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Secrets to poolside confidence

Believe it or not, there are things you can do now to be ready to bare your swimsuit this Fourth

Posted: July 1, 2010 3:45 p.m.
Updated: July 2, 2010 4:30 a.m.

Rachel Cosgrove snacks on healthy cucumbers and strawberries as part of her strategy to look good in a bathing suit.

 

“It would be great to get a shot of you by a pool or in the pool.” This request in a recent e-mail I received from the assistant features editor at The Signal newspaper when we were discussing this article made me think: “Who me?! When you say in the pool — you mean in a bathing suit?! Huh?! No way!”

Does this response sound familiar? What would you say if a newspaper said it wanted to shoot pictures of you in a bathing suit? Do you dread the coming of summer when you realize it is time to bare your body for the Fourth of July pool party this weekend?

Don’t worry. We all have those thoughts. Yes, even those of us who have the key to feeling good in our bathing suit still have the same fears when it comes to shedding winter clothes and flaunting a bikini. When anyone hears the word bathing suit, all of our insecurities pop into our head. Male or female, young or old, it is hard to hide anything in a swimsuit.

What can you do to feel confident in your swimsuit this summer?

Here are some of my specific “dial-it-in” strategies I usually only share with clients at Results Fitness, but will offer to you now.

Follow these tips, and you’ll be ready to brave any situation this summer at the beach, in your backyard or sunning in the park.

Some of these tricks will work immediately and you’ll feel a difference in time for the Fourth of July (yes, in just two days).

The key to feeling better fast is to drop the layer of water you may be holding that makes you feel puffy, heavier and squishy all over.

You also want to lose fat but you can only safely plan to lose one to two pounds of fat a week.

These strategies will increase your fat burning potential and drop the layer of bloat, which can range from a couple pounds up to as much as 10 pounds, in as little as a few days.

Losing this water weight will make you feel better immediately and ready to brave your bathing suit. 

1. Drink extra water. The colder the better. Ice cold water makes your body work harder to burn more calories. Gulp down the stuff like it is your fat-burning liquid (because it is). To get rid of bloat, you have to flush your body with water.

Start chugging. Drink at least half your body weight in ounces each day (if you weigh 140 pounds you should drink 70 ounces of water). Add lemon and cucumber as natural diuretics.

2. Take advantage of natural diuretics such as cucumbers, asparagus, lemon, green tea and vitamin C. These foods will help to shed excess bloat.

3. Eliminate any processed, starchy carbohydrates. Most processed foods have extra sodium and preservatives that cause you to retain water.

This summer, commit to eating nonprocessed foods, including fruits, veggies and lean protein.

If it has more than a few ingredients — or anything you can’t pronounce — don’t eat it.

Cut back on breads, pastas, bagels, cookies and crackers.

4. Eat vegetables at every meal and one to two pieces of fruit a day.

For a smaller wasitline look for foods especially high in carotenoids, beta carotene, alpha carotene and lycopene. Such foods include kale, spinach, turnip greens, strawberries, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, collard greens, cilantro, thyme, cantaloupe, romaine lettuce, broccoli, watermelon and apricots.

5. Reduce your consumption of adult beverages.

If you have a nightly glass of wine or pint of beer, cut back to two to three nights a week at the most.

When you do enjoy your favorite beverage, sandwich it with a glass of water on either side.
(As soon as I knew I’d be posing poolside, I eliminated my glass of wine I enjoy a couple nights a week).

6. Work on your posture. Standing up taller and engaging your core will make you look like you lost 10 pounds. Every 15 minutes, set an alarm for yourself to do a “posture check” to train your body to stand up straight and hold everything in.

Once you are strutting your stuff in your bathing suit, you won’t have to think about it — because you will automatically stand up tall.

7. Get your sweat on! Here is a quick body weight workout you can get done in your backyard.
Doing these four exercises in the morning will get your metabolism revving for the rest of the day.

Summer-time backyard metabolism- boosting workout

Perform the following four exercises in sequence with no rest.

Perform 10 reps of each the first run through and progress to 20 reps of each.

Time yourself and however long it takes you, give yourself the same amount of rest and then repeat.

Work up to four to six rounds.

Exercise 1 — Body weight squat — perform 10-20 reps.

Simply squat down as low as you can go and stand back up. Repeat.

Exercise 2 — Alternating body weight lunges — perform 10-20 reps

Step forward into a lunge, keeping your knee tracking over your second toe.

Drive through your heel and return to the start. Alternate sides.

Exercise 3 — Jump lunges — perform 10-20 reps

Start in a lunge position and jump. In mid air, switch legs. Land in a lunge on the opposite leg.

Repeat.

If this is too difficult, perform straight leg split jumps instead which is the same thing without the lunge.

Exercise 4 — Jump squats — perform 10-20 reps. Bend into a squat and then explode off the ground as high as you can.

Rest for however long it took to do the initial four exercises, then repeat the sequence again in order.

Bonus tips:
Keep the momentum going throughout the summer by practicing these easy suggestions. Practice the 90-percent rule, which means you can get away with splurging 10 percent of your week and still make progress toward your physical goals.

If you are eating five meals a day, seven days a week — this works out to three to four meals a week. Feel free to use up to three of these splurges on the Fourth of July guilt free. Have a drink!

Eat a hot dog, have some ice cream — but know you are using up your splurges for the week, so if you start today and you use all of your splurges on Sunday, you now have zero splurges left until after next Friday.

If you want to save some of your splurges for later in the week, come prepared and focus on what you can eat and not on what you can’t.

You can eat all of the healthy, nutritious, refreshing foods that come with the summer season.

Bring sliced cucumbers sprinkled with seasoning salt or vinegar to eat instead of potato chips.

This can be a refreshing snack and you may want to bring enough to share because others may be drawn to this healthy snack.

Barbecue a turkey burger and skip the bun.

Have the turkey patty with avocado, mushrooms and a big salad.

Fill up on refreshing fruit — watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries — instead of ice cream.

Make sure you are prepared with your beverage of choice — green tea or ice cold water with lemon and cucumbers.

Put it in a fancy glass and I bet you won’t even miss your alcoholic drink.

Rachel Cosgrove is the author of “The Female Body Breakthrough” and co-owner of Results Fitness. Get started with a free evaluation and a trial membership at Results Fitness at only $89 for 30 days. (661) 799-7900 or www.results-fitness.com.

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