Lose weight, look good
Kawai Wong looks at six tried and tested ways which can make you look thinner and more toned in a jiffy
1 Start with a debloating diet
Unless you have steely core muscles, what you gobble down inevitably turns your belly into a bulge. Complex carbohydrates confuse the body and can quickly pile on the pounds. Fruit and veg that are high in fibre and water content, however, can keep you feeling full during the day and make you feel lighter on your feet. Go for apples, watermelons, grapes, pineapples, cucumbers, leafy greens, broccoli or lettuce. Avoid foods like these which are high in starch content: potatoes, bananas, rice and corn. They encourage the body to hold water.
2 Drink lots
Drink plenty of non-fizzy mineral water to flush out those toxins. Avoid sugary drinks or fizzy sodas as they can cause further cravings and generate gas. If you must drink something sweet, buy freshly squeezed carrot, kiwi or strawberry juice. Pre-bottled fruit juices contain a very low percentage of real goodness as most of them are made from concentrate and contain artificial sugars, sweeteners or preservatives that can give you that bloated feeling. Avoid them at all costs!
3 Sweat more
“Cardio exercise such as running, biking or swimming burns excess fat by expending the energy you put in (basically, what you eat),” says Davide Butson-Fiori of personal training group, Circuit 25. And he’s right. A regular half-hour daily regime can help to speed up your metabolism too. The aim is to get the heart racing, the face blushing and the sweat flowing – but you don’t have to hit the gym or go to a fitness class in order to do that. Just play sports such as badminton, squash or table tennis which require you to sprint, stop and then sprint again, ensuring maximum calorie burn. The post-exercise endorphins give your face a healthy glow and boost your confidence too.
4 Use caffeinated creams
Caffeinated creams or gels used around the thighs or on the waist can work wonders. Bliss’s Fat Girl Slim cream ($325, Bliss Spa, W Hotel, 3717 2222) and The Organic Pharmacy’s Resculpting Body Gel ($1,535, Harvey Nichols, Pacific Place, 2115 3982) both contain caffeine, an ingredient which helps to withdraw water from cells.
5 One minute exercises
Just do these one-minute stretches and lunges to see visible improvements within a week. To tone your thighs, stand up straight with your legs a shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees 90 degrees and bob up and down for a minute without straightening your legs – you should feel your thigh muscles tightening. For the abdomen, face down on your bed and stretch your hands and legs outwards as far as possible. Lift your limbs upwards and balance using your tummy. Hold for 60 seconds. Repeat. Lots.
6 Know your body’s limitations
Let’s be realistic – there’s only one Gisele Bündchen in the world. We’re all limited by our bone structure and genetics. If you’re curvaceous like Christina Hendricks or Scarlett Johansson then embrace your curves and show off your best assets by learning the virtues of raglan sleeves and low décolleté dresses. Bondage and body-conscious dresses can give the optical illusion of a toned body too. Love It (1/F, Shama Place, 30 Hollywood Road, Central, 2545 2162; www.loveit.com.hk) has some top-notch options.