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5 Ways To Lose Weight (Before Bathing Suit Season)

By Shira Scott, GalTime.com

The season I fear most is just weeks away! It's nearly bathing suit season.  It's early May and my anxiety level is starting to spike.  I need to lose these love handles, the ones I hide so well under my sweaters.  Not being one for crash dieting, I know it might take until July 4th to really feel comfortable in my own skin, but I'm ready to put my health (and my beach body) first!

Here are 5 habits I'm putting to practice stat!

1. Set small, realistic goals.

I want to lose 10 pounds, but not in week one!  Week one, I'll shoot for 1-2 pounds.  Same for weeks 2 and 3.  Now, week 4 is going to be Memorial Day Weekend.  My goal for that holiday?  Maintain, maintain, maintain... by making healthier food choices and eating normal amounts of my barbecue favorites.

Related: Bootylicious!! Moves That Give Your Butt a Boost

2.  Find a diet buddy (or a support system that works for you).

Diet buddies keep you motivated.  You can always count on your partner, a friend of relative to give you the evil eye when you dip into the potato salad one too many times. Organized programs like Weight Watchershave strong support groups, too.

3. Keep a food journal.

I fought this one for years, but recently in desperation decided to try writing down everything I put into my mouth... at least for one day to see if I would be as shocked as everyone predicted.  !#&!* WOW.... a taste of this, a crumb of that... the calories really do add up. Taking pen to paper makes you aware of your behavior. While I went old school, there are plenty of apps out there you can use to keep your journal.  And while the goal is to stop thoughtless eating, don't skip meals.  Research shows that's a diet killer.

Related: Fab Abs By Summer

4. Make exercise fun!

The treadmill can get mighty boring day after day.  No matter what music is on my iTouch, I can't stay motivated for too long unless I mix it up.  This spring and summer, I'm going to go dancing, take my bike out of storage and play frisbee on the beach.  In other words, I'm turning exercise into entertainment!

5. Get enough sleep.

That means eight hours a night for most people.  Why is this so important?  Studies show that too little sleep can lead to weight gain.  Research also shows too much tech time can lead to extra poundage, so try to limit your computer and TV hours.

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