Still hanging on to the pounds you gained over the holidays?

Are you scared of pulling out your tankini to see if it still fits?

Well don’t start dieting on peas just because you want to look slammin’ at the beach.

To truly start working towards getting that leaner, firmer, and trimmer look, you should make a few dietary and exercise tweaks to your lifestyle. Here are some measures that will make a major impact on your swimsuit self-esteem.

Exercise

Laying down some basic principles to achieve that beach-goddess look… it’s all about full-body workouts. This form of workout activity requires you to perform exercises that target multiple muscle groups for periods with little or no rest in between the exercise session. Such exercises aim for more definition and muscle tone than bulk muscle mass.

You should aim for at least 45 minutes of full-body exercise a minimum of 4 days per week. And each exercise session should be a mixture of body strength training and cardiovascular exercises. The former will define your muscle and core tone while the latter will help in burning stubborn fat around your waistline. Weighted abs crunches, lunge and squat combinations and jump squat push-ups are some of the exercises that should be on your list.

There isn’t a need to get a gym membership; most of these exercises can be performed outdoors while reaping the health benefits of exercising in a natural environment. But if you find weighted lunges, squats and other such exercises too difficult to perform–or if they place a lot of stress on your body–you may need something different. Three wheeled bicycles can engage multiple muscle groups, letting you achieve a similar effect as weighted exercise without the stress of traditional exercise and stationary ellipticals.

Diet

Make a few modifications to your diet by adding low glycemic index carbohydrate foods such as whole grain bread and pasta. Such carbohydrates don’t spike your blood sugar and are considered a natural diuretic. These carbohydrates are also high in dietary fiber, which has zero calories. So the more fiber you’re eating, the fuller you’ll feel throughout the day.

Fiber also aids in stabilizing blood sugar levels by slowing down digestion, which as a result gives you greater control over sugar cravings. Apart from carbohydrates, mix up lean proteins (fish, chicken, fat-free ground beef, etc.) with moderate quantities of good fats (salmon, almonds, etc.) to nourish your health with adequate balance of all nutrients.

Try to eat small meals throughout the day and plan snacks in advance. And if possible, keep a journal of what you put into your mouth. Kaiser Permanente’s Center of Health Research conducted a study amongst 1,700 dieters and the results found that individuals keeping track of their diet and exercising on a daily basis lost twice the weight over a period of six months than people who followed these tasks occasionally or didn’t at all.

Hydration and other tips

Make it a habit to drink a glass of water every morning. Adequate water intake is essential for rejuvenating the cells by supplying them with water and oxygen. If drinking plain water is boring for you, consider adding a pinch of lime or citrus juice as it will also assist your body in fighting fatigue.

Also, limit alcohol intake – a bottle of wine gives you more than 600 calories and a pint of beer adds 150 calories to your diet. Cutting such drinks out before you go to the beach can make a significant difference to your body aesthetics.

Got and tips? Something to share? Feel free to leave comments.

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