How to lose your waistline?

Table of Contents

Fitness Tips That Will Burn Inches off Your Waistline

Having a trim waistline is a desire many of us have. If this is your goal, however, you might not be doing the right exercises to whittle your waist. But with a couple helpful tips, you can revamp your workout regimen to cater to the desire for a teeny tiny midsection.

Here are seven fitness tips that will help you take inches off your waistline.

Say ‘no’ to crunches!

This is not the way to shrink your waistline. | iStock.com

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to trim their waistline is add crunches to their regimen. Quite the contrary — this run-of-the-mill core exercise will make your waist bigger! Crunches work your abdominal muscles, but they don’t target and eliminate fat like so many think they do.

If you want to tone your abs after trimming your waist, that is certainly doable. But for waist-shrinking purposes, this exercise should be avoided.

Combat those calories

Work off that hearty salad, and you will be more likely to whittle your waistline. | iStock.com/DragonImages

Exercise and good eating habits go hand in hand. And when it comes to trimming your waistline, those two things have to be in sync. For shrinking your midsection, you have to burn more calories than you consume. WebMD points out that if you consume 1,050 to 1,200 calories a day, you could lose 3-5 pounds in a week with one hour of exercise a day. (Think of how that will help shrink your waistline!)

So skipping the snacks and hitting the treadmill is definitely the way to go. Speaking of running on the treadmill …

Do more cardio

Up your cardio game, and watch your waist shrink. | iStock.com

You want to get in all the calorie-killing cardio you can to achieve a slimmer waist. According to Livestrong.com, it really only takes 20 minutes of cardio per day to see results. But if you really want to see your waist shrink, we suggest 30-40 minutes of your favorite exercise. You can go cycling, swimming, take an aerobics class … you name it.

Having that extra cardio boost will have you tightening up your belt in no time.

Start doing a circuit

Adding free weights to your workout will help make your circuit more effective. | iStock.com/Antonio_Diaz

The most effective way to lose weight is to have a fitness regimen that incorporates both cardio and resistance training. When it comes to streamlining your waist, a circuit workout is definitely the way to go. This “core-centric” circuit from Shape.com is perfect for nipping at your waist, and can be performed in the comfort of your own home. Or you can use free weights to add more resistance to your abdominal exercises. Just make sure the weights aren’t too heavy, since you don’t want to bulk up. On that note …

Avoid CrossFit

CrossFit is great — just not when it comes to trimming your waistline. | iStock.com/bekisha

Not all resistance training is good for whittling your waist. And while CrossFit is a fantastic exercise, many of its moves will bulk you up instead of slim you down. Dr. Stacey Naito tells RXMuscle that CrossFit “will cause excessive cortisol spikes which makes your body stubbornly cling to belly fat and derail your efforts to become super lean for the stage.” Best to push this intense workout regimen to the side while you are trying to tighten your waist.

Do the twist

Twists will shrink your waistline in no time. | iStock.com/OSTILL

Adding a twisting motion to your exercises doesn’t just work your obliques and abs. This movement melts the extra baggage around your torso, giving you a smaller waist. Try these great Pilates moves — like the extension arrow — that are sure to shrink your midsection.

Completely commit

Stay devoted to your waist-shrinking plan, and you will get results. | iStock.com/Bojan89

This is probably the most important bit of fitness advice: If you want to shrink your waist, you have to stay completely committed to your regimen. Nobody trimmed their waist by working at it for a week and then giving up, right? Sticking to a regimen is the best way to see results. In fact, it will benefit you to maintain your waist-shrinking plan even after you reach your goal. Your commitment to trimming your waist will go a long way if you keep up the good work.

4 Steps for Beating Belly Fat

There are four keys to controlling belly fat: exercise, diet, sleep, and stress management.

1. Exercise: Vigorous exercise trims all your fat, including visceral fat.

Get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least 5 days a week. Walking counts, as long as it’s brisk enough that you work up a sweat and breathe harder, with your heart rate faster than usual.

To get the same results in half the time, step up your pace and get vigorous exercise — like jogging or walking. You’d need to do that for 20 minutes a day, 4 days a week.

Jog, if you’re already fit, or walk briskly at an incline on a treadmill if you’re not ready for jogging. Vigorous workouts on stationary bikes and elliptical or rowing machines are also effective, says Duke researcher Cris Slentz, PhD.

Moderate activity — raising your heart rate for 30 minutes at least three times per week — also helps. It slows down how much visceral fat you gain. But to torch visceral fat, your workouts may need to be stepped up.

“Rake leaves, walk, garden, go to Zumba, play soccer with your kids. It doesn’t have to be in the gym,” Hairston says.

If you are not active now, it’s a good idea to check with your health care provider before starting a new fitness program.

2. Diet: There is no magic diet for belly fat. But when you lose weight on any diet, belly fat usually goes first.

Getting enough fiber can help. Hairston’s research shows that people who eat 10 grams of soluble fiber per day — without any other diet changes — build up less visceral fat over time than others. That’s as simple as eating two small apples, a cup of green peas, or a half-cup of pinto beans.

