- 35 Foods to Get You Bikini Ready
- Sweet Potatoes
- Green Tea
- Lemon Water
- Wild Salmon
- Almond Milk
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Ginger Tea
- Protein Powder
- Red Peppers
- Dark Chocolate
- Dandelion Greens
- Grass-Fed Beef
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Avocado Oil
- Cold Potatoes
- Sign In!
- Helpful Tips To Achieve Your Fitness Goals
- 1. Change Your Eating Habits
- 2. Stay On Track with Meal Prep
- 3. Knock Out Your Workout
- 4. Never Skip Breakfast
- How to Look Good in a Bikini
- 1. Cut Down on Carbs
- 2. Limit Salty Foods
- 3. Try Coconut Oil
- 4. Reduce Bloat Through Diet
- 5. Drink Lots of Water
- 6. Exfoliate
- 7. Shave Your Bikini Line
- 8. Soak Your Feet
- 9. Spray Tan
- 10. Pick the Right Suit
- 11. Work Your Arms
- 12. Work Your Abs
- 13. Eat Small Portions
- 14. Wear the Right Makeup
- 15. Add Bra Inserts
- 16. Wear a Cover Up
- 17. Wear a Sarong
- 18. Wear Stacked Sandals
- 19. Tape Your Boobs
- 20. Use Good Lotion
- 21. Accessorize
- 22. Add a Straw Hat
- 23. Stand Tall
- 24. Sit With Knees Up
- 25. Dig Into the Sand
- 26. Choose the Right Color
- 27. Cover Stretch Marks
- 28. Cover Cellulite
- 29. Wear a High-Waisted Bottom
- 30. Style Your Hair
- 31. Oil Your Skin
- 32. Use Body Makeup
- 33. Buy Maternity Bikinis
- 34. Use Sunblock
- 35. Wax Unwanted Hair
- 36. Add Coverage for Bigger Bust
- 37. Make Your Legs Look Longer
- 38. Create Curves
- 39. Carry a Beach Bag
- 40. Pick a Bikini with Lots of Lycra
- 41. Use an Epilator for Unwanted Hair
- 42. Reduce Body Acne
- 43. Conceal Back Fat
- 44. Eat Smaller Portions of Food
- 45. Hide Big Arms
- 46. Camouflage Broad Shoulders
- 47. Avoid Dairy
- 48. Stay Away From Busy Prints
- 49. Choose Bottoms That Will Lift Your Bum
- 50. Act How You Want to Look
- How to Look Good in a Swimsuit When You’re Fat: No BS Guide
- Know your body type and its “problem areas”
- Pay attention to your tummy
- Invest in swimsuits with tummy control panels
- How to choose the right bra for your breasts size
- Tame your bloating 2 days prior
- Slim down your arms and shoulders
- Back fat
- Can you look good in a swimsuit if you’re fat?
- The Rise of the Bikini Body
- How This Affects Us
- Rejecting the Ideal
- An Instagram Resurgence
- ‘How do you get a bikini body? You just put on a bikini’
- I Don’t Give A Crap About My “Bikini Body”
- A bipolar, body-positive bread enthusiast with a fucked-up pretty much healed ankle and a history of disordered eating chronicles health, weight-loss, and gardening. No diets allowed.
- So that’s what I did.
- So I did that.
- Not even one.
- No shizzle-shits.
- Guess who has cellulite? EVERYONE. Cellulite means you have skin. Skin is good.
- Know how I got those rolls? Childbirth. And cake. Neither of which I want to live without.
- Don’t like stretch marks? Do you like HUMAN BEINGS BEING BORN?
- Ever had your man (or woman or whoever you love) grab you by those luscious lumps on the side of your body? Guess who likes handles. The person who loves you.
- Know who doesn’t give a shit about your thighs? Your KIDS.
- Does that sound too good to be true?
35 Foods to Get You Bikini Ready
Nothing jolts you to your senses like that first day of warm weather. At first you’re pumped you can finally shed your layers of winter cable knit sweaters. But then it dawns on you — bikini season will be here soon and you’re still in fat-mounting hibernation mode.
Don’t panic. Not only is there is still plenty of time to prepare yourself, but getting yourself beach-body ready only requires a bit of sweat and the proper nutrition.
Along with working in a regular sweat — and yes, it can even just be on the weekends — introducing the following nutrient-dense foods into your diet will help tone and shape your body while assisting in rapid weight loss efforts.
Some foods dial up your metabolism so you can burn even more calories and torch belly fat, some heal your gut by offering up healthy probiotic bacteria, some decrease the stress and inflammation that’s causing weight gain and bloating, some turn off your fat-storage genes, and others vanquish hunger and build muscle by filling you up with healthy fats, lean proteins, and fiber. So, get a pen in one hand and a shopping list in your other—and get to it! (Psst! Don’t stress over when you’ll get to the gym. “Abs are made in the kitchen!” Plus, you can try one of these 35 Fun Activities that Don’t Feel Like Exercise.)
Eat This! Because: The potassium will help flatten your belly
Potassium-rich foods are ideal for looking and feeling slim and trim in that swimsuit, so think ahead and pack one in your bag before heading off to the gym or to work. Potassium is a nutrient that helps the body flush out water and sodium—two things that make you appear bloated. Conversely, foods like potato chips and pickles are packed with sodium and can force your body to retain water, which makes you swell. Besides providing a healthy dose of potassium, bananas also increase bloat-fighting bacteria in the stomach. But wait, there’s more! Keep reading about the magical benefits of this fruit in these 21 Amazing Things That Happen to Your Body When You Eat Bananas!
Eat This! Because it: Turns off fat genes
Your beach trip with the girls is only a few weeks away and you’re not looking forward to it as much as you should be thanks to your ever-softening stomach. Don’t panic, the solution is a simple one: Add some cinnamon to your diet. According to an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, the sweet spice helps reduce levels of the hormone, insulin, so less of the sugar you consume is stored as flubber. Sprinkle it in your coffee, in greek yogurt, on apple slices, or in your morning oatmeal and start seeing results—stat!
Eat This! Because it’s: A fermented food that’s teeming with gut-healthy probiotics
Tighten up your bod and boost your confidence by grabbing a bottle of kefir. Although this smoothie-like drink resides next to yogurt, it won’t cause the same stomach-irritating effects as the lactose-carrying dairy product does. In fact, it can actually counteract them! Ohio State University researchers found that drinking kefir can reduce bloating and gas brought on by lactose consumption by 70 percent! Some of these magical debloating abilities come from the fact that kefir is a fermented food, which has high levels of probiotics that improve digestive health and, over time, prevent bloat.
Eat This! Because it’s: A natural detoxifier
We’re definitely not on board with those food-free, detoxifying juice cleanses to get ready for showing off a little more skin, adding some naturally-detoxifying beets to your plate is a strategy we can get behind. These jewel-toned roots contain a type of antioxidant called betalains that help repair and regenerate cells in the liver, the body’s primary detox center. If you’ve been boozing to stay warm (no judgment, hot toddies are delicious), your liver may be feeling overworked. Beets will give it a bit of support so you’re ready for that beach party when summer hits.
Eat This! Because: Its carotenoids will improve your skin complexion
After your winter-long hibernation leaves you looking a bit pasty, we can certainly understand your lack of enthusiasm to jump into a swimsuit. Rather than getting a fake tan, cook up some sweet potatoes. You’ll get a sun-kissed complexion from the carotenoids, an organic pigment that gives the spuds their orange color. This antioxidant also helps to stabilize blood-sugar levels and lower insulin resistance, which prevents calories from being converted into fat. What’s more, sweet potatoes’ high vitamin profile (including A, C, and B6) give you more energy to burn at the gym.
Eat This! Because it: Clears out your fat cells
Adding a cup of green tea to your daily regimen can help fire your fat furnace by controlling blood sugar and quashing hunger. In a Swedish study that looked at green tea’s effect on hunger, tea-sippers reported less of a desire to eat their favorite foods than those who didn’t drink the green elixir. In another study, participants who combined a daily habit of 4 to 5 cups of green tea each day with a 25-minute sweat session lost an average of two more pounds than the non-tea-drinking exercisers. It’s all thanks to the powerful and unique catechins found in green tea — antioxidants that blast adipose tissue by triggering the release of fat from fat cells (especially in the belly), and then speeding up the liver’s capacity for turning that fat into energy. Make the most of the benefits from tea with The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse! Test panelists lost up to 10 pounds in one week!
Eat This! Because it: Keeps you hydrated
When people are trying to get rid of their problem areas, the belly always seems to be number 1. Contrary to what many might think, water won’t make your bloating worse, it’s actually necessary to keep your metabolism functioning optimally. Since water retention is the body’s way of holding onto fluid so it doesn’t dehydrate, the opposite is true. Drinking lots of water (and skipping dehydrating booze) signals the body that it no longer needs to hold onto every last drop to stay hydrated. For even more of a kick, add a lemon to your glass. Limonene, an antioxidant in lemon peel, helps flush toxins from the body and gives sluggish bowels a kick, flushing fat from your system to keep your tummy toned and tight. And don’t miss our favorite 50 Best Detox Waters for Fat Burning and Weight Loss.
Eat This! Because it: Is a nutrient-dense source of fiber
Keep that doctor away! Eating an apple each day can help prevent metabolic syndrome, a disorder associated with abdominal fat, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. They’ll keep the doctor away and your muffin tops at bay because apples are a low-calorie, nutrient dense source of fiber, which studies have proven to be integral to reducing visceral fat. In fact, according to a study published in Diabetologia, the higher your fiber intake, the lower your BMI and your chance of Type II diabetes. Need we say more?
Eat This! Because it: Has anti-inflammatory omega-3s and lean protein
Fatty salmon that is rich in omega-3s helps fight inflammation while the high-quality lean protein content fights excess fat accumulation. Even better, this delicious fish will help your skin bounce back after a hot day under those UV rays. Loading your plate with a serving of salmon twice a week will not only keep your heart healthy and waistline trim, but your skin will be glowing from head to toe from all the healthy fats. Not all fish have the same flat-belly benefits, read more from our exclusive report, Every Popular Fish—Ranked for Nutritional Benefits!.
