Spring is in the air and with that comes the looming bikini season! How can you get ready for the summer full of swimsuits, pool parties, tank tops and shorts? You need to tighten, tone and feel fit fast! It’s time to get serious about your nutrition and your training. It’s time to get swimsuit-ready!
Nutritionally, to be your most bikini-ready, here are the top 5 tips to reduce bloat and lose fat:
Stay hydrated with water and water-based beverages
Water, green tea (or herbal or black) and other water-based beverages will keep you hydrated and will give your skin a glow. Also, dehydration is commonly mistaken as hunger. Keeping yourself hydrated will lessen your likelihood of eating something when you really actually need fluids!
Lighten up on the carbs
Carbohydrates provide energy and are not the enemy; however, when you want to shred pounds and fat, lightening up on the carbs is a good idea to kick up your metabolism. Aim for 100 grams or less carbs per day, focusing on protein (see point 4) and all natural, holistic foods like vegetables, low-sugar fruit (versus high sugar like mangos and grapes), and lentils/beans.
Ban the booze (temporarily)
Sigh. Yes, the wine, beer and spirits must go during your shredding spring cleaning. Aside from the loads of calories and sugar, alcohol promotes bloating and other tummy troubles. Most importantly, alcohol is processed in your liver and when the liver is taxed, your metabolic rate tanks. Say no to the sauce for a few weeks and you may never go back!
Say yes to protein
Healthy proteins like grass-fed meats, poultry, fish, shellfish and protein-full grains like quinoa should become staples. Watch your calories and salt on pre-packed proteins and the protein-packed grains like quinoa (1 cup is 400 calories or more!). Beans and lentils fall into this group as well; watch the carbs though- some beans, like chickpeas, are sneaky carb hiders!
Become a chemical-free being
Diet soda, processed foods like crackers/cookies/bleached flour products, and other items like “fat free” and “diet” foods are full of chemicals, many of which promote bloat and, believe it or not, weight gain (not loss, as they would have you believe). Try the chemical-free life for a few days and notice how you feel; some people experience what are known as “detox” symptoms like headaches, rashes and more. Others simply feel better right away. Do what’s best for you; but consider the research on chemical-laden products and how they actual hinder one’s weight loss and promote obesity, diabetes and heart issues. It is a worthwhile tough few days for a gorgeous summer bikini season!
Training-wise, you need to up your game. Intervals burns up to 11% more abdominal fat per workout over steady-state cardio such as running on a treadmill or using the elliptical. Intervals are where you push 100+% for a short amount of time (under or up to 1 minute) and then recover at an easy pace or resting for half the time of the interval or longer depending on the exercise.
- If you do a 60 second round of push ups, you would then rest for 30 seconds before repeating or moving on to the next exercise.
- If you do a 30 second sprint on a treadmill, you should recover for at least 15 seconds, if not longer. (Many sprint workouts do 30 seconds on, 90 seconds off.)
Here are two fat-burning interval workouts that you can do with little to no equipment. These workouts are an advanced level; try 1 round of each and see how you feel. Doing even 1 round is a great start and take time for rest. It’s all about progress, not pain! Also, remember to have some supportive shoes for your spring training! It’s possible you may need a new pair after a winter indoors at the gym or on muddy paths!
Workouts 1 and 2 can be done on consecutive days with a rest day in between (or a light activity like Yoga, Pilates, or a walk). Remember, rest is important with intense interval training and is essential for the recovery of the body and your health.
Now, don’t you feel bikini ready?!?! Work hard on these workouts and then play hard all summer long!