We asked registered dietitian and fitness expert Rebecca Scritchfield for her insight into the diets and fitness regimens of some of the top models who are featured in this year’s Sport Illustrated Swimsuit Edition — and what we “non-models” can do to achieve some of the same success.
Before you start thinking about moving into the gym to get Anne V’s bikini-perfect frame, know that every body type is different. “Models are known for their flawless appearance and a body shape that is genetically rare,” affirms Scritchfield. That doesn’t mean you can’t use model tricks to get into shape, but don’t get too focused on one area. “I think the average woman picks an area of their body they would like to change if they see too much fat there. However, I encourage women to work with their bodies and find the positive benefits of eating healthy and exercise, regardless of their shape,” she advises. “It's a self-esteem booster and it's sexy on every type of body.”
Jessica Gomes loves dance-inspired classes, while Anne V gets her exercise on the beach. The key to keeping the pounds off and looking great in your new two-piece is to enjoy what you’re doing. Scritchfield agrees. “I see a trend of 'fun' exercise versus the old 'dread mill.' People are participating in group TRX and CrossFit classes as well as spinning and movement classes like Zumba,” she says. “Most recently I've seen barre classes pop up, which focus on toning, and 'recess' classes, which emphasize functional training through play-inspired activities.” Find something that makes you smile and add that to your fitness routine.
Right now one thing everyone can do to get their bodies on track for bikini season is to eat when they’re hungry, says Scritchfield. “Don't make the mistake of 'fighting' hunger in an effort to lose weight. Your body eventually fights back and you end up eating anyway, usually a big meal, and it may not be as well-balanced because you are literally irritable and starving,” she explains. “Instead, eat light and often.”
Scritchfield suggests choosing whole foods that are nutritious and filling. Stock up on fruits, vegetables, beans, Greek yogurt and hearty grains like brown rice and quinoa. Another simple yet effective slim-down tip is to just snack smart. “My favorites are easy on-the-go snacks like KIND bars because they have ingredients you can see and pronounce,” she advises. “They also make a KIND Healthy Grains granola which is perfect for pairing with a Greek yogurt or milk, and is ultimately better than anything you're going to find in the vending machine.”
If you aren't food journaling, Scritchfield recommends doing that to see if you are eating more than you think, especially if you’re having trouble losing that last five to 10 pounds. “Sometimes people eat when they are bored or stressed and don't realize it until they write it down,” she explains. She also recommends reviewing how much alcohol you consume and looking at how often you eat out at restaurants.
Even models need their shut-eye, and it’s actually an important part of keeping weight off and staying in shape. “Get your sleep,” says Scritchfield. “Lack of sleep can affect your appetite and make you feel too tired to work out,” she explains. “Fuel your workouts with a nutritious snack about 60 minutes before you start.”
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