Eat This! Because it: Provides you with calcium, a dairy free alternative and loads of muscle-building magnesium
If you’re looking to get your body bikini-ready in a jiffy, you’ll have to cut the cow milk. Dairy can be very bothersome to the belly because many adults naturally produce less of the necessary digestive enzyme lactase as we get older. Rather than ban that refreshing iced coffee altogether, add some almond milk. Like milk, almonds are high in calcium, which can help the body burn more—and store less—fat. They’re also a great source of magnesium, a mineral that’s involved in muscle and nerve function as well as protein synthesis — which, in turn, increases lean muscle mass. According to researchers, magnesium intake helps boost lipolysis, a process by which your body releases fat from its stores. It’s not just almonds, check out these Best Foods To Eat For Magnesium.
Eat This! Because it: Burns fat while reducing appetite
You don’t have to completely overhaul your diet to get in bikini body shape, simply eat half a grapefruit before each meal. This tactic can help whittle your middle—by up to an inch—in just six weeks, according to a study published in the journal Metabolism. The scientists attribute the powerful effects of the grapefruit’s fat-zapping phytochemicals. But that’s not all! Another study conducted by Japanese researchers found that the scent of grapefruit can “turn on” calorie-burning brown fat cells, enhancing the breakdown of fat while reducing appetite.
Eat This! Because it: Boosts your metabolism to help you lose unwanted pounds
Just because you’re trying to tone up doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in a burger once in awhile. When you do, just be sure to leave the mayo in the fridge and grab some mustard. Thanks to the capsaicin and phytochemicals that give the mustard its characteristic flavor, eating just one teaspoon of the stuff—for just 5 calories—can boost your calorie-burning furnace by up to 25 percent for several hours after you consume it, according to Oxford Polytechnic Institute researchers. That means avoiding anything that’s neon yellow or honey-based. Our go-to is Grey Poupon Classic Dijon.
Eat This! Because it: Protects your skin from UV rays
As the weather gets warmer, the sun’s UV rays get stronger. Although it’s important to protect your skin year round, it’s even more crucial to do so when you’re about to be laying out by the pool. Consuming foods high in antioxidants, like lycopene-rich tomatoes, will help ward off skin damage from the inside out. If you’re just looking for a quick snack, pop some cherry tomatoes in your mouth—they contain the highest amount of lycopene compared to other tomatoes—but for even more skin-protecting power, be sure to cook the red fruits. Cooking tomatoes actually increase their concentration of lycopene, so add some tomato paste to sauces or omelets or whip up a batch of marinara sauce for cauliflower pizza!
Apple Cider Vinegar
Eat This! Because it: Quiets your hunger hormones and torches belly fat
Studies show acidic foods help increase the rate at which the body burns off carbs by up to 40 percent! And the faster you burn off carbs, the sooner your body starts incinerating fat, so you can fit into that suit you bought. Apple cider vinegar, in particular, is composed mostly of acetic acid, which has been shown to delay gastric emptying and slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream. Research published in the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology, Biochemistry found that a small pool of study participants given ACV over a 12-week period lost more weight, body fat and inches from their middle than participants that were given a placebo. How does it work? Besides maintaining stable blood sugar levels, ACV produces proteins inside the body that burn fat.
Eat This! Because it: Banishes bloat and eases digestion
Your love of processed, chemical-additive-laden foods—which cause inflammation, a puffy tummy, and a sluggish digestive system—certainly isn’t doing any wonders for your bikini body. There is a simple solution, however. You can wake up your innards by starting the morning with a cup of ginger tea. According to numerous studies, ginger, traditionally used to ease stomach pain, blocks several genes and enzymes in the body that promote bloat-causing inflammation. This drink will help improve the digestion and elimination of your food and cut unhealthy cravings for salt or sugar. Boil 1/2 tsp grated ginger with 1 cup of water and pour into a cup with your favorite tea bag.
Eat This! Because: Protein helps you burn calories, incinerate fat, build muscle, and keep you fuller longer: a quadruple-threat
In order to get in the best bikini body shape, it’s not just about what you eat, it’s also about pumping the weights. Cardio and light weights torch fat and build lean muscle tissue that hungrily melt your problem areas. But you’ll need to feed your muscles in order to reap the benefits. Start your day off with a burst of protein. A high-protein start will prevent surprise mid-morning or early afternoon energy crashes that leave us reaching for sugar, caffeine or a carbohydrate load for a quick boost. Supplementing your smoothie with protein powder is excellent for satiety, not to mention supporting the lean muscle that enables you to burn more fat. You’re best off with plant-based protein—whey, casein, and other dairy-based powders can cause bloating. Read up on our Best and Worst Protein Powders.
Eat This! Because it: Helps you rest and recover
Sleep is a huge part of making any diet and exercise plan work, as it allows your body to process and recover from all the sweat and breakdown of muscle. And cherries are the perfect fruit for the job. A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that people who drank just one ounce of tart cherry juice a day reported that they slept longer and more soundly than those who didn’t. What’s going on? Cherries act as a natural sleep aid thanks to their melatonin content, a hormone that helps control your sleep cycle. So enjoy a cup of cherries for dessert—they’ll help you maintain your toned physique by replacing less virtuous desserts and moving along your snooze process. Having trouble sleeping? Try changing up your schedule and check out these 7 Habits of Highly Rested People.
Eat This! Because it: Decreases both inflammation and reliance on bloat-inducing salt
Cutting out extra sodium is a must to obtain your best bikini body. The mineral causes water to move from your bloodstream into your skin, which is why a dose of cheese puffs with give you a puffy look. Instead of seasoning with salt, try seasoning meals with other herbs and spices. Turmeric, in particular, is one of the magical nutrients that’s been shown to work directly on our fat genes, turning off the specific genetic mechanism that’s responsible for inflammation and obesity.
Eat This! Because: It’s full of healthy fats that keep you satiated and shut off fat genes
A healthy snack can help keep you satisfied long enough to get you to your next meal. The perfect things to reach for when you need a quick, nutrient-packed meal on the go, at your start your day, or if you find yourself swamped in the middle of a hectic one, are walnuts! Healthy fats like the polyunsaturated fats found in walnuts activate genes that reduce fat storage and improve insulin metabolism. At about 13 grams per one-ounce serving, walnuts are one of the best dietary sources.
Eat This! Because: The vitamin C helps to minimize stress and boost immunity
You exercise and eat right, but you can’t seem to get rid of that stubborn bit of flab above your belt—and it’s your biggest birthday suit insecurity. Since you’re doing everything else right, the trouble may lie in your day-to-day stresses. If your job is really demanding and you’re constantly super-stressed, your cortisol levels are likely sky-high, which encourages the body to store fat around your midsection. While you likely can’t up and quit your job, you can add some vitamin C-rich foods to your diet. Studies show that in addition to immune-boosting benefits related to the common cold, vitamin C helps reduce both the physical and psychological effects of stress on people. And red peppers serve up nearly two days’ worth of the nutrient in every cup.
Eat This! Because it’s: Good for a healthy gut and reduces inflammation
If your bikini body diet has you missing out on the indulgences in life, look no further than dark chocolate. A study at Louisiana State University found that gut microbes in our stomach ferment chocolate and boost our body’s production of gut-healthy polyphenolic compounds, including butyrate, a fatty acid that encourages the body to burn fat as fuel and turns off genes linked to inflammation. (Add fruit to the chocolate to boost fermentation and the release of the compounds.) Make sure you go with chocolate that has a cacao content of 70 percent or above—these have the highest concentrations of antioxidant polyphenols.
Eat This! Because it’s: A natural diuretic that keeps your tummy flat
Dandelion greens—one of our favorite Spring Foods To Help Shed Your Winter Weight—are great for when you’re feeling “flat belly-focused weeks.” They’re gentle diuretics that blast excess weight by helping your body get rid of extra fluids. These bitter-sweet spring greens are bursting with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. A recent study found that steaming the greens increased their total antioxidant properties by 67 percent. And studies have found that this plant is protective against obesity as well as depression, fatigue, immune system problems, and even cancer.
Eat This! Because it’s: A nutrient-dense alternative to refined carbs
On your slim-down mission, it’s important to limit your intake of refined carbs and turn towards the more wholesome options whenever possible. Lisa Moskovitz, R.D. explains that you should “think fiber when choosing your carbohydrates, as it helps regulate digestion while keeping energy levels stable.” Pick grains like quinoa over white pasta. Not only is quinoa high in fiber, it’s also a complete protein so it contains essential amino acids like lysine—the branched amino acid (BCAA) that burns fat, builds muscle, and maintains healthy bones and skin. On top of that, a study published in the journal Food Chemistry found quinoa has the highest level of betaine, a chemical that revs your metabolism and actually shuts down the genes that encourage fat to hang around.
Eat This! Because it: Contains a fatty acid that promotes fat loss and is a high source of iron
Although all lean proteins can boost satiety and help people eat less at subsequent meals, grass-fed beef is a fat-burning all-star because it’s packed with a type of healthy fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA has been shown to promote fat loss, decrease body fat and reduce cholesterol levels, making it a must-eat for anyone looking to sculpt a lean summer bod. It’s also provides around 33 percent of your DV of iron—deficiencies of which have been linked to a significant increase in fat gene expression.
Eat This! Because: Its vitamin D boosts your immunity and aids in increasing muscle strength
Studies suggest that vitamin D aids in increasing muscle strength as well as in boosting your immunity. That’s because the sunshine vitamin—so named because the sun produces D upon skin contact—is actually a hormone that triggers the response of your immune cells. The more you get sick, the less you feel like exercising, the more susceptible you are to reaching for those “feel-good” foods, and the more delayed you’ll be in reaching your beach body goals. Just 3 ounces of mackerel provides you with 65 percent of your DV of D!
Eat This! Because it’s: Full of flat-belly nutrients and fills you up
We’re not talking about commercially prepared soups that have added sugar, salt, or other unsavory ingredients that will mess up your middle. Rather, opt for chunky soups like minestrone, which are higher in fiber. According to a study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, researchers found that soups provided the most satiety compared to liquids and solids with the same calorie content. The researchers explained that several factors can play a role—for one, soups generally have more macronutrients variety (a mix of protein and carbs) than most drinks and shakes typically do. And they also suggested that our brains play a role, too: We interpret soup as a meal, so our brains tell us that we’re supposed to feel full after we eat them.
