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Tips for Shifting Unwanted Pounds

Updated on February 5, 2013

If overindulgence and lack of exercise means that your clothes are starting to feel too tight, don't despair. Before you dump everything in the trash and admit defeat, try some of these tips to fight the flab.

1. Eat watery foods

Eating foods that contain water (like cucumber) can help your body to get rid of excess water that it may have been holding onto. You may find yourself using the bathroom more often but that's a minor inconvenience if you're desperate to shed a couple of pounds quickly.

2. Load up on water and green tea

Drinking green tea and water can flush out toxins and use up calories in the process. Green tea also has antioxidant qualities. If you struggle with the idea of downing the recommended 6-8 glasses of liquids per day, use a visual image of the pounds disappearing as motivation.

3. Cut your salt

As well as being bad for your health in general, salt can encourage your body to retain water. In those areas, you'll often notice bloating (for example, ankles). Cutting out salt to a large extent can discourage bloating and water retention.

4. Go for a body wrap

This idea won't appeal to everyone but it might just shift those last few pounds if changing your diet and lifestyle don't do the trick on their own. The biggest downside is that you'll usually have to don a pair of mortifying paper pants but I'm sure most of us could grin and bare this if it meant kissing goodbye to unwanted flab.

5. Try body shading

If the idea of a full body wrap fills you with horror, body shading may be a better option as it is less extreme. To sum it up briefly, it involves a fake tan application across your body in general before an extra layer of tan is put on the bits that you want to draw attention away from. It might sound counter-productive but the darker areas can appear more toned than they actually are. On the downside, it's a hassle to keep reapplying and you may end up with completely the wrong effect if you're not the best at applying fake tan products so you may prefer to have it professionally applied instead.

6. Take regular exercise

We all know the value of exercise for losing weight, but not everyone who is looking to lose weight actually takes regular exercise. A thirty minute burst of something cardiovascular that gets your blood pumping and your heart racing will help to shed both toxins and pounds but you've got to make the effort to do it regularly to see any results, especially if the flab is on your stomach as cardiovascular exercise is the most effective way to target this area. On the plus side, fat tends to come off your stomach first when you're doing cardiovascular exercise.

7. Use your wardrobe

If you need an absolute quick fix, look at your wardrobe. Dark items can instantly make you look slimmer but beware of going overboard on black unless you want to look like you're in mourning. The style of your clothes can also make a difference. For example, tailored fits can be useful for slimming your stomach (or just plain covering it up if needs be) and wide belts can detract attention away from this area too.

Putting on unwanted pounds can be frustrating but there's no reason why you can't fight back. If you want to ditch the flab and make sure that it stays away afterwards, changing your diet and taking regular cardiovascular exercise is the best way to ensure that this is more likely to happen but if you've not got that long and want to feel better about yourself at short notice, some of these tips may help.

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