8 Swimsuit Secrets From Fit Girls On Instagram

exercise for the brain

Just like it did last year and the year before, summer seems to have crept up on us. If you haven’t been going crazy on cardio or counting calories, you might be worried that you’re too far behind to catch up in time for next week’s beach date. Before you kill yourself in the gym, remember that every body is a beach body. The only person who gets to define what that looks like is you. But if you’re hoping to look a little more toned, rest assured that it can be done. While you’re not going to drop 20 pounds by next Saturday, there are countless tweaks you can make to your lifestyle, especially where diet and exercise are concerned, that will flatter your figure. Here, the hottest fitness influencers on Instagram share their go-to tricks for swimsuit season.

Try on your bikini before you hit the beach

“Voilà, you now have a bikini body! Anyone who wants to wear a bikini can. They don't need to lift weights or do cardio to have a bikini body. Yes, I'm a huge proponent of taking care of your body physically, as it is a huge factor in one's mental and emotional wellness, but even if someone isn't currently working out, it doesn't mean they shouldn't be confident in a bikini.” —Anna Victoria, personal trainer and creator of Body Love app

Fill up on H2O

“Shed the water weight by drinking more water. Most cleanses or crash diets, which I do not recommend, don’t actually help you burn more fat — they simply shed water weight your body has been unknowingly holding, helping you feel slimmer in just a few days. How can we eliminate excess water from our bodies this summer without these often-unhealthy cleanses? First, understand that there are many things that cause your body to feel bloated, puffy, and water-logged, including sugar, salt, hormonal fluctuations, muscle tear down, inflammation, and dehydration to name a few. Second, understand that the best way to flush the water from your body is by drinking more. It sounds counterintuitive, but it really does work. Drink half your body weight in ounces each day to replenish any water lost through working out or sweating.” —Heidi Powell, celebrity trainer and transformation specialist from ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss

Stay away from salt

“I know, it hurts to hear… Everyone is looking for that miracle pill or treatment — they want to look amazing, but don’t actually want to put in the effort required to get there. Staying away from the unhealthy stuff is undoubtedly the hardest part, but the one with most discipline wins. My advice is not to keep unhealthy food at home, especially stuff high in sodium. What is the use of exercising hard, keeping a strict diet, and then covering those abs with a layer of water? That is exactly what happens when you add extra salt to your food. The sodium will make your body retain water, cover that six pack completely, and will even enhance the cellulite.” —Michelle Lewin, social media influencer, entrepreneur and STRONG by Zumba master trainer

Break up with unrealistic goals

“Dieting and exercising to reach a goal weight promotes a yo-yo lifestyle. It also promotes reliance on daily results to feel successful, which as we all know, is a recipe for feeling like a failure most of the time. There's nothing healthy about being trapped in a vicious cycle of hating food, exercise, and yourself. Things started getting way better for me when I broke up with my goal to weigh 120 pounds. Today, I weigh 140 pounds. I needed to gain 20 pounds to succeed! I stopped restricting my calories to lose weight, and instead, started listening to my body and making reasonable food choices on a daily basis.” —Sara Solomon, former hockey player and bodybuilding.com TEAM Athlete

Do more strength training

“I love a good cardio session, but my secret for looking good in a bikini is all about heavy weights! Adding muscle gives my body shape. Heavy dumbbell squats, lunges, deadlifts, and glute bridges lifts and rounds out my butt and lessons the appearance of cellulite. Same thing for upper body. Toned triceps, strong back muscles, and defined shoulders look sexy and — bonus — make the waist look smaller! Also, the more muscle, the higher the metabolism, which burns fat. Don’t be afraid to lift heavy!” —Astrid Swan, celebrity personal trainer and fitness expert

Start using self-tanner

“Use a self-tanning cream whenever you’re getting ready to put on a suit. It automatically makes you look and feel your best with minimal effort. Having extra golden color on your skin gives you that natural summer glow!” —Nikki Sharp, wellness expert, yoga teacher, and vegan-trained chef

Ditch carbonated drinks

“Yes, even sparkling waters. They increase abdominal bloating. Instead, I add citrus like lemon, lime or grapefruit to my water. Also, eat more protein and less carbs. Eating a lot of carbohydrates promotes water retention. Instead, try adding more lean proteins to every meal and snack. Protein digestion tends to use the highest number of calories, meaning you burn more calories as it's being absorbed into your body. Consider trying fasted cardio, too. This isn't for the faint of heart, but I have noticed a huge improvement once I started doing cardio first thing in the morning on an empty tummy. Fasted cardio in the morning is effective because as you sleep and fast overnight your body conserves its precious carb stores and leans toward mobilizing fat for fuel.” —Sia Cooper, NASM-certified personal trainer

Start counting macronutrients

“The key is to add sustainable, long-term healthy habits to your everyday diet. Counting macros allows for precise tweaks without guessing games, so you can make those adjustments without going to extremes. Meal prepping allows myself and my clients to make better decisions on the daily — if it’s prepped in the house ready to go, you’ll be less tempted to order in or grab a slice of pizza on the way home. Making your everyday choices, like what to have for lunch, as easy as possible goes a long way and can save you a lot of calories if losing weight is your number one goal.” —Amanda Edell, certified personal trainer and nutritionist