How to prepare a Bikini READY Body
Getting the perfect Bikini Body is premised on two major factors. A great diet and the perfect exercise routine. In as much as there are a lot of Bikini Body programs out there, a close observation of them will reveal that they all share a core of essentials. I will be discussing these; Preparation, diet, exercise, toning up; staying motivated and how they are meshed together into one program in this article today.
The first thing that you need to do is set reasonable and attainable goals. That is to decide what you want to achieve before you start the program.
- What do you want to improve? Is it a body part, overall, or stomach and butt?
- Do you want to lose weight or simply just have a more toned slender look?
- Do you want certain parts of your body to look slimmer?
- Do you want to gain muscle?
- Do you want to lose weight, how much weight do you want to lose?
These and other like questions will guide you to choose the appropriate diet and exercise most suitable for your goals.
Secondly, you will need to record your weight and take measurements of your body parts. For example, your waist, your arms etc. The body parts you want to fix need to be measured and progress checked on these in particular. This will aid you in tracking whatever progress you might make. Here is a good time to remember that if one of your aims is to add more muscle to your physique then you might eventually weigh more than your original weight because muscles naturally weigh more than fat. In that case you should pay more attention to the measurements rather than the number on the scale. Remember, when you lose weight, you lose centimeters before you lose kilos, so don’t just weight yourself.
Thirdly, it is imperative that you take a before picture. This stands as another way to monitor your progress, but more importantly will assist in keeping you motivated. And finally you will derive a great sense of joy at the end of the program when you take your after picture and compare the two to note the massive improvement that you have made or just to realise that you were able to achieve your goals.
What comes first, the chicken or the egg? In the preparation and execution timeline of Bikini Workouts this next has often been controverted. Do you buy the Bikini before you start to take the measurements and make your decision on what your program goals are, or do you only buy it (if you don’t already have one) after you have started.
Well whatever the case, I think that it is safe to say that this can come as either the third or as it is placed here, fourth stage. Acquiring and placing the bikini you want to wear in a conspicuous place where you will see it every day will serve as a great boost to motivating you to persist in the program. This will help you constantly remember why you started and give you the push to keep going in those times when you want to quit. Take a picture of your desired body, place it on the fridge, place on your mirror, place it as a background on your phone so it is a constant reminder of what you going to achieve.
Next we shall be considering the almighty diet. Diet is so important because as the saying goes, “we are what we eat”. On that score, while you will need to avoid some foods, you will have to stock up on others. So what should be eaten? Fruits and vegetables. Lots and lots of it. Leafy green non-starchy vegetables. Spinach and the like is highly recommended, whilst fruit can be limited to a few pieces per day due to the sugar in fruit. When it comes to proteins low fat, lean proteins like fish, turkey and chicken is the way to go. Tempeh, veggie burgers and tofu will equally surfeit if you are a vegetarian.
Again you will need to cut down on your sugar consumption. You should be mindful of possible hidden sugars in sauces, breads and dressings. Has such you should make the reading of food labels a part of your shopping and cooking regimen.
You should also ensure to always stay hydrated. This means you should drink plenty of water a day. 8 glasses has been recommended as a minimum, although 3 to 4 liters is perfect.
Eat Healthy Carbohydrates.
Instead of stocking up on carb dense foods like bread, pasta, cookies or tucking into that pizza or lasagne, why don’t you try healthier alternatives,. Try fruits and vegetables; legumes, berries, nuts, cauliflower, kale and spinach which are fiber filled and are more slowly absorbed into the blood stream and good for your digestive system. Besides that it should be noted that since wheat makes you hold water, it tends to bloat you, thereby making you gassier and increasing your cravings.
Avoid high calorie snacks
Once again the idea here is to stick with fruits and vegetables. Stay off the sweets, regular chocolates, cookies. These will only lead you to pile on the bulk.
Don’t be a Couch Potato
Yes it can be tempting to dump yourself in front of the TV after a hard days work. We all like to tune into the latest instalment of “Game of Thrones” or the newest “seasons” craze being offered by our local TV network. Yet as always moderation is the key so don’t make it a habit. According to experts the most successful dieters don’t watch up to the adult average of four hours per day. In fact they average less than 10 hours per week. An interesting corollary to that is the results of a 2007 Yale University study which found that TV viewers who saw snack commercials were regardless of whether they were hungry or not, influenced to eat just about anything. Obviously not okay if you are trying to lose weight and obtain that Bikini Beach ready figure.
