We all want to look great in our swimsuits, but what can we do to make sure we look our best when we hit the beach, take a cruise, or enjoy a weekend at our favorite resort? I have chosen five countries where many of the men and women are able to pull off a sexy swimwear-ready body. Now, if one of these secrets help you look your best, whether poolside or beachside, imagine what incorporating two, three, or more of these tips into your lifestyle could do? As a travel expert, let me share with you what I have discovered in five of the sexiest countries in the world.
It seems like every Brazilian guy I have ever met was built like a god: the nice chest, the little waist, the shapely legs, and the perfect glutes. Visit the beaches of Ipanema or Copacabana, and you’ll swear that you’ve gone to some exotic heaven. Traveling to Brazil can be an exhilarating, heart-pulsing, and a blood-rushing experience (if you know what I mean). It just seems like every one there is fit and sexy and muscular and sexy and chiseled and sexy, and did I mention sexy? Obviously, genetics play a huge role as they do with all of us, but what are these people doing to maintain these beautiful bodies in Brazil? If you look around, you can find casas de sucos (fresh-fruit juice bars) on almost every street corner, and even right there on the beach. Brazilians have been “juicing” for years—no wonder my local juice bar has flavor staples such as acerola and açai. Brazil’s indigenous, nutrient-rich fruits are amazingly flavorful and very cheap, so that every Brasileiro can afford a nutritious fruit smoothie. An active lifestyle with impromptu exercises like playing volleyball, soccer, or practicing capoeira, can lead to great results. That’s a sexy secret I aim to steal. In fact, at my house, we juice one meal every weekday for either breakfast or lunch. Thanks for the inspiration Brazil!
I spend a lot of time on the beautiful island of the Dominican Republic, from seven to eight weeks a year. The gorgeous, hunky men in swimsuits have nothing to do with it, honest, but it doesn’t hurt. Yes, if you want to see handsome Caribbean men with muscular, toned bodies, in tight trunks look no further than the Dominican Republic. Like many Caribbean nations, the gym or fitness club is a pretty new concept and reserved for those few with a couple of pesos to spend on monthly memberships. However, Dominicans have been using their beautiful landscape to get their outdoor exercise in for decades. Their motto is simple: “Use what’s naturally available.” We’re talking jogs on the sandy beaches, calisthenics in the park, and swimming in the ocean. On one of my stays in the capital city Santo Domingo, I complained that there was not a suitable gym where I could workout and I was told quite emphatically, “The entire island is a fitness center, quit griping you gringo and start moving!” I was taken to the park and participated in CrossFit group exercises. Then they took me to a race-walk up and down La Escaleras Calle el Conde (Steps of el Conde Street), the oldest commercial street of the New World, which has roughly 200 concrete steps at the end of the historical street. This was followed by an historical walking tour that took about an hour, and finally I was made to carry a 20 lb. bag of rice to a friend’s mother’s home. Needless to say, I have learned three very important lessons in the Dominican Republic. One was to never complain about anything. I came across as privileged and snooty, and I did not like that. Maybe that’s why they made sure I was hurting by the end of the afternoon (did I mention it was 90 degrees? There I go complaining again). The second lesson I learned is to use what’s available. Not having a shiny indoor fitness center nearby is no excuse not to workout. The third thing I learned during the whole week of exercising outdoors was that I looked pretty amazing in my swim trunks. My legs looked extra beefy, my core was tight, and my arms, chest, and back looked very toned. No wonder all these guys looked extra yummy, the workout they put me through was just something they do every day without thinking (or complaining) about it.
What Americans call “sexy” has changed over the last few years. Sure, we still have overtly sexualized imagery in ads and on social media, but even those genres have started to shift away from what they traditionally sold as sexy. Sexiness is more than just a naked hot body with a swimsuit thrown on it. It’s not only about your shape, but more how you feel in your own skin. It’s called self-acceptance! It’s an attitude, a confidence, some swagger, and exuding confidence wherever you go. Does your body have flaws? Sure it does, so does mine, so does everyone’s. But what are we going to do about it? Stay at home, avoid the beach, and stay covered up? I should say not! We need to get out of our own heads about that because attitudes have certainly changed in the States in regards to how we look in clothes, in swimsuits, and even naked. Designers have really expanded their lines to include larger sizes. Slim fit, skinny fit, and even size XS are still popular and on trend, but even an American male size 3842 pair of slacks are cut for a more flattering fit for a better looking silhouette. Now that doesn’t mean you should stop getting your fitness on, it just means that your attitude and confidence may compensate for some flaws. Also thicker, juicier, beefier, and scruffier bodies are making it onto the sexy swimwear scene. Be yourself, stay in shape, eat healthy foods, wear your trunks with a confident smile, and maybe a sexy wink—these may be the secret ingredients to looking your best in the USA this swimsuit season.
Let’s face it, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more stylish country than Italy and that includes their beach scene. Italian style is evident everywhere you go, and we should borrow a secret or two or three for your own swimsuit stylings. Like their suits, dress shirts, and slacks, swimsuits are definitely fitted. This year, as well as last year, swim trunks are longer in the legs. Think board shorts but definitely more slimmed down and a bit more stylized. These on-trend and sexy swim trunks may have matching or contrasting belts. Now you may think, high-quality belts on trunks for swimming in the ocean? Well not exactly. These belted swim trunks are more for sipping on a bellini beachside in the early evenings. They work really well with crisp Italian linen shirts, and if you’re a tourist, a brilliantly colored, fitted Polo shirt will work in a pinch. Fashionable sunglasses are a must for the beach as well as any lightweight fedora. Also, leave your sneakers at the hotel. Flip-flops are perfectly acceptable on the Italian coastline, but please, don’t wear them when not on the beach. Instead, pair your swim trunks and crisp shirt combo with a pair of high-end sandals everywhere else you go.
Fitness centers and gyms are not really mainstream in France. However, the French are very active and love being outdoors. They still wear those nut-hugging Speedos and most of the men look pretty good wearing them. How is it that they look so good in such a small swimsuit? We have an answer: they eat delicious quality food. To look like a French person, eat like a French person that’s what hundreds of books tell us. And even though they love to indulge in yards of baguettes, partake in a myriad of flavorful cheeses, consume buttery croissants, and drink wine as if it were water, France has a small percentage of overweight people at only 8%. So, what secrets can we appropriate from our sexy French brothers and sisters? On average, the French diet is higher and richer in fat than American ones, but it’s all about the portion size that makes all the difference. In American restaurants we serve about 13 ounces of food on average for dinner, while in France it’s down to about nine ounces. If we can make just one change to look as good as the French do when wearing swimsuits, it would be to reduce our portion sizes. Then there’s our fat intake. The French get their fat mostly from dairy and vegetable sources. We should try to do the same and cut out animal fats whenever we can. Also, we should eat fish more often and really try to cut out all processed foods. We do everything fast in the States; if we’re not eating fast food, we’re making not-sonutritious foods and rushing it onto a plate to eat as quickly as possible. The average work lunch is down to eight minutes, and we’re usually doing something else (checking e-mails, organizing papers, sending tweets, etc.) during those eight minutes. The French take the time to prepare real meals from scratch. Sure it takes a little longer but it is so much better for you. If we can incorporate one, some, or all of these French eating habits, and continue our weekly gym routines, we will be on our way to looking like the gods and goddesses of France that inspire us each year.