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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014

How to get that hot bikini body

Debasmita Ghosh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 22, 2013
First Published: 17:06 IST(22/5/2013) | Last Updated: 14:49 IST(23/5/2013)

The tickets for Goa are in place; you’ve already applied for your leaves and even packed the sun screens, shades and stylish bikinis. And now, with just about a few weeks left to hit the beach, your worst nightmare has come true in form of an unwelcomed bulge in your abs, big enough to spoil your entire bikini look!

What do you do now? Cancel your beach vacation?
Well, you don’t have to. The good news is that you can actually slim down and shape up in as little as four to eight weeks, and flaunt a super sexy beach goddess look in those stringy barely-there two-pieces.

“Watch your diet and sweat it out,” says dietician and fitness expert Nidhi Sahai of Max Hospital, Noida. “Address the usual suspects... the main problem areas, the midriff, arms and thighs,” advises model Sonalika Sahay. “A combination of cardiovascular activity, half-an-hour to an hour, thrice a week, and strength training three times a week, is the ideal way to shed weight from the abs and thighs. Simultaneously, opt for some yoga and aerobics to tone up,” adds Sahai.

Quick fix workouts
While you can always hit the gym to get rid of those extra kilos, a better, easier and healthier way to lose weight is through free-hand exercises that you can do at home, without using any equipments. Here are two very easy workouts that’ll help you perfectly fit into that sexy bikini:

Plank exercise
The plank works your abs, your arms, and your back, and you can do it pretty much anywhere. It’s highly versatile too. Just vary the moves a bit, and you’ve got a whole new exercise. Here’s how:
1. Lie on the floor.
2. Perform a push up, raise your body off the floor, supporting your weight on your forearms and your toes.
3. Keep your abdominal muscles engaged and do not let your stomach drop or allow for your hips to rise up.
4. Hold this position for 20 seconds.
5. Repeat three to five times.

Plie squat
Plie squat involves a variation on foot placement that targets your thighs and leg muscles. Here how to go about it:
1. Begin in a wide stance with toes out at a comfortable angle. Your knees will need to stay aligned with your toes, so don’t go out too far.
2. To add weight, you can hold dumbbells on the upper thighs, a single dumbbell in front or a barbell on the shoulders or behind the head.
3. Bend the knees and lower down into a squat, keeping knees in line with toes, abs contracted and back straight.
4. Only go down as low as you can without compromising your flexibility or your balance.
5. Push back to start without locking the knees.
6. Repeat 20 times.

Sonalika Sahay: The 5ft 10 inches tall ramp scorcher
Sonalika Sahay feels that the best way to attain and maintain that hot bikini body is through constant workout. “The midriff — the area around the stomach is the major problem area. You cheat on your workouts and you will instantly gain weight in these places. At least a half-an-hour workout, five days a week, can help you maintain a fit body. For a flat abdomen, there’s no alternative to ab crunches,” says the vegan model, adding, “I always stick to a square meal and include lots of veggies and dal in my diet everyday. Carbs are the devils... a strict no-no for me.”

Lakshmi Rana: The secret to runway queen
Lakshmi Rana’s sculpted figure is a low carb diet. “For Indian body types, gaining weight around the abdomen is common and quick. Also, the usual Indian food consists of many fried and high carb items, and this is where one has to practice restraint,” says the model, adding, “I always go low on carbs and deep-fried food. In fact, I never have carbs after 6pm... that’s the key to a healthy and fit body,” says Rana, who sticks to ab crunches, at least five days a week, and daily walks. “Running also helps lose weight and tone up the lower abs,” says Rana.

A Basic diet plan
Breakfast: It can contain all forms of egg whites or low fat meat with bread and a cup of low fat milk, and fruits.
Lunch and dinner: Go for not more than a 10 inch big plate and eat food according to the plate’s measure. Eat legumes, lean meat or tofu. A good helping of vegetables must be added too. With that, an assortment of vegetables in the form of a raw salad will provide you balanced nutrition. For some time, avoid rice and go for whole wheat chapattis — stick to just two per meal.
Snacks: When hungry between meals, skip fried foods or any kind of cheesy bites. Opt for an apple, melons or berries that’ll keep you active, taste good as well as fill your tummy. These fruits are water rich and low cal. You could also munch on some nuts.

Go wise on your diet
Severely restricting your diet by cutting more than 500 calories a day can defeat your weight-loss efforts because when you do that, your body panics, leading to cravings, irritability and a slower metabolism. So, do not make the mistake of skipping meals. Instead, include the following in your diet plan for a healthy weight loss:

Fruits and veggies: Add two kiwi fruits a day to your diet, as they are an excellent fat burner. Carrots, watermelon and mint also make for great summer drinks. Baby carrots and broccoli too are a good source of fibre helping in weight loss.
Lean meats: Ditch the red meats including lamb, mutton and beef, which are high in saturated fat. Opt for chicken and lean meats. Egg whites, tuna, and salmon can also be eaten.
Beans, lentils and soy: Legumes, lentils, soya and non-fat tofu prompt burning of body fat. They also provide energy, protein and a high soluble fibre content, making you feel fuller for longer.
Nuts: Walnuts are a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin E. They’ll help in healthy weight loss, yet not taking away your natural glow and sheen. 
Yogurt: Probiotics, such as yogurt is perhaps the best fix to lose abdominal fat that’s the hardest to lose. Clinical studies have shown, yogurt was about twice as effective at preserving muscle, the only kind of tissue that burns calories while your body is at rest.

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