Drink Cold Water
Ice cold water has been proven to do wonders for dieters. It was found that drinking it actually burns between 17 and 25 calories per glass. How come? As the liquid spreads through your system, the body warms it to its temperature burning off calories in the process.
Get enough Shut-eye
Studies show that getting between six to eight hours of sleep a night is essential to beat off weight gain. It was found that subjects who got less sleep tended to put on more weight over time than those who got adequate amounts. The science here is that when you don’t get enough sleep, levels of the hormone leptin an appetite suppressant falls, whilst that of ghrelin, an appetite stimulant rises. As a result you feel hungrier, would tend to eat more and conversely add on weight.
Avoid Coffee, drink green tea.
Yes we all love our morning coffee, but believe me if you are looking to lose weight and get in that bikini body mode, you had better give coffee at least for the present a wide berth. This is because it increases hunger cravings which means that in the long run you may end up eating more than you ordinarily would. Instead opt for green tea. It is a powerful diuretic and anti-oxidant which can actually help you in detoxifying your body. Three to four cups a day should do it.
Red wine please, no beer for now
If you must drink, go for the healthier alcohol –vino tinto. Red wine is not only good for your heart, it has also been shown to impact less on the waist line than beer does. Even more impressive, in a study carried out at Brigham and Women’s hospital Boston, it was found that participants who drank one or two glasses per day over the course of 13 years gained less weight than non-drinkers.
Anti-cellulite Cream anyone?
Okay, so the visible results may not last for more than 24 hours. Nevertheless using anti-cellulite cream can in the short term reduce dimples. This no doubt will leave you looking better when you step out in that much wanted bikini piece.
Detoxifying your system every once in a while is not a bad idea. I do a light detox once every week although it doesn’t have to be that frequent. According to nutrition specialist Oz Garcia, doing a program like Blueprint Cleanse or Organic Avenue which offer three day juice fasts is a safe and healthy way to detox. It is important here to graduate into and out of it. Each time -say one to three days before and after stick with easy to digest foods whilst avoiding sugary, alcoholic, artificially flavoured, processed and caffeinated foods.
Don’t imbibe others food habits.
That didn’t come out smoothly did it? What I mean is that when eating out socially- out with a friend, at a party or buffet etc., we should be careful not to unconsciously take on the food sizes of the person we are with. It has been found that eating habits are influenced by those we eat with. As a result weight gain is socially transmissible. For example in a social gathering, sitting next to a gutsy eater could likely result in you eating more than you ordinarily would? To reduce this risk, you can start the meal with a low calorie appetizer which research shows will influence you to eat fewer calories during the main course.
Nosh up the Proteins
Apart from being essential for building muscles, proteins also have a high TEF (thermodynamic effect of Food). What is that? Well every time we eat, our body expends energy in breaking down the food during digestion. Whereas fats use 2-3% and carbohydrates 10% calories during digestion, proteins on the other hand weigh in at a staggering 20- 30% for calorie usage. Essentially what this means is that eating 100 calories of these foods will translate in actuality to 97 calories for fat, 90 calories for carbohydrates but up to 70 calories for proteins. If losing weight and getting taut and firm is the aim, then taking up less calories is not a bad move to make. Just make sure you do it sensibly though and you don’t go overboard and eliminate the other food groups.
Indulge yourself a little
Going the whole hog and insisting on a no fat, no sugar diet may be commendable, but really how many of us are that disciplined. Attempting to stick to this strict regime may in the end be counter-productive as you set yourself up for cognitive dissonance. And the fallout of that will not be pretty. Here, with one part of your mind saying no and the other rooting yes, and having held out for so long, what could ultimately happen is you caving in and snowballing into a massive food binge. Instead of that, wouldn’t it be much better to just treat yourself to a cookie or a piece of chocolate? In addition, that small treat you have given yourself may just in the long run motivate you to stick with the program and intensify your work outs.
Don’t forget your essential fats.
Intake of essential fatty acids commonly found in fish but also be found in flaxseeds and walnuts and is a must if you are looking to lose body fat. 6 grams a day has been recommended here. However since it is pretty hard to consume this strictly from food alone the use of food supplements is a viable option.
Stress raises cortisol levels in the body. This in some people may stimulate the storage of abdominal fat. Avoiding stress therefore will aid you in reducing fat. Ways to do this is include massages, a nice warm bath before bed or taking a yoga class.
It’s not just about getting the right shape. How the skin that covers that shape looks, matters too. Does your skin look dull and weathered or does it look radiant and made for the sunny weather? You can improve the look of your skin simply by exfoliating and applying a good moisturizing cream once a week. Getting your skin looking good is guaranteed to get heads turning whilst undermining your perceived body flaws whether true or not.
