If you’re like most people, you probably want to look like you’re in great shape — especially if you have a big event or a family photo day coming up. Fortunately, you don’t have to actually be in perfect shape to give other people the impression that you’re fit and lean. Your choice of clothing, in addition to the way you carry yourself, can add or take away 10 pounds from your appearance instantly. Here are some simple tips for looking thinner right away without actually losing any weight.
1. Avoid foods that cause bloating
A bloated, puffy stomach can make you look bigger than you are, especially if you’re on the shorter side. You can reduce your belly bloat by staying away from foods that are hard to digest. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, beans, and lentils are a few common culprits that cause bloating and gas.
Also, be careful not to eat too much salt. Salt causes your body to retain water, which can make you look puffy for a day or two afterward. Drinking plenty of water will help you get rid of any water retention you might be experiencing.
2. Be careful not to swallow excess air
Even if you’re steering clear of foods that cause gas, you can still accidentally swallow too much air and find yourself feeling (and looking) uncomfortably bloated. Carbonated drinks such as soda tend to fill up your digestive tract with air. If you chew gum habitually, talk while you eat, or don’t chew your food thoroughly, you could also be swallowing excess air.
3. Wear clothes that fit you correctly
Too-big clothes aren’t flattering on many people. In fact, wearing baggy clothing will probably just make you look larger than you really are. Too-snug clothing, on the other hand, could emphasize lumps and bumps that you don’t want other people to notice. Aim for a middle ground: choose well-cut clothing that fits your body the way it is right now. Don’t try to fit into your “skinny” high school jeans if they don’t flatter you anymore. You can check out online clothing retailers like this website if you’re looking for some new clothes that fit correctly and match your personality.
4. Emphasize your waist
Cinching in your outfit at your waist makes your whole body look leaner and svelter. For women, using a narrow belt is a simple way to create the illusion of an hourglass figure. Look for clothing that’s cut to curve in at the waist too. If you are able to get your clothing tailored, this is one way to make your existing wardrobe more flattering.
5. Go for simple, solid-color looks
Wearing all black has long been a piece of mainstream advice for everybody who wants to look slimmer. It’s still good advice, but if black bores you, try other dark colors like olive green or plum. Any monochromatic outfit will create the illusion that your body is longer and leaner than it really is, especially if you hide your trouble areas and accentuate your waist.
6. Stand up straight
You might be surprised to find out how much your posture affects your appearance. Slouching can make you instantly appear heavier and less energetic. Standing up straight, on the other hand, makes you hold in your stomach, so you appear both fitter and more confident. If your job involves sitting at a desk and using a computer for much of the day, there’s a good chance that your posture isn’t as good as it could be. Use an ergonomic desk chair and give yourself frequent reminders to stop slouching in order to make good posture a habit in your life.
7. Give shapewear a try
Shapewear can do an amazing job of smoothing out your silhouette and making you look more toned. Invest in a good piece or two for special occasions (or for every day). If shapewear just isn’t your style, make sure to at least choose well-fitting undergarments and replace them every year or so. A properly-fitting bra, in particular, can make you look thinner and more streamlined.
8. Wear shoes that have a heel
Heeled shoes elongate your legs, creating the illusion that you’re taller and slimmer. If you’re a woman, wearing pumps that are the same color as your skin tone can elongate your look even more. While it’s easier for women to incorporate heels into an everyday look, men can also use this trick by wearing dress shoes that have a heel on them.
9. Choose outfits that create an illusion of length
Most of the time, an outfit that makes your body look longer will make you look slimmer as well. For this reason, it’s smart to heed the classic advice to wear vertical stripes but avoid horizontal ones. Or, better still, avoid prints altogether and choose classic solid colors. Long A-line skirts, high-waisted jeans, and maxi dresses are all styles that can make your body look longer and lankier.
10. Get a sun-kissed glow
If you have a healthy-looking tan, people’s eyes will be less drawn to any imperfections on your skin, like cellulite. Your skin will look tauter and smoother with no extra effort on your part. Just make sure to get your tan in a healthy, skin-friendly way. Avoid the tanning booth and reach for a good spray-on tanner or a face bronzer instead.
If it’s too late to lose ten pounds before that big family get-together or class reunion, don’t worry. You don’t have to actually be in perfect shape to look slim. Choose clothing that fits you well and highlights your shape in a flattering way, and practice a healthy lifestyle to avoid bloating around your midsection. With just a few simple wardrobe tweaks, you can create a thinner silhouette that makes you look great, both in real life and in photos.