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.
HOW TO GET SKINNY: YOUR BODY TYPE
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 respectively. However, there are two other body types. Mesomorphs naturally build muscle and can gain fat quickly, but also lose fat relatively easy. Examples include Anna Kournikova, 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 really hard at losing weight. Beyonce and Scarlett Johansson are endomorphs. Each of these three body types gains and loses weight with varying levels of ease. When planning to get skinny remember:
- What getting skinny means to you should depend on your body type. If you have an endomorphic body your skinny goal should not be Kate Moss, Eva Mendes or Taylor Swift (ectomorphs), but someone with an endomorphic body build.
- Being realistic means that you will achieve your goals and drop the fat, get rid of the wobbly bits and have a firm, lean body like Scarlett Johansson, Beyonce or Jennifer Lopez. The same goes for the other body types. Are you a mesomorph? Jessica Biel, Jennifer Garner and Jennifer Aniston are great examples. Determine your body type and find out who your skinny role model is. You CAN get skinny; just remember that it should mean different things to different people.
- Healthiness trumps skinniness. Therefore, your first and overriding goal should be to maintain or improve health. Your goal to get skinny should come second. Ensure that all your plans are consistent with this principle.
HOW TO GET SKINNY TIPS
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 to avoid triggering your starvation protection mechanism.
5. Zig-zag calorie intake (calorie rotation), i.e. change your calorie intake every few days. For example, you can have 3 low calorie days followed by 1 higher calorie day. This will keep your body guessing, avoid weight loss plateaus and reduces the likelihood of cheating.
6. Eat 5 – 6 small meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism high and to avoid cheating.
7. Cardiovascular exercise is an absolute requirement. If you want to get skinny and toned, and avoid looking skinny fat, 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 stunning 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.
8. To get skinny 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. Furthermore, if you lose muscle you’re more likely to look skinny fat and suffer with cellulite. 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.
10. Check out Visual Impact. This program is geared at weight loss, getting slim and toned, while avoiding looking overtrained and muscular. There is Visual Impact for Women the goal of which is to create a slim feminine physique and Visual Impact for Men, which aims for a slim, muscular, “GQ” look à la Brad Pitt, High Jackman and Taylor Lautner.
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.
For more tips, see the infographic below on how to get skinny. Like this? Check out the infographic on how to lose belly fat.