Eat This! Because it: Fills you up without filling you out
While eating something that can give you gas to slim down for swim season may sound counterintuitive, it’s actually a solid strategy. In one four-week study, researchers found that study participants who ate a calorie-restricted diet that included four weekly servings of legumes lost more weight than those on a calorie-equivalent diet that didn’t include beans—likely due to the legume’s high fiber content. To reap the benefits at home, prioritize adding lentils to your diet. These pulses are high in iron to keep your body working at its best—an iron deficiency, which occurs in 1 in 5 women, can keep your body from burning calories as optimally. Check them out in these 25 Recipes and Ideas For Pulses.
Eat This! Because it: Lessens IBS symptoms
If you have sluggish bowels or suffer from chronic constipation, you may be sporting a bit of a belly. While you’ve likely heard that adding fiber to your diet may be helpful, you may not know that few sources of the nutrient are as effective as kiwi. Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) who ate two kiwis a day for a month had less constipation and a general lessening of IBS symptoms than those who didn’t in a study conducted by researchers in Pacific Asia. Add the powerful fruit to your oatmeal, throw it into smoothies or combine it with other fruits in a light, refreshing salad.
Eat This! Because it: Increases blood flow to your muscles and reduces inflammation
Berries are packed with antioxidants that will help burn fat—and prevent it from forming—as well as boost your workout benefits by improving blood flow to your muscles. These red fruits stand alone as the single best source of insoluble fiber. A cup of the little ruby jewels has 8 grams of satiating fiber, compared to less than 3 grams in the same amount of strawberries. Insoluble fiber helps feed the healthy bacteria in your gut, triggering the production of a fatty acid that reduces fat-causing inflammation throughout your body. And in a Canadian study, researchers discovered that those whose diets were supplemented with insoluble fiber had higher levels of ghrelin—a hormone that controls hunger.
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Eat This! Because it: Stops formation of new fat cells
We’ve finally discovered what Victoria’s secret is to looking so amazing in those racy bedroom get-ups—and now you can get it, too! It’s ground pepper! Piperine, the compound that gives pepper its distinct taste, stops the formation of new fat cells. Who would have thought? Sprinkle some of the spice on your morning omelet, into your afternoon soup or salad and into your dinner dishes for a fat-fighting punch of flavor.
Eat This! Because it: Full of satiating lean protein and fat-burning choline
Breakfast is no longer considered a nutritional make-or-break, but waking up to a protein-rich meal can set your fat-burning pace for your entire day. In a study of 21 men published in the journal Nutrition Research, half were fed a breakfast of bagels while half ate eggs. The egg group was observed to have a lower response to ghrelin, was less hungry three hours later and consumed fewer calories for the next 24 hours! Bonus: Egg yolks contain choline, a nutrient with powerful fat-burning properties.
Eat This! Because it: Helps break down protein to ease digestion and banish bloat
Pineapple contains potassium—an important part of any anti-bloat diet—but it also contains bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme that aids in the digestion of proteins as well as decreases inflammation. While all parts of the pineapple contain this magical compound, most of the bromelain in pineapple is in the stem. Because the stem is a little on the tough side, you can blend or juice the core with the sweeter flesh to reap the bloat-beating benefits. Try it in our Pina Colada Smoothie, it’s one of our 15 Healthy, 5-Ingredient Breakfast Ideas.
Eat This! Because it: Scorches belly flab
Yet another reason to love avocados? Their oil will help you get rid of flab—in all the right places. Penn State University researchers say consuming about three tablespoons of an oleic acid-rich fat—like avocado oil—can burn abdominal flab, fast—likely because of its satiating effects. After just four weeks, the UPenn study participants who consumed this type of oil decreased their belly fat by 1.6 percent!
Eat This! Because it: Is a powerful appetite suppressant
You know consuming fewer calories can help you slim down, but if you’re perpetually hungry, cutting back can be a challenge. Add some spinach to your plate to ward off hunger naturally. The green’s membranes contain a powerful appetite suppressing compounds called thylakoids. Plus, a cup of spinach is super low-cal. But because raw spinach can sometimes cause bloating and gas due to its high fiber content, cook your spinach before delving in. Cooking breaks down the spinach’s fibers, which may help your body process them easier and reduces your bloating.
Eat This! Because it: Reduces the appearance of cellulite and acts as a natural detoxifier
Not only will this “South-of-the-border” herb be a reminder of your upcoming beach vacay, it’ll also prep your body for it. Research shows that cilantro’s unique blend of oils work like over-the-counter meds to relax digestive muscles and alleviate an “overactive” gut, helping you beat bloat. As an added benefit, cilantro promotes detoxification by helping to remove heavy metals from the body that tend to hide in fat cells. These heavy metals can disrupt normal tissue function and, as a result, prevent your body from healing and functioning properly. By reducing overall toxins in your body, you can get rid of excess stored fat, which can help lessen the appearance of dreaded cellulite.
Eat This! Because: Via its resistant starches, it promotes fat oxidation, reduces abdominal fat and sends a message to your brain that you’re full
After you roast ’em, throw those potatoes in the fridge! Eating your potatoes warm means you’re missing out on the spud’s super fat-fighting powers. When potatoes are cooked and then cooled, their digestible starches turn into resistant starches. As the name implies, the body has to work harder in trying to process the resistant starch—which it can’t—so it passes through the small intestine undigested. This promotes fat oxidation, reduces abdominal fat, and delays hunger pangs, setting you up to be a fitter, slimmer you.
Get the New Book!
Want to lose 10, 20, even 30 pounds—all without dieting?! Get your copy of Eat This, Not That: The Best (& Worst) Foods in America!, and learn how to indulge smarter and lose weight fast!
We all have days when we don’t want to put on that bikini… we look at it hanging there and think, “just a few more days and I’ll feel better!” This can depend on a lot of things… sodium filled foods, traveling or that time of the month (okay, yeah, the main culprit), but bloating is just a part of being a woman and there are definitely a few tips to keep in mind that will help you look your absolute best come beach trips and poolside days!
Yesterday we shared one of our TOP midline toning secrets: FULL body workouts like your NEW Crop Top Routine are one of the best things you can do to increase your metabolism and tone up all over. And in addition to following your Tone It Up Nutrition Plan, these little tricks below will give you that extra edge:
Focus on these tips for 1-3 days before you put on that bikini, and you’ll be strutting down the beach with confidence. If you have a few more days beforehand, we recommend doing the 5 or 7 Day Slim Down. If you’re not a member of our Tone It Up Nutrition Program, now is the perfect time to join! You’ll immediately receive both Slimdowns as part of your membership.
Here are a few tips & tricks to avoid bloating and rock that favorite outfit with confidence:
1. Avoid high sodium foods. If you know you have a pool party or beach day coming up, ease up on conventional dressings and high sodium condiments like soy sauce and ketchup. Extra sodium can cause water retention that can make you look less lean. Even if it’s a healthy recipe, pay attention to sodium content and how much salt you’re adding to your salads and veggies. Don’t avoid it completely though—you need salt! Just be a little more aware.
Need a quick fix? Potassium rich foods help balance out sodium levels, helping you get back to normal if you’ve accidentally had a little too much salt. A banana or some coconut water is great fix. Have you seen your NEW Perfect Fit Organic Coconut Hydration Mix!? This newly created addition to the Perfect Fit Family comes in easy, on-the-go packets that make it ideal to keep in your purse.
2. Eat slowly and savor your meals! If you usually have lunch on-the-go or in a hurry, think of summer as a time to linger and enjoy every bite. Eating too fast can cause bloating because you aren’t chewing your food well.
3. Eat Anti-bloating foods. Ginger, Peppermint, Lemon, & Asparagus! These foods have all be shown to help your body naturally get rid of bloat. If you’ve had a salty meal or just want a little extra help before you put on that bikini try these…
♥ Add a squeeze of lemon to your water all day long. This is actually super beneficial for many reasons. Beach Babes love keepin’ it zesty 😉 This tip is part of our top Slim, Toned & Sexy Secrets. See them all here!
♥ Sip on peppermint tea the night before.
♥ Add a little spiciness to your homemade juice and throw a piece of ginger into the mix! It tastes great with veggie based juices.
♥ If it’s grillin’ time, throw some asparagus on the BBQ. Asparagus has been shown to be a natural diuretic that will help you get rid of excess water weight, stat!
Now if you really want that WOW factor, we recommend the 5 Day or 7 Day Slimdown from your Tone It Up Nutrition Plan. This is the exact program Katrina & I use before photo shoots and vacations to look our absolute best…and maintain it! Learn more about the Tone It Up Nutrition Program and join here!Share your bikini ready tips with us and the team on Instagram, Twitter and on the Community with the hashtag #TIUJuly.
Join the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan today and you’ll immediately receive both your 5 Day and 7 Day Slimdown along with all the recipes & the maintenance plan. You’re going to LOVE it!
Now is the perfect time to reach your health and fitness goals. See the amazing transformations below!
Helpful Tips To Achieve Your Fitness Goals
With summertime only a short six months away it is never too early to start getting your body ready for the bikini season. By taking the proper steps now you can enjoy your summer knowing that you’ll be able to rock any bikini you slip into. Here is what you need to do:
1. Change Your Eating Habits
The first thing you need to do to get your body ready is switch eating habits. Though three meals a day is the typical pattern most people follow, a better way to achieve a bikini-ready body is to eat smaller meals more frequently. This works to put your metabolism into high gear, which will help you burn the fat off just in time for bikini season. The key to making this happen is to consume foods containing healthy fats, protein and the complex carbohydrates your body needs. To trick yourself into thinking you are eating more than you are, use a smaller plate than you would normally use for a full meal.
2. Stay On Track with Meal Prep
Rather than randomly choosing what you will eat, it is much more effective to plan your meal schedule on a weekly basis. Once you have devise a meal plan that is healthy but still appeals to you head to your local farmer’s market for the ingredients you’ll need. The fresher the fruits and vegetables you consume are the sooner your body will be ready for the summer.
