Health and Fitness Coach
14 February 2011 8:22 am
So we know that the only way to make a big difference to our body shape is long term lifestyle adjustments with eating and exercise, but that doesn’t help for next week’s big event does it? I am constantly asked what the tricks are to change one’s body shape fast. Heidi Klum had just one month after her baby was born to get svelte enough to model Victorias Secrets lingerie range or she’d lose a 2.5 million dollar deal – no pressure!
Follow these 5.5 ways to change your body shape fast. I can’t promise you’ll have a stomach like Heidi Klum’s, but it’ll be an improvement on what’s poking out now!
No bread before bed!
Although I am not a fan of low carb diets long term, there is no doubt that reducing your carbohydrate intake slims you down short term and does wonders for flattening a stomach and increasing muscle definition.
There are a few fascinating reasons low carb diets work short term. Firstly, they rid your body of unwanted excess fluid. In order to digest simple carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes), the body requires a lot of fluid to break this down. In addition many people are intolerant to gluten and their bodies react by retaining even more water and giving that bloated look that we all try to avoid.
Secondly, by eliminating one massive component of a person’s diet, ie carbs, often the total calories consumed each day are reduced. This will also help to flatten the stomach (less food in there) and shed excess body weight.
Before you decide to eliminate carbs all together, I suggest taking my metabolic typing quiz. If you are a carb or a mixed type, I would not suggest eliminating carbs altogether. It’s not worth the pain and anguish you will put loved ones through. You might look good, but you’ll be a cranky bugger!
I suggest: having some carbs for breaky, such as porridge or toast, and then avoiding them for the rest of the day. Instead, increase your complex carbohydrates (coloured veggies) through salads, and increase your protein intake whether it be through lean meat or legumes. You can follow any of the low carb diets if it’s easier (Zone, Atkins etc), but I simply tell my clients, if it’s white and fluffy, or packed with sugar don’t eat it!
There is something about cardio boxing that changes body shapes fast. It might be the fast push/pull action of
punching that gives the shoulders and arms more definition. It could also be the pace of the workout that send hearts a beating and muscles a quivering. But one of the best things about boxing is it combines the fat burning and body shaping into one intense workout. There are very few other sports that can do this in such a fun, accessible manner.
Cardio boxing usually involves other exercises such as lunges, push ups, dips, and whatever else the instructor decides to inflict on you. So when you are gasping for air, rather than a nice 60 second rest, why not catch your breath whilst doing dips on a bench – ingenious!
I suggest: either joining a boxing class, or finding a personal trainer for a one-on-one session, and going every other day until your event. If you have a punching bag you can do this on your own as well. Try a two minute round: 60 seconds fast punching, with 60 seconds strength component (for example: push ups, tricep dips, lunges, over head shoulder presses with hand weights), and a sliding scale rest. Make your first rest 20 seconds, your second rest 40 seconds, your third rest 60 seconds, fifth rest back to 40 seconds, and your final rest 20 seconds. That’s a ten minute round. Repeat that twice and you’ll change your body-shape in no time!
Spin, Squats, lunges and calf raises
Out of all the leg exercises out there, these exercises can change the shape of your legs the fastest. Spin class has the added fat burning component which affects your entire body. If you want a peachy butt, then kick into some squats, and be sure to drive through your heels. If you are looking for sexy, slender yet defined legs, nothing beats lunges. Travelling lunges are my favourite, and don’t be afraid to carry some hefty hand weights or bar across your shoulders. Unfortunately calf shape is very genetic, but how hard is it to stand on a step and do 150 calf raises. Try them one legged and don’t stop until they are screaming, and I mean screaming!
I suggest: A leg session every other day. It could be a spin class or a session in the weights room. For lunges, squats, and calf raises, a minimum of 4 sets, 12 reps and a mandatory grimace at the end. You should be close to failure at the end of each set, and if your muscles aren’t aching the next day, ramp it up big time!
Stand up straight
Believe it or not, the fastest way to change the shape of your body is stand up straight. Want a flatter stomach, bigger chest, sexy back, lots of presence. Stand up straight!
I suggest: 2 yoga classes or body balance classes per week. Rent a home DVD if you can’t be bothered to leave the house. If you can handle hot yoga (I hate it!) you may shed a few extra kilos too.
Be a style guru
This is a fun point as it requires little energy. Know what looks good on you. Know the little tricks, for example moisturised skin always looks more defined. A tan creates a more toned look. There are many websites and publications devoted to matching styles to body shapes and tricks of the trade. Don’t put all this hard work into your look and blow it by wearing a bold patterned shirt that makes you look like an umbrella! On that note, apparently vertical stripes are out and horizontal ones are in. Don’t believe me, click here!
Check your attitude
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Many people struggle to change their body shape in their own eyes. Countless hours of effort all in vain because we are our own worse critics and tend to focus on the negatives and not the positives. Next time you catch a glimpse of yourself a la natural, find at least five things you are happy with, and when you step out at your next big event, even if you feel there are fifty things you’re not happy with, focus on the five you like, and just maybe, over time, your body shape will change in the eyes of the most important person – you!
Do you have any other tricks that have got great results, fast? What’s your secret? Heidi Klum, if you’re reading, how on earth did you do it in a month? Was it worth it? We think so!