Having a smaller waist improves the way you feel about yourself and benefits your health. Excess fat in the waist increases your risk of heart attacks, diabetes and high blood pressure. Endless sit-ups and crunches tone the stomach muscles, but don't reduce the fat layer that's hiding those stomach muscles. To get a smaller waist, a reduction of your overall body fat is required. To see results in as little as two weeks, adjust the type of exercise you do to get the maximum benefits.
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Eliminate stress from your life. Learn breathing and relaxation techniques. Avoid taking on more responsibility than you can handle. Prioritise tasks and take time out to have fun. When you are under a lot of stress, your body releases cortisol. This stress hormone triggers cravings that are hard to control. The fat you gain from these cravings settles in your waistline, within easy access of your liver, which can use it for energy when needed.
Reduce your daily caloric intake. Half a kilo (1 pound) equals approximately 3,500 calories. Consume 500 calories less per day to burn this in one week. Consume 1,000 calories less per day to lose 1 kg. Use a combination of diet and exercise to reach your caloric deficit.
Make healthier food choices to help reduce calories. Choose low-fat dairy over full-fat dairy. Eat lean protein such as chicken and fish instead of pork and beef, which have more fat. Skip simple carbohydrates and eat complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice and whole wheat pasta. Use plant oils, such as olive oil and canola. Avoid trans fats and saturated fats, which are present in bakes goods and fried foods.
Combine high-intensity interval training with regular cardiovascular exercise. Perform same-intensity cardio -- such as jogging, swimming or biking -- two days a week, for 30 minutes per day. Perform intervals on three days of the week. Jog at a moderate pace for two minutes before accelerating to a sprint for one minute. Go back and forth between intensities for 30 minutes. Increase the length of your interval bursts as you get stronger. Interval training is harder on your body and therefore burns more calories.
Maintain muscle tissue by taking on a full body strength-training routine. Exercise your legs, arms, back, shoulders, chest and abdominal muscles. Use exercise machines at the gym, or free weights or your body weight to tone your body. Muscle tissue stimulates your metabolism even while you are resting, so you burn fat all day long.
Include the plank exercise in your abdominal strength-training routine. Come down on all fours. Lower onto your forearms and stretch out your legs behind you. Balance on the balls of your feet. Contract all your muscles including your abdominal muscles. Form a plank with your body that is parallel to the floor. Hold this position as long as you can. Aim to hold it for one minute. Perform the exercise three times.
Suck in your tummy to reduce girth from your waist. Stand up straight. Breathe out through your mouth and suck in your stomach. Hold your stomach in, but breathe normally. Hold the contraction in your stomach as long as you can and aim to reach one minute. Perform the exercise three times per day, on three non-consecutive days of the week.
Tips and warnings
- Consult your doctor before taking on new diets and exercise routines.
- Perform abdominal exercises three days per week. Schedule one rest day in between each exercise day so your muscles have time to recover.
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