JDP Bikini body specialist and bikini competitor Scarlet Hollands explains how to be bikini body diet ready all year round.
England has been lucky this year to enjoy a good summer season with temperatures heating up to a whopping 30°c. Albeit its not been a daily occurrence, we must appreciate what we are given! For many summer is the time for vacations, beaches and bikinis. We see plastered over social media, tv and radio ladies prepping their “bikini body” in the winter months ready to showcase in the summer while they are somewhere exotic soaking up the rays on their washboard stomaches and peachy glutes but for those of us who perhaps have had a busy lifestyle to contend with or maybe have only just looked up to realise that half a year has flown by .. it’s not too late to hop on the band wagon and get into shape. The term “bikini body” doesn’t have to be a temporary physical change only to be shared and celebrated in the summer months. Why not make it a long term, lifestyle change and celebrate having a hot bikini body all year round?
Let me help you get the ball rolling by providing you with some sound nutrition advice and examples. For many training is the easy part. A lot of people enjoy working out whether that be lifting weights, taking part in various fitness classes or even enjoying a daily early morning run along the seafront but the diet side of things is where a lot of people become unstuck and fall down in their attempt to achieve their goals.
Note these are generic plans and not individual to you personally, however by following this advice, you will soon start to figure out what works better for you and learn how to work your diet and training to achieve your goal of being Bikini Body ready 365 days of the year!
The key to obtaining and achieving fat loss is achieved by a multitude of various elements and implications. The first big thing to understand is ADHERENCE. Without this you will only slow down progress or even give into the process full stop. If you set yourself a goal, stick to it and achieve that goal. When times get tough, remember why you started this journey in the first place, pick yourself up, dust yourself of and get back in the game. As a PT, I see time and time again the adherence particularly to the nutrition plan is what hinders progress with many clients so hold yourself accountable and stick to it!
I have shared below my top tips/keys to succeed in a fat/weight loss nutrition program.
Being in a caloric deficit
Consuming less calories then you expend. This can also be adapted and decreased throughout the process as the more weight/fat you lose, the less your body will require. It is recommended to cut calories in smaller increments due to a number of reasons. Most importantly adherence, dramatically cutting calories will lead to the body crying out for fuel and energy which will eventually lead to the individual giving into the hunger and most likely delve into high sugar, processed foods for the quick energy fix. Your body also is very clever in detecting when it is being deprived of food and will eventually switch to its “starvation mode” where no matter the quantity/quality of food being consumed, it will all be stored as fat to keep you alive and keep the vital organs functioning. A coach/PT or qualified nutritionist will be your best bet to help you structure a plan to allow you to put your body in a caloric deficit safely but most of all so you will achieve optimal results.
Consume all 3 macronutrients
When we mention the term “macros” “macronutrients”, we are referring to the 3 food groups: Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins. These days we are bombarded with diets, schemes and fads which will allegedly help you lose weight but in reality most of these “diets” will be persuading you to eliminate 1 if not 2 of these vital food groups which will NOT be sustainable let alone allow you to achieve any form of long term weight loss.
* Carbohydrates – Your body’s number one source of energy. With out these we will not only become hugely sluggish, tired and emotional but our brain function will slow, dehydration, constipation and there will be a huge reduction in physical performance. Not to mention they help regulate cholesterol, prevent the onset of diseases such as heart disease, liver disease and kidney disease and allow you to take in greater vitamins such as A, C, magnesium, iron and calcium.
* Fats – Fats are responsible for many vital functions in the body. They are especially important for creating hormones such as estrogen and testosterone (sex hormones), cortisol (adrenal hormone) which regulates metabolism and steroid hormones. They also help the body absorb vitamins A, D, E and K which are fat soluble vitamins (can only be absorbed with fat). A diet lacking in fats will cause a deficiency in a number of vitamins and minerals, consuming too little calories, increase triglycerides in the blood (resulting in a reduction in the “good” cholesterol and increasing the size of the “bad” cholesterol molecules which potentially can lead to heart disease.
* Protein – Protein is the number one macro in which will help build and repair muscle tissues within the body. It is vital to consume enough protein to allow the muscle fibers to tear and repair with resistance training which ultimately results in muscle growth (hypertrophy). Aside from its great muscle building and repair properties, it is also takes longer to digest then carbohydrates and fats which means it stays longer in the body which leaves the individual feeling fuller for a longer period of time. Many people substitute protein with artificial sources such as whey protein or protein isolate which is great to ensure your body is receiving a good amount of protein however don’t neglect actual food sources of protein:- meats, eggs, nuts etc.
