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Once you accept your shape, then you can work within it.Too many people who are concerned about their weight try to dress to conceal it, usually wearing clothes that are too big and loose.Contrasting colors – a dark shirt over light pants, for example – provide a visual break and draw attention to the lines of your body, making you look even larger.

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The next key is simply to accept that your body is your body and your shape is your shape and there is only so much that you can do to change that.

Your overall shape is going to be controlled by your bone structure and genetics as much as is by your diet and exercise.

Some people have shorter torsos and trunks, which will affect their visual proportions; a longer torso makes you look skinnier even if you’re overweight while a shorter one makes you appear wider.

Even if you lose weight, it’s no guarantee that you’re going to look like the cover of Men’s Health; a visible six-pack is as much the result of genetics, dehydration and favorable lighting as it is eating nothing but broiled chicken breasts and steamed broccoli and five hundred crunches a day.

Yes, I realize that you’re sensitive to people noticing your stomach or your nech.

I realize that baggy clothes seem more comfortable.

Large dudes will frequently lament that their size automatically disqualifies them from dating – they believe that there is simply no way a woman could possibly like somebody who’s body isn’t rippled and shiny like a buttered ear of corn. Kevin Smith, for all of his fashion sins that I will get into in a second, is happily married with a lovely wife and daughter. It’s easy to forget this when the TV and magazines are showing you nothing but image after image of cut, veiny men with swimmers builds with women draped all over them like fur stoles, but women actually like a far wider range of body types than we’d think.

Ask five women what their ideal male build is and you’ll get six different answers.

Take, for example, this image from a feature in the UK periodical The Sun; they flipped the script by posing ordinary men in underwear ads a la David Beckham or Christiano Ronaldo: women prefer large and burly even when society insists that they only like guys who look like they’re 3% body fat.

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