Kick start for summer: Ten nutrition tips & tricks to get you bikini body ready

image001 If you're anything like us, you've been in a bit of denial about bikini season, but after the sun filled weekend that was there's no denying that soon we'll be stripping down - those coats will be put to the back of the wardrobe and replaced with shorts and tees, and we'll quickly be regretting that 'treat yo'self' winter way. Everyone knows that exercise just won't cut it if you're not backing it up with a healthy diet, so we sat down with nutritionist and fitness lover, Marnie Oberer, and asked her for some easy tips. If implementing these into our lifestyle will get us a bod like hers, we're prepared to listen... Choose real foods, naturally loaded with health-giving properties, like essential vitamins and minerals, phytonutrients and gut friendly bacteria and enzymes. Include high quality protein at every meal to keep you full longer as well as help your body build and repair everything from your nails, to your hair, bones and muscles. Dairy, seafood, meat and eggs are all high quality protein sources. Limit processed sugars and refined carbohydrates - they will wreak havoc with your blood sugars and energy levels, and leave you constantly craving more. Dietary fat is your friend - along with protein it helps keep you satisfied for longer, meaning you have less desire to overeat. Nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut oil and olive oil are all great additions to meals. If you get hungry between meals choose snacks that include protein and fat. I really like the new Anchor Greek. It’s thick and creamy Greek-style yoghurt, and comes in natural unsweetened or with a fruity layer. I throw a few almonds in for a perfect on the run snack. Five+ a day is good, 8+ a day is better - especially low carbohydrate vegetables and fruit. Low calorie, nutrient loaded! Aim for 5-6 non-starchy vegetable ‘serves’ and 2-3 fruit serves/day. Low carbohydrate fruit include berries, melon, feijoas and passionfruit. Fermented foods are a great way to improve healthy bacteria in the gut, assisting our overall health. Yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and kefir are perfect daily additions. Struggle with breakfast? Smoothies are a great way to start the day, especially coming into the warmer months. Try frozen blueberries, chia seeds, brazil nuts and milk with a dollop of natural yoghurt - superfood goodness! And it’ll keep the wolves from the door for hours. Listen to your own body and notice how you respond to different meals and foods. We are all unique. Keeping a food log short term can help pinpoint changes that need to be made. Enjoy every mouthful. Eat slowly, chew your food (just like your mum told you) and really savour it. Your mind and digestive system will thank you for it.