Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Fitness & Exercise

Font Size
A
A
A

How to Look Thinner Instantly

How can you look thinner, have your clothes fit better, and project more confidence? Here's the secret.
By
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic-Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Psst ... Hey! Wanna know a secret? Here's how to look up to 10 pounds thinner, have your clothes look better, and ooze confidence with every step you take. And you might just get rid of your tension headaches and lower back pain while you're at it. Sounds like a bad late-night infomercial, right? It's not. You may actually achieve these things if you pay attention to an often neglected area of body conditioning -- your posture.

"You would be amazed at what a difference making a few simples changes in how you hold your body can make in not only how you look, how your clothes fit, even how young you look," says personal trainer Sue Fleming, creator of the Buff Fitness line of DVDs and books.

Posture expert Janice Novak agrees. "We spend a lot of money on our clothes, our hair, our makeup, but without good posture, your midsection can look at least a couple of inches wider than it is -- and because you are also pushing your gut forward you are creating a potbelly that might not otherwise be there," says Novak, director of ImproveYourPosture.com and author of the Posture: Get It Straight series of books and DVDs.

What's more, she says, your posture influences how others see you.

"They did some research about 10 years ago at the University of Louisville where 60 people were asked to rate the appearance of two women in a series of pictures -- in some they were slumping, in others they were standing up straight . Consistently, viewers rated the women who were standing up straight to be younger and more attractive," Novak says.

In fact, she says, when subjects looked only at the bodies of the women, (their heads were masked) the researchers found that the woman who weighed more -- 125 pounds, compared to the 105-pound model -- was perceived as thinner and more attractive simply because she was standing up and taller.

Personal trainer Jessica Bottesch isn't surprised. "When you slump over, you lose inches in your height, so you are taking whatever your body mass is and scrunching it down, making yourself look shorter and wider," says Bottesch, co-owner of Empower Personal Training studios in North Carolina.

But, Fleming says, "when your body is in alignment, your head is sitting squarely on your shoulders, and your shoulders are pulled back with your core muscles pulled in, you not only increase your height and stretch out your body mass, making you look thinner, but you're also projecting an image of confidence, of being more alert, and more youthful -- all of which makes you look more attractive."

Posture and Your Health

If vanity isn't enough motivation to get you to stand taller, experts say posture can also affect your health.

1 | 2 | 3

Healthy Living Tools

Ditch Those Inches

Set goals, tally calorie intake, track workouts and more, all via WebMD’s free Food & Fitness Planner.

Get Started

Today on WebMD

Wet feet on shower floor tile
Slideshow
Flat Abs
Slideshow
 
Build a Better Butt Slideshow
Slideshow
woman using ice pack
Quiz
 

man exercising
Article
7 most effective exercises
Interactive
 
Man looking at watch before workout
Slideshow
Overweight man sitting on park bench
Video
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Build a Fitter Family Challenge – Get your crew motivated to move.
Feed Your Family Better Challenge - Tips and tricks to healthy up your diet.
Sleep Better Challenge - Snooze clues for the whole family.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply

pilates instructor
Slideshow
jogger running among flowering plants
Video
 
Teen girl jogging
Article
Taylor Lautner
Article