3. Knock Out Your Workout
Many people find it difficult to fit a daily workout routine into their schedule but this is an essential part of getting your body bikini-ready. The easiest and most effective way to incorporate your daily workouts is to do them when you get up in the morning. The reason for this is what when you work out in the morning you burn unwanted fat as opposed to burning carbohydrates, which comes with exercise later in the day.
When you do your morning workout before breakfast you are burning the fat stored in your body because while you are sleeping your body was processing the carbs. You’ll want to engage in exercises that are short but highly intense.
4. Never Skip Breakfast
Once your morning workout is completed it is essential that you eat a healthy breakfast. Though many women hesitate to eat right after exercising, you should because it will prevent you from eating more food than you should throughout the rest of the day. Whatever your healthy breakfast consists of, make sure you drink water as opposed to anything sugary. Drinking water will also help give your metabolism a boost and you will find it easier to lose that unwanted body fat that will get in the way when bikini season kicks off. When you drink cold water it burns more calories in your body because your body works to heat up the water.
When you are strutting around in your bikini this summer, make it a point to stand tall and keep your head up. This will automatically give you the lean look you want when you slip into your favorite bikini.
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For many, the thought of trading in their traditional one piece swimsuit for a bikini seems ludicrous. And, for others, there is no other way to go to the beach on a sunny summer day. Either way, whether it’s your first foray into the lovely land of two pieces, or you’re a cheeky suit pro, you always want to look your best.
We’ve compiled a lengthy list of tips for how to look good in a bikini, ranging from quick diet adjustments to upping your fashion game to body posture and sitting technique. At its core, we provide some thoughts on how to make sure you’re picking the best bikini for your body.
How to Look Good in a Bikini
1. Cut Down on Carbs
Carbohydrates get a bad rap these days, but they are one of the (many) things you can eat that cause you to bloat. Cut back on these, starting several days before you’re set to hit the beach or pool in your bikini.
2. Limit Salty Foods
Similar to carbs, salty foods cause you to retain water and bloat up. Skip the potato chips when you’re getting ready to put your bikini on, and opt for something that doesn’t contain all the salt.
Processed foods are perhaps the biggest culprit here. Try cooking your own food, and you’ll instantly cut back on what eating out or frozen meals offer in terms of salt. Summertime is a perfect time to cook food on the grill, and this can be a way to cut down on the grease and salt.
3. Try Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has been shown to increase your rate of burning calories. While you’re probably not going to drop a bunch of pounds overnight, adding coconut oil to your diet as you lead up to summer is a great idea.
4. Reduce Bloat Through Diet
Don’t stop at just reducing the bad foods, but also add in the good ones. Vegetables like cooked broccoli, asparagus, celery, and spinach are diuretics and reduce bloat. In addition, they help to fill you up, keeping your mind off of other options that can do some damage to your bikini body.
5. Drink Lots of Water
Drinking lots of water has quite a few benefits, some of which include helping your skin to shine and preventing water retention. Both of these elements for setting your figure to look its best.
Water will also serve you well while you’re out in the sun, keeping you hydrated and able to stay outside for a longer period of time.
As much as week before you don your two piece, get your skin ready for shaving by exfoliating. Doing this before you shave helps to keep your skin healthy by removing the dead portions before you get to work on your trim. It’s a simple as using a loofah with body wash in the shower.
7. Shave Your Bikini Line
Putting on a bikini requires more than your average leg shave job, at least for most ladies. The bikini line isn’t necessarily easy going either, but it’s a necessary part of wearing this style of suit.
Make sure you shave this area several days beforehand to give the area time to settle down from the process. Take your time – there is no need to rush it. Don’t use a cheap razor for this – its worth investing in a nice female shaver to get the job done right.
8. Soak Your Feet
Your feet are a bigger part of looking your best on the beach than you think. Several days before hitting the sand, soak your feet in equal parts warm milk and water. The milk has lactic acid that help to break down the dead skin on your feet.
9. Spray Tan
Sure, you don’t have to do this, and there are a lot of reasons not to. But, a spray tan will give you an even look throughout your body that really helps amplify how great your look in a bikini. This style of swimsuit leaves a lot of skin showing, and a spray tan helps to even things out.
You don’t have to darken yourself to the likes a Brazilian at the end of summer. Your focus should just be to have an even and consistent look across your whole body.
10. Pick the Right Suit
This topic deserves an entire article, but suffice to say, picking the right style of two piece will go a long way in looking your best. Larger busted women should pick a bikini that provides ample support up top, while a smaller chested woman can go with a sportier bikini.
Curvier women might do well to pick up a trendy high waisted bikini, while skinnier ladies might want to go for something strappy. If you don’t have any natural curves, look for bikinis that have high leg cuts and lots of color in the design.
If you want a little bit of oomph, there are a lot of great two pieces that push up your breasts a bit. And, on the other side of the spectrum, don’t think you have to avoid the bikini if you’re a new mother!
Don’t settle for anything less that what you look best in. Nowadays, there are a variety of cheap bikinis to fit women in all shapes and sizes.
11. Work Your Arms
Believe it or not, working out your arms is one great way to look good in a bikini. The goal here is not to get buff, but just provide some toning, especially leading up to summer time. Tone arms help to accentuate your look in a bikini.
Push ups are easy to do, don’t require any equipment, and provide pretty instant results. You don’t need to make any trips to the gym or carve out hours with a personal trainer – just drop down and bust out a set.
Alternatively, if you have a set of dumbbells, you can easily do some arm curls and other related workouts.
12. Work Your Abs
Similar to push ups, sit ups are similar but work on your abs. And let’s be honest ladies, the stomach is probably the most sensitive area on our bodies, and it’s what is front and center when we adorn ourselves in the infamous two piece.
Sit ups, or their modified cousin the crunch, help to work your ab muscles and provide some tone and definition. Similar to push ups, it only takes a minute to crank a set out.
13. Eat Small Portions
Day of, you’ll benefit from cutting back on your portion sizes. Eat a healthy breakfast, but don’t overeat. Focus on foods that are high in protein and lean in fat. You don’t want to starve yourself at all, but think portion control.
The stomach has to stretch when we put too much in it, and that is exactly the opposite of what we want happening on beach day., regardless of the type of bikini bottoms you’re wearing.
14. Wear the Right Makeup
Often forgotten when talking about developing your best bikini body, makeup compliments perhaps your most beautiful feature: your face.
Keep in mind your not going out for a night on the town – you’re headed outdoors for a day of sweating in the sun.
Understated makeup is best, but focus on adding definition around your eyes.
If you’ll be frolicking in the waves in your suit or practicing cannon balls off the diving board, make sure you use waterproof makeup!
15. Add Bra Inserts
Whether you’ve picked the right suit or not, sometimes your pair need a boost. From bra inserts to pasties, there are a lot of options that you can use to add a little bit more size and shape to your bikini boobs.
If you think you’ll be doing this frequently, there are bathing suits that have inserts built into them. This is one of the simplest techniques to make your boobs look a little bigger.
16. Wear a Cover Up
If you’re nervous about donning a two piece this summer, this is a great go-between. A cover up is generally a thinner, breathable material, or even opaque, and sits over top of your chest area. It can cover more than that, but those are the basics.
Adding a cover up allows you to lean into those moments when you have some self-doubt sitting on the beach. Don’t let those times stop you – a cover up might be just the way for you to ease into rocking the bikini.
17. Wear a Sarong
Similar to a cover up, a sarong does the same thing but sits over your waist. In essence, follow the same logic here as you would for a cover up.
How to apply these two pieces of clothing? Find the area of your body that is mentally blocking you from enjoying a bikini, and pair it with one of these.
Sarongs can also be good for a bikini that is made from certain materials. Sometimes, a two piece can look great until you start to sweat, for example. Just like men have to be concerned with their underwear in hot weather, a sarong can be a great cover up for a bikini that shows just a bit too much as the day wears on.
18. Wear Stacked Sandals
Stacked sandals work great for lounging by the pool, and they do double duty by upping your fashion. In addition, they help accentuate your legs and elongate your body, which bolsters your bikini look.
You might not be able to pull these off in deep sand at the beach, but these sandals are the perfect compliment to a two piece outfit.
19. Tape Your Boobs
Depending on the type of boobs you have, adding some tape might be the perfect solution to giving your breasts the added perk and support they need.
If you’ve ever considered wearing a bra with your bikini, tape is a great alternative that will help keep your boobs in place. Active summer-goers will appreciate this technique, and you can worry (a little less) about a boob or two popping out of your bikini.
The technique for taping your breasts isn’t that hard. Just make sure you use waterproof tape if you plan on getting in the water.
Big or small chested, boob tape works wonders to give you a little more lift and shape to your breasts.
20. Use Good Lotion
Bikinis show a lot of skin, so it’s good form to make sure that skin is look its best! Don’t cheap out on the lotion before you head out to the beach – the sun, sand, and salt water combine to make a rough combination for your skin.
Instead, lotion up in the days leading up to heading out in your two piece. Bonus points for using a lotion that includes a bronzer, which will give you a little boost of added color and warmth.
One great way to stand out in your bikini is to add some accessories. A necklace, earrings, bracelet – frankly speaking, any type of jewelry will do the trick.
Another few ideas: jean shorts, headbands, or a kimono. At a ritzier, pool-side party, you might even be able to pull up high heels.
A lot of women forget to accessorize their bikini outfits, and this can be a great way to look your best.
22. Add a Straw Hat
Cute and fun, a straw hat functions as a way to keep the sun out of your eyes and hair out of your face. In reality, though, it adds a nice fashionable touch that says “hey I’m approachable, laidback, and cute.” And let’s face it – that’s a great vibe to put off when you’re on a beach!
Hats in general are a great asset on the beach, as they can help you deal with all the hair problems that come with salty water and air.
23. Stand Tall
Enough with the outfit help – how about some good old fashioned posture technique? Yes, its true, standing up straight will naturally accentuate your body for the better.
No matter what body type you have, you’ll benefit from consciously focusing on standing up straight and tall throughout the day.
Standing straight and tall pulls everything up. While the results aren’t dramatic, this can be a great way to get a little more lift out of smaller breasts.
