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Getting ready for the summer

By Louise Catier
24/04/2008

Although spring showers and cold temperatures have not disappeared yet, summer is almost on everybody’s mind already. To escape the everyday routine, we can’t all help thinking of the two or three months that keep us from the sunny beaches and the holiday ‘farniente’. But if for some people, these months of waiting seem just long and barely different from the others, many of us are looking for the best ways to maximise our chances to look our best once on the beach. Whether you are male or female, you might have a slight anxiety at the idea of taking your clothes off and showing your body in a swimming suit. Don’t panic, this article sums up all you have to do and how to be fully prepared for the summer.    

Step one - Get rid of a few extra pounds

What may be the most difficult but also often the most necessary part of this programme is to make the extra pounds disappear.
If you want to take as much advantage of these few months as possible, you can simply gather the courage you have and try one of these two most tried and tested diets that guarantee a quick loss of weight without being too draconian:
- The calorie control diet consists of eating low calorie meals and count everything calorie you eat and allowing you no more than 1200 to 1500 calories a day (we would not recommend you go under the 1200 barrier) depending on how much weight you want to loose and how much time you have. It demands a high degree of self-discipline and the motivation to say no to all high calorie pleasures but it also allows you to have some of these pleasures without feeling guilty because you know that you can cut down on other things. The best way of reducing your calorie intake is by cutting down on alcohol, sugar and fatty food.
Another diet alternative is the hyper protein diet, famous among the Hollywood stars, which consists in having full-of-proteins but low in sugar and fat meals or drinks, in order to lower you energetic allowance without loosing your muscles. You’ll feel quickly full although you’ve not eaten all the calories you’d normally need. 
 
But, although you’ll surely be pleased to loose quite a few pounds in a short period of time, these diets could also appear a bit depressing and hard to stick to, and, above all, will be very hard to follow in the long term. It means that once you’ll decide to give it up, you’ll not only regain the weight you’d managed to loose, but it’s also going to be harder to restart another diet plan after that. It’s the definition of the Yo-yo diet, which is genius in the short term, but could have really bad effects in the long term.
Fruit
Eat yourself beautiful
So, my best tips for you would simply to adopt new healthy eating habits that you can easily stick to, and continue to treat yourself once in a while. Eat loads of fruits and vegetables, they’ll fill you up quickly and also have a great impact on your mood and your skin. Plus you can find lots of variety to diversify your meals as much as you want to avoid getting bored. They’ll also be particularly useful when you’ll suddenly be tempted by one of these highly fat or sugary snacks. Stop drinking alcohol and sodas, treat yourself with a big breakfast, a good lunch, but try to eat just a light dinner. Don’t stop eating meat, but eat it in low quantity, and try to replace it by its equivalent in terms of protein but with lot less fat, like fish and eggs. Finally, don’t be ashamed to eat something you can’t resist once in a while and in a little quantity, you’ll see, the pleasure will be even greater.   

Step 2 – Get into shape:

Another habit that will help you either loose weight or simply keep your body toned and your mood up is to exercise, by going back to sport, getting a membership to a fitness club or using the one you’ve got but you never used. Training will not only help you get rid of cellulite, tone your body and develop muscles where needed, it will also help prevent cardio-vascular illnesses and help you burn more calories, which is a  good way to allow you some extra little pleasures.
If you like outdoor activities, here are some tips to find a sport that will tone you exactly where you want:
If you’ve large shoulders, skiing, rollerblading and dancing will help you developing a proportionate body by muscling your legs. Avoid playing tennis and swimming.
To tone you tummy, try swimming on the back, rowing, or to add a bit more fun, start attending salsa classes, which will develop your abdominal muscles and make you fell great. Avoid cycling and swimming the breast stroke.
Fed up with your slightly limp bum? The best for you is to take up running or fast walking. You could also opt for what boxers have used for ever and don’t they have a tight bum?!: the skipping rope.
Against the strong calf, practise modern-jazz dancing, go swimming or stretching. But avoid cycling.
If you’ve rather got big thighs, go running, rollerblading or skiing. 

Then, if it still appears to be hard and you need a lot of motivation, working out is not actually as repulsive as can be imagined. Methods have truly improved and the centres now welcome you for a moment of relaxing and pleasure. So put your prejudices aside and read this part about one of the bigger chain in this country, ‘Fitness First’, which is a good illustration of what a club can offer. It’ll sure help you raise your motivation and match perfectly your plan to get ready for the summer.
Thanks to their popularity all around the UK, Fitness first is continuously expanding, opening new branches and developing new methods to match everyone’s needs. You could either take a membership and go training by yourself on one of the numerous treadmills and other machines they offer. But if you need a little bit of motivation to make sure you’ll keep up with a regular work out, why not book a personal trainer who’ll help you to find the proper exercise to tone your body exactly where you need it and who’ll help you get the motivation you lack.
If you’re keener on group classes, there again you can find exactly the programme that suits you best: Look good, loose weight, or simply feel great.
Depending on your local branch, you could also treat yourself with different offers such as a nice time in the pool or a moment of relaxation in the Spa.
For more information about your Fitness first local branch, visit: www.fitnessfirst.co.uk

