You know it’s July when every magazine you open is featuring yet another ‘2-week celebrity bikini blitz’ – an ‘easy to follow’ diet of kale and kimchi and 15 minutes of daily at-home exercises. All guaranteed (sort of) to give you a body like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s in a fortnight.

And equally, guaranteed not to work. (Sorry, but hard science beats wish fulfillment every day of the week.)

2 weeks of the latest 15 to 30 minute fad workout won’t provide your body with the intensity and challenge it needs to change, assuming it’s even the right programme for your individual level of fitness and capabilities.

What’s more, these ‘instant makeover’ diets typically limit consumption of a certain macronutrient (protein, carbs, or fat) or food group, and your body needs all those elements properly balanced to function most effectively. While you may experience initial weight loss, you’ll also typically lose lean muscle too, which will lower your Resting Metabolic Rate, making it easier to put the fat back on in the long run.

So let’s roll the clock back to February. If you’re going to start working on that bikini body, now’s the time. Any meaningful – and sustainable – change in your body doesn’t happen overnight (or even over-fortnight). It can easily take 4-6 months.

How long exactly, and what you’ll need to do to for the results you’re after will depend on a number of factors, amongst them:

  • what you’re trying to achieve
  • your body type
  • your diet
  • your exercise history and current level of fitness
  • any injuries or other limiting factors that you’ll need to work around

But the first step is the same for pretty much everybody: get help.

Talk to an experienced, reputable Trainer or exercise professional, and if you can afford to, work with them. At the very least, get advice about the kind of exercise programme you need – and expect it to involve both resistance training and aerobic interval training.

Look at your diet, too. Get professional advice if you possibly can. But whatever you do, forget the fads and opt instead for a balanced and healthy diet rich in fresh veg (think the fibrous green type like spinach, broccoli, cabbage), lean meats (chicken, turkey, fish), healthy fats (coconut oil for frying, olive oil for salad dressing, oily fish, mixed unsalted nuts, e.g.), and complex carbohydrates (i.e. brown rice, sweet potatoes). Drinking plenty of water goes without saying.

Ideally, try to eat a balanced nutritional meal every 2-3 hours to ensure an optimal flow of nutrients into your body, prevent cravings, keep you energised and to ensure your metabolism stays revved up, burning calories throughout the entire day.

At Ten, we firmly believe that the right exercise and diet plan should be manageable, sustainable, healthy and enjoyable enough that you’re willing and able to do it all year round.

That way, not only will you be in bikini-shape all year but – more importantly – you’ll also be taking good long term care of your overall health and well-being.

It’s won’t be easy, and it won’t be instant. But it is that simple. And – if you put in some effort, and you’re willing to be consistent and a bit patient – it will work.

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