Add some high intensity intervals to your training
If weight loss is the aim because you want to lose some fat, then the addition of some high intensity intervals to your cardio routine is the way to go. Research shows that these are more effective in burning body fat than less intense cardio exercise even where that exercise lasts longer.
Say no to Horizontal stripes.
These will only make you look wider than you really are. Since this is one thing most people want to avoid, choose your bathing suits with care and avoid those with horizontal stripes. In addition, also take care to avoid drawing attention to areas of your body you’d rather de-emphasize. As such tassels or anything that straps around these areas should be avoided.
Make your breakfasts protein rich
Breakfast they say is the most important meal of the day, and skipping it can spell disaster for not only your morning energy levels but also your performance for the day. As such, if your aim is a trimmer beach ready figure, not only should you avoid skipping breakfast, you should in fact also be aware that not just any breakfast combo will do. Indeed research shows that a protein rich breakfast is more helpful in fast tracking weight loss than does a carbohydrate one. In that eight week study carried out by Pennington Biomedical Center of Louisiana State University System, it was found that participants who had eggs and toast for breakfast as against bagel and cream cheese enjoyed an 83 percent extra reduction of their waist size than those on the bagel medley. This is no surprise if we take our minds back to the Thermodynamic effect of Food scores for protein, carbohydrates and fats. Here it was found that the body actually burned more calories in digesting proteins than did it for other food
Now comes exercise, the other essential in any Bikini Body workout or program. What to do, how to do it. How long to do it for.
30 minutes of Cardio 3-5 times a week has been recommended. Whether you go for 3, 4 or 5 times may depend on your goals, but personally, I would start with 3 times so as not to do too much too soon and become discouraged when you are not able to meet up with the demand. Examples of cardio include running, biking, walking, jogging, hiking, indoor aerobics etc. These type of exercises tend to leave you breathing deeply while you are doing them. They improve heart health and increase the metabolic rate even after the exercise is done. There are other tips that will help you in this aspect of the program, namely; exercise with a friend. This will enable you to stay motivated especially if that friend is aware of your exercise goals or even shares the same goals.
Make it enjoyable. Pick an exercise you like. If you like jogging, go for that. If your thing is more like sports, then you might prefer the front yard basketball work out, squash or tennis ball knock-about to, say the aerobics course. This way there is a greater tendency that you will persist in it.
In addition it is a good idea for you to also join an exercise gym? Why? Simple, being around other people will not only keep you motivated, the fact that you are paying for that gym membership will also make you feel duty-bound to stay the course.
Make simple life style changes. What do I mean? Okay, so if I was to take a brief look at the itinerary of some of us, I’m sure even I may come away feeling slightly overwhelmed. One likely reason for that could be because it is activity filled. This inadvertently may not give room or time for you to do a formal exercise.
The way to get around that is to integrate exercise into your lifestyle or daily routine. So for example instead of driving to your local grocery store for a newspaper every Saturday morning why not rather stroll there. Instead of taking the lift in your office in the morning, why not take the stairs. Or what about cleaning the house, raking or mowing the lawn or some other activity that requires you to be on your feet and moving.
What’s that all about? Well, when people say they want to tone up, what they mean is that they want to lose fat and add a little muscle so that they look lean and strong but without adding so much muscle that they look like a body builder. You should aim to achieve this by doing yoga, Pilates or other total body toning exercises. These will improve posture, flexibility and mood.
Secondly you should look to toning up your arms. You can do this by doing pushups and lifting weights. 10-20 reps is good. Experts advise that resistance chosen is too light when you are able to do more than that and too heavy when you perform less.
When it comes to work outs, though others differ, it is advised that you should avoid crunches since this can damage the spinal disks. From experience, sit ups have been found to be quite effective though.
It is also advised that you strengthen your legs by doing exercises like lunges, squats which will also help you tone your butt. The use of a stationary bike will help achieve similar results.
Finally staying motivated is essential to staying on track and meeting those set goals. So how do you stay motivated? First things first, you should keep a food and exercise journal. This will help you to record and keep track of your progress and alert you when you are slacking and need to rev up again. Importantly since you can see the progression of your improvement, it would spur you on towards your target.
Also it has been found that keeping track of what you eat will enable you do better at losing weight than people who don’t. The same applies to exercise.
Further you should find a weight loss partner. Somebody who like you has weight loss goals. You will be able to encourage each other, and stimulate a healthy competitive drive when motivation levels are low. This means you will likely be out exercising together and getting feedback and motivation drives from off each other.