How to Become Model Skinny

By Kay Tang

As a child, supermodel Sarah DeAnna wasn’t the waif-like figure now strutting catwalks around the world. She dined on junk food and led an unhealthy lifestyle as a youth. DeAnna had to change her diet and exercise regimen to become skinny and healthy. By following a nutritional diet plan and exercising regularly, you can achieve a figure with low body fat. However, you need to maintain a minimum level of essential fat for your body to function properly.

Determine Your Body Type

Your weight-loss goal and intermediate weight-loss targets should be based on your body type. The three types are ectomorph, endomorph and mesomorph. While an ectomorph tends to be tall with long bones, an ectomorph is curvy with bigger bones. A mesomorph exhibits an athletic build. Realistically assess your body type. If you’re an endomorph who gains weight easily, you’ll find weight loss to be a challenge. It may take you a longer time to shed excess fat. For example, instead of losing two pounds per week, try to lose a pound per week. A mesomorph should tailor an exercise regime that doesn’t build muscle mass. An ectomorph has a hard time gaining weight and may just need a diet and exercise regimen to stay healthy and look fit.

Maintain Essential Fat

For the average woman, a healthy body-fat level ranges from 18 to 25 percent. While you can lose enough weight to reach the lower end of the body-fat range, 12 percent of your body fat is essential fat for your bones, heart, lungs, liver, muscles and nerve cells. It’s also necessary for your breasts and uterus. If you drop below 12-percent body fat, your organs may start to malfunction, causing your health and physical activity to deteriorate. For example, you can lose bone density due to fat loss in your bone marrow. When setting your weight-loss goal, take into account your essential body fat -- this is the line that you can't step over.

Focus on Nutrition

DeAnna stays away from processed foods, big meals and late-night eating. Instead, the supermodel snacks on fruits, nuts and protein bars throughout her day and eats a big breakfast and a light dinner. A pound of fat is 3,500 calories. To lose a pound per week, you need an average calorie deficit of 500 calories per day. Subtract the number of calories you burn via exercise and daily activity from the number of calories you consume to arrive at your daily calorie intake. From there, create a plan to achieve your daily calorie deficit. Focus your diet on lean protein, complex carbohydrates and polyunsaturated fats. Avoid simple carbohydrates, such as white bread and drinks with sugar. Drink plenty of water to keep your body well hydrated.

Exercise to Shed Pounds

Perform a combination of cardio for calorie burn and strength training to build muscle. Every pound of added muscle burns 30 to 50 calories per day, boosting your metabolism. While 30 minutes of cardio per day is enough to control weight, exercise for up to an hour per day to lose weight. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) -- in which you perform at a maximum level for short spurts followed by rest periods -- can burn fat fast. HIIT sessions not only force your muscle cells to create more mitochondria -- the cells’ power generators that transform fat into energy -- but also stimulate the production of catecholamines -- the hormones that help fat burn. For example, pedal hard on a stationary cycle for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds, performing eight to 20 sets three times per week.

References

About the Author

Kay Tang is a journalist who has been writing since 1990. She previously covered developments in theater for the "Dramatists Guild Quarterly." Tang graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science from Yale University and completed a Master of Professional Studies in interactive telecommunications at New York University.

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