How To Get A Smaller Waist Fast Charushila Biswas Hyderabd040-395603080 January 13, 2020

If getting a smaller waist is on your mind, we can help. Sure, shedding fat from your waist and lower belly area is challenging. But with the right plan, you can steer yourself in the right direction. Keep reading to know the ways you can get a smaller waist quickly. Roll the scroll!

#1 Understand Your Body

This is the most important step – understanding your body type. If you are someone who gains weight quickly and finds it difficult to lose weight as quickly, your body type is endomorphic.

If both gaining and losing weight is easy for you, you have a mesomorphic body type. And, if gaining weight is difficult for you, you have an ectomorphic body type.

Depending on your body type, you may need less or more time to get a smaller waist. The mantra is to stay positive and keep doing the following.

#2 Alter Your Diet

You are what you eat. Increase your fruit and vegetable consumption to lose weight soon (1), (2). They are rich in antioxidants, dietary fiber, and minerals and low in calories (except high GI fruits and veggies). This makes fruits and vegetables perfect for weight loss.

Also, consume nuts, seeds, herbs, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats in the right portions (3), (4), (5).

Consume three servings of five different veggies per day. Try to have at least two servings of three different fruits per day. Snack on pistachios or a cup of cucumber/watermelon. Follow this diet to get the complete picture.

#3 Drink Adequate Water

Another important thing to do when you are trying to lose weight is to drink adequate amounts of water. Drinking 2-3 liters is recommended. Increase your water intake if you workout, sweat a lot, or live in hot weather conditions.

Staying hydrated helps to prevent your body from getting confused between thirst and hunger. This limits the tendency to overeat. Water also helps flush out toxins and boosts cell functions.

#4 Make Time For Cardio

To use up the calories you consume as well as the stored calories, you must exercise. Choose a form of exercise that suits your lifestyle and interests you. It can be dancing, cycling, kickboxing, running, walking, swimming, or playing sports.

We recommend exercising for 3-5 hours a week. Also, add strength training and HIIT to your workout routine to get a toned and fit body.

#5 Work On Your Upper Body

Apart from working on your entire body, it is important to work on your upper body as well. Do exercises that target your upper back, shoulders, and chest. Working on these muscles will help build lean muscle mass and make your upper body look toned. This, in turn, will make your waist look smaller.

#6 Target Your Waist And Lower Belly

You need to add a few exercises to your routine that will help tone your waist and lower belly. Here are a few exercises you may do:

  • Leg raises
  • Side lying leg raises
  • Mountain climbers
  • Spiderman mountain climbers
  • Vertical leg up crunches
  • Flutter kicks
  • Scissor kicks
  • Russian twist
  • Resistance band side bends
  • Kapalbhati
  • Plank

#7 “Wear” Your Waist Smaller

Think of peplum tops or a cool belt! You can also wear color block patterns to make your waist appear smaller. Crop tops are a no-no, but you may pair a knotted shirt/T-shirt with high waist jeans or jeggings to give your figure that hourglass look.

These are the 7 ways you can get a smaller waist. Do not act in haste, and do not stress out. Staying happy can help you lose weight faster than fretting about it. Lead a stress-free, healthy life, and you will see the results soon. Take care.

Referencess

    1. “The association of fruit and vegetable consumption with changes in weight and body mass index in Chinese adults: a cohort study.” Publich Health, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    2. “Fruit and vegetable intake and body adiposity among populations in Eastern Canada: the Atlantic Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health Study” BMJ Open, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    3. “Health Benefits of Nut Consumption” Nutrients, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    4. “Whole grain consumption and weight gain: a review of the epidemiological evidence, potential mechanisms and opportunities for future research.” The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    5. “The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

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Charushila Biswas

Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. And that prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.

There’s no way around it. If your large waist and flabby tummy are there because you’re overweight, you need to lose a few pounds

Step one: Rework your diet

There’s no way around it. If your large waist and flabby tummy are there because you’re overweight, you need to lose a few pounds. All the toning in the world isn’t going to deliver the waistline you want – you’ll just have well-toned muscles covered in fat. The good news is that the odds are all in your favour if you’re trying to lose weight from your middle. Research has found that, for every kilo you lose, you can shed 1cm from your waist.

Cut your portion sizes by 25%. Use smaller plates and fill up on vegetables and fruit as a route to slow, steady weight loss.

Have three portions of low-fat dairy food each day. ‘Several studies have shown that including low-fat dairy as part of a calorie-controlled diet leads to a lower waist circumference and increased abdominal weight loss, as well as to better weight loss overall,’ says consultant dietician Sian Porter of the British Dietetic Association.

Make it wholegrain. Research has shown people who eat wholegrains have smaller waists and less abdominal fat than those who eat refined carbohydrates. ‘As well as a positive effect on insulin sensitivity, eating wholegrains helps you feel fuller for longer and controls hunger pangs,’ says Porter.

