Bikini Dieting the Right Way

By Rebecca, age 20, Wisconsin

School's out, and we all know what that means ... Hit the beach! This is the time when all the energy packed away during the winter season just lets loose. Of course, during the winter we pack away a few pounds due to the fact that it's too cold to go out and do activities. Obviously these pounds go on to kill our plans of having a knockout body for the beach. We pass stores and see those bikinis on the skinny mannequins and wonder if we'll get to wear one, much less look good in one. All this makes us want to lose weight and get in shape, although some of us go about it the wrong way.

In this article I decided to talk about how to manage weight gain and help out with your summer look. I want to start of by giving a warning - Do not, I repeat, do not start a diet before asking your physician. I personally do not like diets. They help you lose weight, but you have to maintain a diet to keep the weight off, and typically if you get off the diet you'll gain the weight back. So here's a true story, followed by some advice for you chicas wanting to look awesome at the beach.

It all started about a year ago when I gained rapid weight. It was winter and basically I lost focus on what I was eating. I got to the point where my weight was too much for me. I couldn't take it. Of course, I went on a diet trying to lose weight any way possible. I started not eating much, but then began packing on pounds again. I didn't get it. It didn't make sense. I was supposed to be losing weight, not gaining even more.

Then I started skipping meals to see if that would help. Big mistake. When I skipped a meal I would overeat the next time. I started feeling weak because I was not getting enough nutrition. I was not feeding my body well. So in all I gained more weight, which upset me even more because none of my clothes would fit.

Now, not only did my approach not work ... it made things worse. I began to feel awkward around some of my friends because they were skinny and they didn't have my problem. They could go into any store and find clothes. I couldn't. Nothing fit!!

So finally I got tired, and when 2008 came around I made a decision to fix my problem. Here's what I did. I hope in some way it can help you if you're going through this. Remember, don't expect to lose 10 pounds in a week - it's a process. Take it slow and you'll see results!

First off, I started by analyzing what I was eating. Too much fast food is definitely not good. Fast food is too high in sodium, which is what retains liquids in your body. And it's too heavy, too high in calories from saturated fat. So girls, don't stress over finding the perfect diet - find what helps you eat better and maintain your health. Here are some steps you might want to consider:

♥ Like I said, lay off fast foods - eat healthier. Instead of cheeseburgers go and make yourself a sandwich. Choose what you put into your meal. That way you can manage what you eat. I'm not saying don't eat burgers - just be moderate in what you consume.

♥ If you must eat heavy food (because, let's admit it, all families are different and eat different things) eat smaller portions. Eat when you're truly hungry. When your stomach tells you you're getting full stop! Don't overeat!

♥ Include exercise! I know exercise is stressed a lot, but it's worth the time if you want to look great and live longer. Get involved in sports, swim 3 times a week, run 3 times a week. Don't sit on the couch, get active. This will keep your body burning calories. The most important thing is to get out and move about!

♥ Another big thing is soda. Lay off it as much as possible, and drink water. (Personally, water is my fav!) Water is essential to the body. You guys know that the body is made up of 80% water, so drink up that water!

♥ Sweets are a major problem too. They taste good, but too much can mean unwanted weight gain. I'm not going to sit here and say don't eat sweets - just do it in moderation!

♥ And finally, don't starve yourself!!!!!

These are essential things that I do every day to help in my weight loss, and well, I think they are working ... so go ahead and eat what you want, but do it in moderation. Your stomach will let you know when it's full, so don't overfeed it! Don't leave out the exercise. It's what helps you every day to keep unwanted gain weight from coming back.

So girls, don't freak out. You have all summer to work on your body. Remember, don't frustrate yourself if results are taking a long time. Stay committed. It's much better to lose weight at a healthy rate than to cause the body harm due to rapid weight loss.

Remember, chicas, there is no "perfect weight" - everyone is different! The most important thing is that you're healthy and comfortable in your own skin!

Good luck, girls!!! Let me know how the summer goes!!!

Luv, Rebecca

Editor's Note: Skipping meals is exactly the opposite of what you want to do to lose weight - consuming 4 small, healthy meals is actually better than 2 meals a day. "By skipping meals, you are putting your body into 'starvation mode' and it will try to store as much energy as it can. Of course the way the body stores energy is as fat. By eating small meals throughout the day, you keep your metabolism high because it takes energy to break down the food." Bottom line, crazy as it sounds, skipping meals causes you to gain weight.*


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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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