Bikini season is just around the corner

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Senior communications major Courtney Rose Curtsinger was in a heavy sweat as she got off the Stairmaster at Dedman’s Fitness Center one recent afternoon. Summer is just around the corner and her boyfriend is taking her to Mexico after graduation. The pressure to look great in her bikini pictures for Facebook and Instagram is at an all time high.

“All this cold weather is making me want to stay in and eat popcorn, and I had forgotten that summer is just around the corner,” said Curtsinger.

Senior journalism major Sarah Bicknell even admits that it is easy to pack on the pounds with a winter wardrobe. Prepping for summer requires most SMU students, including Bicknell, to cut back on the binge eating and attempt to negate the “freshman 15.”

Have no fear, because health experts say you can do a number of things to get back on track. Maintaining physical activity is key, so always choose the stairs and walk instead of drive to class. Cut back on your weekly alcohol consumption. Consider replacing carbs with healthy fats instead.

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Kristtian Chevere, the staff nutritionist for popular lifestyle blog SnobEssentials, says “preparing your body for summer weather is a climb, but taken one step at a time it is very doable.” Logging in your hours at the gym is a sure way to lose the extra pounds and burn fat.

“While it may be difficult, the sure way to lose that extra weight immediately is cutting down your alcohol intake. Alcohol acts as an inflammatory and cannot be metabolized properly,” said Chevere.

Late night snacking is another silent killer for the perfect beach body. Try to eat three hearty meals a day that will keep you satisfied. Snacking between meals, and especially at night is a big no-no. Senior psychology major Michele Keyes claims to be “so good about my diet all day long, but the second the clock strikes 10:00 pm, I am rummaging through my pantry looking for double stuffed Oreos to munch on.”

Equinox, an upscale members-only gym, offers a six-week program for $125 a month to get you in the best shape of your life. The program consists of boot camp classes three times a week and personal training sessions. The program is not for the faint of heart; it is serious butt kicking and for devout dieters only.

Scott Cashen, a trainer and membership advisor at Equinox’s Oak Lawn location, agrees that in order to get in shape you have to be devoted.

“This is a lifestyle choice not something you commit to for three weeks then give up. I understand wanting to get in shape for summer, but you should make a solid effort to keep up those disciplines year round,” He said.

If going to the gym is just not for you, there are many other things you can do to get your heart pumping and pave the way towards your beach body. Hitting the Katy Trail for a walk is great for your mind, body, and spirit. There are also multiple activities that do not require membership fees. Finding an exercise partner to motivate you getting off the couch is a great first step.

“Eating clean” is also important, but its often much easier said than done. Between school, work and SMU’s social scene, it is hard to find time to eat well. Some students say they get bored studying and crave processed food. Do not let these cravings get the best of you. It is smart to study somewhere far from your kitchen or vending machine. Bringing snacks, like grapes or an apple, to the library can help cut those cravings.

“Freshman year, I used to study at Bridwell library because it was walking distance to 7/11. I would reward myself with a study break to get junk food in-between papers. That might have something to do with my freshman 15,” admits senior fashion media major Shannon Lindee.

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