Replace saturated with unsaturated fats found in nuts, oily fish, seeds and avocado. As well as slowing the rate at which your stomach empties and the release of glucose into the blood, they
may also help reduce inflammation and make you less insulin resistant.

Eat little and often. Skipping breakfast, leaving long gaps between meals and eating on the run can lead to increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is linked with higher levels of abdominal fat.

Step two: Do the right exercise

Aerobic exercise is your secret weapon here. Research shows that exercise alone can reduce abdominal fat and waist circumference, even if you don’t lose much weight. ‘There are three vital elements to getting your waist back, and the first is cardiovascular exercise – power walking, cycling, swimming – which uses all the body’s large muscle groups,’ says Dean Hodgkin, fitness expert at Ragdale Hall (deanhodgkin.com). ‘The more muscle you build, the more calories you will burn. And the fitter you get, the more efficiently your body burns fat.’

Whatever exercise you choose, Hodgkin recommends interval training – alternating moderate with high-intensity exercise. So if you swim, do one length at a medium pace and the next at a sprint – and the same goes for walking or cycling. ‘Your total calorie use will be greater because your body will be working harder,’ says Hodgkin. Start with 20 minutes and build up gradually. Try to move more in your daily life – a recent study found that taking even regular one or two-minute breaks from sitting down to move around can help reduce your waistline.

Step three: Shape up

‘Everyone has a six pack – you’ve just got to find it!’ says Hodgkin. ‘The second part of your exercise programme should be about targeting the right muscles.’ Try these exercises to give your waist a workout:

Sit ups

Lie on your back, feet flat on the floor, with knees bent and hip-width apart, and hands behind your head. Lift your head and shoulders off the floor as far as you can go, then lower back down to the floor.

Reverse curls

Lie on your back, hands behind your head, and legs together straight up in the air, keeping your head and shoulders on the floor. Pull in your lower abdominal muscles and, keeping your lower back pressed to the floor, slowly bring your legs and pelvis forward towards your ribcage, then gradually lower them back to the original position.

Aim to do two or three sets of 15 repetitions of each exercise every other day. ‘Don’t worry if you can’t manage the full amount – do what you can. Quality is more important than quantity,’ says Hodgkin.

The Plank

‘This works the deep, core muscles that act like a cummerbund, pulling everything in so you look slimmer and taller,’ says Hodgkin.

Lie face down on the floor, placing your elbows and forearms under your chest. Prop yourself up on your forearms and toes to form a bridge – keep your back flat and don’t let your hips sag. Hold the position initially for 10 seconds, gradually building up the time. Return to your start position.

To work the oblique muscles, lie on your side, keeping your legs straight and feet together. Resting on the forearm beneath you and the side of your lower foot, push your body up. Keep your upper arm flat against your side, tightening your abdominals and bottom muscles. Hold for 10 seconds, lower, then repeat on the other side.

Step four: Cut your stress levels

Stress doesn’t just make you more prone to gain weight – it may also make you more likely to gain weight around your middle. The culprit here is cortisol, a hormone your body produces when you’re stressed, which delivers a double whammy. Not only does it stimulate your appetite, making you crave fatty, sugary food, it may also lead to extra fat being deposited around your middle. Researchers at Yale University found a direct link between high levels of life stress and abdominal fat – even normal-weight women who were vulnerable to stress had higher cortisol levels and more abdominal fat.

Step five: Get the right amount of sleep

Around seven hours seems to be the ideal. Too little sleep disrupts the balance of hormones that regulate hunger and appetite, and makes you more prone to gaining weight – in one study, people who only got four hours’ sleep ate 22% more calories the next day than those who got eight hours. Too little or too much sleep may also affect abdominal fat. Researchers in Chicago found people under 40 who slept less than five hours a night – or more than eight – gained more abdominal fat over a five-year period than those who slept six or seven hours.

Whether you are trying to get a smaller waist to get an hourglass figure, or you are just looking to lose a few inches off of a round belly, these tips and exercises can get the job done.
The most important thing to understand when trying to get a small waist is that a healthy bodyweight is priority one; strength training for the entire body & a healthy diet are key. These exercises can also help with a stronger core & more toned abs.
Best exercises for a smaller waist:
Jumping Oblique Twist – This is a great cardio move to help burn calories, minimize belly fat and tone the sides. Oblique moves like this one create muscles that pull your body inwards, creating the look that you’re after.
The Russian Twist – The twisting motion of this exercise whittles your middle by firming the muscles on your sides; giving you a toned, smaller midsection. The jumping around also bumps up your caloric burn, which is important for maintaining a healthy bodyweight.
Pilates Side Plank with Leg Raise – This is a challenging, effective exercise for the entire core; you will immediately feel your sides and obliques working. There are multiple levels of difficulty for this move; choose the one that you can do with perfect form.
Crisscross Crunches – One of the best ways to tone your stomach and see results fast. This is an exercise that burns a good deal of calories, due to all of the large muscles groups involved; your whole body has to chip in to create this motion.
Windshield Wipers – A good beginner obliques exercise that improves range of motion around the torso. You can make this one harder by straightening your legs, but only attempt that modification if you already have a solid foundation of core strength.

