Are you ready to show your body at the beach this summer? Don't panic, there is still plenty of time. The key to feeling and looking amazing is to be confident in your own skin.
Follow these 10 tips and you'll be praised as a swimsuit goddess:
1. Stand up straight
Improving your posture is the quickest way to look several pounds thinner. Pull your shoulders back, tilt your head up and tuck in your hips. Your tummy will instantly flatten unwanted rolls.
Posture invokes confidence and it's one of the sexiest things people notice first.
Tip: Start training your body by setting an alarm every 30 minutes for a posture check.
2. Cut the carbs
Cutting back on carbohydrates can produce substantial benefits. Carbs promote water retention that can increase cellulite and bloating, which are a woman's worst enemies.
Tip: If you must grab a package of cookies at the store, grab a bunch of bananas or apples to improve your snacking choices throughout the week.
3. Get yourself moving
Every bead of sweat will get you closer to your physical goals. Start simple by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking further away from the door. Take a spin or Zumba class or watch an exercise video on YouTube.
High-intensity interval training is the fastest fat-loss burning tricks and requires less gym time! Try 30 seconds of hard cycling or running and then rest for one minute with slow movement. Do this for a 20-30 minute period.
Tip: Hit the gym the morning of your beach excursion. Weight lifting brings oxygen to your muscles, giving them that full and toned appearance. This is the number one way to fake toned muscles.
4. Focus on buns and belly
Your glutes are the biggest muscles in your body. Making them your top priority will burn calories (and prevent a baggy swimsuit bottom). And a flat belly is the key to really looking good in a bathing suit.
Tip: During your workout, do exercises to strengthen your core and tone your glutes.
5. Find multitasking exercises
Exercises that work multiple muscles at the same time are the best to incorporate in your bikini body workout for quicker results. Many of these can be done from the comfort of your own home.
For example, push ups work six muscles: biceps, triceps, deltoids, pecs, abs and glutes. Click here for a tutorial that will perfectly sculpt your arms from your living room floor.
Try something like Pilates to exercise your whole body, emphasizing your abs and back muscles. Click here for a total body workout for Pilates beginners.
Tip: Finding exercises you can do around your house will save you time and money as you learn to use your own body weight for resistance training.
6. Reduce cravings by eating lean proteins and increasing your fiber intake
High protein and fiber foods can help slow your digestion process, making you feel fuller longer and allowing you to avoid bad habits like excessive snacking.
Tip: Eat lean proteins like chicken, nuts and eggs to help you gain muscle, and eat fiber-rich foods like berries, nuts and vibrant veggies to prevent constipation and bloating.
7. Be careful with "healthy" foods
Salads are a good go-to food when dieting, but not all salads are low in calories. Added toppings like dressings, croutons and cheese can instantly make salads less healthy and make you more susceptible to gaining fat instead of losing it.
Tip: Stick with brightly colored veggies like spinach and tomatoes and skip the dressing.
8. Drink water
Did you know the best way to get rid of excess water weight is to flush your body with water? You should drink at least half your body weight in fluid ounces every day.
Tip: If drinking water is a struggle for you, try fruit-infused water or adding zero-calorie flavoring.
9. Get rid of unwanted hair
Shave, wax and banish that body hair. Make sure your legs, armpits and bikini line are presentable for viewing at the beach.
Tip: Be sure to exfoliate and moisturize to help give your muscles a toned appearance.
10. Flatter your body type
A big part of looking great in a swimming suit is picking the right style and pattern for your body. Embrace your curves (or lack thereof) and shop for your unique shape.
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Apple or V-shape: Tummy control is your best friend. Suits with side-details or wraps camouflage your middle and help allude a cinched waistline. Search for a suit with an underwire to keep you from having an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction. Look for sleek and simple styles to compliment what your mama gave you.
Pear or A-shape: Boy shorts might make you feel more comfortable because of the extra coverage, but they can also make you look stubby. Instead, find a high-cut bottom in a solid color that lengthens and leans your legs. Find a v-neck, patterned top to draw attention toward your upper body. Avoid large patterns that will accentuate your problem areas.
Rectangle or I-shape: Lean toward feminine ruffles and draping at the bust. An underwire or padding can also help you maintain a womanly figure. Look for waist embellishments, side cutaways or halter tops to accentuate your waist and create an hourglass figure.
Hourglass or X-shape: This is the shape most women pine for. Go for colors and patterns that draw attention to the areas you want to be noticed and camouflage the areas you want to hide.
Strive for personal progression, not perfection. Be confident in whatever body type you have. When summer comes, you'll be ready and looking fabulous.
Kristina Tieken is a staff writer for FamilyShare, public relations specialist with a love for the fine arts, food and exercise. She enjoys watching movies and spending time with her husband and family.