Believe it or not, but you can have a small waist. Achieving and maintaining that small waist requires commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Focusing solely on your waist will not reduce its size. Unless liposuction is an option, spot reduction is not possible. You have to target your all-over body fat to see your waist reduce in size. Reducing excess fat from your waistline improves the way you look and according to the Natural Health Website for Women, it also reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes.
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Increase your caloric expenditure through exercise and decrease your caloric intake from food to create a calorie deficit equalling 500 to 1,000 calories daily. There are 3,500 calories in 1 pound of fat, so you will lose 0.454 to 0.907 Kilogram over a seven-day period and 3 to 6 pounds over three weeks. Avoid rapid weight loss, as this is often weight from water and muscle tissue, not from fat.
Establish healthy eating habits that you can stick to longer than three weeks so that once your waist is smaller, you can maintain it. Avoid fat, sugar and processed foods. Read food labels to compare nutritional information. Choose low-calorie, low-fat foods that are high in nutrients. Eat vegetables and fruits for vitamins, minerals and fibre. Choose complex carbohydrates over simple carbohydrates. Foods such as oatmeal, whole-grain bread and brown rice don't spike insulin production in your body as those containing simple carbohydrates do. Eat unsaturated fats from olive oil and canola instead of cholesterol-raising saturated fats.
Perform strength-training exercises that train all body parts for 45 minutes per day for three days per week. Build and maintain muscle tissue all over your body to promote all-over fat burn, including your stomach fat. Train your arms, legs, back, chest, shoulders and stomach.
Engage in 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise daily for at least three days per week. Incorporate high-intensity intervals into your cardiovascular exercise because this burns more calories than same-intensity cardiovascular exercise. Jog for three minutes and accelerate to a sprint for one minute. Switch between intensities for the duration of your cardio workout.
Perform a combination of different stomach exercises on three non-consecutive days of the week. Stomach exercises tone the muscles underneath the fat. Upon fat reduction, the definition will show. Crunch your way to a tighter stomach. Lie on your back with your knees bend and feet on the floor. Rest your head on your fingers for support. Inhale and raise your upper body until your shoulder blades are off the floor. Exhale and lower your body back to the floor.
Suck in your tummy. According to the Bodybuilding website, this stomach vacuum exercise can take 2 to 4 inches off your waist within three weeks. Exhale completely and suck in your belly. Hold the contraction in your stomach while breathing normally. Release the tension. Perform three sets of this exercise. Hold the tension 20 seconds the first week, 40 seconds the third week and 60 seconds the third week.
Get a handle on stress in your life. The Natural Health Website for Women states that high stress levels increase cortisol production in your body. Cortisol is a stress hormone linked to increased food cravings, obesity and weight gain, especially in the tummy. Practice meditation to stay calm and get at least seven hours of sleep.
Drink a minimum of eight glasses of water daily. Water promotes fat metabolism and regulates your digestive system. It also helps prevent water retention by flushing excess, belly-bloating sodium from your body.
Tips and warnings
- Consult your doctor before starting a diet or exercise regimen.
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- Medline Plus; Tips For Losing Weight; David Zieve; Oct. 2009
- Medicinenet.com: The No-Diet Approach to Weight Control; Melissa Conrad Stöppler
- Harvard School of Public Health: The Nutrition Source
- Stronglifts; Fat Loss 101; Mehdi; May 2009
- The New York Times; A Healthy Mix of Rest and Motion; Peter Jaret; May 2007
- Bodybuilding.com: The Stomach Vacuum