1. Create an optical illusion
Doing crunches and push-ups is one way of getting ripped, but why not let $75 clippers and a mirror do the trick instead? Some judicious grooming can give you the appearance of having spent the past few months at the gym. "For accentuating the chest and de-emphasizing the torso, clip the torso hair shorter and leave the chest hair a little longer,' says Craig P. Wern, a New York–based professional groomer. This will sharpen the line under your pecs and create a faux-natural contrast. Also, leaving a thin line of hair down the center of your body may give the illusion of some ab definition. For the less hirsute, it may be easier to have your six-pack painted on: Spray-tan experts can airbrush the appearance of defined abs, chiseled arms, and solid pecs. The color will last up to a weekalthough swimming-pool chlorine will eat away at it. Another downside is that airbrushed abs will work only if you've already shed most of your excess flab. "Putting it on a chunky guy won't do anything, but on somebody with some definition, it can really make his muscles look bigger," says Jeff Bozz, cofounder and owner of Sunset Tan in Los Angeles.
2. Dress Right
Simple styling tricks can make your trunk look slimmer and your shoulders look quarterback-broad. "Tuck your shirt in," says Tim Gunn, chief creative officer of Liz Claiborne, Inc. "An untucked shirt's silhouette makes you appear to have more volume. Stay away from cuffed pantsthey make you look shorter and squatter. And any garment with the word cargo before it adds undesired volume." If worse comes to worst, there's always shapeweara.k.a. a man girdle. Brands like 2(x)ist offer underwear with a six-inch band that will mask your spare tirealbeit temporarily. "Shapewear is a marvelous solution for tucking in the otherwise untuckable," Gunn says. "Just make sure that the undergarment comes up to the bottom of your rib cageotherwise it will just push the bubble upwards and outwards."
3. Control Your Calories
A short-term crash diet comes down to simple math. You need to burn about 3,500 calories to shed one pound, so if you have two weeks and want to drop 10 pounds, you're going to have to find 35,000 calories to eliminate (2,500 per day). A low-calorie, low-sodium diet of brown rice, quinoa, kale, Brussels sprouts, and baked tofu should drop a pound here and there, but a severe regimen may be the only way to shed significant weight. Starvation diets don't work in the long runand detox routines are not designed for weight lossbut, according to Peter Glickman, the guy behind TheMasterCleanse.com, the average man loses 16 pounds in 10 days on the plan, proving that you'll lose weight if you don't eat. "You can eat basically nothing for a week and lose five pounds," says New York nutritionist Charles Passler. "But you'll lose extra water and muscle mass, not fat." It's not going to be easy, but, while you're suffering, keep your eyes on the prizeit's only a few days before you can pig out at the all-you-can-eat buffet.