by Brian Cannone

Among many other essentials, nutrition is vital for a bikini model! Your nutrition one week out from a photo shoot can either work in your favor or work against you! In the dictionary nutrition means “the provision, to cells and organisms, of the materials necessary (in the form of food) to support life”, but nutrition to a bikini model means so much more! That’s why you need to be aware and careful of what you are eating and drinking, what your activities consist of, and what your bad habits are!

Once the 7 day countdown until your shoot begins, you need to cut out any and all forms of alcohol. Alcohol dehydrates you, and depending on how much you take in, can make you look sickly with symptoms including, paleness, dark circles, dull your teeth and make you bloated. With that being said, all you should be drinking is water, no soda, no artificial juices, and cut out nearly all dairy products. Your body will need calcium, so one glass of milk with dinner is acceptable. The amount of water you should intake daily is at least 8 glasses, or 4 bottles.

If you eat healthy, your diet should only slightly change. Be sure to eat 4-6 times per day. An example of a good diet; oatmeal and a fruit for breakfast, a nutrition bar/granola bar/yogurt for a mid-morning snack, a salad for lunch with light dressing, a nutrition bar/granola bar/yogurt for a mid-afternoon snack, a protein shake after your workout, and a small portioned dinner consisting of white meat, steamed rice, and a side of vegetables (your portions should be no bigger than your fist) and a glass of milk with dinner. The types of foods you should have in your pantry and fridge should be, yogurt, fruit, egg whites, nutrition bars, granola bars, tuna, white meat, extra lean beef, whole grain rice, vegetables, spinach, light soup and oatmeal. Be sure to stay away from greasy foods and foods with a large amount of preservatives! Make sure you drink water consistently through out the day! Water helps to flush out the toxins in your body, and dramatically reduces and/or completely eliminate the amount of bloating you would experience during your shoot.

Your exercise routine shouldn’t change, continue your daily exercises to ensure that any calories your body consumes is taken care of effectively. You should get in at least 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise everyday, whether it be aerobics, cycling, running, swimming, boxing, or karate. Cardio before your workout routine would guarantee the best and most satisfying results, being sure to burn your excess fat and calories, to get you extra prepped for your shoot! Your workout should be one of high intensity, no slacking, that will help make sure you are burning the necessary calories and fat. You should do a full body workout 3 to 4 days out of the week before your photo shoot. Trouble shooting specific areas can be ineffective, and you want your whole body to look its best, not just one area. Think of your body as a well oiled machine, the machine isn’t effective and doesn’t work as well if one part is overlooked.

Keeping your skin hydrated and healthy is just as important as keeping your body that way. Find a nourishing and hydrating lotion that will keep your skin moisturized and very healthy looking! Be sure to apply the lotion when you get out of the shower, and before bed, this will ensure that your skin is well moisturized and you won’t have any areas of your body that are really dry. If you take a shower at night before bed, baby oil is a great tool to keep in your shower! At the end of your shower, before shutting off the water, just rub some baby oil from your neck to your feet, massaging it into your skin and let the hot water run over your body for a few seconds, do not rinse off the baby oil. Be careful not to put oil on your face OR your hair, doing either will result in your face and hair looking oily and greasy, and most of all, unflattering. This will keep your skin very soft, nourished and smooth all through the night and into the morning. Wash your face twice daily, in the morning when you wake up, and at night before you go to bed. Also make sure you remove any and all make-up before bed. You want to help eliminate any chances of you having a sudden break-out!

When your countdown hits 4 more days, any late nights are out of the question. Your body needs the proper amount of sleep, which should be about 8 hours a night. Did you know that your body will show signs of lack of sleep as late as 2 days AFTER you’ve gone out? That’s right! Chances are your photographer is experienced, and he/she can instantly tell when a model has been out the night before! When a photographer says to you, “Have fun last night?” that’s their polite way of saying “You look like crap”. You want to give yourself the best opportunity and exposure, the last thing you want to worry about is how badly you executed the photo shoot! So to be on the safe side, no late nights!

As a bikini model you have so much more to worry about when it comes to your nutrition. You want to perform at the best of your ability, and that means bringing your absolute best to the table! It is imperative that you implement all of the techniques to help get you ready to bring your A-Game. It would be much more fun to eat cookies and cake, but adopting this routine is essential to get ready for your photo shoot! When you’re a bikini model, there’s NO such thing as cutting corners and only putting half the effort through! You want to get paid, you want more jobs, you want more exposure, you’d like to move up in the modeling world, all of which can be achieved if you have an exceptional photo shoot!!

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