Tips to get ready fast for bikini season

LOS ANGELES Wanting to wear "just a little" something, Jenni Cardone has her game on for bikini season.

"I'm going to a lot of poolside and ocean side locations for weddings and mini-vacations, so I thought I should bring the toning back," Cardone said.

Along with toning, cardio and a stellar diet are also needed, and your plan will work better starting sooner than later.

"For bikini season, ideally, you'd want to start at least four weeks out," said trainer Mike Donavanik.

At the gym or at home, Donavanik reminds us that grabbing light weights won't do much to create a new you.

"If at 15 reps you can still go for another 15, definitely time to increase the weight ," Donavanik said.

He suggests three to four sets of 12 to 15 repetitions as a good rule of thumb.

For weight loss, we're talking about one to two pounds a week max, which means you're going to exercise nearly every day, ramping up the intensity and creativity. Donavanik said this will keep your metabolism up, while making your workout more effective.

If possible, break up your workout into two parts - cardio one session, strength the other.

Along with working out, it's important to watch what you eat to prepare for bikini season.

"I try to take out a lot of the breads that I indulge in over the winter and try to mix in a lot of more summer fruits and some lean meats," Cardone said.

"Carbs are our friends, but you can get natural carbs through fruits and vegetables," said author and self-proclaimed Bikini Chef Susan Irby.

She put lowfat chicken salad in flavorful tomatoes and used grilled Portobello mushrooms as the bun for turkey burgers. In lieu of oils and fats, she makes a butter out of pears and apples to top toast or bland proteins.

"Don't think of eating healthy as an it's-all-or-nothing situation," Irby said.

Irby says it's okay to have desserts.

"You need a bikini dessert that is going to be satisfying to you, and what is more satisfying than a pound cake that doesn't have any fat in it?" she said.

Irby says her 125-calorie dessert, with fruit compote and yogurt, dampers deprivation feelings so you can stay on track.

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