Look great naked!

Kim Droze

You’ve seen the programme on Channel 4 and now you want to look great naked - join the club!

Who among us doesn't want to slip into his or her birthday suit, stand in front of a mirror and admire the view? Sadly, most of us are uncomfortable enough in our own clothes, let alone our own skin. Unhappy with our bodies, we go so far as to rely on pills, potions and the so-called magic bullets of weight loss to unload the extra baggage.

But, it doesn't take long to see through the smoke and mirrors of trendy fad diets. Those quick fixes get you nowhere fast. Studies show the only way to achieve lasting weight loss is through a healthy eating and exercise program. But even then your efforts can still be disastrous.

That's the word from fitness expert Brad Schoenfeld. The author of the Look Great Naked Diet (Avery) is picking up where most diets end. That's right. His recipe for weight loss success may be based on scientific terms like leptin (the master hormone that regulates body fat), insulin (a storage hormone) and ghrelin (a molecule linked to hunger), but the bottom line is Schoenfeld has cooked up a workable formula for losing weight AND keeping it off.

"This is a long-term solution that will allow you in the shorter term to overcome plateaus and achieve lower body fat levels than you ever thought possible," Schoenfeld says. "When you hit dietary plateaus, this will help you overcome that." According to him, you are born with a so-called "set point" that has to do with storage of body fat. Everyone's set point is different. While some people may be programmed to store more body fat, others may be imprinted to store less. Fortunately, anatomy is not destiny. You can tweak your set point with proper eating habits and regular exercise.

One of the most integral parts of losing extra weight is regular exercise. And that's something Schoenfeld knows plenty about. His first four books - Sculpting Her Body Perfect, Look Great Naked, Look Great Sleeveless and Look Great At Any Age - concentrate on helping women tone their trouble spots.

"Every woman has the ability to look great naked, although not every woman has the ability to look like her favourite actress or dancer or next-door neighbour," Schoenfeld tells us. "We have certain God-given genetics that are irrefutable. We can't change them. If you have a big bone structure, you're not going to be a runway model."

As an added bonus for our readers, Schoenfeld is sharing one of his most effective ab workouts. To get started on improving your flabby abs, try these three exercises. The movements don't require any equipment yet they target three areas of the abs: the upper region, lower region and sides (internal and external oblique muscles).

Schoenfeld urges: "Do one exercise for each of those areas. Do the three exercises as one giant set. After one set, take a 30-second rest and repeat the set two more times with another 30 second rest between sets."

Crunch (upper abdominal region)

Begin by lying face up on the floor with your feet placed firmly on the floor. Keep your thighs perpendicular to the ground and your hands folded across your chest. Slowly raise your shoulders up and forward toward your chest, shortening the distance of your trunk. Feel a contraction in your abdominal muscles and then slowly reverse direction, returning to the start position.

Reverse curl (lower abdominal region)

Begin by lying back on the floor. With your hands at your sides, raise your bum as high as possible while keeping your upper back pressed to the floor. Contract your abs and then reverse direction, returning to the starting position.

Side jackknife (internal and external oblique muscles)

Lie on your left side with your feet together. Make a fist with your right hand and keep it pressed to your ear. Simultaneously raise your right leg and torso toward each other as far as possible. Contract your oblique muscles and then slowly reverse direction and return to start position. After performing the prescribed number of repetitions, repeat the process on the left.

To get your copy of The Look Great Naked Diet, click here.

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Thanks to tescodiets.com who have provided this article.