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Yikes! Bikini season is here - last minute tips

Associated Press

Don't worry if you forgot about bikini season.

With so much going on, who had time to think about counting calories and working out to fit into a two-piece?

But it's not too late to get ready for the big reveal. We asked eight experts for some last-minute tipsto inspire bikini body confidence:

DO THE PLANK: Trade in crunches for plank holds. Crunches workthe rectus abdominus but planks target the internal obliques,external obliques and transverse abdominus to give you a leanerlook by helping with your posture. To do a plank, balance on thefloor on your forearms and toes, forming a straight line from headto heels and hold for 30 seconds.

- Mary Christ Anderson, Fitness Director of Fitness magazine

ACCESORIZE: Try a great pair of earrings, an anklet or bellyring, cool sunglasses, lovely flip-flops. Bring a glamorouscover-up. If you need color, use a self-tanner, which will make youfeel more confident. Get a mani and pedi. "Your toes and fingerscan really help carry off an elegant look."

- Red Carter, designer

EAT FRUITS AND VEGGIES: High water, high potassium fruits andvegetables help regulate the body's water balance to reducebloating and prevent dehydration. Since vegetables are only 20calories a serving, cut back on whole grains and lean proteins anduse veggies to fill up.

- Dawn Jackson Blatner, registered dietitian and author of "The Flexitarian Diet" ( McGraw-Hill, 2009)

MAKE THE SUIT FIT: You should not get bulging from the straps ormaterial and the bottom should not be baggy. The bottom shouldcontour with your rear without pinching or sagging. With the top,always tie the bottom strap first as tight as possible - withoutlosing circulation - and then do the top around your neck. Thiswill lift the bust up.

- Danna Pomeroy of www.fijitimeswim.com

ACCEPT YOURSELF: Stand in front of the mirror with your bathingsuit on. Focus on the features you like. Then focus on what youwill do in the suit - swim, lay on the beach. "The more you focuson what you will do, rather than how you look, the more you'llenjoy yourself and the better your body image will be."

- Stacey Rosenfeld, New York City-based psychologist

GET ON TRACK: Start exercising and eating right today for a2-pound weight loss in one week. You will feel more confident andenergized. Do a mix of cardio and strength training; follow a 1,600to 1,800 calorie a day menu. For motivation, put up images ofhealthy, happy women with strong, sculpted bodies you admire.

- Meaghan B. Murphy, SELF's fitness director

TRY INTERVALS: Fire up the metabolism with an interval-basedcardio program. Do this simple routine three days this week: 1minute max effort, followed by two minutes at an easy pace. Repeatfive times. You can run, bike, or use a cardio machine. To preventbloating, keep sodium in check and watch the gas-producing foodsand carbonated beverages.

- Jen Ator, Women's Health assistant fitness editor

GIVE IN: Rather than focus on what size you were last year orthought you would be this year, find a suit that fits the body youhave now. "Knowing and understanding the size and shape of yourbody, and deciding how you want to dress it, can be an empoweringmoment. After all, size is just a number."

- Jess Weiner, author, self-esteem expert

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