Looking Good Naked.


There’s more to life than being really, really ridiculously good-looking, but why not BE really, really ridiculously good-looking while you do those other things? Contributing writer Stefan Edwards shares how to get there in two simple steps. 

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With beach season fast approaching, many people are scrambling to desperately shed that unwanted fat that defiantly stands in the way between them and their “ideal” beach body.  Some people will succeed and turn heads for a few weeks; others will fail miserably and throw in the towel almost immediately. Regardless of which dieting demise people succumb to, almost all of them will end up back where they started, or possibly, even worse-off than when they began. 

What’s going on here? 

For starters, your body likes being fat.  Yes, you read that last sentence correctly.  You may think that your body wants you to have the chiseled abs of a Greek God, but the truth is that your body loves having body fat, and the more of it the better. 

Your body doesn’t care how you look or if you can fit into a pair of skinny jeans.  The only genes it cares about are the ones you need to pass on before you die. Fat is a valuable tool in this regard: if you have a lot of fat you can survive a famine and live another day to sleep around.  Obviously there is a point where being too fat hinders one’s ability to procreate/do anything other than lie around being fat; however, unless you’re one of the lucky ones with a good working fat set point[1], this is irrelevant - the majority of us will continue to put on weight long after the point in which that extra body fat changes from an advantageous survival buffer into a liability.

So although it’s possible to lose body fat, it’s not as easy of a process as many people believe.  Mathematically it’s simple, but in actual practice it’s quite difficult.  Your body will literally fight you every step of the way, doing its best to hold on to as much of that coveted fat as it can. This may sound depressing and make you not even want to try and lose weight, but the truth often isn't what we want to hear, and those who ignore it will never amount to much.  By understanding how your body works and being honest about what it’s going to take to change it, you can win this seemingly lost battle and achieve the level of leanness you desire.

The first thing you need to do is admit that your goal is an aesthetic one.  Repeat this out loud: “I just want to look good naked.”

Done?  Good. 

Although being overly narcissistic isn’t an admirable trait, lying about your goals because you’re embarrassed about simply wanting to look better isn’t going to get you anywhere either.  

Now that you’ve admitted to yourself what your goal is, you need a plan to achieve it.  There are literally hundreds of thousands of programs out there all offering their respective “magic bullet” protocol, but I will tell you right here and now that almost all of them are either completely and utterly fucking useless, or are only maintainable for a short period of time. 

Cutting edge gimmicks and trends help to sell programs, but ask anyone in the industry who actually knows what they’re doing what you have to do to look good naked, and they will give you this very boring and simple response:   

“Dial in your diet and lift heavy 2-3 times per week.”

That’s it. 

If you want to look good naked you need to shed body fat and hold onto as much muscle as you can.  You lose body fat by creating a negative energy balance (expend more energy than you take in) and you keep all that hard-earned muscle you have by lifting heavy.  There are some tweaks you can play around with like intermittent fasting, carb-cycling etc. to further optimize your results, but without the above-mentioned applied as a base, you won’t get anywhere.

It’s not exciting and it’s sure as hell isn’t very appealing, but it’s what has worked, and until we merge with machines and become cyborgs, it is what will always work.

Stay-tuned to Life Athletics next week for part 2 of this series where I discuss how to correctly set-up your diet and training to get your naked sexy on.

[1] “Body Fat Set point” refers to the level of body fat one’s body can maintain even when consuming excess calories.  This explains why some people can eat whatever they want and stay lean.  This is a highly complicated system involving various mechanisms and is far outside the scope of this article.