How to Lose Weight (or at Least Look It) Without Moving a Muscle

Not an infomercial.

Kitchen utensil, Cutlery, Art, Spoon, Painting, Visual arts, Artwork, Household silver, Day dress, Drawing,
(Image credit: Getty, design by Betsy Farrell)

Say that you, against our advice tsk tsk (opens in new tab), went so HAM during the holidays that your regular high-protein, low-glycemic diet seems like a (bad) distant memory. Say that you then got the dreaded "We still on for [some event for which I must look like the Snapchat version of myself that will take place a horrifically short period of time from today]??" text. What do you do, now that you're under a tight deadline to de-puff? Don't stress, first of all—that'll just increase the puff. Then, take a look at the fast-acting eating, beauty, and dressing strategies we've presented ahead.

1. Avoid Alcohol, Sugar, and Salt

Assuming you've returned to your semi-ascetic lifestyle, this shouldn't be too difficult, minus the eliminating-the-few-remaining-joys-in-life thing. The good news is that the physical effects of the booze will dissipate first, after about 24 hours, followed by the rest, by about four days. Drink lots of water to flush everything out.

2. Give Yourself a Lymphatic Massage

It's not just psychosomatic—moving the liquid-logged muscles of your face really can result in *immediate* definition in what was once potato-y. You could pay a pro to do this; or you could follow along with one of the many quality videos available online (opens in new tab).

3. Get Thee to the Infrared Sauna

Less for burning up to 600 calories just sitting there (though, WHOA), more for sweating like a hog (water weight, begone!) and reflecting on how you'll only make good decisions going forward until next Thursday.

4. Tie Your Hair Back

It's all geometry, really. According to His Excellency Tom Ford, "supermodels have tiny heads because it makes them look tall, sort of like the Empire State Building—just tapers up into nothing." And when editorial hairstylists want to create the look of a small head, they go up and close to the scalp, hence the bun or whatever. (But if you're wary of coming across too El Greco-y, throw on some Big-Ass Earrings (opens in new tab).)

5. Wear One Color Head to Toe

One color running vertically draws the eye up and down instead of side to side. See it in action here (opens in new tab).

6. When All Else Fails, Contour (opens in new tab)

There's still nothing like a bit of shadow trickery for trimming your jawline, carving out a pair of cut-crystal cheekbones, and pretending like the past two weeks never happened.

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Chelsea Peng
Assistant Editor

Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.