We’re all very aware that eating too many calorie loaded foods is likely to result in weight gain, and many of us face daily negotiations with our food choices.
Yet why is it that some days we feel bigger in our clothes and some days we feel slimmer – despite weighing the same? The only thing that’s changed is …the clothes we’re wearing.
Nutracheck co-founder, Rachel Hartley said: “When it comes to losing weight, no diet or exercise regime can make you drop half a stone overnight, but it’s completely possible to look as though you’ve lost a few pounds by careful clothing choices.”
Next time you get dressed, take a few minutes to decide whether you’re wearing flattering (‘lower fat’) or unflattering (‘higher fat’) clothes. There are four basic themes that determine whether a garment or accessory appears ‘fattening’ – fit, shape, fabric and colour.
If you’re not feeling very confident about your weight, there’s a temptation to choose loose fitting clothes to cover up – but this can have the opposite effect. ‘Higher fat’ fits are any clothes that are too big, or too tight: both will make you look larger than you are.
Anything with underwear showing through – think VPL under trousers, and too tight bras with cutting, narrow straps. If your bra cup is too small, you’ll spill over the top – not a good look.
Avoid sleeveless tops and dresses that are not cut deep enough, allowing the skin around your armpits to squeeze out of the sides.
‘Low fat’ fits need a good base layer – so choose underwear that shapes you. It doesn’t need to be expensive – it just needs to fit you. If it feels too tight, put it away, it won’t flatter you.
‘Higher fat’ shapes are anything oversized or with excessive amounts of fabric. Think ‘Puffa’ coats, pleated skirts, supersized sweaters, ruffled shorts, frilled peasant skirts, dungarees, harem pants and baggy sweatpants. Steer clear of low-rise trousers, high rise shorts, jackets with breast pockets. If your sleeve length finishes across your hands, it can make you look swamped – have it shortened.
‘Low fat ‘shapes include clothes that skim your body. Flattering styles are mid-calf skirts, trousers with side pockets and boot cut jeans, V-neck sweaters and simple wrap dresses.
‘Higher fat’ fabrics can be the most alluring, heavy on texture, shine and bling. Be cautious about wide ribbed corduroy, velvet, metallic shines, fluffy mohair, wide stripes and loud florals. Avoid thin, poor quality jersey and T-shirt fabrics that cling to your lumps and bumps.
‘Low fat’ choices are comfortable and understated: cotton, denim, wool crepe and silk. Ensure you choose good quality jersey fabrics in plain colours. Fine ribs, vertical pinstripes and elasticated fabrics can help by moulding curves.
‘Higher fat’ colours include neons, bright primary colours, blocks of pastel and all-white outfits.
‘Lower fat’ options focus on darker hues: navy, charcoal, olive and burgundy – and, of course, black. But no-one wants a cupboard full of black so use the darker primaries to break the black cycle.
Dressing after weight loss
Rachel said: “What we’ve seen after someone has lost a lot of weight is that their head can take a while to catch up with their body – they still see themselves as bigger than they are. We’ve had members tell us their clothes size for photo shoots, only to find we’ve had to pin dresses and trousers that are way too big and hanging off them! It can take a while to adjust mentally to the physical change”.