24. Sit With Knees Up
Ladies, this one position might change your mind about wearing a bikini this summer. Whenever you sit, bend your knees up toward your chest, making a V with your legs. Whether you want to lean forward and put your hands around your knees, or lean back with your hands on the ground – either is fine.
This position is fantastic for a number of reasons. For starters, it slims out your legs and minimizes any leg fat you might have. It also adds some gorgeous curves to your figure. Finally, it draws the eyes toward your upper body.
Careful, you might draw the looks of some passing gentlemen with this relaxing beach pose.
25. Dig Into the Sand
Use the soft sand to your advantage – when you sit down, dig your booty into the sand a bit and let it absorb a little bit of your butt. You’ll instantly look smaller and lose a few pounds in the trunk.
26. Choose the Right Color
This is essential for both slimming and enhancing your problem areas. If you’re trying to enhance your chest or butt, light colors will do the trick. White is always a subtle choice, although if you want those areas to stand out, try bright colors like yellow or neon pink.
On the other hand, if you’re trying to slim down parts of your body, dark colors will work best. Black is basic. Try dark blues and purples. Chocolate brown is another color that looks great on all skin tones.
27. Cover Stretch Marks
Everyone has stretch marks. Some are less noticeable than others. If you feel insecure about yours, you can choose a bikini bottom with thicker straps or you can cover stretch marks with body jewelry.
28. Cover Cellulite
Just like stretch marks, pretty much everyone has some amount of cellulite. If you’re uncomfortable about it, pick a bikini bottom with full coverage.
Cellulite on the back of your thighs is also common. You can always tie a scarf around your waist or wear shorts to hide it.
29. Wear a High-Waisted Bottom
High-waisted bikini bottoms are trendy for so many reasons. A high-waisted bottom can shape your figure and make your butt appear larger.
If you have extra fat in your midsection or if you have love handles, a high-waisted bottom can push those areas towards your hips. This gives the appearance of bigger hips and a smaller waist.
30. Style Your Hair
Styling your hair can bring attention to your face rather than to your body. Keep your hair down and add extensions to make your hair longer. Long hair can be a simple cover up to your bikini.
31. Oil Your Skin
Applying oil to your skin can give it a natural shine, especially under the glistening sun. Oil is great for your skin and also works as a moisturizer. Make sure to apply the oil after you’ve put on your swimsuit to prevent any oil spots.
32. Use Body Makeup
Body makeup can be a great way to cover any type of marks you’re uncomfortable with. There are brands that are waterproof, which makes them perfect for the beach.
You can try a body bronzer or simply a foundation that will cover scars, acne, bumps, bruises and more.
33. Buy Maternity Bikinis
Maternity bikinis aren’t just for pregnant women. If you’re looking for a good suit with tummy control, you can find some good ones in the maternity section.
Not all maternity bikinis are for heavily pregnant women. There are some suits for early pregnancy. These can work even if you only have a little unwanted belly fat.
34. Use Sunblock
You should always consider using sunblock while under the sun, regardless of where you are. However, not using sunblock while you’re at the beach in a bikini can result in some pretty unattractive burns.
Keep sunblock with you at the beach and reapply as needed. Red burnt skin won’t look good on any bikini.
35. Wax Unwanted Hair
Some people can shave and not have any side effects. Other people are not so lucky. Waxing is a much better option when your skin comes in contact with saltwater.
Shaving, especially on the bikini line, can leave razor bumps. Not only that, once you enter the saltwater that razor burn can get worse. If you can handle the pain of waxing, you’ll end up with a much better look and feel then you will with shaving.
Plus, you won’t have to worry about the hair growing back for a few weeks!
36. Add Coverage for Bigger Bust
Some women worry about how their large bust may look in a bikini top. Others may have a hard time finding a top that gives them enough support.
Women with a larger chest should stick to full coverage bikini tops. Halter tops are a good choice. Make sure the top fits well and is comfortable. Don’t try to flatten your chest, this can look unflattering.
37. Make Your Legs Look Longer
Any bikini bottom that is v-shaped will do this. High-waisted bottoms can maximize the effect. For longer legs, make sure your bikini sits above the waist or hip line. Thong bottoms will make your legs look longer from the back.
38. Create Curves
Creating curves is as simple as mismatching your bikini. Wearing a light color on top and a dark color on the bottom can give the appearance of a pear shape. Likewise, choosing a bikini with horizontal lines can add to the effect.
Wearing a suit with side cutouts can also create curves. This can give your waist a slimming look.
39. Carry a Beach Bag
You can carry a large beach bag to cover the areas you feel insecure about. There are plenty of cute designs and styles to choose from and you will need something to carry your belongings at the beach, after all.
40. Pick a Bikini with Lots of Lycra
There’s a reason lycra is popular in swimsuits. Lycra is a strong material that can push in areas with excess weight. You can check always the tag to see how much percentage of lycra is in the swimsuit before you decide to purchase.
41. Use an Epilator for Unwanted Hair
An epilator is a device that pulls each hair from the root. They aren’t as messy as using wax and you can use some of them in the shower. This is another way you can remove hair besides shaving. If you can stand the pain, the results are worth it.
42. Reduce Body Acne
Body acne can be an issue when wanting to wear a bikini. A lot of people think that acne cleansers only work on your face. Truth is, there are several acne cleansers for your body that you can use. You don’t have to deal with body acne.
43. Conceal Back Fat
Bikini tops can either conceal back fat or make it worse. If you already have some slight back fat, a thin strap on a bikini top can make it bulge out.
Wearing a thick bikini top can cover and hug your extra weight. Make sure not to purchase one that’s too small as this can push the weight onto your stomach or lower back.
44. Eat Smaller Portions of Food
A natural stomach is the size of a fist. If you eat fist-sized portions of food several times a day rather than larger amounts two or three times per day, your stomach won’t expand. This can help decrease that bloated look.
Although it’s better for you, you don’t have to make a habit of eating this way. You can, however, try this a day or two before you go out in your bikini to slim down your stomach.
45. Hide Big Arms
A lot of people see their big arms like a big problem. Wearing a swimsuit top with sleeves is not only stylish, it can also cover up your arms and make them look fit.
If you’d rather not wear a bikini top with sleeves, you can wear tops with plunging necklines or ones that have a lot of details. This will distract people from looking at your arms.
Wearing a bikini with thick straps that go across your shoulders can camouflage your arms from certain angles.
46. Camouflage Broad Shoulders
Thick straps on bikini tops work best for broad shoulders. Swimsuit tops that look like tank tops sit on the ends of your shoulders and make them appear rounder. Halter top styles may make your shoulders look broader.
Stay away from spaghetti straps or strapless tops. Although, you can always add accessories to your neck to divert the attention away from your shoulders.
47. Avoid Dairy
So many people are lactose intolerant and don’t know it. Dairy is a natural component of cow’s milk so it can be in a lot of other foods you’re consuming. You might not even be aware of it.
Lactose intolerant or not, eating large amounts of dairy can cause gas and bloating as well as discomfort, and nobody wants that when they’re trying to look good in a bikini.
If it’s very important that you look and feel your best while in a bikini, cut out dairy from your diet 2 days prior to when you plan on wearing your swimsuit. This will prevent the chance of bloating.
48. Stay Away From Busy Prints
Bikinis that have too much going on can add the appearance of rolls or lumps to your body. This can be patterns or bubble prints. If you’re trying to look slimmer in a bikini, stay away from any sort of prints. Solid colors are best when trying to look slimmer.
Vertical stripes can make you look taller and horizontal stripes can make you look thicker. However, if you aren’t looking for either of these effects, stay away from all patterned prints. All they do is add more to your body.
49. Choose Bottoms That Will Lift Your Bum
A lifted butt can make any bikini look great. When your bikini lifts your butt, it gives the appearance of a full and bigger bottom. This can affect the way your hips look as well. It can make your hips look bigger or fuller which can give the result of a smaller waist.
A full covered bottom will work best to lift your backside. Look for bottoms that lift the bum. These might have a thicker and longer waistband. This can help to tuck in tummy fat and push it down into your hips.
You can also look for panty shaped bikinis. These usually have thick waistbands and have enough coverage to lift your butt while still showing it off a little bit. It all depends on your preference.
50. Act How You Want to Look
Finally, act how you want to look. While this might sound like nothing more than a psychological trick, it works.
Instead of focusing on the negatives, spend your mental energy thinking about all of the positives in your body. Each girl is created unique and different, and a bikini can be as much of a confident booster as it can be a buzzkill.
Remind yourself how beautiful you are. And, if you need to, act that out, even at times you don’t feel that way.
Rock that bikini, and if you ever have any doubts about if you should have put it on, double down and rock it harder! Chances are, you’ll gain a new form of confidence, and you’ll be better able to push through the doubt.
How to Look Good in a Swimsuit When You’re Fat: No BS Guide
Can you look good in a swimsuit if you’re fat? Absolutely. When before, you can only sport and look good in a swimsuit if you have a fat, formidable confidence to defy stares, now you can, because brands are starting to realize that your size exists—a big, unexplored market ripe for the picking.
Thanks to social media—a new and improved media that takes real people’s opinions into consideration— brands are now starting to cater to plus size women. Plus size models now have a chance for a big break—something that has never happened before. And although the sizing is still pretty much shitty and the representation is still far from the true entirety of this diverse sizing, it’s a promising start, nevertheless.
So, with the old unwritten rule (saying only skinny ladies can wear swimsuits) ditched, is it really possible to look good in a swimsuit if you’re fat? Yes! In all certainty, yes!
But let’s be real here. You’re here because you want a no-bullshit guide on how to really look good in a swimsuit. That means I’m not gonna tell you to “wear what you want ’cause it’s your body“. Skinny or not, not all designs look good on every body type.
And note: True, plus sizes are starting to be recognized but that doesn’t mean beauty standard has changed overnight. The tips I’ll recommend here will still follow and try to achieve the standard beauty criteria: smaller tummy, shapely legs and arms, and camouflaged fats.
For if I suggest otherwise, who’d follow it? Deep inside us is the need to dress not just for ourselves but also for other people. It’s a fact we want to deny or even alter, but a fact nonetheless.
