By Alexa Tucker, REDBOOK
Get beach body-ready in just a week!
Whether you're (almost) baring it all on the beach or sporting a cute sundress to a BBQ, use these tricks to look amazing by your next summer soirée. Ready, set, go!
Day 1: Break for Breakfast
If you don't already, start eating breakfast. The benefits of morning munching are undeniable, and a nutritious breakfast is key to weight control. Remember, we're not talking pancakes: Go for something high-protein--like eggs or low-fat Greek yogurt to keep you full until lunchtime. Heather Bauer, RD, CDN, and founder of Bestowed, says, "If you're looking to slim down quickly, it's all about keeping your meals clean and light. If you start your day without eating, you'll most likely be ravenous by 11 a.m., which can bring on the snacking. Starting off with a lean, high-protein, high-fiber breakfast sets the tone for your entire day."
Day 2: Get Your Beauty Rest
"If you're trying to lose weight, getting enough sleep is key to helping you win the battle. Sleeping eight hours or more is associated with a lower body mass index," says Dr. Jodi Mindell, author of Sleep Deprived No More and professor of psychology at Saint Joseph's University. Studies show that people who don't get enough sleep are more likely to store extra fat, so go ahead and sleep in!
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Day 3: Lock Up the Liquor
It's easy to lose track of calories when you're sipping them, so opt for water this week. Bauer says, "Alcohol causes your body become severely dehydrated, which means it's not performing at an optimal level. Dehydration can cause a dip in your metabolism, causing you to burn less calories and hold on to fat. Keep in mind, it's also what the alcohol is mixed with that can be the culprit. Mixed drinks such as margaritas and mojitos contain tons of sugar and empty calories, which adds to the bloat."
Check out more tips to avoid puffiness here.
Day 4: Amp Up Your Workout
Hitting a Zumba or TurboKick class will not only torch calories, it'll feel like "me" time, which we're all for! If you're not into group fitness, try interval training. It's been known to work wonders by giving your body a fat-burning boost. Enlist a workout buddy to keep you motivated.
Related: 5 Tricks to Get That Luxe Spa Feeling--At Home
Day 5: Go Ahead, Drink Your Coffee
No need to give up your daily caffeine fix! Coffee acts as a mild diuretic, which will help banish bloat before the big day. It also works as an appetite suppressant and gives your metabolism a jump-start. A word of caution: Your morning caramel latte does not count. Bauer advises, "A relatively low-cal option is a tall, extra-dry cappuccino, which is approximately 90 calories, or an Americano with a splash of skim milk, which is under 35 calories."
Day 6: Treat Yourself to a Body Scrub
According to Shelley Bawiec, a director of spa education for Aveda, "Massage boosts circulation and plumps the skin, creating a smoother look that lasts for days." Check out her effective DIY technique here. If you need a quick fix, dermatologist Doris Day, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at New York University Medical Center, says that "a firming cream that contains caffeine and hyaluronic acid may help disguise cellulite for up to eight hours."
Related: 10 Health Mistakes Doctors See You Making
Day 7: Be Tan-Talizing
Everyone looks thinner with a little extra color. Practice safe sun by ditching the booth and going for a spray or airbrushed tan. Don't overdo it, though: you don't want to be mistaken for a Jersey Shore cast member! Check out these 10 ways to get a sun-free tan.
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