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April 15, 2009

How to Get a Better Body in Two Weeks

Learn some strategies that will effectively improve your body for good.

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girl on beach in bikini and hat

Shirt, $44, Levi's; bikini, $140, Vix; boots, $100, UGG Australia; necklace, $280, bracelet, $175, Lulu Frost; hat, model's own.

Photo Credit: Chloe Webber

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Suppose you have the luxury of two whole weeks before you need to be in your bikini. Welcome to the plan that can make real changes in your body that fast. We don't usually like quick-fix plans, but we know that there are certain moments when you need a kick-start (and, let's face it, certain moments when you have a deadline and serious bucks tied up in a beach rental).

Do everything here, and you could melt five to eight pounds in two weeks. Do just one thing, and you're moving your body in the right direction. Here's what to nix and what to add between now and takeoff.

BOOST YOUR BURN

DOUBLE YOUR CARDIO
Do twice the number of minutes at the gym as you usually do, says Los Angeles trainer Teddy Bass. Change things up to minimize wear and tear: If you power walk one day, hit the pool the next (or at least migrate from one type of cardio machine to another type).

DOUBLE THE AFTERBURN
If you can stand the outfit changes, divide exercise into two sessions: cardio in the morning and weights in the evening (or vice versa). You're elevating your metabolism twice, which means you're burning more calories than if you'd done both in the same session.

KNOCK IT OFF

THE NIGHTCAP
(It's two weeks — you can handle it.) Your body treats alcohol as a toxin, so your liver processes alcohol calories before all others in an attempt to clean bad stuff from your bloodstream, says Kirsch. The result? The other calories you've gotten from food are more likely to be stored as fat.

MILK AND CHEESE
"In my experience, most women have some sort of lactose sensitivity, which means they get bloated from even small amounts of dairy products," says Yumi Lee, a Los Angeles trainer whose clients include Julianna Margulies and Pink. "Once they stop for a couple of weeks, they instantly see a difference." Don't nix calcium altogether: Take a supplement and get the nutrient from foods such as salmon and almonds.

WHEAT
Even high-fiber whole-wheat or multigrain bread can contribute to bloating, says Garcia. Feed your carb cravings with sweet potatoes, brown or wild rice, and wheat-free cereals.


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