Diet and exercise balance key to bikini body

New York: A survey of 1,149 adults reveals that 65 percent of women will deprive themselves of sweets to slim for the swimsuit season. However, the key to success in slimming down is changing your routine and creating a balance between diet and exercise, says celebrity trainer Kathy Kaehler.

Kaehler, who has shaped diet and fitness regimens for such celebrities as Julia Roberts and Cindy Crawford, offers this advice to stay on track.

* Listen to Your Body. Most diets go off course when you deprive yourself of essential fats and carbohydrates. This can lead you to compensate by overeating. To avoid this trap, allow yourself a delicious, lower fat treat in moderation. “I often recommend bite-sized 3 Musketeers Miniatures to my clients because they have 45 percent less fat than the leading chocolate brands,” said Kaehler. “This fulfills a yearning without sacrificing long-term diet and fitness goals.”

* Mix It Up. Shake up your routine by changing the amount of repetition or type of exercise — increase the incline and speed, or take a different and more challenging class. Try hiking or running at the park once a week instead of going to the gym.

* Select a Training Partner. Choose a professional trainer who can provide the guidance and motivation to keep your fitness routine on track and help you focus on problem areas. If you can’t afford a trainer, ask a friend to become a workout buddy. It will help you enjoy your workout rather than view it as a chore.

* Get More Sleep. Sleep fuels the body and mind and allows you to recharge. If you don’t get enough sleep, you may feel sluggish or agitated, making it harder to focus and jeopardize your chances of staying on track.

* Set Realistic Goals. Keep your perspective — don’t unfairly compar yourself to Hollywood figures who have the money and time to spend all day shaping their bodies. Don’t expect results after only a few weeks in the gym. If you start with realistic goals, such as eating a healthier diet and doing 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times a week, it will be easier to stay motivated and see results over the long-term.