Beauty

Countdown to Beach Season: Slimming Tips From a Bikini Competitor

FLARE's essential guide to getting healthy, gorgeous, fit and fashionable for summer—because the hot, hot heat is finally coming!

olympic-fitnessWith the official start of summer finally here, we’re feeling the crunch to get ready for beach season, so we enlisted the help of celebrity trainer and bikini competitor Autumn Calabrese, who works with Brooke Burke-Charvet and Rachel Zoe. She’s also the brain behind the new 21-Day Fix program (beachbody.com), which promises fast results through portion-controlled clean eating and calorie-blasting workouts. Here, her top six swimsuit prep tips.

Drink your water Boring, yes, but it will actually help eliminate bloat. Our bodies are made of almost 90 percent water, so if you’re not properly hydrated, you’re not functioning at your highest level. Your cells won’t repair properly; you’re not going to flush out the toxins in your body; and you’re probably not going to go to the bathroom as much as you should. Aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces (if you weigh 120 pounds, for instance, drink a minimum of 60 ounces of water a day—more if you exercise). Also, your body can sometimes mistake thirst for hunger so you could be eating when all you need is a glass of agua.

Cut the booze Alcohol is extra calories that your body doesn’t need. If you’re drinking a couple of glasses of wine at night, that can add up to an extra 300 calories really quickly. Alcohol also dehydrates, so when you do drink water, your body will hold onto it and you’ll end up looking bloated. Not to mention the fact that we don’t always make the healthiest eating choices after having a glass or two.

Cut the salt Salt causes bloat for the same reason as alcohol. You’ll end up looking puffy and swollen in the face and the lower part of your tummy—that pooch that nobody wants.

Live on the edge of the grocery store Cut out all processed foods. When grocery shopping, the produce, proteins and veggies are all along the outside aisles. So the second you start going into the inner aisles—the boxed foods, the bags of potato chips—you’re getting into processed foods. Stay away!

Impose a carb curfew Later in the day you’re usually more sedentary, so the last thing you want to do is eat a big bowl of carbs and then go to bed—your body won’t burn those calories as quickly and you’ll just store them as fat.

Skip the juice clense When you’re juicing fruits or vegetables, you’re not getting the skin so you’re not getting maximum fibre—but you are getting a lot of the naturally-occurring sugars. Of course, you’ll lose weight because you’re not eating solid food, but the second you start eating solids again, you’re going to put the weight back on. Instead, have five to six small meals per day depending on when you wake up and go to bed. You want to be eating every two-and-half to three hours.

Read more: FLARE’s Countdown to Beach Season