No, you don’t need to be Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, or Lisa Haydon to get into a two piece. All you need is attitude.

Confidence is the key to carrying off a bikini. It all starts and ends with that. However, to gain that confidence you do need to work a little on your body. Tip: rather than being thin it is better to aim at having a well-toned body that’s smooth and glowing. So what are your obstacles on the way? Flab, cellulite, stretch marks, body hair and dry, uneven skin? Here’s our extensive bikini guide to help you overcome these hurdles:

1.      Tone Up

Yes you have to move your body. You do need to cut the flab and therefore, exercise whether in the gym or in the form of yoga or dance is an absolute essential for being fit.

Eat Right: As far as diet is concerned it plays an important role in cutting down the flab and getting the desired curves. Dermatologist and wellness expert Dr Varun Katyal offers the following tips:

– To start with one needs to cut down saturated fat from the diet. Replace fried foods with nutrient-rich foods and low-calorie fruits. So time to start snacking on nuts, seeds and fruits.

– Avoid coffee and alcohol. Restricting yourself to just a glass of wine should be fine.- Limit your intake of processed foods and sugar.

– Drink lots of water and fluids like vegetable and fruit juices, coconut water and herbal teas. You can even make your own detox water and have it every day. Fitness and wellness expert Dr Mahima Bakshi recommends, “Take a few cucumber slices with the peel, 2-3 lemon slices and a few mint leaves. Add them to a glass of water, keep it overnight and have it first thing in the morning.”

– Add a slice of lemon to your drinking.

– Try a juice cleanse diet, but do speak to an expert before you attempt. (We recommend the juice diet offered by Antidote.)

– Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

2.      Work it Out

The easiest exercise is to start moving your body more. Avoid taking lifts and climb up the stairs, go walking to a nearby place, dance or can even try a Zumba class. The more you sweat the nearer you are to the perfect bikini bod.

– Squats: Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart, place both the hands in front holding a dumbbell. Squat down and stand up quickly while moving your hands forward taking them behind your back over the head making an arc. Bring the hand back. Keep repeating this exercise for one minute to tone your butt, legs, shoulders and triceps.

– Chair exercise: Sit on a chair sideways with the left side on the outer side. Place your hands behind on the seat behind the butt. Move your torso back up to 45 degrees. The legs should be raised in the air bringing the knees closer to the chest. Holding firmly straighten up your legs such that the body makes a V with the legs and upper part. Come back to the starting position with knees bent. Repeat this for one minute to sculpt the abs.

– Using an exercise ball: Lie down resting your back on the floor and hands resting on both the sides. Hold the ball between both your feet and raise them making a 90 degree angle with your legs and torso. Hold the position and start moving your legs towards your head so that the lower belly comes nearer to the upper one, exhale while doing this. Inhale as you move your legs back to the start position. Repeat lifting and lowering of the ball 12 times.

3.      Be a Smoothie

Team up your well-toned body with glowing skin. Here’s what you should be doing.

Butter Up: If you like experimenting, try to rustle up a nourishing mix at home. Aesthetician Ruby Biswas offers one of her time-tested concoctions, “Mix watermelon juice, cucumber juice and honey to make your own moisturiser. Apply this for a few minutes and wash off with cold water.” Honey nourishes the skin and watermelon and cucumber take care of pigmentation and hydration. You could actually drink this as a juice and even apply it topically as a treatment! After all you are what you eat.

4.      Get Professional

Other than off-the-shelf products, there are few medical procedures that help you achieve a spotless silhouette. Dr Katyal suggests the following:

– Microneedling: This process involves numerous tiny needles penetrating the upper layer of the skin. It benefits by stimulating the collagen production and further helps in better absorption of topical gels and creams. It removes scars, acne marks, stretch marks, wrinkles and rejuvenates the skin.

-Microdermabrasion: The procedure works by blowing crystals onto the skin to remove the cells from the epidermis layer of the skin. It boosts the collagen production and increases the elasticity. It helps in reducing the stretch marks or spots if any and gets back a softer and brighter looking skin.

– Chemical Peel: An exfoliating chemical treatment is applied on the skin. It helps re-surface a healthier, glowing skin.

Hair removal: Finally the absolute essential before adorning your two-piece is hair removal. There are several ways that you can choose from waxing, shaving, hair removal creams and laser hair removal treatments. All the procedures are fine to go with; it primarily depends on your comfort level and preference. Just a few points to keep in mind:

– If you are going to a salon for waxing check the cleanliness and hygiene of the place. Especially the spatula used to apply the wax should be properly sterilised. It’s a minor thing but important to check.

– Do keep an anti-allergic at hand if you have sensitive skin. Waxing can irritate skin and an immediate medicine along with soothing aloe gel will help control angry outbursts.

– If you are opting for a laser, ensure you are getting it done by a professional with proper credentials. Do keep in mind that just one treatment won’t be of any help as for hair removal of a bikini area one would require 5-6 treatments.

If you have marked all these check boxes, then just go ahead and take the plunge.

An edited version of this story was published in L’Officiel, July 2015 issue.

bikini body-edited version copy

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