So you want to get skinny. You want to lose weight. Losing weight is great, but before you embark on getting skinny you first need to picture what you really mean by getting skinny. It is important that you have a clear idea about what you have in mind so that you can set a clear and achievable goal.
YOUR BODY TYPE & GETTING SKINNY
Generally when people talk about skinny people they are thinking about people with an ectomorphic body type. These people have little fat, little muscle and a delicate bone structure. Ectomorphs are either naturally skinny or it is straightforward for them to get skinny, e.g. Taylor Swift and Eva Mendes. However, there are two other body types. Mesomorphs naturally build muscle and can gain fat quickly, but also lose fat relatively easy. Examples of women with mesomorphic traits include Janet Jackson and Jessica Biel. Endomorphic people have a body type that means they struggle to control the body fat percentage and have to work harder at losing weight. Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and Scarlett Johansson have endomorphic characteristics. Each of these three body types gains and loses weight with varying levels of ease.
- What “getting skinny” means to you should depend on your body type. If you have an endomorphic body your goal should not be Kate Moss, Eva Mendes or Taylor Swift (ectomorphs), but someone with an endomorphic body build. Remember the ease or difficulty with which it takes to lose weight depends on your body type. Therefore, when setting weight loss and body goals think about your body type.
- Your first and overriding goal should be to maintain or improve health. Ensure that all your plans are consistent with this principle. So instead of thinking in terms of getting skinny, think in terms of setting a goal to achieve a healthy weight.
HOW TO SLIM DOWN
2. Determine and keep track of your body fat percentage. Ensure that you maintain a healthy level of body fat. Too little body fat can be just a dangerous as too much body fat, especially for women and even more so for young women. Ideally you should get your body fat percentage measured professionally. To get a ROUGH idea you can use the body fat calculator– but still get measured!
3. Determine your ideal weight based on your body type.
4. Create a calorie deficit by lowering your caloric intake by 15 – 20% below what you normally need to maintain your weight. You can use the calorie calculator to find out your calorie needs. Steer clear of crash dieting and extremely low calorie intakes.
5. Cardiovascular exercise is an absolute requirement. If you want to lose weight and have a toned body, you have to exercise. Exercise will increase the calorie deficit you have created through diet to increase weight loss and also creates a better body. Dieting gets rid of fat, but it does not create a great body – exercise does. Exercise will improve muscle tone and increase your metabolism. The boost in metabolism is important, because dieting DECREASES metabolism. Exercise will help counteract that decrease, as well as improve your cardiovascular fitness and general health. Try a weight loss exercise plan based around cardio.
6. To lose weight and look great you need to do resistance training. Dieting usually causes loss of muscle mass, which decreases metabolism, as muscle is metabolically active. Therefore, resistance training will help stave off the loss of muscle that usually occurs and increase metabolism. It is muscle that gives the body a healthy, shapely and tight contour. For example, anyone with nice legs also has to have great leg muscles, which gives those legs shape; otherwise they look unhealthy, shapeless and wobbly.
Remember, before you start a new nutritional and/ or exercise program clear it with your doctor. If you have any questions about healthy weight loss and body fat percentages your doctor will be happy to help.
Check out how to lose belly fat.