Everyday habits that will help you achieve your goal:
Do 30-60 minutes of cardio at least 5 days a week – Regular cardio will keep your heart healthy, and make it easier to maintain a healthy bodyweight, which is absolutely essential to having abs or a thin midsection. Also, if you focus only on working out or doing situps and don’t make the necessary modifications to your diet, you will likely never see the results of all of your hard work show up in the form of a toned belly. Make sure that you are not overeating or consuming more calories than you are burning each day (talk to your doctor or a nutritionist about how many you should be aiming to consume each day, or try wearing a calorie counting device in order to get an idea of your daily expenditure).

Strength Train – Strength training is a serious ally when it comes to lowering body fat and getting a toned belly – you can’t spot reduce fat, but lean muscle can help you maintain a healthy body fat percentage.
Pull in your stomach – Increase your overall body awareness; stand up straight and keep your abs pulled in tight and it will make an immediate and long term difference in how toned and flat your stomach is.
Avoid excess sodium and carbonated drinks – Extra sodium in your diet can make you retain water and swell (read Getting Rid of Water Weight). An easy rule to avoid extra salt is to eat packaged, processed food as little as possible. If you want to get a toned, tight midsection, keeping a well balanced diet has a twofold benefit; it will keep you at a healthy weight long term, and reduce the chances of retaining water weight.

Having a curvaceous body is all the rage now.

You don’t need to gain “bad weight” from junk foods to have more curves that will just destroy your overall health.

It is almost the opposite actually.

You can gain curves in the right places by making some tweaks to your diet and workout routine.

NOTE: If you are already slim with little to no belly fat then this isn’t for you. Your waistline may already be at its thinnest point.

Trying to be any thinner would only lead to muscle loss of other curves you may have.

If your current body fat is 35% – 40%, you are able to accentuate and emphasize your curves while making your butt appear bigger by simply losing some weight from your belly.

That’s right, you can get a bigger butt while losing weight.

Take a look at yourself in the mirror for a minute, see how much more prominent your butt would be if your waistline just went in an inch or two?

How to make your waist smaller without losing inches from your butt and hips?

With proper diet and exercise. Take a moment to think about it, a nice big butt, well-shaped hips and a smaller waist, a dream come true, well you are not dreaming because these goals are achievable in real life.

To get a smaller waist here are some changes that you need to make
1. Be ready to change/modify your diet.

  • Achieving a smaller waist requires weight loss that can’t be attained with only exercise. You must be willing to keep a healthy diet and cut your calorie intake if you wish to truly see results. You can research how to calculate the proper daily calorie intake you will need.
  • Discipline and determination will be required from you. As well as reducing your daily calorie intake, there are a few smart food changes you can make to help, specifically, with reducing your waistline.

2. Start your day with a big healthy breakfast

  • You should try having a combination of high vitamin fruits, eggs for protein and wholegrain breads or cereals for the perfectly balanced breakfast. When on the go, just grab a cereal bar or fruit smoothie since they are convenient, filling and healthy.
  • Try to drink a glass of water before every meal during the day breakfast included, as this keeps your body from overeating and keeps you hydrated.

3. Add more fiber to your diet

  • Incorporate a variety of foods high in fiber into your diet, so as to reap the benefits of both insoluble and soluble fibers. Some soluble fibers are barley and oats, citrus fruits and carrots, peas and beans, apples. Insoluble fibers include nuts, beans and green vegetables, wheat bran and foods containing whole-wheat.

4. Eat healthy fats

  • Polyunsaturated fats – like Omega-3 fatty acids which can be found in canola oil, tofu, walnuts, herring, salmon, and mackerel – are additional healthy fats you could include in your diet. They aid in lowering bad cholesterol and to boost brain functions.
  • Trans fats though, (found in cookies, crackers, margarine – any food made using partially hydrogenated oils) causes more fat to be left in the abdomen, so avoid these fats as best as you can.
How to get a thinner waist and get bigger hips

Your path to a smaller waist and bigger butt can be clearer by simply following a few easy steps:

#1 Check Your Body Fat

The first thing you need to do is check if you are meeting your body fat that’s recommended.

You can check with your doctor or if you own a gym membership, stop by and get a free check. You can find ways online to do it too if you prefer to do it yourself.

#2 What is the Best Body Fat Percentage for a Curvy Body

So you have your body fat percentage results, what’s next? If you are 35% or over, you’ll need to diet properly so your body can lose some fat.

And don’t be worried about losing fat on your hips. If dieting is done properly, you will lose most of the fat from your midsection well before the hips begin to shrink.

If your BF% result is 25 or under, it is time to make a few adjustments to your diet. 25% body fat is usually considered optimal for curves.

Your midsection would be moderately thin so you will only need to gain a little weight in the right areas.

You may still try to burn belly fat but diet would not be the right solution.

