There's nothing like the impending summer weather and the fear of putting on a bikini to make most people try to slim and tone their bodies. When it comes to obtaining that bikini body, there are several ways to do so. The most important thing to remember is to give it time. Plan to begin implementing some of these methods at least nine to twelve weeks ahead of your beach vacation. You'll have even better results if you begin even sooner than that (like today!).
1. Start Eating Better Foods
What you eat is more important than any exercise you do. While you need to do both to optimize results (and to simply be healthy all around), eating wisely is the best thing you can do to slim down. Think about it: that 400-calorie cookie will take nearly an hour to work off at the gym. Opting not to eat it (or to only consume half and give the other portion to a friend) is a much wiser decision. There are a number of "daily caloric needs" calculators available on the Internet, including here on Fitday.com, that will help you determine how much you should be eating to lose weight based off of different variables, including height and age. On average, though, you should be consuming between 1600 and 1800 calories daily to lose a pound or two weekly.
2. Lift Weights Two to Three Times a Week
There's no way around it: you're going to have to exercise, and cardio alone isn't going to cut it. If you're trying to get rid of some of that flab around your abdomen, weight lifting and strength training is going to be very beneficial in the process. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so it makes sense to turn fat into muscle and burn more calories. Not only that, building lean muscle mass will give you a more toned physique. Even if you gain weight by weight lifting (which is common when you first begin your routine, as muscle weighs more than fat), your clothes will fit better and you'll appear more toned.
You can lift weights in any number of ways: by using machines and free weights at the gym, by using equipment and your own body mass at home or by taking any number of body conditioning classes offered at your gym.
3. Incorporate Cardio Activity Daily
The more active you are, the more calories you burn. If you're truly looking to slim down, you're going to need to put some effort into it. Gorgeous beach bodies don't form from walking 20 minutes daily. Adding a good hour-long workout four to five times a week into your routine, combined with eating well and lifting weights, will get you slim. Fight workout boredom by trying different activities. Take an aerobics class one day and run on the treadmill the next. Consider playing in a recreational sports league.
Follow these three tips and you will lose weight. There is no magical pill or routine. With dedication and hard work, you'll look great in your bikini when summer rolls around.