Peace. Love. Pancakes. — "Hi ! I am embarrassed of my weight and can't wear a nice bikini to the beach. I'm going to Europe next year and I need to get a tight tummy and skinny thighs in the next 3-4 months. Can you please give me a basis of exercises and meals that I can use to achieve this because I am really determined to get the body I've always wanted. Please reply privately. Thank you :)"

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"Hi ! I am embarrassed of my weight and can’t wear a nice bikini to the beach. I’m going to Europe next year and I need to get a tight tummy and skinny thighs in the next 3-4 months. Can you please give me a basis of exercises and meals that I can use to achieve this because I am really determined to get the body I’ve always wanted. Please reply privately. Thank you :)"

Answer: Hey! I think it’s AWESOME that you’ve set a goal and am determined to meet it. That’s one of my favorite things to see- I’m a firm believer in anything being possible if you want it enough. Anyways, I’m posting this- without your username- as well as replying privately in case someone else has a similar issue or question.

Anyways, the order of things from most important/influential to least is : 1) what you eat 2) cardio 3) weights/ strength training on your overall body 4)toning and building muscle in the specific areas like doing leg lifts or bicycle crunches in this case. This means that you need to really focus on what you eat and cardio. Those are going to be the biggest things- you can have “abs”- so to speak at least- without having really strong abdominal muscles if you lower your body fat enough just so that the muscles that are simply part of your anatomy are more defined and show through. At the same time you can have the strongest abdominal muscles in the world but no one would be able to see them if you did not have a low enough body fat percentage for them to show.

So what I would recommend is having 6 or 7 meals a day- each with about 300 calories (closer to 250 if doing 7 meals). So basically you’re constantly eating so you won’t feel hungry and so your metabolism is up- your digestive system will be constantly working. Try to keep the food you eat as clean as possible- meaning if it comes in a package the ingredients list should be mostly stuff you can pronounce and can recognize. I’m not an advocate of cutting out gluten or dairy- or soy etc- for long term weight loss- so if you have 3 or 4 months then I would not recommend it because it’s not the best thing for your body- so go ahead and eat bread and whatnot. I’d try for whole wheat, organic, etc when you can but it’s not necessary- you have only white bread? Then by all means go for it- it’s not THAT big of a deal at the end of the day. It makes a difference but not to the extent that a lot of people make it seem.

I would definitely recommend oatmeal. I always start my day off with 1/2 cup of oatmeal- usually with some raisins thrown in to sweeten it a little bit- and I have A TON of oatmeal recipes under if you want any ideas to make it more extravagant, but if you’re time-strained that’s what I do. Basically all fruits and veggies are fair game- some people say to stay away from starchy stuff like bananas and potatoes and whatnot, but really come on that’s a little extreme and quite frankly unnecessary- I go to a dietitian and her professional opinion backs me up on this. Just go for what you like basically. Some people say to stay away from peanut butter because it’s high in calories- 2 TB is like 180 or 190 cal- but it has good fats and it actually makes your metabolism work harder and there are a lot worse things out there, so I have never limited or cut out peanut butter- but I really love peanut butter so that might also be a factor. 

*If you think you don’t have time or can’t plan 6 meals a day- don’t sweat it. Plan or construct the three main ones and then just eat them parts at a time. Basically deconstruct the 3 meals so you eat half of each within 3 hours of each other or something like that. It’s really not as hard as people think.

And, I would drink a lot of water. I drink around a gallon(16 cups) of water a day- I’m a really thirsty person I guess haha. But seriously I think the more water you drink, the thirstier you get. Anyways, I’d strive for 10 cups a day. 

Exercise-wise I’d try to get in cardio 5-6 times a week, with hard workouts being 3-4 times a week. These hard workouts should be HIIT- high intensity interval workouts. My favorite sample/example of it- that my trainer would have me do when I was doing them on my own at home or stretched for time- would be 30 seconds as hard as I can followed by 90 seconds of a slow recovery jog and repeating that 6-12 times(depending on how in-shape I was at the time). It works for all difficulty levels, because working as hard as you can changes for each person- the better in shape you are the harder and faster you are going to work your body and heart. So the things you can be doing for this can be running- so you’d be sprinting- or basically any cardio workout so you could be doing jumping jacks as hard and as fast as you can for 30 seconds and then slowly jogging in place to recover or high knees or butt kicks or burpees or jumping rope or basically anything. This is flexible so you can do it anywhere any time and it doesn’t take very long either- it’s like 20 minutes. So I’d do this twice a day- once in the morning and once in the evening or at least at two fairly-well spaced apart times so you can really get your metabolism going and pumped and revved up.

And the other non-hard workout cardio days should be stuff like jogging slowly or swimming or basically anything just don’t do them as intensely like you do your hard workouts- any form of cardio can be cranked up or down depending on what you’re putting into it. 

And I’d recommend a rest day-or two if you haven’t been exercising regularly- a week to give your joints a rest and to let your body recover. You can do yoga and stretches on these days though- because that’s good for your body and aids in recovery.

Best of luck! X Rena

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