Photography: Olivia Renouf for Miss FQ Issue 3, 2018
Getting your summer bod “ready” can be a bit of a conundrum. Technically you just need to put a bikini on your body to be bikini-ready. But feeling confident is another story.
Realistically, if you’re looking to adopt newfound body confidence in less then a month, then managing your expectations is a biggie.
No one’s going to drop 5kg, build a peachy bottom or sport a six-pack in that time (you know, amidst a full-time job and a social life, obvs) so let’s focus on some steps you can introduce today to at least get you on your merry way.
1. Beat the bloat
Banishing bloat or foods that cause bloating will assist in achieving that flat stomach feeling. Steer clear of overeating and eating too fast. Making nice with your gut and assisting digestion is fundamental to taking charge of your stomach woes. Introducing prebiotics and probiotics to your diet should address any discomfort and tackle the gassiness associated with any difficult-to-digest foods such as beans, lentils, sweeteners, dairy and grains high in fibre.
Quick fix: Many people find herbal teas that include ingredients such as fennel, aniseed, turmeric, lemon balm, ginger or mint will support, repair and calm the stomach.
2. Keep yourself hydrated
Increase your water intake to naturally suppress your appetite, raise your metabolism and tackle a whole tonne of ailments in the process. Not only does drinking plenty of water flush out toxins and reveal a glowing complexion, but it is known to increase energy, relieve fatigue, boost immunity, keep you regular, prevent headaches, cramps and pains, and keep your mood elevated. What’s not to love?
Quick fix: Have a water bottle on you at all times or record how many glasses you have per day. Let’s aim for 8, shall we?
3. Move your body
Exercise makes you feel more positive and drastically improves your health. It can also make you feel more empowered in the skin you’re in. If you’re not already a regular gym-goer, introduce a few minutes of power moves before you jump through your morning shower. Hit the skipping rope, dabble in some star jumps, engage in a bridge hold, or do sets of crunches. Otherwise, evening walks at pace for an hour in addition to plenty of stretching throughout the day should have your limbs feeling longer in no time.
4. Opt for whole foods
Choosing whole foods is going to significantly reduce your exposure to processed sugars, carbs, grains and other nasties that tend to keep your digestive system working in overdrive. By choosing whole foods, you’re allowing your body to break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats with ease and increase your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, keeping you fuller for longer and maintaining steady blood sugar levels throughout the day. These habits will help your body use your food for fuel and not store it as fat – bonus!
Quick fix: Introduce meal prepping and avoid the isles in the centre sticking to predominantly meat, fruit and veges.
5. Thou shall resist the temptation
Easier said than done, but limiting your exposure to dining out, treats or over-indulging is crucial to staying on track. The holidays are synonymous with a seemingly endless stream of treats, goodie baskets, social lunches, dinner-dates and cocktails. Get organised and prep your own meals to stay on top of your calorie intake and ensure you’re locking in a healthy dose of vegetables each day.
Quick fix: Keep healthy snacks on hand such as nuts, miso soup or fruit to deter you from making a beeline to the sweets in the lunchroom come 3pm.
6. Prioritise sleep
Much like drinking water, the benefits of sleep are truly bountiful for your health and wellbeing. But in terms of weight control, not getting enough sleep increases your risk of weight gain. Have you ever noticed that when you’re tired you usually feel more hungry than usual? That’s because when you don’t get adequate sleep, your leptin levels – the hormone which keeps you feeling full – will drop, resulting in experiencing heightened levels of hunger and craving high-fat and high-calorie foods specifically #NotIdeal.
Quick fix: Set an alarm for your bedtime and adopt a wind-down routine. Say, a hot shower, magnesium, herbal tea… you get the gist.
7. Social movement
We’ll let you in on a bit of secret: Everyone wants to feel good in themselves. Okay, that’s not an ~actual~ statistic, but it makes sense, right? I mean, who wouldn’t? As such, next time the girls summon you for a cocktail hour, keep it real and suggest going for a walk or strolling the streets. Not only are you saving calories from not drinking cocktails, but you’ll be saving a few extra pennies, too.
8. Inspiring quotes
Meditation is a highly-vouched practice because it allows you to dedicate time to your thoughts, breath, and focus on your goals. When we get super busy or distracted with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, or the incoming junk food during the holiday season (we see you, box of chocolates on the coffee table), we lose sight of our long-term goals in favour of what’s happening right this very second.
Quick fix: While meditation isn’t always a practical or ideal outlet for maintaining focus, look to inspirational quotes, sticky notes or images by keeping them in plain sight to keep your head in the game (and out of the box of doughnuts) #NoRegrets.
9. Tan that bod
If in doubt, tan it out. Nothing says ‘I have a glowing, toned bod’ like a fresh sweep of fake tan. With so many products available on the market, there’s a tan to suit all your #goals and #expectations. Want a deep bronze overnight, hello Bondi Sands. Need a complexion boost and keep your sheets white? Enter, Eco Invisible Tan.
10. Fast to last
Okay, before you go thinking we’re crazy, the benefits of fasting have been touted across the globe (pre-internet days) for centuries and are heavily endorsed still today. Go on, have a Google. But not to worry, we’re not suggesting you go day(s) on end sans food; the benefits can be seen from simply increasing the time of fasting overnight.
For example, say you finish your dinner at 7pm and don’t eat breakfast until 7am, you’ve fasted for 12 hours without even knowing it. If you can have your final meal gradually earlier in the evening increasing your fast up to 14 hours, you will reap the benefits of day or intermittent fasting without all of the miserable hunger, including: weight loss (from using up your glucose stores and burning fat for energy), detoxification, lower blood pressure, and reduced cholesterol.