Skinny by Summer

Summertime means it's time to lose the winter coat and slip into your swimsuit. Unfortunately, the extra layers of clothes may not be the only thing you need to lose.  If you need to shape up before you ship out to the beach, we've got some tips.

This time of year, the latest dieting trends take over the health and fitness scene.

"The hot topic becomes, "What is the new diet trend?" whether it's for the New Year or getting ready for summer," said registered dietician Melissa Martin.

Pick up any magazine and you are going to find the latest fad diets that pop up this time of year which include everything from the fasting diet to tips on getting better abs.

The success of these fad diets, depends on you.

"What you have to focus on is what is realistic for you, and what is your lifestyle like," suggested Martin.

In other words, if you need to drop just a few pounds quickly a fad diet could actually help you.   The trick is choosing a diet that works best with your lifestyle.  For example, if you usually eat several meals each day with your family, the fasting diet is probably not for you.

However, Martin says it's more important to focus on your long term health.

Beyond the fad diets, more and more people are looking to make lifestyle changes with healthier diets and exercise which is best for long-term weight loss and maintenance.

"Not only does it get me in shape for the summer and getting ready for the bikini weather, but it's a great way to get your life together," said gym member Dorothy Kemp.

Kemp is a participant in boot camp, a gym program that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years.  Boot camp uses group fitness, friendly competition and health education to motivate members.

"It's different than group fitness because we have a little more accountability. We do assessments before and after to see where you started and where you've gone," said personal trainer Jennifer Mayers. "You really push each other to the limits and that's how you find change."

It also makes working out fun, something trainers say is key to helping people stick with the program and live a healthy lifestyle overall so that beach body lasts well past summer.

"Adherence is really what is going to get you results, not just some miracle exercise," said Mayers. "The hardest part is that it's so simple. You just got to exercise and eat right."

Martin agrees and says that the fastest way to get skinny is to make good health choices each day.

If you have concerns about your weight and its affect on your health, it is best to talk to your primary physician about the best weight loss and lifestyle changes.

If you would like more information on healthy weight loss, or even how to find your ideal weight, click here.

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