The temperatures are rising and that means it’s time to hit the beach or relax with the family and friends poolside. For most of us this also means getting ready to bare our bodies, in a bikini that is! While diet and exercise are important, there is also something you can do to make sure your bod is summer ready—and that is accept it. Laura Cipullo, a nutritionist and registered dietician says “It is all about self acceptance, not self depreciation.”

laura cipullo

Photo Credit: Laura Cipullo

Many women have a total fear of wearing a bikini, no matter what their size or body type is. This is due to a distorted body image and the fear of criticism. Maybe you’ve actually had someone criticize you while wearing a bikini, heard someone else get criticized or even glanced at some of the celeb gossip magazines during the summer, which are always snapping unflattering pictures of celebrities in their swimwear and pointing out every single flaw. All of these things can contribute to making you feel less than ready to bare your bod on the beach, even if you have worked hard to get it looking great.

Cipullo says that building your self-esteem is so important because it serves as the foundation for your body image and once you accept that, the sky is the limit. “Once you find and establish your self worth, wearing the bikini and being confident will be easy.”

There are a few other things you can do to help ensure you’re ready for your big reveal. First, you’ll want to ditch any of those fad diets. The best thing you can do, according to Cipullo is to eat throughout the day about every three to four hours. This not only keeps your metabolism operating at its most efficient level but research has sown that we actually consume less calories if we eat consistently throughout the day. It helps you avoid those late night food binges, or consumption of fast, fatty foods when you haven’t eaten all day.

You can also help prevent belly bloat and keep that belly looking trim by reducing your intake of raw vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli which are known to cause a bloated and gassy belly, neither of which you want when you’re wearing a bikini or even a one-piece bathing suit. Cipullo suggests choosing to eat sautéed greens like Swiss chard or collard greens. And remember it is always important to drink plenty of water throughout the day.