With that established, here’s a guide on how to look good in a swimsuit when you’re a plus size.
Know your body type and its “problem areas”
There are 6 main plus size body types: rectangle, triangle or pear, inverted triangle, apple or round, hourglass, and diamond. Each type has their weaknesses or their so-called “problem areas”. Problem areas are the part of your body that is the least flattering. If the standard beauty criteria are to be followed, you have to camouflage them so that:
- you can achieve a more flattering body proportion by downplaying the least flattering parts.
- you can highlight the parts of your body that you’re most proud of.
If you don’t know what body type you are, read this: Best Plus Size Swimsuits Based on Your Body Shape: A Detailed Guide.
This guide will help you determine in which body shape you belong, what your problem areas, your best features, and the best swimsuits that’ll look flattering on you.
Pay attention to your tummy
Every plus size lady, whatever body shape she has, will always have a bulging tummy issue. Therefore, in times when you aren’t sure what to buy, remember this one rule which you can never go wrong with: Look for cuts that mimic a slim waist.
A peplum tankini is a great example. It hugs the waist and flares at the bottom creating a contrast that slims down the waist.
Click here to view in Amazon.
You can also go with cutouts. The more exposed skin there is, the more daring the look is. Or you can go for mesh cutouts which exposes the skin yet leaves some to the imagination.
Click here to view in Amazon.
If you want more examples of the best tummy slimming swimsuits that mimic a slim waist for any plus size body type, read this: Best Slimming Swimsuits for Plus Size Women: Any Body Shape.
Invest in swimsuits with tummy control panels
Click here to view in Swimsuits For All.Click here to view in Swimsuits For All.
If you’re bored of wearing loose-fitting swim dresses but reluctant to sport a bikini due to your tummy, buy one with a tummy control panel. It shapes your waist, comfortably tucks in your tummy fats, and gets rid of that spilling fat effect that usually happens when a plus size lady wears a body-hugging swimsuit.
The good thing about most tummy control swimsuits is, they’re specifically made for plus size women so most of their designs and patterns are already slimming.
Read: Plus Size Bathing Suits with Tummy Control: Top Picks.
How to choose the right bra for your breasts size
If you have large breasts (cup D+), forget about creating more volume. Instead, aim for a more lift and sag-free look. Shop for bras that have proper boning, comfy underwire, and thin padding. Avoid thick padding at all cost. They’ll only weigh you down and are even worse when soaked.
If you have small breasts, don’t shy away from push-up bras with underwires as they will enhance your overall figure. Not all of them are uncomfortable, mind you.
If you want to invest in a comfortable, high-quality swimsuit bra, try Upbra. It’s a whopping $89.00 but it’s probably the push-up bra that pleased the most women in history when it comes to comfort.
In fact, the brand applied for a patent because it invented a unique mechanism quite different from a typical push-up bra—it allows the wearer to adjust her cleavage into four different levels.
But if you really don’t want to have anything to do with push-up bras, there’s another way to enhance your breasts. Wear tops with extra details like ruffles and frills.
Click here to view in Amazon.
You can also wear a printed top. If you do, pair it with a dark plain colored bottom to create contrast. This technique works well for women who have big hips as dark color de-emphasizes the hips while print enhances the bust.
Tame your bloating 2 days prior
Two days before your beach day, avoid foods that cause the stomach to balloon. You’ll be surprised at how much of it is your actual tummy and how much of is bloating. By avoiding (or at least minimizing) these foods for 2 days before your big day, you’re basically cutting your tummy size in half.
- processed carbs
- processed foods
Instead, you want to eat more:
- green veggies
- fresh fruits
- Fiber-rich foods (they facilitate the bowels).
I’m not saying you should deprive yourself of food, but rather, eat healthy, high-quality foods. There’s no alternative to this. Even the tummy control panel isn’t going to help much if you’re bloated due to crappy foods.
Slim down your arms and shoulders
To camouflage big arms and broad shoulders, look for a swimsuit with a plunging neckline. Not only does it elongate the torso but also draw the eyes in the middle and keep them there—meaning, away from your shoulders and arms. The deeper the plunge, the more slimming it is.
Click here to view in Amazon.
This is always perfect for women with small breasts. If you’re busty though, be careful. Only buy one with additional breast support like this one. The plunge is very deep but the mesh securely holds it together.
Click here to view in Amazon.
Vertical and diagonal lines are also great for slimming your body down for the same reason that it keeps the eyes in the middle, downplaying your arms and shoulders.
Click here to view in Amazon.
The contrast of black and white helps to emphasize that spliced diagonal effect making it even more slimming and flattering.
First, make sure you’re buying the right size. Second, avoid swimsuits with tiny multiple straps at the back as each strap will into dig into your skin and create individual folds, resulting in those flesh folds. You wanna shop for bathing suits with regular single straps on both shoulders. It also helps if they’re thick.
If you do have a back fat caused NOT by your swimsuit, look for one piece or bikini tops that cover the back.
Cellulite. You can hide it or you can flaunt it. If you want to hide it, go for tankinis and swim dresses with longer hemlines. That’s if you don’t mind ditching bikinis forever.
The thing with cellulite is, there’s no escaping it. Slim or fat, almost everyone has it. Heck, even Kim Kardashian has it. It would be a shame to ditch bikinis for bulky swim dresses just to cover it up.
I say we don’t need one more spot to hide. The tummy is quite enough, thankyouverymuch. The more women choose to show their cellulite, the more it’ll become a norm, and the more confident we can be about it. How about that?
Can you look good in a swimsuit if you’re fat?
Absolutely. But let’s be real here. If your criteria for looking good is looking skinny in a swimsuit, then the answer is no. The right swimsuit for your body type, in a degree, will slim you down, but it has limitations.
Looking good in a swimsuit isn’t entirely the same as looking skinny. Your self-esteem has a big part in it too, as well as the criteria you set for yourself. If you subconsciously compare your body with skinny models, for sure you’re gonna feel crappy.
This is why the inclusion of plus size models like Ashley Graham in the runway is a big, big step for plus size women to finally feel that they belong.
Messages like embrace your body sounds great and all. But with the obvious all-skinny-models-only walking the runway, is that even realistic?
If we, however, see more and more plus-size models representing plus size bodies in the runways and media, it’ll make shopping and dressing up a little less depressing for us. And hopefully, the sizing is gonna get better. Soon.
Designed by American Artist
Bo Derek in 1979’s 10. Pamela Anderson in 1992’s Baywatch. Kate Upton in 2014’s The Other Woman. Each time you see a woman jogging on a beach, there are two consistent realities: She is always in slow motion, and she is invariably slim. The former is hilarious, while the latter is more harmful. Presenting any body as the only type of body that’s attractive is dangerous.
The “bikini body” in particular is an oppressive concept that seeks to squeeze women into a specific mold. And more people than ever are speaking out about it, both seriously and with humor:
If you fail to get yourself a beach body one will be assigned to you.
— Kashana (@kashanacauley) May 25, 2016
Of course, knowing your enemy — particularly when it’s an idea — is important preparation before battle. Here’s how the concept got started.
The Rise of the Bikini Body
The concept of the bikini body is simple: In order to wear a bikini, and have it be deemed socially acceptable, you should have a specific type of figure. This includes but is not limited to: a thin waist, round butt, full-but-not-too-large breasts, and long legs. There should be no cellulite, no body hair, no stretch marks, no blemishes. You should be slender but not “too” muscular. In short, you should have the body of a heavily Photoshopped celebrity that fits the profoundly narrow definition of beauty in Western society.
According to The Cut, the term “bikini body” was initially popularized as a result of a weight loss chain’s ad campaign in 1961. The name of the company was Slenderella. “Summer’s wonderful fun is for those who look young,” one ad read. “High firm bust — hand span waist — trim, firm hips — slender graceful legs — a Bikini body!” The message was loud and clear: Want to look good in a bathing suit? You have to look like this. You cannot not look like this.
Two Slenderella ads from the 1960s. Getty Images
And you know those weird videos of women in the ’50s and ’60s lying on vibrating tables that supposedly “shook off” fat? That was what Slenderella specialized in. While it wasn’t exactly an effective workout, it did usher in a phrase that would be used to aggressively shame women’s bodies for years to come. (Revolutionary!)
This theme has continued throughout the last six decades, both in advertising and in entertainment. Most of the most iconic scenes in recent-ish films featuring women in swimsuits reflect this — just look at literally any Bond girl ever. Onscreen and off, the term “bikini body” has become synonymous with tall and lean. A quick Google search of the term shows exactly what it’s associated with:
Again, the images almost exclusively depict thin, able-bodied white women in their twenties and thirties with medium-sized breasts, narrow waists, zero cellulite, hairless skin and toned stomachs. The framework for having your body considered bikini-worthy is clearly narrow.
And no matter what your weight is, there’s always a label somebody wants to slap on it: pear-shaped, skinny, hourglass, top-heavy, fat, whatever. You’re “supposed” to dress according to your body shape, as though humans neatly, naturally fit into these categories. When I go to the beach, this is often (depressingly) in the forefront of my mind, as I myself do not possess a figure that lands within these guidelines: I stand 5 foot 7 inches, weigh about 170 pounds, identify as non-binary and don’t shave. I often feel self-conscious in the clothes that I wear — and I’m nowhere near alone in this chronic insecurity.
How This Affects Us
Twenty million women and 10 million men suffer from a “clinically significant eating disorder” during their lives. The median age of eating disorder onset is approximately 12 to 13 years old. Forty-two percent of girls in first, second and third grade say they want to be thinner. The fact that many folks, particularly young women and girls, have negative feelings toward their bodies is nothing new.
On a personal level, I understand how damaging being bombarded with images of specific body types can be. For more than half my life, I battled an eating disorder that primarily manifested itself in binging and purging cycles. It should go without saying that eating disorders are not always the direct result of poor body image — many folks cope with trauma by controlling their food intake, for example, while others develop eating issues in response to familial relationships, such as a parent who’s constantly nagging their child to lose weight or to eat less. It is not so simple as seeing a tabloid making fun of, say, Kelly Clarkson for gaining weight — and poof! Suddenly you’ve got an eating disorder.