And for even more motivation, enjoy Fitness First special offer for France In London visitors:
Discount memberships to all France in London subscribers and visitors, upon quoting France In London. Introductory Offer 'NO JOINING FEE PLUS KIT BAG including gift vouchers. contact Lucas at Fitness First 020 8743 4444

What if the solution came from the shoes you wear?

flip flops
Flip Flop work out
If  you’ve already tried those classic work-out methods and fancy trying something new, the absolutely ‘in’ training exercise in New York these days simply consists in wearing heels. It’s genuinely serious and named the legwork or stiletto strength.  Created by shoe-designers in partnership with dancers in Broadway, this method is clinically proven to be efficient. This work-out exercise gathers yoga and dancing movements which, performed on high-heels shoes, have a wonderful effect on toning your body and developing the right posture.
A flat alternative to loose weight by wearing shoes is the now famous Fit-Flop*, a pair of flip flop which, once you’ve it on, makes you work your calf, quadriceps and bottom muscles every time you step. It could also lower back pains.    

Step 3 - Prepare you skin for the perfect tan:

Now that you’ve fixed the perfect plan to redefine your curves, it’s time to take care of what will be the centre of all the attention this summer: your skin.

Do not think that you’ll start tanning only once you’re sunbathing on the beach or by the pool. The major part of getting the perfect golden tan is actually mostly dependent on the skin preparation before the holiday.
So, what’s this preparation all about? Smooth and moisturise you body, get rid of the dead skin and the imperfection to uncover a new, perfect and beautiful skin. All you have to do is follow the programme below step by step:

-    Apply a scrub all around you body, from the face to the very end of your toes, to get rid of the dead skin and make your body smoother.
-    Hairless legs are a must if you want to be proud of your shiny legs. For the method, it’s up to you, but prefer waxing or the electric epilator to shaving to avoid the hair growing too fast and much stronger. Ok, it might be a little more painful but you need to suffer to be beautiful.
-    Apply a good moisturiser insisting on the very dry parts of your body such as the legs and arms. Do it every day after a shower.
-    Then, why not treat yourself with an all inclusive spa session with massage, scrub, depilation… It could be a perfect kick off start to your summer it will ensure a glowing skin and will also get rid of all the stress you’ve accumulated during the year. Here are some useful addresses of Spas all around London:
Spa
Your way to a better you

Sanook Spa, Soho
The Sanctuary, Soho
The Rosebery Rooms, Clerkenwell
Landmark London, Marylebone
Le Kalon Spa, South Kensington
Scin Spa, Notting Hill
Bliss Spa, Chelsea 
 
-    For a long term effect to get rid of the imperfections, why not try an anti-cellulite cream, or a stretch mark treatment. There are many available on the market but some are better than others such as L’Oreal’s …To find which one suits you the best, find below a short list of products to be tested, from the cheapest one to the most expansive:
creams
Cellulite Busting Creams

Garnier, Bodytonic, Anti-Cellulite Rollerball, £6.99
Nivea, Good-bye Cellulite Gel-Cream, 200ml, £10.29
L’Oreal, Body Perfect Slim Gel, 200ml, £10.99
Clarins, Body Lift Contour Control, 200ml, £26
Biotherm, Celluli Peel, 200ml, £29.50
Dior, Plasticity Anti Cellulite Corrective Gel, 200ml, £32
Sisley, Celluli-Pro Anti-cellulite, 200ml, £85  
 
But now that the greatest part is done, don’t forget to add a final touch to show off a gorgeous golden tan before, during the summer and that will continue to enlighten your body during the first weeks of autumn.
An additional possibility to prepare your skin to receive the first sun rays and get tanned easily and quickly is to take tanning
Beach
Safe Tanning
supplements. Don’t worry, these pills are not what they look like, they’re not dangerous but made of natural and organic ingredients rich in vitamin A which will help your skin to develop its tanning properties. Different products of this kind can easily be found in pharmacy and beauty shops.
Last but not least, you have also the option of arriving already slightly tanned by choosing to have a spray on tan. It’s quick and doesn’t have the same negative effect as UVs.
Finally, don’t forget that even with the best preparation, always use a good solar protection. It won’t prevent you from getting a nice colour, but  will simply protect you against the damaging sun rays.

*Fit-Flop, £36, find them online at www.boots.com
.

COMMENTS:

30/03/2013 - meirenyin said :

Stretch Marks and Cellulite? Help!?Okay well, I have quite a lot of stretch marks on my upper thhgis and Cellulite just above my knees and on my upper thhgis. I was just wondering if anyone knew how to get rid of them? I really hope there is a way to get them gone because I don't go to the beach without wearing shorts because I get really self conscious about it. And I would really like to just go to the beach and not have to worry about people judging me. I keep on saying to myself that I'm happy with what I look like and I don't care what people think but the true truth is, is that I am self conscious of what I look like but yeah, but also if anyone has anyone tips on confidence too would really help Thank You

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