Seven (Non-Diet!) Ways to Love Your Body in a Bikini

Local fitness guru Lauren Boggi on why you shouldn't stress over swim season—and how to look good in a bathing suit now

Summer is chasing us at the heels, and now is the time that many women go into what Lithe Instructor Carrie Gero recently coined “Summer Bikini Panic.” But suddenly going all out at the last minute is a surefire way to a sports injury and fad dieting or restricting calories can cause destructive yo-yo-ing (weight cycling) which is unhealthy on so many levels. No matter how tempting it might be to try and do lots of last-minute rehab, remember that slow and steady weight loss is best for keeping it off long term and for losing fat, not all of that calorie-burning muscle you want to keep around.

So if you’re looking to get in shape for summer, know that your goal really should be to arrive at this time next year and not be panicking. Start a safe, smart—and feasibly sustainable—program now, and then check out my tips for buying a bikini below that’ll make you look like you just lost five pounds—without hurting your health.

Seven (Non-Diet!) Ways to Love Your Body in a Bikini

1. Try everything on. Suits look completely different on your body than on the hanger. Untie first—you need to adjust the straps to your body (not the girl’s who tried it on before you) or you won’t get the right look or fit.

2. If you have a top with strings, tie it in the back first, then stretch the cups over your breasts before tying behind your neck. Got a bottom with strings? Tie it so it sits on your hip bone. Don’t go too low or, even worse, too high (hello, David Lee Roth, “California Girls”).

3. When a suit fits, you don’t get any “overspill.” Remember that everything has a place—inside your suit. Watch out for super-skinny straps … They’re flattering on almost no one and they create back-bulge if you have even a little cushion on your back-bones.

4. Slide your shoulders down and stand up straight. Not only will you look confident, but perfect posture slims your frame.

5. Be self-confident. It’s sexy! Remember, it’s not always about what you wear, but how you wear it.

6. Double-check yourself In a three-way mirror if at all possible before buying. You want to be sure you look great from all angles.

7. Once you find a perfect fit, take note of the brand. Companies rarely change their fit year to year. It’ll make next year’s shopping that much better!

Looking for a great place in Philly to try some suits on? Check out Abbe’s Place in Manayunk (they’ll give you their honest opinion on what looks good, and I like that) 4355 Main Street, Manayunk, 215-487-2332, or Cameo Water Wear (check out their website for locations.

Lauren Boggi is the owner and creator of Lithe Method. Read more about Lauren here.