As spring approaches, we inevitably start thinking about summer.  And, when we think about summer, we suddenly remember it’ll soon be bathing suit weather.  We’ll be lathering up and lounging around the pool in no time.  As we pull out last summer’s ware and start trying things back on, here are a few things we can do to make sure we can still slip into our wardrobe.

Some subtle diet modifications can go a long way.  Consider eliminating salt, which makes our bodies bloat.  This is easier said than done as salt is a well-known preservative and many of the processed foods lining our pantries are loaded with sodium.  But, cutting out the most likely culprits will make a big difference.  This means steering clear of potato chips, table salt, soy sauce, soups, and bread.

Cutting back – way back – on sugar will also help.  Our bodies have a habit of storing this pesky additive, so it doesn’t leave our system quickly and ends up hanging around in areas we’d least like it to such as in our upper arms, belly, and thighs.  This means eliminating pasta, bread, starchy foods such as French fries, and juice, and probably avoiding much of what you’re used to ordering when eating on the road.

Swap carbs with protein to stay full longer and provide your body with replacement nutrients.  Try upping your intake of lean meats, leafy greens, nuts, and dairy.  You can make a killer protein shake at home with a scoop of powdered whey protein, milk, fresh fruit, and kale.  Bananas will give the mixture a smooth consistency and blueberries are great antioxidants.

Replace alcohol and soda with water.  Both alcohol and regular pop tend to be calorie-dense and high in sugar.  Water will flush out and detox your system while relieving bloating and helping you to feel full.  Upping your intake of raw vegetables will also eliminate bloating and keep you feeling satisfied.

The experts at Elle magazine also recommend introducing a plant-based supplement called arnica into your diet when prepping for the beach.  Arnica is a natural anti-inflammatory which helps decrease puffiness in pill form.  As a topical gel, it will help eliminate blemishes and bruises while reducing any swelling.

Of course, if you’re looking for lasting results, exercise is key.  Try devoting just fifteen minutes twice a day to high intensity workouts that will help you burn the most calories in the least amount of time.  Don’t forget to take time to destress and focus on self-care, either.  A few minutes of yoga or meditation every day will zap stress hormones, which tend to stick with us in the form of cortisol, especially in the stomach region.