Many women expect that they'll gain a few pounds over winter. The cold temperature, the holiday season, and the fact that we're wearing heavy clothes means that people don't worry too much about putting on a couple of extra pounds. The bulky warm clothes will hide it. Plus nobody wants to put off having fun with their friends and family just because they're on a diet. But when the weather gets warmer, we're left with that extra baggage. The fact that it's harder to work out during the cold winter months only makes things worse. Many people are affected by the shorter days and feel gloomy, making it even more difficult to get motivated to lose a couple of pounds.

So how do we prepare for summer after all those months in the cold? A frank self assessment is the first step towards summer fun. How much weight have you gained? Where have you gained it? Does your swimsuit still fit? Knowing where you stand is important to figuring out how you'll shed those pounds and get back to the pool or beach. A little motivation can go a long way, and having a plan can be extremely motivating.

No matter how few or how many pounds you put on, exercise is the most important part of your routine to get your beach body back. Some of the best exercises for women are jogging or running, biking, or using the stair climber. These are aerobic exercises that burn fat and work the heart. If you find that your body looks different, less toned, then you might consider a mild weight lifting routine. This can help tone up those arms, legs, and even your stomach. Don't forget ab exercises to create that great looking tummy!

Many people change their eating habits during winter. More protein, more carbs, and more unhealthy options from the holiday season can go straight to your stomach or thighs. In addition to exercise, you should start eating healthy if you haven't been doing it over the winter. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, a moderate amount of protein, and a few carbs for a well rounded diet. Salads are always a great option, and so are foods like bananas, apples, and carrots. Remember to drink a lot of water, since your fitness schedule will demand that you be well hydrated.

If you can shake off the winter sloth and get yourself moving again, you'll be able to get back into that Leilani swimsuit soon. Winter can really take a toll on our bodies, but getting back in to the proper fitness and diet routine can help in a couple of months if not weeks. Regular exercise will help, and so will eating a healthy mix of fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. Do these things and you'll be enjoying the beach in no time!