Eating clean, wholesome foods
This is not just a good point in achieving a weight/fat loss goal but important for all individuals whether they are losing, maintaining or gaining weight. By consuming fresh, wholesome foods, your body will not only be receiving the required macronutrients but also micronutrients too. Micronutrients are the “smaller” nutrients in food – eg – vitamins and minerals and as always, consuming these through genuine food sources is far better for the body then supplementing with artificial sources such as vitamins in tablet or powder form. Fruit and vegetables are the foods in which there are an abundance of vitamins and minerals which will nourish the body so it’s super important to ensure you are eating enough of these everyday. The recommended guideline is “5 a day” however consuming more is only going to be beneficial but be aware of the fruit-vegetable ratio. Fruit contains an extremely high amount of sugar (fructose). Although they do also contain a great source of vitamins and anti-oxidants the sugar content, albeit “natural sugar” will still contribute to the storage of fat if over consumed. Vegetables however are also filled with wonderful amounts of vitamins and minerals and are sugar free so these guys should be included with most of your meals. So keep your vegetable intake higher then fruit.
I have shared with you above an example food plan for an individual who would maintain weight at 2000 kcals. By making a small drop in calories to 1850 kcals will leave the individual in a caloric deficit and this would be in place with regular, weekly check-ins to assess progress and can be adapted accordingly.
Drinking enough H20
Our bodies are made up of 80% water. Our brain is 85%, our blood 80% and our muscle 70% so it is no surprise that water is a vital part of our existence let alone diet. We must constantly be adding fresh water to our bodies in order to keep it properly hydrated. Water can be a miracle cure for many common ailments such as headaches, fatigue and joint pain. We can go weeks without food but only 3 days without water! It is also essential for proper digestion, nutrient absorption and chemical reactions. The carbohydrates and proteins that our bodies use as food are metabolized and transported by water in the bloodstream. No less important is the ability of water to transport waste material out of our bodies.
Dehydration is something that many people really underestimate and particularly during this time of the year in the summer months can be of higher risk. Even in winter, the dryness can dehydrate the body even quicker then when it is hot and when you are dehydrated you also tend to eat more.
* GENERAL RULE: Due to the fact everybody is different, the rule we often hear about drinking 8-8oz of water per day cam be misleading. We need to drink half our body weight in ounces of water everyday to provide the body with its minimum water replacement requirements. Triple the intake for better results.
Meal frequency and nutrient timing
We can argue “meal timing” until we are blue in the face but first thing is first, if your calories, macronutrients and micronutrients aren’t in place then meal timing is irrelevant. However, once those three elements are in place, timing your meals can definitely provide you with additional benefits to support your health, body composition, and performance goals. Personally, I’d recommend eating every 3-4 hours for most fit people but at the end of the day, your preferences and schedule matter most. My one piece of advice: Be sure that you’re fueling up sufficiently before and after your workout to promote hard training and to optimize recovery. No, you don’t need to guzzle down a protein shake 60 seconds after finishing your last set. But try to eat a protein-rich meal within an hour or so to refuel and initiate muscle growth and recovery.
Ultimately, the key to a successful transformation is adherence, determination and hard work. If you don’t put in the effort, expect little results. In my experience mind set is by far the one thing that will make or break a transformation. Don’t start out thinking negatively towards the process because this will only make things harder and negatively impact your progress. You need to value yourself and your capabilities and if you also have a coach/trainer on board, trust their expertise and allow them to take the reigns. Body transformations being both a trainer and a client are the most rewarding experiences, even during the times when you feel a lack of motivation or a plateau, there is such a sense of achievement and accomplishment when 12 weeks down the line you are an illustration of pure hard work and dedication to both nutrition and training. If this was easy then everyone would do it and we wouldn’t be facing an obesity epidemic. Value your health and be the change you need to sculpt and transform your physique into something that many deem impossible or can only wish for! Never be afraid to ask questions or ask for guidance as that is why, we as trainers, are here.
All the trainers here at JDP Health and Fitness have experienced first hand what it takes to achieve the ultimate physique so if you feel that perhaps you need assistance/guidance don’t hesitate to get into contact with any of our trainers.