I Have Two Months to Lose Weight & Tone Up for Vacation

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A woman is swimming in open water. (Image: Thinkstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

An upcoming vacation often results in the desire for quick body improvements, especially if you’ll be wearing a swimsuit. While fad diets and fat-burning pills that promise rapid weight loss are tempting, the best method to tone and slim down your arms and legs includes a modified eating plan and increased physical activity. Understand some safe methods to prepare your body for vacation to ensure your well-being.

Two Months to a Better Body

Real weight loss occurs only when you eat fewer calories than your body uses daily. It is not recommended that you lose more than 2 pounds weekly, which means you’ll have a realistic chance to shed about 16 pounds in the eight weeks prior to your vacation. A pound of fat represents about 3,500 calories. Aim to take in 500 fewer calories each day than you burn and you’ll likely lose 1 pound per week, or 1,000 fewer calories daily for a 2-pound loss. Avoid lowering your daily intake past 1,200 calories, which puts your health at risk. Low-calorie foods ideal for a weight-loss diet include fish and lean meats, as well as fruit, whole grains, vegetables and low-fat dairy products.

Fastest Calorie-Burning Workouts

Aerobic exercise -- including brisk walking, bicycling and sports like soccer -- offers your best path to a slimmer appearance in a reduced timeline. Your body moves quickly during aerobic workouts, which ensures you’ll burn large numbers of calories. Start with a few minutes of exercise on most days and aim to build to 30 minutes or more at a moderate to intense speed approved by your doctor. Activities like tennis, aerobic dancing and racquetball typically burn more than 350 calories per hour.

Reduced Fat and Improved Physique

Adopting a strength-training routine in the two months prior to your vacation gives you plenty of time to achieve noticeable body improvements. People who lift weights like barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells are usually rewarded with visible results of the hard work in less than a month, although pushups, pullups and even exercise with resistance tubing are also strength-training methods. The training builds strength and sculpts your physique, but supports weight loss since muscle uses calories faster than other body tissue. Strength training also reduces fat. Aim to train with your doctor’s permission for 30 minutes on two to three days weekly.

Core Exercise for a Toned Stomach

Core exercises like kettlebell swings, the Turkish getup, planks and bicycle crunches help tone the muscles in your abdomen, hips and back prior to your vacation. Perform an exercise like the quadruped by starting on your knees and hands. Put your hands below your shoulders and ensure your neck and head align with your back. Tighten your stomach muscles and raise your left arm from the carpet and reach forward for three deep breaths. Lower your arm and perform the motion with your right arm. Raise your left leg away from the ground and tighten your stomach muscles. Take three deep breaths and repeat with your right leg. Start with five repetitions and aim to eventually perform between 10 and 15.

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