Hit the Beach!
The holiday season is upon us. With it comes the thought of the beach or the pool-side – but if that fills you with dread, never fear. We’ve asked local experts for diet and fitness tips as well as beauty advice to give you that beach-ready glow.
If you only have a few weeks to get into shape for your holiday, watching what you eat will make the most difference. Here are our expert tips.
Luke Garnsworthy from The Fitness Society in Berkhamsted
‘To get into shape quickly there are three golden diet rules: first, increase your protein intake, second, decrease all carbs, and third, count calories.
‘It might sound boring but you do need to work out how many calories your body needs and then create a daily deficit. Work out your BMR (base metabolic rate), which is the number of calories you burn just to stay alive, then add some according to how active you are. There are plenty of apps to do this online.
‘Eat plenty of protein including meat, fish, eggs, nuts, lentils, seeds and tofu, and don’t worry about fat – it’s sugar you need to cut out.’
Jill Bennett from Jilly B Fitness in Berkhamsted
‘To lose the most fat in a short space of time you need to drastically cut the carbs. The main source should be from vegetables, otherwise it’s protein all the way. Try a mushroom omelette for breakfast, chicken and avocado salad for lunch and salmon and green vegetables for dinner. Snacks such as almonds and apples will help you avoid hunger pangs, and try not to eat after 6pm. Even with a short amount of time you still need to eat sensibly, so don’t try a mad juicing diet as your body will go into starvation mode and make it harder to lose weight in future.’
Adam Bell from On The Limit gym in Tring
‘Keep your body from hoarding calories by eating little and often and drink plenty of water with a squeeze of fresh lemon, orange or lime. Meal ideas include breakfasts of brown toast, fruit and yogurts, granola or porridge; lunches of brown pasta salad with fish or chicken or wholesome sandwiches of meat or fish; dinners of grilled meat or fish with salads or colourful veg. Snacks could include fresh or dried fruit, nuts, rice cakes or raw vegetable sticks.’
Getting in shape
To really tone up and lose weight in a short space of time, follow these tips:
‘To get beach-ready in less than a month then you should limit the amount of high intensity cardio and instead concentrate on getting lean and building up your muscle mass which will burn more calories when you’re at rest. You also need to take a full-body approach. There’s no point just working on your abs, for example, as you have no idea how your body will respond to certain exercises. For added inspiration, take photos and measurements of your body before you start and chart your progress – it will spur you on when you’re struggling!’
‘Do plenty of toning exercises to increase your metabolic rate and burn more calories outside of exercise time. Try three sets of 10-12 reps of lunges and squats, holding at the bottom of each repetition for added intensity for your legs; for triceps do three sets of 10-12 reps of press ups, and to tone your stomach, hold the plank for 30 seconds followed by three sets of 10-12 stomach crunches holding your legs in the air. To burn fat, do interval training such as walking and jogging (30 seconds jog, 1 minute walking, or 30 seconds running, 1 minute jogging, building the times up as you get fitter. Short and sharp bursts of aerobic exercise burns fat much quicker.’
‘Interval, or Tabata training, really raises your metabolism and carries on burning calories for 24 hours after your session, so is much more effective than working out steadily for an hour. Aim for 16 minutes of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest, working at 80 per cent of your maximum heart rate. If you do choose a more moderate exercise such as jogging, do it for at least 40 minutes – you only start burning fat after 20 minutes so it won’t be effective otherwise. ‘Weights will also help raise your metabolism – increased muscle mass means you’re burning calories faster all the time. Do 10-15 repetitions with the weight so heavy that you can’t do any more for maximum results.’
A bit of help
If all else fails – or you just fancy a bit more help before you hit the beach – then here are some fab treatments available locally that will help you feel a million dollars . . .
Faye from The Studio in Berkhamsted
‘For instant results before your holiday, the Universal Contour Wrap is the best treatment. It draws toxins from the body, compacts body tissue, revitalises elastin and stimulates the lymphatic system. It will shape your body through cleansing, toning and tightening the skin and soft fatty tissue. The wrap process is carried out using bandages soaked in a warm sea clay solution which will naturally extract toxins and poisons from the body’s soft adipose tissue. At the same time the skin is freed of dead skin cells and the fatty tissue is compacted. Once wrapped, you’ll be helped into a vinyl suit to keep you warm, and you can sit back and enjoy a mini facial. You’ll look and feel slimmer instantly, and it will reduce the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks. We recommend three treatments for maximum benefit, seven to 10 days apart.’
Victoria Armstrong from Nutmeg Spa in Hemel Hempstead
‘Our most popular and effective treatment is the Universal Contour Wrap. It’s been a trusted inch-loss brand for nearly 25 years. I’ve been doing the treatment for 15 years as it is the only wrap which can guarantee a minimum loss of six inches and the inch loss is maintained for at least 30 days. It uses a unique blend of mineral rich clay and specialist body wrapping techniques which help to cleanse the body whilst actively compressing the soft fatty tissues to create inch loss. It is a 2 hour treatment which costs £75.’
Angela from Serene Beauty Spa in Berkhamsted
iLipo is a surgery-free alternative to liposuction, using lasers which target the fat cells and break them down so they can then be expelled from the body. Clare Swatman went along to try it out.
‘I thought this treatment would take ages, and I thought it might hurt. I was wrong on both counts. I arrived at 9am and was whisked downstairs to begin treatment. Most salons only have four pads, but Angela has invested in eight, so the treatment takes half the time. The pads were attached to my stomach and hips and then I just lay back and relaxed for 10 minutes while they worked their magic. And that was it! No fuss, no pain, and all I then had to promise to do was 30-40 minutes of aerobic activity to help the fat cells leave my body. We re-measured after the treatment I’d lost almost 3cms from my tummy too. I dutifully went to a kettlebell class afterwards and felt great. It’s a great way to get rid of unwanted, stubborn inches.’
Of course it’s not all about getting slim and toned – you also want to get your skin, hair and nails looking their best. There are many places locally that offer everything from full summer packages to waxing, fake tanning and gel nails. Here’s our pick:
Janet from The Clinic, Tring
The Clinic offers all-over body waxing, including specialist waxing for intimate and delicate areas. Janet is trained in using hot wax which is around 50% less painful than strip wax, and is the perfect choice if you want to be fuzz-free for your holiday as it lasts from 4-6 weeks.
The Studio, Berkhamsted
The Studio offers electrolysis from £7, waxing from £8 and tanning from £15. They also have a pre-holiday package which includes a half-leg and bikini line wax, eyebrow shape, eyelash tint, and shellac manicure and pedicure for £105.
They have the Universal Contour Wrap, as mentioned previously, as well as a holiday package which includes a half-leg and bikini wax, lash tint, mini manicure and mini pedicure for £55. Waxing and electrolysis starts from £7.