Still, the messages telling you over and over and over that your body is inadequate, unsightly, disconcerting and unacceptable are grating — and borderline impossible to avoid. “As a psychologist, I’m concerned with kids growing up with imagery that is distorted,” says Vivian Diller, Ph.D., a New York-based psychologist who specializes in body image. “If there’s only one standard, then of course it influences how people see themselves.” And it’s very difficult to not internalize those messages, particularly if you are already susceptible to body image issues.
Rejecting the Ideal
In the past few years, people — particularly women — have been pushing back against this impossible-to-meet standard. Models, bloggers and prominent celebrities like Mindy Kaling, Amy Schumer, Jennifer Lawrence and Mo’Nique have outspokenly rejected the traditional notion that their bodies need to match one specific appearance, lest they resign themselves to a life of floor-length dresses and knee-length swimsuits. Model Tess Holiday, for example, runs the popular Eff Your Beauty Standards page, posting photos of gorgeous folks of all sizes rocking crop tops, bikinis, short skirts and more. You name it, they’ve worn it, and worn it beautifully.
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it’s your admin here, @nataliemeansnice this beautiful photo of me was taken by my great friend @jayhumez. she always makes me feel beautiful, even if i feel less than stellar. perfect summer dress by @forever21plus! ❤️[email protected]
A post shared by EFF YOUR BEAUTY STANDARDS ™ (@effyourbeautystandards) on Apr 20, 2016 at 1:29pm PDT
Another loud and proud promoter of body positivity is YouTube star Meghan Tonjes, whose #BootyRevolution campaign invites people to share their figures as she celebrates her own — and refuses to let anyone make her feel like her body is somehow not acceptable or worthy of being seen.
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A post shared by 🔸MEGHAN TONJES🔸 (@meghantonjes) on May 19, 2016 at 12:33am PDT
“At the end of my life, I don’t want to be thinking about all the things I didn’t do out of fear,” Tonjes tells GoodHousekeeping.com. “There’s no weight or size where insecurities or fears magically go away. Be kind to your body and start working toward believing you have as much right as anyone else to feel good in whatever you want to wear.”
I, too, have posted many times on the subject.
Happy summer! Just a casual reminder that critiquing anyone for not looking the way you think bodies should look is still not okay. So dont!
— Sam H. Escobar (@myhairisblue) May 26, 2016
On top of the outright rejection of the notion of a bikini body, there’s been a reclamation of it too. Countless sites and social media users have posted versions of the new classic saying, “Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body.”
Then there are those who instead opt to make hilarious jokes about the mere concept of the bikini body. After all, one of the most effective ways to point out the ludicrous nature of body standards is through humor. On top of the aforementioned tweets, here are a few of my favorites of 2016 thus far:
I’m gonna be in LA in under two weeks. I’ve got my beach body** ready.
**in n out body
— Kaitlyn Alexander (@realisticsay) June 10, 2016
Wife back online? Kids asleep? Time to relax with a glossy magazine to find out why your body will NEVER be beach-ready. ‘Me time’.
— manwhohasitall (@manwhohasitall) June 10, 2016
An Instagram Resurgence
Still, as much as we may poke fun at the bikini body, it doesn’t change the fact that it is still extremely prominent in our culture. The idea that one type of body is inherently superior to another, particularly pertaining to swimwear, seems to be as big as ever.
For all the success users on Instagram and other social media platforms have had in battling the narrow negativity of the bikini body myth, it’s also produced an entirely new kind of idealization. Instead of simply seeing celebrities on television, people are flooded with images of seemingly everyday women documenting weight loss and fitness routines on social media. Instagram accounts and programs like the Bikini Body Challenge, Kayla Itsines’s Bikini Body Guide and Jen Selter’s #JenSelterChallenge all have thousands, if not millions of followers who see these women’s results and buy into them, expecting to achieve the same outcome through marketed diets and exercises.
Kayla Itsines alone has 5.2 million Instagram followers, more than Zooey Deschanel and Gwyneth Paltrow respectively. Then there’s Jen Selter, who has 9.3 million followers, giving her more Instagram fans than Sarah Jessica Parker, Kerry Washington and Kristen Bell combined.
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A juice a day keeps the doctor away 💚 💚Posting recipe on my Facebook page 🙂
A post shared by Jen Selter (@jenselter) on Mar 28, 2016 at 8:08pm PDT
There is nothing wrong with snapping a progress photo if you are trying to hold yourself accountable for eating healthier and exercising more. But there’s a special kind of pressure that comes from partaking in these “challenges,” where the “before-and-after” collages seem to equate fitness with weight loss rather than health, despite the two being very different things.
One writer who tried Itsines’s program admitted she wound up with “more body image issues” than when she started, writing:
I quickly learned that her brand seemed less focused on the physical challenge the hashtag #deathbykayla had suggested, and more on aesthetic results. Her marketing strategy relies on snapshots of her own sculpted abs along with transformation photos of the young women who’ve used her program. Before and after pictures that make you think: If strangers on the internet can achieve this ideal, so can I!
Several friends of mine have also lamented that seeing these types of posts, even under the guise of fitness inspiration a.k.a. “fitspo,” felt triggered toward their eating disorders, even if they had been in recovery for a while. “Strict tracking and obsession puts me over the edge,” says Caroline Conrad, 24. “Just a minute ago, I saw a post on Twitter from a ‘fitspiration’ account captioned, ‘Eat for the body you want, not the body you have.’ For some people, that could mean not eating at all. When I witness people talking about their extreme and voluntary dietary restrictions or rigidly regimented workout plans, I feel triggered and concerned for them.”
Another big issue with these programs: They’re not customized to the individual, particularly with regard to age. “Young people are looking at these images on Instagram and YouTube and thinking they’re possible, then they go on juice or all-lean diets, or do exercise routines that may not be thinking about the growing body,” warns Dr. Diller. “And older women are not necessarily going to be able to do the boot camps that twenty-something bodies can do.”
Idealizing a singular body type, or even just one individual, could be counterintuitive to your goals — particularly when they equate thinness with health. “If you are healthy and you move around and you eat well and exercise, it doesn’t matter what your body structure is,” explains exercise physiologist Eric Martinez. “Sometimes, you can be very thin and have flat abs, but that doesn’t mean you’re strong — you can still have weak muscles.”
At times, it even seems as though some of these platforms are working against body positivity. Aforementioned YouTuber Meghan Tonjes had a butt selfie removed by Instagram, which was odd considering the sheer number of bikini and underwear shots on the platform. (To put it in perspective, the hashtag #belfie, meaning “butt selfie,” has more than 275,000 photos.) Women who pop their bodies onto social media are lauded as sexy by the masses, provided they fit into a narrow ideal.
Fortunately, the pushback against double standards has been strong. After Tonjes’ photo went viral, thousands of people stood with her, questioning Instagram’s seeming hypocrisy. The outpour of support for Tonjes paid off: Instagram apologized, admitted its error and reinstated the image.
Even with all the negativity and body standards, there has been an increase in the visibility of women whose bodies do not fall prey to them. Just this year, size-16 model Ashley Graham became the first plus-size woman to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s annual Swimsuit Issue — a decision that was criticized by some, but praised by many more. After that, she hosted this year’s Miss America pageant, which has long been a symbol of narrow beauty standards. She even mentioned her hope for larger women to appear in future pageants:
French model Yazemeenah Rossi, whom we profiled in May, made headlines as a 60-year-old rocking bathing suits in The Dreslyn and Land of Women’s campaigns, proving that by no means does one need to be 25 to look like a goddess in whichever swimsuit one chooses.
Social media, too, offers a massive community of folks who are not only positive toward other people’s bodies, but are discovering ways to be positive about their own. Regular women of all ages — including this badass 90-year-old grandma — are taking to social media platforms to share their love for their bodies.
If you’re feeling all about fitness for 2016, you don’t need to resign yourself to food restrictions or size constraints. Instagram accounts like that of Jessamyn Stanley, a yoga teacher and self-proclaimed “fat femme,” promote fitness for all bodies, regardless of size or age — and put the focus on dedication, skill and confidence rather than before-and-after comparisons:
I’ll be honest with you: It’s an uphill battle feeling comfortable in a two-piece, even if you desperately wish to be. I actually wore a maternity swimsuit for most of high school and well into college. But this year, I’m finally feeling focused on myself and my enjoyment of my time at a beach, pool or party — and I’m even all right with documenting the search for the perfect summer pick:
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Insert some quote about transitions. Btw #literarytattoos a la Sylvia Plath and @saulwilliams ahoy.
A post shared by Sam Escobar (@theonewithbluehair) on Dec 7, 2015 at 8:30pm PST
It’s summer, folks. Throw on your favorite bathing suit, whether it’s one piece or two, and enjoy it. There’ll be a whole lot of people to cheer you on if you need it.
Follow Sam on Twitter and Instagram.
Sam Escobar Contributor Sam’s enthusiasm for makeup is only rivaled by their love of all things relating to cats.
‘How do you get a bikini body? You just put on a bikini’
Last week, the 61-year-old Irish author Sheila O’Flanagan tweeted about her intention to buy a bikini for her upcoming holiday, and her followers cheered – because, despite what we are often led to believe, you should never feel too old or too large to enjoy the freedom and feeling of the sun on your skin.
As soon the first spring flowers appear, the annual pressure to achieve the “perfect beach body” begins – blogs, magazine articles, billboards and TV programmes all promise to whip us in to shape so we don’t disgrace ourselves by daring to expose an inch of excess flesh at the seaside.
Whether a new-fangled diet, a simple but astonishingly effective exercise plan or, for those who failed miserably to get in shape, swimwear which works wonders to contain folds of flesh; we are assured we can hit the beach with tauter tummies than last year.
It’s all nonsense, of course, but such constant bombardment of images of the “ideal” woman affects even the most body-confident among us.
Holidaying in Europe, I have often been struck by how little everyone seems to care about how they look on the beach; there is a much healthier attitude about enjoying the sunshine without worrying too much about whether or not your stretch marks are visible.
“Because of the cold weather , we aren’t used to revealing our bodies, with many of us only doing so to lovers, so it can feel private,” says psychotherapist Stella O’Malley. “We also seem to be very self-deprecating about our bodies and our sex lives.”
