Get a Swimsuit Body! 6 Must-Do Tips

By Martin Brown

In so many parts of the country it’s been such a cold and wet winter that it barely seems possible that Memorial Day Weekend is closer than you think. But calendars don’t lie, and the start of the summer season really is that close.

Down at the gym, the early signs that summer’s coming are popping up everywhere as guys and gals are hitting the aerobic machines a little harder and a little longer than they were during the winter doldrums. Sure you can sweat off some of those extra pounds, but a smarter approach is to become more informed about your food options. Making better choices means losing pounds the easy way, simply eating wisely.

Let’s be honest, any walk down the aisles of the average supermarket takes us past thousands of different items and while it’s great that we have labels on our packaged foods that tell us what’s what when it comes to calories, sugar content, and a lot more, all those labels can be a lot to read. And because serving sizes described by various companies can differ greatly, you need a calculator to be able to truly figure out your calorie bottom line.

Let’s back up a step. There are a thousand different approaches to weight loss but one simple truth is constant. If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. Consume fewer and you will lose weight.

On average, a woman will burn 1,800 calories per day. That’s assuming you have a job that keeps you at a desk for a good part of the day and you do moderate activities when not at that desk or sitting at home. If every day you consumed just 115 calories more than the 1,800 calories you burned you would gain a pound per month or 12 pounds over the period of a year.

Of course there are several exceptions to this norm. Perhaps you have a more active job, you’re a gardener, a phys-ed teacher, and perhaps you do more than moderate exercise. But rather than looking for the exceptions, focus instead on eating smart and weight loss will follow naturally.

Here are six quick ways to make that happen so nine weeks from now that swimsuit will look the way you want it to look:

1. Go through your cabinets and dump all the junk food. Those evening and weekend snacks are most often the cause of excessive weight gain. (Junk food is high in calories and low in nutrients causing you to graze more frequently. In other words, a caloric time bomb.) Nine out of ten times, we eat what we have in the house. Few people will go out at eight in the evening to hit the dessert aisle at the grocery store. If you’ve got good, healthy snack choices in the house, you’ll go for those instead.

2. Learn more about making good food choices. Set up a rotation of seven different lunch and dinner choices and stick to that plan at least until you’ve lost those extra pounds. Take sixty minutes to write out that plan and use online services like Eating Well Magazine for a 1,001 creative recipe ideas.

3. Get more fruits and vegetables into your diet NOW. First, they’ll extend your life, second, they’ll work wonders in making that swimsuit fit you the way it should. Websites and magazines like Eating Well will provide you with lots of ideas on how to do that. And never reach for a candy bar when you can grab an orange, apple, banana, or carrots instead.

4.  Absolutely NO sugar, or fructose packed sodas or juices. Just like alcohol they are utterly empty calories. In fact sodas are the best way to increase your appetite, the opposite of what you want to have happen.

5. Know more about calories. There are caloric time bombs everywhere we turn. That yummy little banana walnut muffin just hit you up with 550 calories. That’s almost a third of your targeted calorie intake for the day if you’re serious about that swimsuit. It would be a fair trade it was a third of your nutritional requirement for the day, but it’s only one-tenth. So learn much more about the caloric impact of different foods. A great way to do that is to put some of your favorite foods into the free calorie counter at CalorieLab.com. You can’t make wise food choices without knowing the calories your are eating.

6. Move every chance you can. Walking is for most of us the most accessible form of exercise, but try to do it all. From climbing steps to making a tennis date, movement is key in the battle of the bulge. The point is not to exhaust yourself but to increase your caloric burn rate. You don’t have to do anything drastic, just get moving.

Do all this, and nine weeks from now you’ll love the way you look.

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Martin Brown is the Heath Channel Editor for SingleMindedWomen.com, and co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Finding Mr. Right.

His latest book is Fit in 50 Days.