Bikini Body Tried and Tested: Strong’ not ‘Skinny’

by May 27, 2014

Find out how VT has toned up for summer by thinking ‘strong’ not ‘skinny’.

In preparation of beach-season, the media are starting to wheel out their two favourite words: ‘bikini body’.

Over the past year we’ve seen a shift in the definition of a healthy body. It’s no longer the ‘done thing’ to have your hips and ribs on show (thank god!) – it’s now all about being ‘strong not skinny’. Join us in letting your not-totally-concave-belly out a little as you take a deep breath of relief.

I’ve delved a little deeper into this new trend and tried it out for myself. A big part of it is eating the right diet: not a faddish diet but just food that’s good for you, and not too much of it. I’ve been swapping granola in the morning for scrambled eggs and ham, my elevensies no longer consist of a diet coke but instead 25g of almonds. Lunch usually consists of a gigantic salad fueled by egg, chicken/tuna, green beans, leaves and tomatoes followed by a generous helping of Greek yogurt and berries. I’m a light eater during the evening so I can usually be satisfied by just fish and veg (with sweet potato or rice if I’m massively craving).

I sound like a saint. I’m not. I’m a chocoholic. I once ate three Easter eggs in one hour, my step-dad owns a chocolate factory and I regularly eat him out of his Belgium choccie supply. However, with immense self-control I’ve managed to control this a little better by eating dark chocolate: a better alternative but you still get the sugar fix. Oh and I relax all the rules one day a week – I’m not a bloody robot after all!

If you are looking to do something like this I advise stocking up on the following things:

1) Almonds

2) Blueberries

3) Total Greek yogurt (full fat)

4) Eggs

5) Lots and lots of green veggies

So once the sugar cravings are under control, the exercise needs to come into play. If you are eating a high protein diet, the right exercise will enhance the results so much quicker. I try to do 40 minutes of cardio 3 days a week and weight training 4 days a week, I’m also a yoga fanatic so I tend to do a class most days.

Check out the class schedule at your local gym, boring cardio style classes are disappearing to make way for pilates, pump classes, crossfit and numerous other activities that include some form of resistance training. Resistance training provides all the benefits of cardio and more, such as reduced cholesterol and blood pressure, and a reduced risk of osteoporosis. It also gives your postural muscles a workout, so no more hump-backing. You don’t have to pick one or the other, cardio and strength training can both be done, however if I had to choose one, it would be the latter any day of the week.

Thanks to this high protein diet and regular exercise I’ve dropped 4% body fat and just feel like a much healthier, stronger version of myself – which can’t hurt right?

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About Vanessa Toby

Vanessa is a keen traveller with no sense of direction. She has an insatiable love of fashion and a spare room full of shoes she has hoarded over the years. If Vanessa isn’t taking over the New Business world at work, you will find her trying out your new favourite exercise class. As a strong believer in the importance of a healthy work-life balance you will find her documenting mind and body advice and top tips.