NEW YORK (AP) — Don't worry if you forgot about bikini season. With so much going on, who had time to think about counting calories and working out to fit into a two-piece?
But it's not too late to get ready for the big reveal. We asked eight experts for some last-minute tips to inspire bikini body confidence:
DO THE PLANK: Trade in crunches for plank holds. Crunches work the rectus abdominus but planks target the internal obliques, external obliques and transverse abdominus to give you a leaner look by helping with your posture. To do a plank, balance on the floor on your forearms and toes, forming a straight line from head to heels and hold for 30 seconds.
— Mary Christ Anderson, Fitness Director of Fitness magazine
ACCESORIZE: Try a great pair of earrings, an anklet or belly ring, cool sunglasses, lovely flip-flops. Bring a glamorous cover-up. If you need color, use a self-tanner, which will make you feel more confident. Get a mani and pedi. "Your toes and fingers can really help carry off an elegant look."
— Red Carter, designer
EAT FRUITS AND VEGGIES: High water, high potassium fruits and vegetables help regulate the body's water balance to reduce bloating and prevent dehydration. Since vegetables are only 20 calories a serving, cut back on whole grains and lean proteins and use veggies to fill up.
— Dawn Jackson Blatner, registered dietitian and author of "The Flexitarian Diet" (McGraw-Hill, 2009)
MAKE THE SUIT FIT: You should not get bulging from the straps or material and the bottom should not be baggy. The bottom should contour with your rear without pinching or sagging. With the top, always tie the bottom strap first as tight as possible — without losing circulation — and then do the top around your neck. This will lift the bust up.
— Danna Pomeroy of www.fijitimeswim.com
ACCEPT YOURSELF: Stand in front of the mirror with your bathing suit on. Focus on the features you like. Then focus on what you will do in the suit — swim, lay on the beach. "The more you focus on what you will do, rather than how you look, the more you'll enjoy yourself and the better your body image will be."
— Stacey Rosenfeld, New York City-based psychologist
GET ON TRACK: Start exercising and eating right today for a 2-pound weight loss in one week. You will feel more confident and energized. Do a mix of cardio and strength training; follow a 1,600 to 1,800 calorie a day menu. For motivation, put up images of healthy, happy women with strong, sculpted bodies you admire.
— Meaghan B. Murphy, SELF's fitness director
TRY INTERVALS: Fire up the metabolism with an interval-based cardio program. Do this simple routine three days this week: 1 minute max effort, followed by two minutes at an easy pace. Repeat five times. You can run, bike, or use a cardio machine. To prevent bloating, keep sodium in check and watch the gas-producing foods and carbonated beverages.
— Jen Ator, Women's Health assistant fitness editor
GIVE IN: Rather than focus on what size you were last year or thought you would be this year, find a suit that fits the body you have now. "Knowing and understanding the size and shape of your body, and deciding how you want to dress it, can be an empowering moment. After all, size is just a number."