Summer always seems to creep up too quickly and then disappear before you even have a chance to fully enjoy it – let alone get in shape for it. Now that autumn has arrived, it can be easy to put off fitness goals in favor of pumpkin-flavored treats and warm, cozy layers of clothing.
Don’t fall for it! Now is the time to work on adopting healthy new habits and slowly but surely building your dream bikini body.
In order to get a bikini body by summer, you’ll need to focus on three key areas: diet, exercise and incorporating sports supplements. Below, you’ll find more information on each beach body component and quick tips on how to successfully integrate them into your everyday life.
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Bikini Body Diet Tips
1) Eat smaller portions more often. Keeping your metabolism firing regularly is a much more effective method of weight loss than trying to crash diet. So instead of the typical three meals we’re used to eating each day – shoot for five or six smaller meals. The portion size should ideally be about half of what you would normally consume and should keep you full for the next two to three hours or until it’s time to eat again.
2) Get lots of lean protein. Protein will keep you feeling full longer and is crucial to helping you build muscle – which will ultimately help you burn more fat. Good sources of lean protein include: fish, poultry, protein powder or even tofu.
3) Incorporate complex carbs and fresh fiber. In addition to lean protein, you’re also going to need carbohydrates for energy and fiber-rich foods for nutrients. Fresh vegetables are usually the best way to do this… and remember: the greener the better. Broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts, spinach and kale are all great sources of good carbs and fiber.
4) Say no to simple sugars. These are difficult for your body to break down and will often be absorbed as fat instead. If you absolutely have to sweeten your oatmeal, coffee or anything else, use an artificial sweetener like Stevia extract instead.
5) Drink more water! Hydration is one of the simplest things you can do to look and feel better. Experts maintain that you should drink half an ounce of water for each pound you weigh every single day. So instead of reaching for a snack, substitute a glass of water instead; it can help you feel refreshed and full. If you don’t like drinking plain water, pick up water flavoring products at your local pharmacy or grocery store. These usually contain little to no calories and come in a variety of flavors.
Bikini Body Exercises
Proper nutrition will give you the foundation for a killer bikini body, but you’re also going to need to put some work in in the gym.
1) Incorporate cardio 3-4 times a week. This will help you strengthen your heart, build up your stamina and burn up fat. Of course, you can use cardio equipment like the elliptical or stair mill at the gym. However, there are plenty of other ways to squeeze cardio in if you don’t have a gym membership: brisk walking, running, biking, jump rope or swimming.
Start out shooting for 20-30 minutes of cardio and then try to work up to a full 45 minutes. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t immediately run for 20 minutes without stopping: listen to your body and take a break when you need to. The most important thing to do is keep trying and challenging yourself. It will get easier!
2) Train within your fat burning zone. By far, this is the most efficient way to exercise. Subtract your age from 220. Then take the number you get, and aim to keep your heart rate within 60-75% of that to melt maximum fat.
3) Integrate weight training. A lot of women think that lifting weights will make them bulky – but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Testosterone is the chemical compound that makes you bulk and women simply don’t produce enough of that naturally to build big muscles from doing a few light reps.
4) Train a different body part every day. Aim to lift weights three to four times a week. You can split these between legs, back and arms. Start out with three sets of each exercise and stick to 6 -15 reps of each exercise.
5) Work your abdominal muscles every other day. Abs are the most sought-after part of bikini bodies, so many women think they need to do crunches every single day. This isn’t true and can actually lead to serious injury if you don’t give your muscles time to recover in between. Instead, train your abs for 15-20 minutes at the beginning or end of every workout, every other day.
Best Bikini Body Supplements
Remember: there is no magic pill to make you skinny. Supplements shouldn’t be relied on entirely and should only be used to complement a balanced diet and exercise regimen. Here are some of the best supplements to help support your bikini body goals:
If you struggle with following a balanced diet, make sure you’re taking a multivitamin once or twice a day. This will help ensure that you get the nutrients your body needs, even if you have a cheat day.
#2 Pre-Workout Supplements
If you have a hard time getting up and getting to the gym, try taking a pre-workout supplement 20-30 minutes before your workout. These powders typically contain caffeine, creatine, essential aminos and other key ingredients to give you maximum energy to power through your workout.
#3 Protein Powder
This supplement is a quick and easy way to get one of your small daily meals in. It’s also great to consume immediately after a workout because protein helps promote muscle growth and recovery.
#4 Fat Burners
If you’re already following a balanced diet and exercising regularly, fat burners can really help kick your metabolism up another notch. There are many different kinds of over-the-counter fat burners available for purchase. To find the one that’s right for you, make sure to do your research, read the warning label and consult with your physician.