Body types:

First of all get to know your body type. Don’t judge yourself on model girl proportions. Your body type holds the key to your scope for improvement. Your figure fits into one of three categories, which can’t be altered, but you can certainly aim for better proportions. It is possible to alter the shape of any part of the body. The only unalterable are the length of your bones. But even the spine can be stretched a little, especially if there is bad posture, which could result in 0.5-1 cm 14- inch difference in height. Now for the three body types. If you are an ectomorph, small

framed with narrow shoulders and often even narrower hips,you should aim to be neat-waisted with little obvious muscle or fat. A mesomorph with a medium to large frame, ranging from quite square and angular to comfortably rounded, often with broad shoulders, should be mostly muscle and bone with not much obvious fat and a slim line right through waist and hips.An endomorph. heavily built but not necessarily large framed, issturdy through rib cage, waist and hips and usually quite well covered, but ideally has trim muscles and no excess fat

Capacity for exercise:

Your preference and aptitude for certain types of exercise and sport is often dictated by your figure type. Ideally, settle for those you can perform with enjoyment and a sense of achievement. Don’t struggle fruitless ly with an exercise form with which you are not physically

compatible Ectomorphs usually display qualities of endurance and agility and have good body support, all of which links them with such diverse sports as cross-country running and volley ball In between, of course, that leaves anything from running, jogging, hiking, skiing, badminton and tennis.

Mesomorphs, with a traditionally muscular frame and scope for developing strength, endurance, power and agility, can be good at just about anything they try, be it running or weight training. Endomorphs don’t rate top marks for strength, agility endurance, power or body strength. Most true endomorphs will happily admit to being less sporty than many of their acquaintance, having long since discovered that they are better working at their own pace. Favourite activities include those which don’t necessarily embrace a competitive element Things like swimming, cycling, archery and bowling are ideal

Weight: What Should You Weigh

It is a good idea to monitor your weight level. Ideally, weigh yourself once a week, on the same scales, at the same time of day, wearing the same clothes – or nothing at all. If you are

fully dressed, including shoes, allow 2.75 kg 6 lb) for the weight of winter clothes, 1.75 kg (4 lb) for summer clothes. When you are trying to lose weight, it is a temptation to weigh yourself every day, particularly if you have your own bathroom scales – but this is a mistake. Weight does not drop off regularly but in fits and starts, and the daily check might well discourage you. As a rough guide, aim to stay within 2.25 kg (5 lb) of the normal weight for your body type frame. From the mid-thirties onwards, metabolism slows down and needs about 100 calories a day fewer than it did 10 years ago. While this might not sound much, an extra 100 calories a day can add up to about 4.5 kg (10 Lb) a bear! That’s how weight creeps on. Admittedly, there are times in a woman’s life when there is a tendency to put on weight: adolescence: after having a baby: or at the menopause. These phases need only be

temporary How do you assess your type of frame or build? You don’t know whether you come in the small, medium or large category? The type of frame you have conditions your weight

quite considerably. To find out which section you come under, measure your wrist. If it is less than 14 cm (5 inches) you have a small frame; 14-16 cm (512-62 inches) a medium frame; over 16 cm (62 inches) a large frame. There are always exceptions to this rule, but it is a good general guide. How do you know when you are fat? Generally, a doctor will say that you are definitely over-weight if your weight is 10-15 per cent more than that indicated for your frame and height. A variation of 5-10 per cent over or under is generally believed to have no effect upon your health.

Don’t feel discouraged if your weight doesn’t tumble down accommodatingly after days or even wecks on a strict diet, even though on checking your measurements you find that your inches are a little less. There is a simple reason for this: when a fat cell shrinks through lack of nourishment, it leaves a space which fills up with water – water weighs more than fat – hence no noticeable difference may be registered for quite a while on the scales, though clothes seem to fit better.

 Measurements: Measuring up to Ideals

Once you start to lose weight, fat accumulation becomes a diminishing problem. In over-weight, fat tends to accumulate initially in the fat depots, sited in the tummy and waistline areas, the top of the thighs and the upper arms. Only in gross obesity does the body store away weight in other areas. It is impossible to say where any individual will lose fat or bulges first: for some it may be from the waistline, for others the thighs.

