HOUSTON -- Check the calendar. Summer is near and it will be bikini season before you know it. Yet, there s just enough time for a summer slim down.

The ladies at Pure Fitness, an all women's gym in Spring, are focused.

Swimsuit season is fast approaching. When asked if she s feeling any pressure, 40 year-old Jennifer Schmidt says, Definitely. She goes on to explain, We have a vacation planned in June, and we'll spend most of the summer by the pool. So Schmidt is putting in extra time at the gym. She recently started a kickboxing class.

Like so many other women, feeling the pressure to look perfect poolside, Jennifer has feels as though she has just a month to put her best beach body forward.

Is one month of diet and exercise enough to see bikini worthy results?

Registered dietitian and Don t Break Your Heart cookbook author Monica Bearden believes it s enough time. You can see big changes in just one month, says Bearden. If you re working out and eating right it s amazing what you can do to your body in regards to gaining lean tissue and losing fat.

The biggest challenge is to not sabotage yourself. Sure you're putting in the work... but what are you putting in your mouth? Bearden says one of the biggest mistakes are energy and protein bars, shakes, smoothies, and shots. She explains, People are adding anywhere from four hundred to a thousand calories to their day by drinking them. She contends, If you're working out for about an hour, an hour and a half a day you really don't need that.

The kind of protein you need can be found in healthy foods like Greek yogurt or egg whites. Eating 25 grams of it in the morning will naturally help lower your calorie intake. Be sure to wash it down with plenty of water and not to just quench your thirst but to also curb your appetite. You might find that you re mistaking hunger for thirst, says Bearden. Instead of eating try drinking a big glass of water instead.

As for that workout of yours don't just kick it up a notch... but switch it up too. Right now the big thing is high interval, high intensity training, explains Bearden. It can help build stamina. It can help build strength. It can help get you lean.

... And beach body ready just in time for summer.

For more healthy summer slim down recipes check out Monica Bearden s new cookbook, Don t Break Your Heart.

For more about Pure Fitness and its exercise facility and programs:

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