Twenty-five-year-old Meenakshi Dhar is heading for a beach in July. Excited as she is, the thought of wearing a bikini is giving her nightmares. But experts say with the right diet, exercise and a little camouflaging, she can have a happy sun and sand holiday.
There are many who choose shorts and t-shirts over swim wear because they lack the confidence mostly because of extra flab.
Fret not, says Althea Shah, vice president and fitness expert at Gold's Gym, Mumbai. "One must work out harder on stubborn parts like inner thighs, love handles, back and triceps - these are the most prominent places for fat accumulation and visibility," Shah said.
"Start with at least three days a week to do any form of a cardiovascular activity - walking, jogging, stair climbing, etc, and follow a simple exercise for every body part, alternating between upper and lower body workouts," she added.
Apart from exercising, a little focus on what you are eating can do wonders.
Nothing much is required, just dig out green leafy vegetables from your fridge, to satiate your hunger, said nutritionist consultant Geetu Amarnani, adding one can also have salads and soups.
"Avoid oily foods because that can make you feel bloated," she said and that "it will help in getting rid of those extra inches on the waistline."
Amarnani has more useful tips to help you in getting into shape.
"Women basically dread bulgy thighs and sagging fat on the abs. But fat on abs is just like fat everywhere. So get desired results by balancing diet and exercise. Drink eight-10 glasses of water a day, it detoxifies you and helps in getting rid of accumulated salts leading to water retention," she said.
If you want to get rid of the flab quickly, technology comes as a saviour but at a cost.
Rajesh Khurana, president of Timpac Healthcare, says there is a non-surgical treatment called VIP Complex and there is a surgical treatment called Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance (VASER) that can help one get into shape.
For VIP complex, one has to shell out Rs 1,000-2,500 per session, whereas for VASER it may cost anywhere from Rs.50,000-150,000 depending on area to be covered. One month's advance planning is a must for this treatment.
Finally, if you are too lazy to do all this or you don't want to shell out extra bucks, Delhi-based designer duo Narresh-Shrivan is the answer to your problem.
"We make customised resort wear for women to hide the flaws of their body. If a woman feels she has a nice back and a broad lower body, we make a swimsuit according to her preferences that can camouflage her heavier part," said Narresh Kukreja.
"This can be done easily with geometric prints and sensible use of dark colours," he added.
Nowadays a tan is not a problem as waterproof sun blocks are easily available.
"Use skin screen all over your body, not just on your face. Re-apply it after three-four hours' gap for extra protection. For hair, use a cap or any kind of headgear before you enter the sea," said Shobha Sehgal, head, beauty, VLCC Health Care ltd.
"Take bath and moisture your body once you are out of the sea. Do not let the salty water dry on your body or hair. Go for a deep conditioning treatment for hair post-your beach holiday," she said.
And one should not ignore the age-old sun protection tools - umbrella or cap. "It is always a good idea to carry them," said Sehgal.
Also, carry an aloe vera gel as it helps in healing the skin after sun exposure.
Follow these tips and take the plunge!