Your calorie intake can remain as is butt start eating foods to build your butt. You should concentrate on a great core toning routine and exercises for building a better butt.

Your body fat is under 18% it is time to certainly start eating better. Your hormone levels may having been decreasing at this point.

If you go to the gym often, it may be time to take a break and start eating some healthy fats and calories plus cholesterol if your estrogen levels are low.

Low estrogen level have side effects that includes shrunken hips, breast and thighs just to name a few.

#3 Exercises For A Smaller Waist

If your body fat is over 18% it is time to formulate a workout plan! This part can be fun depending on your perspective.

Who doesn’t enjoy planning to look good? So in creating your routine, remember the key to achieving bigger hips and a smaller waist is to target the right areas with the correct workout.

A good suggestion is high repetitions for your core routine targeting the entire midsection and low reps with weights for toning the butt and hips.

Here are some exercises to work the core. Choose at least from each section then do it two to three times per week.

DO THE 30 DAY BIGGER HIPS CHALLENGE

This challenge is perfect for building curvy and fuller hips. As long as you stick to the plan and eat properly you will see results.

Read more about the challenge => Here

The “body carving” exercises for a smaller waist

We at Femniqe try to keep everything as simple as possible, so that you can take quick action without trying to understand what workouts to do.

Here’s a routine in the video below that will not only give you results but will burn away excess fat in the lower belly area giving you that flat sexy tummy.

How many times a week should I do the routine in the video?

3 – 4 Times a week, However try do keep at 4 times for maximum results.

What should I eat?

Try to be more aware of what you eat. Ensure that you avoid junk foods and eat mostly vegetables, Fibrous foods, fruits and drink lots of water.

If you want a simple but effective smaller waist workout, then you can do the routine in the video below. Its very powerful and will produce results, as long as you give it your best effort. 🙂

Other Workouts You can Include

1. Side Plank-Up

Aims at toning the inner thighs, oblique, rectus and transversus abdominis.

Lie on your side forming a straight line from head to feet, resting on your forearm.

Your elbow must be directly below your shoulder. Gently contract your abdominal muscles and lift your hips off the floor while maintaining the line.

Ensure your hips are stacked and your neck is in line with your spine. Hold here for 25-40 seconds then lower. Repeat 2 – 3 times, then switch sides. (If you find this too challenging, do it with bent knees.)

2. The Russian Twist

This exercise firms and tones the muscles on your sides and burns fat in the midsection with its twisting motions.

To perform the Russian twist, sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground then lean back so you form a V between your torso and your thighs at a 45 degree angle or so.

Ensure you keep a straight spine and you can have your feet propped under something sturdy or ask someone to hold them for you to help maintain form.

Lace your fingers together out in front of you then rotate then as far to the right as you can go, pause then bring your arms back around and go to the left as far as you can.

That completes one rep, repeat 10 – 15 times.

Build your shoulders and chest

Placing emphasis on the upper body does make the waistline seem smaller, therefore, you can incorporate some chest and shoulder workouts into your routine to help give the illusion that your waistline is smaller than it is.

The exercises suggested below will actually help to reduce fat on the midsection so that’s a plus.

1. Push-ups

One of the classics that works the arms and chest muscles. The easy version is you stand on your knees then lean forward to prop on your hands palm down, shoulder width distance.

Lower yourself down using the strength of your arms until your chest grazes the floor then push yourself back up to the starting position still using only the strength of your arms.

The advanced version is you begin this workout in a high plank position.

Lowering yourself down with the strength of your arms until your chest grazes the floor then push yourself back up to the plank position, arms fully extended then repeat.

2. Tricep dips

This workout targets the arms and shoulders. You will need a sturdy chair or a step to use when doing it.

To complete a bench dip, sit straight on the edge of the step or chair with your legs extended before you, heels on the ground.

Grip the edge of your seat firmly and slide off your perch, lowering your body towards the ground until your arms form a 90 degree angle.

Push with your arms to get your body back to the starting position and repeat.

3. Do cardio

Cardio can be beneficial in helping you form an hourglass figure by burning fat around your midsection making it slimmer and your waist smaller along with toning your body overall.

Cardio will also keep your heart healthy and supply sufficient blood and oxygen throughout your muscles promoting overall good health and fitness.

Cardio is great for burning calories and maintaining a healthy body weight which is ideal for you achieving your sexy physique.

Dancing, cycling, swimming, step aerobics and running (just to name a few) are some of the best cardio workouts to trim fat and tone your body.

Ideally, for beginners, you should do cardio for 30 minutes, 4 or more times per week.

For those who just wish to maintain their current fitness 2 – 4 times for 20 minutes per week is good enough.

You can opt for interval training as your cardio workout if you want an effective workout but don’t have the time for the gym.

After warming up, exert yourself for about 1 minute then go slower for 45 seconds, then keep repeating that cycle 10 times.

Don’t for get to cool down and stretch when you are through.

THIS UPPER BODY WORKOUT IS PERFECT

how to get a smaller waist much more faster!

