Spring is right around the corner and if you’re more round than you’d like to be, you still have time to shape up. Get your bikini body ready with these fitness and nutrition tips. No excuses. They are easy to work into even the busiest schedule, so go ahead and get started today.


Drink more water

When bodies confuse hunger and thirst, we take in calories we could be saving. Stay hydrated by sipping on water throughout the day. Make it cold if you can. Cold water forces the body to use more calories as it works to warm the water. Notice the hydrating drink of choice here is water. Make this your choice most often. Other drinks are full of sugar, which isn’t healthy for your heart or waistline. Bonus – according to redbookmag.com, “new research has found that increasing your water consumption by just 1 percent can reduce caloric intake by 70 to 200 calories, as well as lower how much sugar, fat, and cholesterol you eat.”


Make and stick to a calorie budget

Choose nutrient dense foods that help you feel full and satisfied. No need to feel deprived. Plan calorie expenditures just like you do financial ones. Eat sensibly most of the time, save and plan for splurges. Use an app such as LoseIt to keep track of calories, fat, fiber, protein and sugar. When you have a target, it is easier to stay on track. For example, some experts recommend 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight for weight loss; and 10 calories per pound of your desired weight (140 x 10 = 1,400 daily calories).


SleepGet enough sleep

Studies show that the chronically sleep deprived weigh more than counterparts who get 7 to 8 hours of shut-eye each night. Count at least 7 hours back from your wake-up time. Start a relaxing bedtime routine about 7.5 hours before that time; that will help you wind down and prepare for restful sleep. Commit to entering dream land at least 7 hours before your start the new day alarm goes off. You’ll have more energy to hit the gym and you’ll be less likely to binge on carbs.


Do body weight exercise

Body weight exercises, such as squats, push-ups, and planks, offer the convenience of anytime fitness. They also help you build lean muscle mass and burn fat – perfect for getting that bikini body.


Hit the gym

Your local gym is perfect for the variety, accountability and friendly competition it offers. You can choose from a number of classes and equipment (banish boredom), you’ll show up because your buddies are expecting you (let peer pressure work in your favor), and you’ll work harder, too. Friendly competition helps you push yourself harder than you would when working out alone.


Set goals

Maybe your goal is to burn 100 calories for every 10 minutes on the elliptical or finish a mile in 8 minutes. Whatever your goal it can help keep your workout interesting as well as challenging. The novelty means you are more likely to stick with it.


Celebrate progress

Fact – You won’t lose 10 pounds in a week. Set goals you can actually reach and celebrate them. Unrealistic expectations lead to discouragement and, ultimately, failure, because you just give up. Aim to lose one or two pounds or exercise 90 minutes a week instead. No need to wait until you cross the finish line. Celebrate every precious milestone along the way – you’ve earned it!


Spring is right around the corner. Start now with your fitness and nutrition plan so you’ll feel your confident best at the beach.