimsuit, head to the swimming pool a few times a week before going on holiday. You’ll begin to feel less awkward displaying so much flesh, which will help you to relax and walk tall and proud.
Try not to focus on the parts of your body you dislike and take time every day for a week before you jet off to think about your good features and compliments people have paid you in the past. When on the beach, remind yourself of these, sit back and smile and let the confidence ooze out of you while you enjoy the relaxing sound of the sea.