How to Get Beach Ready in 8 Weeks
Summer is just around the corner, but after a long, cold winter of unflattering knitwear and comfort foods, your body is probably not ready for the beach. It’s a tough transition to make. Winter clothing hides a multitude of sins, but once the weather heats up and the sun comes out, you can’t hide in baggy sweaters and loose-fitting jeans.
We all look forward to a sunshine holiday, but preparing to head to the beach means appraising our body and deciding whether we have the confidence to wear a bikini this year. For most women, the answer is “no”. Not many of us feel comfortable stripping off on the beach, especially if we are the wrong side of 30. However, with a bit of effort, it is possible to be beach ready in around eight weeks. Here’s how you can do it.
Before and After
Take a photo of how you look now, preferably in a bikini. This is your motivational shot, so print it out and stick it on the fridge, no matter how awful you look. If you are feeling really brave, post the image on Instagram and let others comment on your beach body transition.
Every time you start to lose motivation, take a look at the ‘before’ photo and see how far you have come. It should help you stick to the program.
Get Fit and Tone Up
The very first thing you need to do is look at your overall fitness. It might seem like an impossible task if you have been a couch potato for months, but the good news is that it is possible to go from 0-60 in eight weeks.
Ideally, 12 weeks is the optimum time to achieve a decent level of fitness, but you don’t have to run a 5k to be beach ready. Instead, the plan is to shave off some excess weight and tone up. To achieve this in eight weeks is possible, but you will have to work hard.
Look at your current fitness and decide how much you need to do. If you are horribly unfit, start gently with some brisk walks. Aim to walk at a decent pace for at least 20 minutes or go for a swim. Basically, you need to be as active as possible, within the limits of your current fitness levels.
Try to push yourself. Being out of breath is good. If you sit at a desk all day, make the most of your lunch hour and go for a walk. Use the stairs instead of the elevator and jump off the bus one stop earlier than usual so you can walk the rest of the way.
Slowly but surely, build up the amount of exercise you do. Once walking becomes too easy, start jogging for short bursts. Your aim is to be able to run for 20-30 minutes non-stop. Cross train by swimming or taking a fitness class. Buy some small weights and do exercises at home. There are some great fitness videos on YouTube, so find one or two you like and workout in your living room.
Lose the Excess Weight
Following a fitness program will help you to tone you up and lose some weight, but for maximum effect, you need to follow a healthy diet at the same time.
Take a good, hard look at what you eat. Do you have a penchant for sweet treats and sugary snacks? If you want to be beach ready in eight weeks, you need to cut out the empty calories and replace them with fresh fruit and vegetables.
Cut down on the pasta, cakes, pastries and calorific carbs. Instead of snacking on convenience foods, start cooking healthy meals from scratch. It’s better for your body and you will save money at the same time. Try not to become too obsessed with counting calories, but it if you want to lose weight as well as tone up, use an app on your smartphone to monitor what you eat.
Cut down on your carbs and replace them with healthy fats and high protein foods. Healthy fats like avocado and full-fat Greek yogurt make you feel full for longer and keep your energy levels up, which is essential if you are doing more exercise.
Cellulite is not terribly attractive. Unfortunately, we are all vulnerable to the dreaded orange peel effect – even Kim Kardashian – and an estimated 90% of women suffer from at least some cellulite.
There are many ways to treat cellulite. Dry brushing will stimulate the lymphatic system and soften fatty deposits below the skin, which should help them to be redistributed. Skin scrubs can also work so mix coconut oil with coffee grounds and use the mixture to massage your thighs and bottom.
You can’t hit the beach without removing your excess body hair. A trip to the salon is the quickest way of sorting out a bikini line and dealing with furry legs, but if money is tight, you can easily get the job done at home.
Invest in a home wax hair removal kit. As long as you follow the instructions, these kits are very easy to use and highly effective at removing unwanted hair.
Once you are feeling reasonably fit, toned, and hair free, it is time to focus on the smaller details. It isn’t just your body that’s on show when you hit the beach. You will probably be wearing cute sandals, so have a pedicure a few days before you leave for your beach vacation.
It is a good idea to give your hair a deep conditioning treatment, too, as this will protect it from the salt water and sand. Lastly, have a spray tan so you don’t look too pale in a sea of bronzed bodies. However, be sure to use plenty of high SPF sun cream to protect your skin from UV damage.
Finally, you have worked really hard for the last eight weeks, so go shopping and invest in some new swimwear. You deserve a treat!