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Nutrition Articles  ›  Seasonal & Holiday Tips

The Bikini Diet

A Fun & Easy Way to Slim Down for Summer

-- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian
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Pool parties, beachfront vacations, and water park adventures…ahhh the joys of summer are almost upon us! To celebrate the causal, relaxed pace of the season, SparkPeople is happy and excited to introduce The Bikini Diet, a fun and simple way to control portions, shed a few pounds, and feel fit and energized.

There is no weighing food, no carrying around measuring cups and spoons, no special foods to purchase or prepare. The Bikini Diet can be used at home with the family, at the neighborhood cookout, or when dining out with friends. So bring that itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, yellow polka-dot bikini back into your life—it’s a wonderful tool when it comes to healthy eating.

Bikini Tip #1: Start with a 9-inch plate.
You may not be surprised to learn that as our waistlines have increased, so have the sizes of our plates. Get our your plate and measure its diameter with a ruler—don’t eyeball it. If your plate is bigger than 9 inches, put it back on the shelf and get a new one!

Bikini Tip #2: Visualize a bikini on your nine-inch plate.
  • The bikini top has two bra cups that each cover one-fourth of the plate.
    • A serving of meat, legumes, or tofu should fit on one of the bra cups. Notice that a 10-ounce steak will not fit, but a 3-ounce steak will.
    • Place your choice of bread, rice, pasta, or starchy vegetable (such as corn, potatoes, peas, or lima beans) on the other bikini bra cup, also covering one-fourth of the plate.
  • The bikini bottom covers the lower half of your plate and will hold your vegetables and salad. You can select a large portion of one vegetable or salad, or smaller portions of several. Continued ›
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About The Author

Becky Hand Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.

Member Comments

  • This wont work for larger chested women ! lol I have a hard enough time comparing myself to smaller women much less thinking of them when I am looking at my plate ! lol - 6/4/2014 9:58:17 PM
  • This is the best visual I have ever heard of to help with portion control. Thanks for helping me "see". - 5/17/2014 3:11:46 PM
  • I know plenty of women that can fit a ten-ounce portion into their bikini cups and then some! - 5/16/2014 10:38:15 PM
  • That was cute. I like the fruit in a large seashell visual. - 5/16/2014 6:21:04 PM
  • I don't know if they intended this to be tongue-in-cheek, but it sure gave me a giggle. For starters, any bikini that would have fit me when I started SparkPeople (some 70+ pounds ago) would have made for some generous size portions! No way would it have fit onto a 9-inch plate. Secondly, I would never have donned a bikini back then, nor to I intend to now. Just not a good look for us 60+ year olds :-). - 5/16/2014 4:02:34 PM
  • For a site that continually says they don't promote "diets", but instead focuses on permanent healthy lifestyle changes, they sure do push a lot of different diets. This one seems like it's directly out of magazine just trying to get people to hop on the next fad diet. Ridiculous. - 5/16/2014 3:34:53 PM
  • JANETEMILY
    I think this is a pretty good way for a lot of people to visualize proper portions. And while I'm not really trying to fit into a bikini (did that back in the 70's!) I realize a lot of people are, and if this helps I'm not offended like some other people have commented. Also, i see nothing wrong with recommending milk as s beverage - no, it is not necessary, but it is definitely more nutritious than the sodas or sweet fruit juices most people drink at summertime gatherings! - 5/16/2014 3:13:17 PM
  • Ugh. Nothing new, but the delivery is irritating, which is somewhat new. Maybe some will be helped by this and if so, great!

    But can you please stop saying milk is necessary! It's not and there is no evidence it provides any nutritional benefit beyond that of a healthy diet. - 5/16/2014 2:13:47 PM
  • ETHELMERZ
    This reads like a "diet" from "TEEN MAGAZINE", circa 1969 or something, and GEE WHIZ, maybe that boy will make a pass at you, girls!!!! Only if you fit your tiny self into underwear masquerading as swim wear. - 5/16/2014 1:50:01 PM
  • What a great way to visualize & control both your 'portions' and your 'proportions' A+++ article Spark People!!! - 5/16/2014 11:35:17 AM
  • I'm a bit disturbed by this article, not to say there isn't anything useful in it, but more the whole idea that we diet to fit into an outfit or to look better and we eat this way or that. It's not about the temporary fix and I'm sad that Spark is selling these things like the tabloid magazines.. - 5/16/2014 11:35:02 AM
  • What a wonderful and creative way to visualize portions of food. I am going to work on that. Thanks for this engaging way to use our 9 inch plate! - 5/16/2014 10:44:04 AM
  • What a simple way to manage your portions without measuring. - 5/16/2014 3:30:38 AM
  • CLH212001
    I don't know why but I love this article...I'm C cup should I be visualizing A cups, cuz that is tiny??? - 2/11/2014 6:49:35 AM
  • I'm picturing double ds or F's lol That won't work out too well for me in terms of portions now will it LOL - 12/5/2013 9:29:14 PM