If you want to embark on a realignment programme, you should allow from 2 to 12 weeks depending on the amount of reshaping you want to accomplish. You should not try to lose more than 750g (12 lb) per week unless you are extremely overweight to begin with Combining diet and exercise you may be able to remove as much as 2.5 cm (1 inch) a month from fleshy areas. Thus if you want to take off 4.5 kg (10 lb), 2.5 cm (1 inch) from your waist and 5 cm (2 inches) from your hips, you should allow about 10 weeks in which to accomplish

your goal. The chart below gives an indication of how long it should take to lose weight on a sensible diet. Set your own target date and work towards it. Remember it is always advisable to check with your doctor if you want to lose more than 2.75 kg (6 lb).

How long does it take to get rid of bulges?

Your present weight

Between st. 3 lb and 8 st.13 Lb

Between 8 st.13 lb and 9 st 9 lb

Between 9 s1916 and 10 st.5 Lb

Between 10 st.5 Lb and 11 still lb

Amount you want to lose

5 lb

10 lb

S Ib 10 Ib

20 lb 5 lb

10 lb 20 Ib

5 lb

10 lb 20 lb

Maximum time it should take

4 weeks

8 weeks

3 weeks 6 weeks

12 weeks

22 weeks 5 weeks 1l weeks

2 weeks 4 weeks 9 weeks

The ideal scale of measurements is as follows: bust and hi should measure the same: waist should be 25 cm (10 inches smaller than bust; thighs should be about 15 cm (6 inches les thin waist calves about 15-18 cm 6-7 inches) less than thigh ankles about 13-15 cm (5.6 inches) less than calves; and upf arms should be double the size of wrists,

 Where to measure:

Here are the instructions for taking accurate readings. Chest under armpits, straight around Upper arm 10 cm (4 inches) down from armpit, then around. Bust: straight across back and over the fullest part of the bust. Waist: smallest part. Abdomen across the navel, around back, below waist. Upper hips: halfway between abdomen and lower hips Lower hips: around the largest part of buttocks. Top thigh: up under leg as high as possible, and straight around. Mid-thigh halfway between top thigh measure and knee. Knee: around the middle. Calf: around the largest part. Ankle: around the smallest part, just above ankle bone. Take all measurements with muscles relaxed, and always measure the same limb-right and left limb measurement may be different. Ideally, measure yourself before you embark on a diet and exercise regime then wait 10 days before taking your measure:

ments again; then another 10 days, and so on.Always been on the plump side as far back as you can

remember? Then double check to see if you are carrying abnormal amounts of body fat. One way of finding out is to lie flat on your back with a ruler on your front. If your weight is normal, the ruler can touch both your ribs and your pelvis. If one end sticks up in the air, it means that something, like fat, is pushing it out

Alternatively, take a deep pinch of skin on your side, just over the lower ribs. If the distance between thumb and index finger is greater than 2.5 cm ( inch), you are probably too late If it is less than I em 12 inch), you are probably too thin Perfect proportions are of course, the exception rather than the rule. They should be used as a guide rather than a goal The best practice is to subtract your ideal measurements from your actual measurements to determine the degree of differ ence, then strive to eat that difference in half, Thus, if your actual measurements are bust 87 cm (34 inches), waist 66 cm

26 inches), hips 97 cm (38 inches), and your ideal measure ments are bust 87 cm (34 inches), waist 61 cm (24 inches), hips 87 cm (34 inches), your goal would be bust 87 cm (34 inches),

waist 64 cm (25 inches) and hips 92 cm (36 inches).

Few of us possess ideal proportions – most of us have at least

one main figure fault in need of correction. While diet and exercise are often the answer, they cannot alter bone structure. However, the right choice of clothes for your figure type can give imperfect proportions the illusion of perfection

Ectomorphs, those with the so-called average figure, are fairly evenly proportioned all over; any silhouette is good on them whether waistlines go up, down or stay put. The broad-shouldered mesomorph needs emphasis below the waist to balance her light-bulb silhouette. That means keeping major pattern and colour accents below the waist, with everything above under-stated and non-clingy. This figure type looks great in trousers of all lengths.

The sturdy, usually well-rounded endomorph looks best in classic trim shapes with soft, rather than very tailored outlines. Medium length jackets are good for this figure and it pays to keep major accents small in scale most of the time.