shutterstock_263371967Time to tone up, change your diet and get your body swimsuit ready. It’s World Bikini Day on July 5, and whether you’re stripping down and stepping out in a one piece or two, our diet and exercise tips will help you do it with confidence.

Here’s how you can prepare to go bare:

Tackle bloating

Bloating, caused by gas, irregularity or water retention, can make you look larger than you really are. To tackle this problem, cut down on salt and alcohol. Increase your intake of natural diuretics like cucumber, lemon or green tea that will help you de-bloat. Drinking lots of water is another good way to rid your body of excess water weight

Avoid carbs

Low-carb diets really aren’t a sustainable solution, but scaling back for a day or so before you hit the pool or beach shouldn’t cause any problems. If you can’t, stick to whole grain carbs.

Remember to have fresh, raw veggies with every meal. They will fill you up without making you pack on the pounds. Eat lots of protein too, to help build muscle and aid repair.

Make your butt and belly your top priorities

The real key to looking great in a bathing suit is having a flat belly. To get there, you should do a 20-minute workout that targets your core muscles, tightens your abs and gives you a smaller, flatter stomach. To prevent a saggy swimsuit-bottomed butt, you need to work out your glutes (butt muscles) by doing squats, step-ups and lunges. Pay extra attention to both these areas in the time leading up to beach day.

Do high-intensity interval training

The most effective way to get rid of flab isn’t to spend countless hours on the treadmill. In fact, shorter, high-intensity interval-based routines can be more effective than longer, slow-paced ones. Research shows that moving at a high intensity not only burns more calories during the workout, but it can actually rev up your metabolism for several hours afterwards. Combine this with circuit training twice a week, a high-energy cardio and sculpting routine that’s guaranteed to boost your metabolism, melt fat and blast calories.

By performing total-body strength moves along with high-intensity interval workouts, you’ll be able to reshape your body in a relatively short period of time.

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Written by Sri Lakshmi

Sri Lakshmi

Post-pregnancy was a challenging time for Sri Lakshmi, who found herself suffering from weight gain, acute back pain and fibromyalgia; her husband, coincidentally was grappling with ailments of his own, a prolapsed disc and IBS. All of this triggered a need in her to pursue a healthier lifestyle, a passion that soon grew to a professional interest. A decade later, this former telecommunication engineer who is a BFY-certified fitness trainer, is now pursuing accreditation from the ACE. She feels fitness hasn’t just made her stronger, but more in control as a person, and believes HealthifyMe users stand to gain from her insights too. Judging fitness levels based on their activity levels, stamina and attitude towards food, she hopes to help you make sustainable routine changes that help you lifelong rather than just attain a specific goal. She counsels against sudden changes in food or activity, preferring a gradual shift instead. Never make it about all or nothing, she says, as goals become more cumbersome. Wise words!

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