Top 10 Tips to Help Get Your Body Beach-Worthy

Simple slim-down strategies can help you get ready for swimsuit season

By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Expert Column

Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

Before you know it, the often dreaded bathing suit season will be here. So don't wait; get started now with these 10 tried-and-true strategies that can help you whittle away those extra pounds.

1. Start each day with a nourishing breakfast of high-fiber cereal, skim milk, and sliced fresh fruit. This nutritious and delicious meal will keep you energized for your workout, and should satisfy you until lunch.
2. Get a good night's sleep. Research has linked adequate sleep with better control over the body's "hunger hormones."
3. Move whenever you can -- while watching television, waiting for the microwave to finish, folding the laundry, etc. Strap on a pedometer and try to take more steps each day. A recent study showed that people who wore pedometers took more steps during the day that those who tried to take regular walks.
4. Satisfy your sweets cravings with low-calorie treats like fruit ice bars, fresh fruit, and hard candy.
5. Schedule hourly walking or stair-climbing breaks. Take 10 minutes to fire up the engine and burn a few calories.
6. Find a picture of a gorgeous bathing suit to have on hand whenever you're tempted to fall off your eating plan. Motivate yourself by giving yourself a nonfood reward whenever you reach a weight loss milestone.
7. Replace the cream in your coffee with low-fat milk. Better yet, drink cafe au lait made with strong coffee and hot skim milk.
8. Switch to light mayonnaise or mustard for your sandwich, and add lots of veggies.
9. Watch your liquids. Juices, sodas, and alcohol add lots of extra calories. Drink noncaloric sparkling or plain water with a slice of lemon.
10. Pay strict attention to portion control. If you find yourself backsliding, use the scales and measuring cups for awhile as a reminder of what a proper portion should look like.

Published April 29, 2005.
Medically updated May 2006.


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