Bikini season is almost upon us. Obviously, a huge part of rocking your summer body is plain ol’ confidence, so cue up those Cardi B and Beyoncé tracks and groove into a badass queen state of mind. In terms of preparation on the physical plane, I came up with a round-up of my favorite tips for trimming down and toning up without doing anything drastic.
Eat protein for breakfast
Eating a high-protein breakfast has myriad benefits, like helping you feel full, eat less over the course of the day, lose weight and belly fat, and boosting your metabolism.
This Heathline article had me at…
“Protein is the single most important nutrient for weight loss and a better body.”
So what should you reach for in the morning? There are lots of protein-rich options, such as salmon, meat, nuts, and dairy, but perhaps most ideal are eggs. Studies have shown that swapping out a grain-based breakfast for the incredible edible egg can help control appetite, reduce food intake, and enhance weight loss.
If you love yolky deliciousness as much as I do, playing around with the many different ways to prepare eggs is nothing less than a pleasure. Microwaved poached eggs are now on my breakfast radar.
This is probably the most extreme suggestion, and I’m including it because quite simply, it works. Note the advice here is not to skip meals, it’s to cut back on the amount of carbohydrates, especially refined sugar, in your diet. As a lover of crisp mojitos and frozen treats, this is one of my least favorite (but necessary) summer body tips.
Why? Because reducing your intake of this energy source can jumpstart any weight loss you may hope to achieve before squeezing into your summer best (aka your swimsuit).
If you don’t have any weight loss aspirations – great, I applaud you! Just skip this item and move onto the next.
However, maybe you stockpiled a few extra pounds over the winter, and now you’re looking for the fastest route to shed those suckers. If this sounds familiar (please respect my journey), then slashing sugars and starches is a good short-term option for speedy results. According to Healthline,
“It is not uncommon to lose up to 10 pounds (sometimes more) in the first week of eating this way, both body fat, and water weight.”
If, like me, you struggle with a sweet tooth, try these tips for quelling sugar cravings.
Count steps instead of calories
Walking as a form of exercise gets a bad rap, but the results speak for themselves. Not to mention, it’s fun to track your daily steps on a pedometer (your phone is probably already doing this for you) and set new goals for yourself. The Step Diet – that is, walking 10,000 steps a day and reducing your portions by 25 percent – was created by obesity experts as an easy and effective method for losing weight and keeping it off.
If hitting 10,000 steps is no sweat for you, bump your step count up to 15,000 for even greater rewards.
Don’t have time to prance around all day?
Ways to add steps to your day:
- Take the stairs
- Walk to work
- Park blocks from your office, then walk
- Get off the bus one stop before your stop
- Stretch your legs on breaks at work
- Stroll around the block during phone calls
- Take your neighbor’s dog for a walk
- Do errands by foot whenever possible
There are countless ways to incorporate extra movement into your daily routine.
Thanks to Daylight Savings, the sun stays out later (praise be) and it’s easy to indulge in after-work activities that somehow extend past your bedtime. Be careful about this. Don’t let that extra daylight stop you from getting your much-needed beauty sleep.
How are sleep and weight-loss related? Well, losing sleep amps up your hunger drive and decreases your willpower to put down the fork. Think about it, a sleep-deprived body craves energy and will ask for more food. So, make sure to add beauty sleep to your summer plans.
Do a quick YouTube workout
If you think you’re too busy to start working out, then this recommendation is for you. All you need is 20 minutes (or less!) for each of these easy-to-follow exercise videos. This 12-minute booty burn with Tone It Up founder Karena Dawn gives me hot bod vibes.
Consider the amount of time it takes for your laundry to finish drying or your roommate to get out of the shower. In that same amount of time, you could take a swift trip to tone town. It might not seem like much on its own, but a quick workout session every other day will add up to noticeable results if you stick with it for several weeks.
Use the buddy system
Have a buddy with similar fitness goals? Enlist a friend to participate in your workout regimen in order to stay motivated and push yourself harder and more frequently. If you can’t recruit pals, you can still capitalize on the pack mentality by taking a group exercise class to boost your performance and accountability.
Maybe even become gym buddies with your significant other for a host of physical and emotional benefits from increased camaraderie, a better sex life, higher confidence, and less jealousy – which will come in handy because when you’re done with this list, you’re gonna be turning heads on the reg.
I’m gonna take a page from RuPaul and preach for a minute because all listicles touting their ability to transform you into your sexy summer self should begin and end with this caveat:
It won’t matter what anyone else thinks of your body – big or small – if you don’t love it with your whole heart.
Sure, health and fitness goals are great but don’t get stuck in a never-ending cycle of self-hate. I’ve been there, and it doesn’t feel good. Go to the beach with your friends and live your best life in a teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini (or your swimwear of choice) versus letting insecurities about your body keep you paralyzed at home. I promise plan A will be more fun, regardless of any perceived imperfections.