It’s one week before your spring break trip to Mexico or Florida or the Dominican or anywhere warm and sunny, and you realize you’re nowhere near ready to shed those winter layers and bare a bikini. So, you vow to survive on a diet of nothing but water and lettuce for the next few days. You do more crunches than you can count. You lather on too much self-tanner and end up looking like a leopard but it’s too late to fix. Sound familiar?
This year, you don’t have to wait until the last minute to prep for spring break. We’re giving you seven HC-approved ways to start getting bikini-ready at the beginning of the semester so you can avoid that crash lettuce diet and those two days of non-stop crunches that won’t make a dent. Oh, and you won’t look like a leopard either!
1. Get motivated
At the beginning of the semester, spring break still seems far enough away that its arrival is easy to brush off, leading you to procrastinate —“eh, one cookie now won’t make a difference, I’ll start my diet next week,” you tell yourself, as one cookie quickly turns into two and next week turns into never. Instead of setting yourself up for the need to scramble to shape up at the last minute, find ways to constantly remind yourself of your goal from the get-go so that you’re motivated all along.
“When I need motivation to work out, looking at fitness boards on Pinterest always gets me going,” says Katie, a sophomore at the University of Michigan. “You can find workout tips, pictures, quotes… to give you the push you need,” she explains. Need some Pinspiration? Scroll through HC’s Fitness board!
There are plenty of other ways to motivate yourself to stick to your plan. Make a countdown on your calendar so that you can really keep track of how much time you have. Hang your bikini up on your closet door. Tape a picture of the beach to your snack drawer. Write notes with inspirational quotations or encouraging words and stick them around your room. Do whatever will inspire you to get going now, rather than later! Keep your motivators visible so that whenever you see them, you’ll be less likely to slack and more likely to resist temptations that will set you back. Sure, those cookies are calling your name—but the beach is screaming it!
2. Detox and de-bloat
After the holidays—and that first week back to school that’s always full of more drinking than studying—we could all benefit from a little detoxification. No need to take any drastic measures, like committing yourself to a cleanse consisting of green juices that taste like a liquefied tree, but definitely try eating healthier. It’s a no-brainer, but monitoring your diet during the weeks leading up to your spring break getaway will actually get you results, whereas crash dieting three days before you leave will only get you grumpy.
Trade in fattening, high-calorie, processed foods for fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains. Check out these 10 foods you should add to your diet for ideas on healthy, tasty foods to keep you satisfied.
Cut back on the sweets and the salts—limiting your sugar intake will ensure that you don’t pack on unwanted pounds, and avoiding very salty foods will make sure your stomach is beach-ready, not bloated. Not only will revamping your diet earlier on in the game get you better results by spring break, but it will also give you some room for the occasional slip-up so that you don’t have to deprive yourself.
3. Drink water, not calories
While you’re monitoring what you’re eating, don’t forget to keep tabs on what you’re drinking as well. Cutting out liquid calories is one of the easiest ways to shed a few pounds. Find lower calorie substitutes for your favorite drinks. For example, save about 100 calories by trading your morning latte in for a cappuccino made with skim milk. Read up on HC’s list of the highest and lowest calorie drinks so that a night out doesn’t totally sabotage the hard work you’re putting in to getting bikini-ready. Try to nix soda, not only for the calories but also because the carbonation can contribute to bloating.
Most importantly, in place of all these high cal beverages— make sure to drink lots of water! Getting your daily fix of H20 can help you look better by spring break for a variety of reasons. Water can help you lose weight by keeping you from mistaking thirst for hunger. And, if you’re still not convinced that choosing water will pay off, keep in mind that staying hydrated is great for your skin—which you’ll be showing off soon enough!