Whew! So you faked your way to a great bod for the weekend. Now learn some strategies that will effectively improve your body for good:
Suppose you have the luxury of two whole weeks before you need to be in your bikini. Welcome to the plan that can make real changes in your body that fast. We don't usually like quick-fix plans, but we know that there are certain moments when you need a kick-start (and, let's face it, certain moments when you have a deadline and serious bucks tied up in a beach rental). Do everything here, and you could melt 5 to 8 pounds in two weeks. Do just one thing, and you're moving your body in the right direction. Here's what to nix and what to add between now and takeoff.
Boost Your Burn
Double Your Cardio
Do twice the number of minutes at the gym as you usually do, says Los Angeles trainer Teddy Bass. Change things up to minimize wear and tear: If you power walk one day, hit the pool the next (or at least migrate from one type of cardio machine to another type).
Double the Afterburn
If you can stand the outfit changes, divide exercise into two sessions: cardio in the morning and weights in the evening (or vice versa). You're elevating your metabolism twice, which means you're burning more calories than if you'd done both in the same session.
Bring It On
A Fistful of Protein Three Times a Day
Aim for 4 to 6 ounces (about the size of your fist) of lean protein, such as chicken, fish, or egg whites, at every meal, says trainer David Kirsch. (He's the one who whipped Heidi Klum back into shape within eight weeks of giving birth.) In one study, people who got 30 percent of their day's calories from protein ate 441 fewer calories than people who ate a 15 percent protein diet.
Your Weight in Water
Take your body weight and divide it in half. Then drink that many ounces of water a day, says Los Angeles trainer Jeanette Jenkins, author of T he Hollywood Trainer Weight-Loss Plan. If you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water a day. (That's just a little more than four small bottles of water.) Why? The rate at which you burn calories drops when you're dehydrated.