Avoid low-rise jeans

Wearing low-rise jeans when you have a little weight around the middle can be very unflattering as it creates the muffin top look.

The alternative to these jeans would be the high waist jeans which covers the excess fat on the waist, hips and give the effect of a smaller waist line.

These jeans can definitely be very flattering when worn with a shirt tucked in.

Wear body-shaping undergarments

Selecting the correct under garments can really show a reduction in your waistline.

Lingerie stores that carry top line undergarments usually carry those that are designed to support and smooth out your figure underneath.

You can opt to try shapewear, they have been found to be quite effective.

See The Best Recommended Waist Trainers

Corsets

These another option you can go for. Centuries ago, these lingerie were worn under gowns of women of almost all age group as a figure enhancer, fast forward to the 21st century and corsets have recently gained renewed popularity for providing a seamless sexy silhouette, both on its own and under clothes.

The steel-boned corsets (don’t let the name frighten you, they aren’t painful – honestly!) are better at cinching your waistline, and can really permanently reduce your waist size with prolonged wear!

When choosing a corset, go for 4 – 5 inches (10.2–12.7 cm) smaller than your original waist size.

Here’s an example, if your waist is 26 inches currently then you can opt for a size 20 or 21 inch corset. It is better for beginners to go for a 4 inch than a 5 inch difference though.

To know your waist size you just need to stand before a mirror with a measuring tape wound around the narrowest part of your waist, which is usually an inch or so above your belly button.

Even if you are the fittest girl around, you will still look like you have a muffin top if you wear jeans that are too small for you.

Take care when shopping for clothes, especially jeans.

If you’re not sure what your size is then take a friend with you who won’t be afraid to give their honest opinion or you can ask a store clerk to help you with the fitting.

Opt for European sizing preferably, which are usually less fickle and more honest than US sizing. It’s great to be able to show off your slim waist in jeans that actually fits!

Wear waist-cinching belts

By wearing waist-cinching belts, you are leading all attention to the nip in your waistline making it appear smaller than it really is.

They are great to wear over long tops, dresses and even winter coats as they accentuate the bust and causes a flare around the hips giving the illusion of an hour glass figure.

Your choice of belt can vary from braided, skinny, wide, jeweled, and the list is limitless!

Wear A-line dresses

A-line dresses are tight or narrow at the waistline but flares gradually as it extends towards the hem.

This makes the waistline seem really smaller as that’s where more of the emphasis is, while just gliding over any imperfections, if any, that the wearer may have around the hips and thighs.

A-line dresses are perfect for almost any body shape.

Avoid carbonated drinks and excess sodium

A very easy way to avoid excess salt is to reduce your consumption of processed, packaged foods as much as possible.

Excess sodium makes your body retain water and become swollen.

If you aim to get a tight, toned midsection, a well-balanced diet is very effective and has tons of benefits such as reducing the retention of water weight and keeping you at a healthy weight in the long run.

Getting a Bigger Booty and Losing Belly Fat is Possible!

Getting a bigger booty does not mean getting fat. A bigger booty doesn’t mean a bigger belly either. You can have your cake and eat it.

Maintaining a toned core while gradually increasing your calories will tighten the waistline and increase your butt size.

DO THE 7 DAY BIGGER BUTT CHALLENGE

This bigger butt challenge only take 7 day and will give you amazing results. Just make sure you’re eating to support your glute muscle repair and growth.

With the right workout routine, your body will automatically know where to store the fat and where to get rid of it.

I’m sure you have heard that spot reduction isn’t effective and usually doesn’t work, however, that is not what we are trying to achieve here.

Actually the opposite, we are burning excess fat overall, while telling the body where to store it.

The key to achieving our butt goals is to effectively time our nutrients and follow the proper routine.

So much has changed over the years when it comes to body building for men and they are seeing lots of results, it’s about time us women followed in their footsteps and apply their science for our own benefit.

What say you?

We are here to give you special tips that will help you achieve your dream waist, and quickly.

Keep reading!

1. Change your diet

Nutritional studies have shown that eating whole grains, fruits and other starchy vegetables help you reduce the amount of fat you put into your body because they help you feel fuller for longer. Better still, whole grains do not contain any preservatives and are healthier for you in the long run. This is the proven best way to lose weight, quickly and shed that stubborn stomach fat. Bear in mind that some fruits are high in sugar and eating TOO many can have the opposite effect. Everything in balance and that slim waist will be just within your reach.

In order to lose a single pound, you need to cut an average of 3,,500 calories from your weekly diet. Do not starve yourself but bear in mind that in order to achieve your goals, you have to eat healthier not necessarily, less.

Everyone woman would love to get a smaller waist and here’s how you can achieve it

2. Drinks lots of water

An important thing to remember when thinking about losing weight is making sure that you drink more water. Water stops your body from mistaking thirst for hunger and you will find yourself eating less.

Water is also great for your skin and hair.

