We are pumped to share one of our favorite stories from Self here on FitSugar!
With spring in full swing, we've already said goodbye to the winter blues. But as you enjoy the milder weather and longer days, keep in mind that Memorial Day weekend is merely a month away — meaning it's almost time for bikinis and short shorts! So, is one month enough time to score your best body yet?
It sure is, says Jim White, registered dietician, ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. But you'd better get started now. "After all the shrieking and gasping about how 'time flies' and it's 'too soon' to be exposing that muffin top, it's time to get realistic and take action," he explains. "A month is not a tremendous amount of time to shed any accumulated winter fat, but before you break out into cold sweats, it is not unreasonable to lose 10 pounds or one dress size in that time."
To make sure you score your best bikini bod before you hit the beach, sign up for SELF's free Drop 10 plan — it'll have you slimmer and stronger than ever in only five short weeks! Then, follow White's basic rules for healthy eating. "Healthy eating is a must if you expect weight loss," he says.
Read on for the one-month plan!
Here are his best slim-by-summer tips:
- Eat whole, unprocessed foods. "If it comes in a box and has more than three ingredients, then you should probably skip it," he says. Focus on fresh veggies, lean proteins and a moderate amount of complex carbs.
- Cut back on sodium, as it causes you to bloat.
- Eliminate sugar in all the obvious places. "Read labels and look for sugar in all its forms," says White. "It can usually be identified because of its 'ose' endings, but not always." Also, he says, be mindful of calories and sugars hidden in beverages: "Fruit juices are notorious for packing them in!"
- Stick with water! "The majority of your liquid intake should come from water if for no other reason than water fills you up," White says. "Plus, your body needs to remain hydrated in order to maintain proper functioning."
- Consider keeping a food journal if you think it's going to be difficult to radically alter your eating habits. "People who write down what they eat tend to lose more weight than those who don't," says White. "Those chips and that cookie look a lot different written in black and white, staring up at you from the page."
Of course — diet is only part of the equation. "Healthy eating takes care of gaining any more weight, but working out is going to help you lose and tighten those pesky areas," says White. "Your best bet is a circuit-style workout that combines two or more strength training moves with no rest in between, followed by an interval of blood-pumping high-intensity cardio. And repeat."
Ideally, White says, do this for 30-60 minutes, 3-4 times a week. "Combine that with 20-45 minutes of cardio six days a week, and you will be on your way to that beach body in no time!"
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