The season of sunshine and spaghetti straps is finally here. For many of us though, daydreams of feeling chic in shorts and carefree in a bikini are quickly dampened by the thought of actually having to wear a pair of shorts and a bikini. On one hand we long to ditch winter’s layers, on the other hand summer’s thin fabrics and short hemlines don’t leave much to the imagination. Scary stuff for those of us who spent the better part of winter on the couch in an intimate embrace with hot chocolate, milk chocolate and chocolates filled with chocolate. But don’t despair; a few tweaks can make a huge difference to your silhouette. Here are three key steps for bikini readiness:
Step away from the chocolate. And from every processed, packaged and sugar-added product at the supermarket. Be prepared for battle – if you’ve been a slave to your cravings for a while then denying yourself is going to be tough. Your head will scream for chips and your stomach will threaten to go on strike if you don’t feed it a caramel Swiss roll, but this is not the time to listen to your gut. It’s time to show your stomach who’s boss and practice some self-control. The first few days will feel like torture but you’ll get used to saying “no,” and within a fortnight it will be much easier. You’ll be glad you took a hard line when you don’t have to hide behind your beach towel come holiday time.
Eat plenty of fresh, whole foods. These are filled with vitamins and minerals that support immunity, give your skin a healthy glow and reduce food cravings. Vegetables in particular are your best friends right now. Fill up on lightly steamed vegetables served with a large salad for your main meal of the day. Include plenty of raw veg in the salad and avoid salad dressing. Add a palm-sized portion of lean protein and some fat from avocado and raw seeds for satiety. Flavour your food with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Keep your other meals light, including a small portion of protein, carbohydrate and fat at each meal.
Walk it off. Brisk walking does wonders for your body, from lowering your risk of disease to strengthening your muscles and bones. Plus, it’s excellent for shedding a few kilos. Start with a manageable goal, for example, commit to walking briskly for 25 minutes a day, three days a week. Add a hill or two to the route the following week to increase the level of intensity. Thereafter increase the frequency of your workouts to four days a week. Mix it up to keep things interesting – try a different route or run for part of the journey. Bursts of sprints are the most effective way of upping the ante and promoting rapid weight loss. Keep it up and you’ll shift your winter weight before you can say, “For the love of kale, I’ve lost another kilo!”
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