Last-minute tips for a bikini-ready body
Bikinis show no mercy, but these last-minute tips for looking fabulous will keep you feeling confident by the beach or by the pool.
1. Cut out the sodium
Sodium causes water retention, which is one possible explanation for that bloated tummy (and even those puffy eyes). Avoid processed foods, which are often loaded with sodium, and don't add salt to food. Also, cut out diuretics like caffeine and alcohol, which cause you to retain water leading up to the trip. Try instead to eat lots of vegetables that are high in water content, such as cucumbers, lettuce, celery and green, leafy veggies to naturally and safely discourage water retention.
2. Start layering on self-tanner
Tanning isn't for everyone, and if you love your alabaster skin, then embrace it. However, if you feel more confident with a sunkissed glow, self-tanner is the way to bronze safely while creating the illusion of slimness. “Self-tanner is also a great way to hide any imperfections like cellulite or stretch marks,” says Dominique Vaughan-Russell, an image consultant with Vaughan-Russell International in Toronto. If you are applying the product yourself, scrub your body thoroughly first, otherwise you’ll end up blotchy. Consider investing in a professional spray-on tan for the best results, she adds.
3. Drink more water
Downing about eight glasses of water a day (don’t overdo it!) may seem like a counterintuitive anti-bloat strategy, but in fact water is one of the best diuretics. It essentially flushes out the body. In fact, increased fluid intake can serve as a remedy for constipation.
4. Practice sitting up straight
You’ve heard that standing up straight makes you appear slimmer. How does this actually work? You’re adding height, which is why you appear thinner when you square those shoulders. Don’t underestimate the importance of maintaining good posture poolside on your confidence, and on your appearance, especially when you’re sporting a bikini, adds Vaughan-Russell. Not only will it keep those tummy rolls minimized, but better posture is almost as effective as a push-up bra.
5. Buy a one-piece suit
No, you’re not giving up! “In fact, one-piece bathing suits are often more flattering on most people,” says Vaughan-Russell. “Unless you are in unbelievable shape, in other words, you go to the gym everyday, your stomach area is not always flat, especially if you’re a mom.” A one-piece suit is the simplest way to camouflage the potentially bothersome area. She suggests opting for a higher cut leg, especially if you are shorter, to help lengthen your silhouette.
6. Buy a body shaper bikini
What took them so long? Search online for new swimsuit options that contains built-in body shaping material. While one-piece shaper suits do wonders for smoothing out the tummy, you can invest in full-coverage bottoms with dimple minimizers, and other handy slimming wonders such as adorable ruched skirtinis and push-up tankinis.
7. Try a one-day fruit and vegetable cleanse
While detox diets of any sort are not recommended by health professionals, one day of eating only vegetables and fruit will help you cut out the high fat and sodium in processed foods. Make sure you drink lots of water to avoid constipation. And don’t cut out entire foods groups for long periods of time as you’ll be depriving your body of essential vitamins and minerals.
8. Become a fat-burning machine
Despite a lot of talk about fat-burning heart-rate zones among trainers and the gym community at large, the best way to burn fat and promote weight loss is to cut back on calories consumed while increasing calories burned. And the best way to burn calories is interval training. High-intensity exercise broken up with periods of rest helps to decrease body fat percentage in a shorter period of time (by a number of complicated methods), but chiefly by burning lots of calories and increasing your metabolic rate.
9. Get a colonic
While your body naturally eliminates waste material and bacteria, getting a colonic — a procedure that flushes fecal matter from your intestines — is a way to produce a feeling or sensation of reducing. If you do plan to try this, go to a clinic that uses reusable equipment to avoid any risk of infection, and ask whether the clinician is I-ACT (International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy) certified.