5 Common Body Goals That Are Unrealistic

Not everyone can achieve a thigh gap or V-cut abs. Learn what’s possible with the right fitness and nutrition strategy and what’s all genetic before you drive yourself crazy trying to score your dream body

Shape.com—August 21, 2013

The thigh gap—it’s like the latest Hermes bag: Seemingly every woman wants it, yet not everyone can have it. But that doesn’t stop women from hitting the gym or, at times, taking more drastic measures to try to turn their bodies into their “ideal” figures.

And while working out and eating well can help you fine-tune your body, some goals can only be achieved if you’re genetically blessed or have a certain bone structure. So rather than pushing yourself to your breaking point (perhaps literally), find out what’s realistic for your body.

1 of 5 Thigh Gap

“No dieting or fitness regimen is going to change your bone structure,” say Polly de Mille, an exercise physiologist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. And it’s urban legend that taking birth control pills for the extra estrogen will help widen your hips and create that gap. “That doesn't work. You can't control your hip size.”

4 of 5 Concave Stomach

“Think about what's in your stomach: You've got your intestines, which often have food or air in them, and you may also be bloated if you're menstruating. While your belly can look flat, it's unlikely that it would look sunken in if you're eating normally,” de Mille says.

5 of 5 Narrow Hips and Small Butt

“Strengthening your glutes and reducing the layer of fat over them will change the outline of your body, whether you’re an apple or a pear, because muscle shapes you,” de Mille says. Resistance training is key to build that muscle.

Read the full story at shape.com.

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