Look great naked

Want to tone up for the beach or the bedroom? Here's how to look great naked.

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Setting goals and sticking to them
Photography, Geoffrey Ross
If breaking up with vanilla- dipped doughnuts, running up and down the stairs on your lunch hour, and strapping your wrists to a treadmill after dinner are your strategies for losing weight, there are some approaches you might have glazed over.

Tune In
"Looking better naked is about getting to know yourself and listening to your body," says Danielle Greco, registered holistic nutritionist and co-owner of 4 the Luv of Food, a company that focuses on feeling good in the buff by learning to balance foods appropriately rather than depriving yourself of them.

"Once you recognize what your body needs, your whole mindset changes," she says. We crave things based on nutritional deficiencies. For example, a craving for sweets might mean you have a carbohydrate deficiency.

Craving Cues
Think wisely when crafting a low-fat alternative to what your body is really craving, because if you never give in, "you'll always feel unsatisfied and wanting more," says Greco. So if you're cruising for cheesecake, take a bite, but eat it consciously, she says. (Read: Do not stuff it into your face while leaning over the sink.)

Be Realistic
While dropping 15 pounds in one month may seem tempting, your fantasies of frolicking on the beach sans sarong will be fleeting, says Chris Cristini, personal trainer and owner of Reebok CrossFit East Woodbridge.

"Being on a restrictive diet and following a rigorous fitness plan will make you miserable, and the weight will come creeping back,"he explains.

Instead, be realistic and set a goal, knowing that it might not be achieved for six months or even a year. The focus should be on a lifestyle change. Greco echoes this sentiment. "When you're making a body transformation, you have to be patient." Remember, if you deprive your body with a super strict crash diet and you see a sudden drop in numbers on the scale, it's your body 45 releasing water, muscle and vital tissue -- not fat, she says.

Small and mighty
You've been sweating it out for what seems like forever, but the scale has only budged three pounds. When you feel like throwing in the towel, toss it in the washing machine instead to get ready for your next workout.

Don't discount those small shifts in weight because, over time, they all add up (much like the calories in all those tiny TimBits you mindlessly munch on during meetings).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who lose weight slowly and steadily are more successful at keeping it off. If you're a visual person, try writing down your workouts on a calendar or posting your goals on a vision board.


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