You should never feel too old or too large to enjoy the freedom and feeling of the sun on your skin. Photograph: E+/iStock/Getty
Chef and food writer Rozanne Stephens agrees. “I’m from South Africa, where people are very body conscious, so I have certainly felt self-conscious stripping down to a bikini there,” she says. “But on holiday abroad, especially Europe, I feel far more carefree and relaxed – focused on enjoying my holiday, rather than my wobbly bits.”
Ann Doherty has felt body conscious since early childhood, and despite being a healthy size, dreads the summer season.
“Even in early childhood I hated my body,” says the Galway woman. “I was a little chubby – just enough for my parents to say I needed to lose weight for my communion. From my early teens I went through phases of not eating as I was embarrassed about my little extra chub – despite being sporty – and by mid to late teens, I struggled with anorexia and then over-eating, one extreme to another.”
The social care worker, who gave birth 10 months ago, regularly runs half and full marathons and should have no reason to feel embarrassed about her body.
“As a size 12-14, I’m often not even comfortable enough to wear shorts on holiday, so if I strip down to a bikini, I’ll always have something to hand in case I need to walk, sit, stand or even just talk to someone, as I’m constantly paranoid about what people must think about my body in swimwear.”
Fellow Galway woman Maria Han says she doesn’t like when her skin is too pale, but other than that she doesn’t care what people think.
“I’ve spent some time living in mainland Europe and didn’t have any issue wearing a bikini there, as the decent sunshine meant I wasn’t ghostly white,” says the 39-year-old care assistant. “Other than that, I don’t care what anyone else thinks.
“We are body conscious partly due to conditioning, and also due to lack of opportunity to wear swimwear. Another important factor is how women are portrayed in the media. The culture of photo editing has created an unrealistic and unachievable ideal. Women, consciously or unconsciously, are guided by lack of confidence and feelings of inadequacy, because the average woman is rarely represented in women’s magazines or online.”
Just out of her teens, Julie Ryan can relate to this as she “despises” her body and is in constant competition with her friends to look the best.
“I know I’m not fat,” says the 20-year-old, who wears a size 10. “But I want to be thinner, and no matter how much I exercise, I can’t seem to get down that extra dress size. Most of my friends are a size 8.
“We went to Ibiza together last year and I was so miserable, as I was terrified about stripping off in front of the others. I went off for walks rather than going to the beach or pool. I know it is stupid, but having even the smallest bit of extra flesh makes me feel ashamed.”
I am comfortable with my own body, which is by no means ‘perfect’, but women should wear whatever they feel happy and comfortable in. I’m 45 and still wear a bikini
Denise McBrien, general manager of The Old Spot Gastro Pub in Dublin, remembers feeling the same, but says body confidence comes with age.
“I went on my first beach holiday when I was 19 and was definitely self-conscious, but I quickly grew out of that and now I really don’t care what people think,” she says.
“I am comfortable with my own body, which is by no means ‘perfect’, but women should wear whatever they feel happy and comfortable in. I’m 45 and still wear a bikini on holiday.”
Sharon Dooley, founder of Ireland’s Got Curves, also would have suffered from body image as a young woman, but says she will not let this way of thinking affect her life any more.
“When someone says how do you get a bikini body, I say, you just put on a bikini,” says the 44-year-old, who has seven children. “This would not have been my answer in my late teens or early 20s; while I never dressed for a man, I always dressed to keep up with other women.
“As I have become older and got bigger, I discovered a whole new meaning to body image, and now I dress for myself. When I see a woman pushing the ‘social barriers’ of body image – which I feel have been imposed on us by other women – I salute them. Why miss out on life because of how we are told we should or shouldn’t look?”
I Don’t Give A Crap About My “Bikini Body”
A bipolar, body-positive bread enthusiast with a fucked-up pretty much healed ankle and a history of disordered eating chronicles health, weight-loss, and gardening. No diets allowed.
When I was 12, I had a friend named Jenny. Jenny had been my friend longer than any other person — seven years (which is basically a lifetime when you’re 12).
Jenny and I spent summers lying on beach towels in her backyard, back when there was no Spotify, back when you just waited for the DJ to play your favorite song. If you were lucky enough to catch it, you might be able to get to the tape recorder fast enough to hit the red button so you would have that song at your fingertips (minus the first 10 or so seconds).
Ah the good old days, when singers just alluded to their sexual escapades and Madonna made short hair look so good.
In the 80s, the radio stations played the same 20 songs on repeat and had “flip” alerts every 30 minutes — “FLIP” to tan the front/back. If we ran out of Banana Boat, there was always Crisco in the cupboard, hanging out all solid and greasy, waiting to fry some chicken, or, in a pinch, sub as a tanning medium.
We wore bikinis, and during the front tanning sesh, we’d untie the straps, hike our bottoms up into our ass cracks (brief –> thong) and bake.
We scrutinized our own bodies (Ugh LOOK at my thighs, they are so gross) or our friends’ bodies, (Did you SEE her cottage-cheese butt?!). Bodies were the subject of the day, the month, the entire teenage experience.
Guess who has cellulite? EVERYONE. Cellulite means you have skin. Skin is good.
I don’t remember being particularly confident about my body, I do remember thinking that I should look confident, even if I hated my thighs.
So that’s what I did.
Maybe it was when I became a mother that my swimsuit policies changed. Not a “mother” like “I have created human life,” but a mother, like “I have a closet of scrapbook supplies organized alphabetically by color,” a mother like “I buy sensible one-piece swimwear from Land’s End.” Maybe that was when my feelings about myself took enough of a turn that I couldn’t even think about a bikini.
I spent most of my 20s, and half of my 30s, being a good Mormon. Official Mormon Guidelines For Not Looking Skanky make selecting swimwear really simple. (NO TWO PIECES, SKANK!)
So I did that.
I didn’t have a “bikini” body. It wouldn’t have mattered if I thought I was the cover of Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit edition, I was not going to have a Bikini Body.
I had a Sensibly-Colored-Skirted-One-Piece-With-Modest-Straps Body.
In my mid 30s, I was manic. Mania (and an eating disorder) transformed my Sensibly-Colored-Skirted-One-Piece-With-Modest-Straps Body, to a Bikini Body. With the right cut (not too low because pubic hair curtain), I wore that bikini like I’d always worn it.
The mania subsided, and I had two more babies and reverted to Sensibly-Colored-Skirted-One-Piece-With-Modest-Straps Body. There wasn’t religious pressure to do so, but my own internal pressure toward perfection was plenty profound enough to keep me in a one-piece, covered by a kaftan, wrapped in a towel on the beach, sitting in what basically amounted to a tent.
My post-(six) baby body had no business in something that showed any part of my mid-section.
And then sometime in my 40th year, it clicked.
I no longer gave a shit.
Not even one.
Guess who has cellulite? EVERYONE. Cellulite means you have skin. Skin is good.
Know how I got those rolls? Childbirth. And cake. Neither of which I want to live without.
Don’t like stretch marks? Do you like HUMAN BEINGS BEING BORN?
Ever had your man (or woman or whoever you love) grab you by those luscious lumps on the side of your body? Guess who likes handles. The person who loves you.
Know who doesn’t give a shit about your thighs? Your KIDS.
And on the seventh day, no shits were given.
How did I stop giving a shit?
I just decided that people that don’t like my body aren’t people I care about.
Not like “go to hell dirty bastard,” just like, “Don’t like it? OK. So? Was I supposed to care? OOPS I forgot to tell you, I DON’T GIVE A SHIT!”
I really did just wake up and decide I didn’t care. I just decided my swimwear choice is a right.
I know it’s not that easy for everyone; there are a lot of reasons folks have issues with their bodies. But, your fat, your stretch marks, your rolls — none of those have to be an issue.
Does that sound too good to be true?
It’s not. I know it’s not, because I did it. I didn’t change my body. I didn’t change the people around me. I sure as hell didn’t change this jacked up appearance-focused culture. I just changed my mindset.
I want to wear a bikini, because I like them, so I do.
Do people at the beach say things like “she has NO business in a bikini?” Yes.
Screw those people.
Seriously, why do you care what they think? They are just as indoctrinated as you were before you decided not to give a shit. If someone thinks you look like a stretch-marked, saggy, cellulite-laden whale (a thing I have been called), that has no meaning in relation to your body; all that means is they are an ass.
Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body.
Getting ready for a beach vacation? Planning to try on bikinis or go bathing suit shopping? Just looking to get a little more body confident? We’ve got you covered!
Us Weekly talks to the world’s hottest bikini and lingerie models — including Behati Prinsloo, Ashley Graham, Jasmine Tookes and more — all the time. And we’ve been gathering a treasure-trove of their fail-safe favorite fitness and diet tips. From lightening-fast weight-loss ideas to diets that actually work (keto, intermittent fasting, celery juice, oh my!) to quick strengthening tricks (hello, planks!) to the long-term fitness regimens that help them get their flat abs, leg muscles and toned arms and butts, these professional pretty people have shared their best beach-body lifestyle advice with Us.
Sure, the glamazons who become Victoria’s Secret models and cover stars may be genetically blessed, but these celebrities still put in plenty of effort and have tried most trends on the planet in an effort to look and feel their best. As VS Angel Tookes told Us in February 2019, “I feel my most confident, best and sexiest when I’m just really happy.” And she’s happy when she’s getting strong with fun workouts. “I’m really into Pilates lately. It’s super good. I love doing the reformer machine,” she added. But even she has a quick-fix for when she needs to slip into a two-piece in a hurry (hint: it involves a trampoline!).
And if you’re looking to adjust your mindset, get more body-positive or find a mantra, you’ve come to the right place too. Aerie spokesmodel Iskra Lawrence reveals how she got comfortable going to the beach — and what she tells herself and others to remember before slipping into a suit. Meanwhile, Heidi Klum shares her 10-minute strength-training routine and her secret to feeling bold in the nude. “I like small, little triangle bikinis. I’m the most confident and comfortable in little string bikinis because, you know, it’s also easier to take it off,” she tells Us.
To get that fearless, scroll through to get our collection of stars’ best bikini-ready tips!