3. Quality over quantity

People who diet tend to go from one extreme to another and instead of sticking to healthy foods, eat hardly anything. The secret to dieting is eating more healthy meals, which do not introduce excess calories and bad fats and sugar into your diet.

4. Exercise

Exercise is the perfect solution to make your waist smaller in just a matter of weeks but it all depends on how hard you’re willing to work. Results will only follow when you put in the effort and dedicate yourself to the cause.

Don’t get ahead of yourself. Firstly, make an exercise plan which takes you from a basic level and works all the way through the stages, getting gradually more intense. Maintain an exercise journal to remind yourself your progress and hold yourself accountable.

For better results, you can also perform target-specific exercises, especially the ones that help shape the waist. These exercises are quite important; even though you cannot directly target weight loss on the waist, you certainly perform certain exercises that tone and slim your mid-section muscles.

5. Build your upper body

The best way to make something smaller is by making things around it look bigger, an illusion if you will. Remember, when you exercise your upper curves, i.e. your shoulders and chest, the waist appears slimmer.

The Best Exercises To Cinch Your Waist & Sculpt The Obliques

The obliques are the muscles located along the sides of the abdominal wall. These muscles are responsible for side bending and waist twisting moves. Working the obliques helps to sculpt and cinch the waist, tones the abdominal wall and tightens the midsection. If you want to get rid of your muffin top for good, add these 10 exercises to your workout schedule and start engaging your obliques today!

1 BICYCLE CRUNCHES

Bicycle crunches work your abs and obliques at the same time and keep your body moving constantly, which helps to increase your heart rate and burns even more calories.

2 DUMBBELL SIDE BEND

By adding the dumbbell side bends to your workout routine you’re targeting and sculpting both the external and internal obliques.

3 HEEL TOUCHERS

The heel touchers helps to tighten the entire side ab wall and can also help you cinch the waist and create that perfect hourglass shape.

4 OBLIQUE V CRUNCH

This move fully engages the abdominal wall and the obliques, tightens the core, strengthens the back and improves balance and flexibility.

5 RUSSIAN TWIST

The russian twist engages your core and strengthens your abdominal muscles as well as your lower back. It also helps to improve your balance, stability and posture.

6 PLANK HIP DIPS

This modified version of the elbow plank with an additional hip rotation, further engages your core and strengthens your abs, obliques and lower back to an even greater degree.

7 TRIANGLE CRUNCH

The triangle crunch targets the abs and the obliques and helps to strengthen and tighten the core. This exercise sculpts the waist, tones the abdominal wall and improves your balance and flexibility.

8 SIDE CRUNCH

This move is perfect for strengthening the internal and external obliques and sculpting the side ab wall. The side crunch helps to define the waist and gives you a more shapely body.

9 SIDE PLANK HIP LIFS

The side plank with hip lifts activates the obliques and helps to build endurance and core strength. This exercise works the deep abdominal muscles and helps to tighten and shrink the waistline.

10 WAIST SLIMMER SQUAT

It’s important to add cardio moves, like the waist slimmer squat, to your obliques workout. This exercise not only strengthens your core, but it also gives you a great cardio boost, helping you burn the extra fat and reveal that waistline you’ve been working on.

FINAL TIPS FOR AN HOURGLASS SHAPE

TIP 1 – Start your obliques workout with a core warm up.
TIP 2 – Breathe out during the exertion part of the exercise, that’s when you crunch.
TIP 3 – Finish the workout with a core stretching routine.
TIP 4 – Do 30 minute cardio workouts at least 3 times a week, to burn the extra fat, and add upper body, core and lower body workouts to your weekly schedule.
TIP 5 – Follow a clean eating diet, and drink plenty of water throughout the day.

How to get a smaller waist: 6 exercises for a smaller waist

The waist is one of the areas of the body that tend to gain fat and lose their shape when we neglect to diet and lifestyle.

As one of the attributes of our body, it is very important to make various efforts every day to keep it thin or reduce it when we’re having a weight.

Therefore, it is necessary to adopt a healthy lifestyle that in addition to a balanced diet, including localized exercises to work this area which is usually difficult to mold.

Exercise plans are the best way to burn fat, shape and tone the body. For the waist, the results may vary from body to body, and there are those who are fortunate enough to have a defined waist easily, while others have to work and make more efforts to do.

If you’re looking to have a smaller waist and are aware that you must enforce, do not miss the next 6 exercises that will help you meet your goal.

How to get a smaller waist: 6 exercises for a smaller waist.

With these exercises you can shape your body without going to the gym and devoting only a few minutes a day. Remember combined with a healthy balanced diet.

Exercise 1.

This is one of the simplest exercises gymnastics and will not need to be an expert to learn to do it properly.

how to get a smaller waist – exercise no 1.

  • To begin, stand right, with legs spread apart and well.
  • Now, turn your waist to the right side bends trunk and left hand tries to touch the right toe.
  • Returns to the initial position and now repeats the same exercise to the opposite side.
  • Make movements alternately to complete 15 to 20 repetitions.

Exercise 2.

