5 steps to your best bikini body

GUEST POST: Nicole Pulsinelli is a journalism graduate from Centennial College and one of Canadian Living’s newest web interns. Her interests include skincare, single estate teas and baking too many cookies. She also considers herself somewhat of an online shopping pro. When she’s not baking up a storm or virtual window shopping she’s probably downtown eating at a new restaurant, because cookies don’t make great dinners.

With the first day of summer approaching fast, many of us are eager to take a refreshing dip in the water. The unfortunate reality for some of us is, to go swimming you’ve got to get into your swimsuit first. Since that can be a scary thought, fitness coach, champion and model Allison Ethier offered us some advice on how to get ourselves ready for bathing suit season.

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There really isn’t a short-term fix for getting in shape before it’s time to squeeze into your itsy bitsy teeny-weeny. Instead Ethier suggests a long-term lifestyle fix through improving your diet and exercise and increasing your self-confidence.

Be confident
Being a fitness coach, Ethier knows a lot about what it takes to mentally prepare yourself to strut around in less-than-modest amounts of clothing. Here’s her secret: you have to project that sexy and confident image from the inside out. “You can’t fake it,” she says. “People will know when you’re faking it.”

She recommends genuinely complimenting yourself, then exhibiting that confidence outward. Don’t let your fears of being judged sensor you from appreciating your body.

Bump up your nutrition
Improving your eating habits is key to looking good this summer. “Stick to shopping the perimeter of the grocery store,” Ethier suggests. By doing so you’ll eliminate a lot of empty calories and be stocking up on healthier fare such as low-fat dairy products, lean protein, fruits and vegetables and some complex carbohydrates, such as one-ingredient foods like rice or potatoes. Save the cookies for a weekend treat.

Drink lots of water
Increasing your water intake will also help fuel your body. “Drink 2 to 4 litres of extra water a day,” she says. “This is on top of the water in your coffee, tea and juices.”

Replacing sugary drinks, such as pops and juices, with water is another great way to hit your H2O quota. “They’re just empty calories and really don’t add any benefit to your nutritional profile,” says Ethier. If you’re missing that kick that other drinks provide, try drinking some fresh sparkling water instead.

Water will also help you look and feel less bloated. As Ethier puts it, “more water in means more water out.”

Get those workouts in
Although eating well is going to help you along your bathing suit body journey, it’s only half the battle. You also have to get your body moving. Ethier recommends starting early. “You can’t change your body in a week. It’s hard to change your body in a month,” she says. “You have to work at it consistently and be patient.”

Hitting the gym means more than hopping on a treadmill. While cardio is great to get your routine started, Ethier would like to see more women doing 4 to 6 hours of weight training a week. In order to have toned muscles you have to work at them first. Check out our great fitness videos to help get you started.

Bump up your glow
Using a self tanner is a great way to help boost your confidence. “Everybody feels skinnier, sexier and healthier when they have a tan,” Ethier says. Not only will your skin have a beautiful glow, but it will also help highlight muscle definition.

Hair removal may also be really important to improving self-confidence when you’re showing more skin. Find a system that is versatile for all body parts, including your more sensitive bikini line. Ethier recommends the Bic Soliel Shave and Trim razor.

What are some of your swimsuit season tips? Share with us in the comments below or on Twitter and Facebook. And don’t miss any of our posts – sign up for the Health & Wellness Club newsletter.

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