Before you start yelling at us about being bad feminists, know that we totally agree that every body is a "bikini body." But after months of indulging in both winter treats and springtime sweets, even the baddest on the block can feel a little extra thick. These actually healthy tips (no juice cleanses ahead!) will have you looking and feeling your best, so you can slay all summer and beyond. Now no one can argue with that.
10. Shop local
The number one key to getting that beach body is what you’re putting into your body. The most powerful thing you can do to adjust your diet is cut out processed foods as immediately as you can, and replace those items with natural foods grown locally. With all the great farmers' markets in Texas, there's no reason not to shop fresh. Preservatives, extra salt, sugar and chemicals are all things that, not only bloat you, but make you hungrier for more food in the long run.
9. Eat more fat
Despite what your annoying vegan friend told you, the whole "avoiding fat" thing is just a cultural myth. There are different types of fats and some are beneficial (and a bit necessary) for your body. Loading up on good fats like avocado, goat cheese, and the skin on organic chicken can not only make your skin look better (bonus!) but also help your body burn fat more efficiently.
8. Pass on Party Time
As tempting as $5 Margarita Monday might be, looking like Black excellence comes with a price. Alcohol dehydrates you — which is bad for skin — and also contains a ton of excess calories, not to mention the unhinged snacking that inevitably follows. Don’t get lost in the sauce. The average frozen margarita can easily rack up 500 calories. Switch to a classic margarita on the rocks instead.
7. Eat more fiber
Instead of blending your fruits and veggies into juice, try actually taking a bite or two. Beans, greens, and berries are your best bet, and so are grains like brown rice and quinoa. A green smoothie might be cool every once in a while, but making sure that your body’s getting the fiber it needs can make a big difference in how you look and feel.
6. Ditch the Sugar
This one seems obvious, but here we are...Refined carbs, high in sugar (like breakfast pastries, desserts, and even frozen yogurt) cause spikes and crashes in your energy and can cause bloating. Check the labels of the food and drinks you buy next time you go grocery shopping. Ingredients are listed in order of how much exists in the product, so if sugar's near the top, that's a red flag. When you check the labels, look for more than just the word "sugar" because companies have a nifty habit of calling sugar by various names, including high fructose corn syrup, dried cane syrup, molasses, sucrose (or any word ending in "-ose"), and more. These can be listed separately on ingredients lists, so many foods may contain three or four different types of sweetener. Interesting fact: Your body can’t tell the difference in the sugar from fresh-squeezed orange juice and a can of soda. Stay woke.
5. Eat more
This might seem counterproductive, but there’s science to this strategy. Eating more often throughout the day can boost your metabolism and improve your energy. It’s a win-win on this end. Eating five small, healthy meals throughout the day keeps the fat-burning furnace going and keeps you full. But keep in mind that the key to this is making sure that those five meals are healthy. And no, two tacos five times a day isn’t healthy.
4. Fuel good to feel good
Sip slow on water, and curve the sugary drinks like soda and drinks full of high fructose corn syrup. You should be taking in around three liters of H2O a day for optimal hydration. You'll flush out toxins and any retained water weight. And once you start cutting out drinks like soda and energy drinks you’ll start to see some major improvements in your skin and complexion. Check the video above if you need a nifty song to help you remember to drink water.
3. Pack on the protein
As you get closer to bikini time, pack on the protein with foods like egg white, fish and grilled chicken. These will help curb your hunger and promote lean muscle growth — meaning you can hit the pool looking slim thick witcho cute aah. If all of this food talk is overwhelming, you can learn more about protein and carbs in our other article to get a better understanding. The suggested range of protein intake is 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Look for protein rich foods that are also low in saturated fats and processed carbohydrates.
2. Interval Workouts for the Win
You didn't think you’d get through this without working out did you? Interval workouts are ideal for quick results. Work in gym sessions to your schedule about three time a week for about an hour at a time. Here’s a pretty simple routine to get you going:
10 four-minute high-intensity bursts
two minutes of slower movement.
So if you're running, sprint for each burst and then power-walk or slow jog in-between. Sounds doable, no? No? No problem. One of the best fitness apps on the market right now is Moov Coach. They have easy to understand workouts paired with wearable tech to get your heart pumping and your body burning.
Stop stressing about sundress season - seriously. Stress increases your cortisol levels, which is directly linked to increased belly fat. So relax, read a book, or give meditation a shot — after all, how you gonna win when you aint right within? Taking a break will do your body good. Just make sure you’re not resting more than you’re working.
See how simple this can be? Long story short, eat healthy, hydrate, hit the gym and rest. It could all be so simple. So, hop off the couch and get on the grind. Change doesn’t come from a comfortable place!
Nick Bailey is a forward thinking journalist with a well-rounded skill set unafraid to take on topics head on. He now resides in Austin, TX and continues to create content on a daily basis.