Back in March, the glam website StyleCaster approached us to create four programs for getting bikini-ready for Spring Break. They asked us to engineer a 4-week plan, a 3-week plan, and so on.
Now with summer vacation upon us–and the promise of long weekends at the beach and sunbathing in Prospect Park–we’re running these four summer shape-up plans on our site.
Here’s your plan for four weeks out:
Enlist in a 4-week boot camp
Commit to a four-week boot camp that meets regularly and takes before and after measurements (and photos). Ariane Hundt’s Slim & Strong program is a prime example of a results-oriented boot camp that will help you quickly achieve your fitness goals.
You’ll meet with the tough love trainer and nutritionist three times a week. Each class features a combo of killer cardio, interval and resistance training — and torches a total of 800 calories. Former students have lost 10 pounds and kept it off, thanks to Hundt’s effective lifestyle coaching. Any series with accountability and goal-setting helps, plus the after-photos provide extra motivation to keep it off.
Clean up your diet with a gentle cleanse
Quitting wheat, dairy and sugar cold turkey requires more discipline than we have. That’s why we love Frank Lipman M.D.’s “Remove,” a nutritional supplement shake and self-guided lifestyle program of several weeks. The program is based on Dr. Lipman’s integrative health principles and clean eating. It weans you off all the bad stuff over the course of the month, and you feel progressively better as you say buh-bye to alcohol, Starbucks and Chinese takeout. And because you’re eating more cleanly, your sluggishness evaporates and your joie de vivre returns. Proof you’re getting healthier is that your body stops craving junk food. “Remove” is a favorite of Gwyneth Paltrow, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and others celebrity patients of Dr. Lipman.
Start training for a 5K or 10K
A totally free way that a lot of New Yorkers get into shape come winter’s thaw? Train for a spring race. Not only do you set a concrete goal, you create a regular running schedule to build up to it — and slimming down just happens in the course of both. For motivation and support, Jack Rabbit Sports offers coaching and organizes group runs. Lululemon stores also host group runs, if you need a running buddy. Don’t live near either? A great online resource is Hal Higdon, a running coach and author of Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide, whose website HalHigdon.com provides training programs for every runner — first-time runners working toward a 5k or those entering competitively.
Get your beauty sleep
It’s not just necessary to prevent dark circles and puffiness around the eyes. The hunger hormones that tell your body it’s time to eat or it’s full (ghrelin and leptin, if you must know) are affected by lack of sleep and are directly linked to weight gain. Getting seven hours of shut-eye is probably the easiest thing to do to help your state of mind and your waistline.