No matter how much you exercise, these low-effort tricks will have you looking better in no time.
If you know you have next to no willpower, don’t sweat it; our methods are so easy even, well, you could handle them. And if you’re a guy who exercises fairly regularly, don’t bail. Our tricks — from lightning-fast ways to temporarily pump up your muscles to foods that de-bloat you — will also help you look your absolute best.
Next to no exercise, a tiny time commitment, and a minimum of humiliation —we can’t make this any easier.
One of fashion’s cardinal rules is that darker colors are slimming. Well, that’s also true for when you’re unclothed — which is why getting a tan can actually make you look thinner. We don’t tell you this simply because Karl Lagerfeld announced it one night after eight glasses of Riesling. There’s actual science behind it: Dark shades absorb light, shrinking a viewer’s visual field, while lighter colors reflect it, making a surface area appear larger. So a bronzed body will look lean and mean (Gerard Butler in 300), while a pasty one will showcase every roll (Will Ferrell in Old School).
If the sun rarely shines where you live (Seattle, Baltimore, the creepy man-nest you’ve built in the attic), invest in a self-tanner. Actually, you should probably do it anyway to, you know, avoid skin cancer. Anthony Logistics wraps their $30 made-for-men tanner in dude-friendly packaging that looks as discreet as any cleanser in your medicine cabinet.
It may sound counterintuitive, but the last thing you should do if you’re, uh, “husky” is drape yourself in oversized garments. Baggy clothing doesn’t hide fat; they hide your entire body, giving you a billowy, shapeless profile that makes it look as though you’re hiding a torso like Jabba the Hutt’s. Instead, buy tops and bottoms that fit — if you’re not sure what that means, ask a salesperson — and pick out dark, monochromatic colors that present a solid visual field instead of dividing your body into unflattering chunks. Avoid patterns, too; they draw attention to whatever they’re covering, like the doughy area where your abs used to be.
If you’re still self-conscious, wear a compression undergarment that holds in your flabbiest parts and gives your posture a boost. Ript Fusion’s $58 crewnecks, V-necks, and tanks feature spandex panels that wrap tightly around your core, giving it a firm, smooth appearance — just like it’d have if you actually went to the gym!
While it takes time to get jacked, you can capitalize on one short-term effect of a weight-bearing workout: a build-up of lactic acid and other byproducts that gives muscles a “pumped up” look for hours. Celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson, who slimmed down Carmelo Anthony, bulked up Hugh Jackman for Wolverine, and even chiseled Kim Kardashian’s ass — well, relatively speaking — offers this 15-minute full-body routine, which can be done anywhere:
Perform the following exercises in immediate succession, without rest in between. Ideally, you’d go through the circuit three to four times in a row.
—Push-ups to failure
—As many crunches as you can do, but a minimum of 25
—Jump rope 100 times
“This workout is high-intensity and gets that peripheral heart action going,” Peterson tells us. “That means it works your upper body, then your lower body, then your upper body and so on. That creates a lot of blood flow, from your shoulders to your quads to your core, activating all of those muscles.”
When you eat salty foods, your body responds by retaining water to dilute all the sodium you’ve taken in. That means you start to look more like Wedding Crashers Vince Vaughn than Swingers Vince Vaughn. To combat that unfortunate bloat, chow down on bananas; they’re loaded with potassium, which extracts sodium from the body. In addition, nutritionists recommend eating fruits and vegetables that are high in water content, such as celery and watermelon, since they act as diuretics.
Clothing isn’t the only thing that camouflages pudge. The right hairstyle can make your face appear longer and slimmer too. Ask your barber to help you create volume on the crown of your head — some styling product may be in order — and to leave the hair on your neck a little longer (without giving you a mullet). The overall look will reduce roundness in your face and create an egg-shaped silhouette. A goatee can also add length to your face, but they can be hard to pull off unless you’re a billionaire industrialist who flies around in a high-tech suit of armor.