Monday, August 10, 2009

The last-minute summer slim-down

It's never too late to get in shape. The healthier you become now, the better your life will be. Here's a great guide from August's US edition of Detail Magazine. Some of the tips might seem a little outlandish - like having abs "spray tanned" on to your body, or trimming your chest hair to different lengths. But many of the other tips are very easy and successful to jump starting your healthy appearance, and ultimately, your healthier lifestyle. After all, being healthy is always en vogue!

How to lose weight—or at least look like you have—by next weekend

By Yaran Noti and Katie Hintz

1. Create an optical illusion

Doing crunches and push-ups is one way of getting ripped, but why not let $75 clippers and a mirror do the trick instead? Some judicious grooming can give you the appearance of having spent the past few months at the gym. "For accentuating the chest and de-emphasizing the torso, clip the torso hair shorter and leave the chest hair a little longer,' says Craig P. Wern, a New York–based professional groomer. This will sharpen the line under your pecs and create a faux-natural contrast. Also, leaving a thin line of hair down the center of your body may give the illusion of some ab definition. For the less hirsute, it may be easier to have your six-pack painted on: Spray-tan experts can airbrush the appearance of defined abs, chiseled arms, and solid pecs. The color will last up to a week—although swimming-pool chlorine will eat away at it. Another downside is that airbrushed abs will work only if you've already shed most of your excess flab. "Putting it on a chunky guy won't do anything, but on somebody with some definition, it can really make his muscles look bigger," says Jeff Bozz, cofounder and owner of Sunset Tan in Los Angeles.

2. Dress Right

Simple styling tricks can make your trunk look slimmer and your shoulders look quarterback-broad. "Tuck your shirt in," says Tim Gunn, chief creative officer of Liz Claiborne, Inc. "An untucked shirt's silhouette makes you appear to have more volume. Stay away from cuffed pants—they make you look shorter and squatter. And any garment with the word cargo before it adds undesired volume." If worse comes to worst, there's always shapewear—a.k.a. a man girdle. Brands like 2(x)ist offer underwear with a six-inch band that will mask your spare tire—albeit temporarily. "Shapewear is a marvelous solution for tucking in the otherwise untuckable," Gunn says. "Just make sure that the undergarment comes up to the bottom of your rib cage—otherwise it will just push the bubble upwards and outwards."

3. Control Your Calories

A short-term crash diet comes down to simple math. You need to burn about 3,500 calories to shed one pound, so if you have two weeks and want to drop 10 pounds, you're going to have to find 35,000 calories to eliminate (2,500 per day). A low-calorie, low-sodium diet of brown rice, quinoa, kale, Brussels sprouts, and baked tofu should drop a pound here and there, but a severe regimen may be the only way to shed significant weight. Starvation diets don't work in the long run—and detox routines are not designed for weight loss—but, according to Peter Glickman, the guy behind, the average man loses 16 pounds in 10 days on the plan, proving that you'll lose weight if you don't eat. "You can eat basically nothing for a week and lose five pounds," says New York nutritionist Charles Passler. "But you'll lose extra water and muscle mass, not fat." It's not going to be easy, but, while you're suffering, keep your eyes on the prize—it's only a few days before you can pig out at the all-you-can-eat buffet.

4. Jump to It

A jump rope burns more calories than a treadmill and works your entire body. Michael Olajide Jr., a former WBC Inter-continental Middleweight Champion and cofounder of Aerospace High Performance Center in New York, suggests hitting the rope twice a day for at least three minutes each time. Running stairs, hiking, and sprinting bring similarly speedy results, says L.A.-based Equinox trainer Michael Carson. "You should always be engaging your core and the large muscles of your hips, glutes, and thighs," he says. "These areas will maximize calorie burn."

5. Train Like Tom Brady

For a quick overhaul, it's best to work several major muscle groups at the same time, Carson says. Lunges, squats, and balance exercises are ideal, especially when you focus on form and duration rather than speed. If you have time to target only one body part, make it your shoulders. "They build very fast and can give you a tapered-waist effect, which makes you look better in a shirt or suit," Carson says. Just remember to rest for a day between workouts to give your muscles time to recover and build

6. Go Easy with the Scissors

A haircut before your trip isn't just about looking clean-cut—it can make your face appear slimmer if you don't take too much off. Curly or straight, side-parted or spiked up, hair type and style matter less than making sure you don't whip out the clippers and give yourself Buddha cheeks with a buzz cut. "Don't get your hair cut too short," says Beverly Hills stylist Ryan Crupi. "Creating height on the crown of the head and length over the nape of the neck creates an egg-shape look that thins the face." But for guys who are losing their hair, leaving it longer will make it look more meager, so the choice is yours—you can look thinner, but you'll also look balder.

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