Stress-Free Ways to Slim Down for Summer

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Slim down and get your body ready for a bikini with these easy confidence-boosting steps from The 17 Day Diet.A mild winter has borne signs of a warmer-than-usual spring—which can only mean it’s just a matter of time before you break out that bathing suit. Do you feel less than prepared? Use these simple 17 Day Diet tips to get yourself motivated and slimmed down in no time.

Play “Before” and “After.” First, take a picture of yourself before you start the 17 Day Diet. Follow up by taking pictures after every cycle in the same outfit (preferably a swimsuit), then compare them. You may not realize the changes your body is making on a daily basis, but the photographs can put things into perspective. Finally, take an “After” photo when you reach your goal (and don’t forget to share it on our Facebook page!).

VIDEO: Dr. Mike on How to Get Bikini-Ready for Summer

Reward yourself when you lose. Finally, a game we want you to lose! Create incentives to help you reach your goals. For example, if you want to lose weight, buy an outfit that’s several sizes too small. The thought of having a beautiful outfit unused in your closet can be an effective impetus to keep you going. On a weekly basis, try it on and see how it fits.

Visualize your success. This technique can be used to reinforce goals and sustain your motivation. Many athletes use visualization to actualize their potential, and it works beautifully in fitness and weight loss, where it has been demonstrated to increase motivation and adherence to a program. Picture yourself in great shape, walking on the beach in a bikini, or wearing a sexy dress at an event. Fantasy that you possess the body of your role model and carry this vision with you. Let your imagination be your internal source of motivation.

Make lighter meals. Take advantage of green, in-season produce; zucchini is so versatile that you can eat it raw, add it to salads, bake it, and more. A cup of zucchini is packed with Vitamin C and contains just 16 calories.

17 Day Diet Cookbook Recipe: 17 Day Diet Zucchini, Lemon, and Parmesan Saute

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One of the premier body language experts in the country, Tonya Reiman is a Fox News Channel contributor and has appeared on Good Morning America, Today, Inside Edition, and Extra, among other television programs. She has contributed to dozens of publications, including The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, USA TODAY, Glamour, Time, and The Wall Street Journal. The author of The Power of Body Language, she lives with her family on Long Island, New York.

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Megan Scott is the newest member of the JOY clan. After meeting John Becker in Asheville, North Carolina, she was warmly welcomed into the family and the happy couple was married on September 29, 2012. After graduating with a degree in French literature, Megan worked in a bakery where she honed her pastry skills and developed a passion for high-quality baked goods of all kinds. This experience with fast-paced industrial kitchen work inspired her to create her farmer's market baking business, The Little Blue Baking Company. Megan's work for JOY involves a little bit of everything. She is JOY's blogger-in-residence, she works with John on digital projects, newspaper articles, and food photography, and has spearheaded the Joy of Cooking's kitchen garden and flock of chickens. During her time off, she maintains a lively sourdough starter, sews, spins wool, and does yoga.

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