The abdominals are a classic exercise to shape the waist and, incidentally, toning the abdomen to look up.

There are many ways to do crunches and all are very effective. However, here’s your idea for the practice at home.

how to get a smaller waist – exercise no 2.

  • Lie on your back on a mat or exercise mat and lean with good back straight and knees bent.
  • With hands behind the head, shoulders slightly raised and chest off the floor and begins to make oblique movements trying to touch the right elbow to your left knee and vice versa.
  • Keep the abdomen contracted while doing the movement and, for starters, performed 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

Exercise 3.

The leg lifts is another good exercise to shape and tone the waist and abdomen work.

how to get a smaller waist – exercise no 3.

  • Lie on your back, resting ground, but back up a little.
  • In this position, extend your legs as much as possible and raise them the fourth floor, so that your knees are diagonal to the buttocks and the other leg parallel to the ground.
  • Stretch your arms forward for better balance and increase endurance.
  • Hold for 30 seconds rest and repeat at least 3 times.

Exercise 4.

The iron is an exercise involving no more movement, but balance and endurance. This exercise works almost every muscle in the body, especially the abdomen and waist.

how to get a smaller waist – exercise no 4.

  • Stretch your body upside down on a mat or exercise mat, and rises a little body leaning with his forearm and toes.
  • Keep your body straight without bending the knees and spine, so stay at least 30 seconds.

Exercise 5.

The “plank” side is another very effective exercise of resistance to mold the waist and abdomen work.

how to get a smaller waist – exercise no 5.

  • Lie on your side, leaning on the side of the foot and hand on that side of the floor, so that the body is in a straight line, diagonally table.
  • From the previous position, low waist as much as possible, to have it just a few centimeters from the ground.
  • Up and down in the same position for 20 seconds and then switch sides.

Exercise 6.

To end the routine exercises lumbar are a great complement to tone and reduce the waist, while helping you to strengthen your back.

how to get a smaller waist – exercise no 6.

  • Lie face down on the floor, his legs and arms outstretched, as in the picture above.
  • Maintaining this position, now seeks to raise the trunk and arms up while you raise your legs a bit.
  • While doing the movement keep the contracted belly and try to do at least 3 sets of 12 repetitions.

Visit this article: 5 Effective exercises to lose belly fat at home know more.

The waist is a fundamental part of a woman when you consider beautiful and healthy. Some do not pay much attention to the subject and others, however, crave so thin and defined as that of a smaller waist. Leaving aside the drama and comparison, you should ideally make some decisions that will lead faster to have a smaller waist, especially according to your proportions.

Diet to reduce waist.

A healthy diet is essential when you want to get a smaller waist. This requires a lot of discipline and determination on your part. The ideal is to start the day with a healthy breakfast, try eating whole grains, breads, eggs and fruit. Stay well hydrated in the morning.

How to get a smaller waist – Diet to reduce waist.

On the other hand do not forget to feed small, frequent meals to keep your metabolism butt burn calories during the day and not feel hunger which in turn produces anxiety. Eliminate carbonated beverages and processed foods.

Exercises for a smaller waist.

If you want a smaller waist will have to make an effort. It is not a sacrifice that you make it clear, this is an effort to the extent that you adapt to exercise routines. The first will start with cardiovascular type exercises that make your body stronger and allows you to burn calories. About 30 minutes by bike will help you get the body ready for the next step of this method.

How to get a smaller waist – Exercises for a wasp waist.

The next step will you perform exercises for abdominal area. For example, to strengthen the core abdominal muscles. You can make variations on them to tone lower abs. Even the experts recommend testing with alternative exercises for turning the waist like hula-hoop, yoga and pilates. You choose. Remember discipline.

Waist positions.

Maintain good posture can do more for you than any belt. The truth is that the back straight stylized shape of your body. However, you can help with some options like wide belts in the abdomen that model the shape of your waist. You should not squeeze too is having smaller waist, not that you lack breath.

How to get a smaller waist – Waist positions.

It also prevents loose clothing or low-rise pants, you better use the high-waisted. However, aware of the risk to health brings wear very tight clothing.

Remember that much depends on the methods you use either to have a smaller waist; but it all depends on your body and the possibilities of it.

Product:

According to medical experts, there is no real way to tell if a waist trainer has any effect at all. Some believe that it actually does more harm than good. Some of its negative effects include the fact that it’s extremely uncomfortable, stops your blood flow, limits your breathing, can restrict movements and can ultimately cause some serious rib damage. Ultimately, medical experts claim, it simply doesn’t work.

If you’re looking to attain an hourglass figure there are ways to do so naturally. A combination of diet, conditioning and exercise will get you on your way. This article will take a look at exercises that will help you attain your ideal waist figure without the use of any props or waist trainers, simply exercises.

Let’s now take a look at 15 ways to attain that hourglass figure without a waist trainer, enjoy!

15 Dumbbell Pullovers

via:www.t-nation.com

A dumbbell pullover can get you on your way to quickly attaining that thin waist you desire. This exercise aims at flattening out your stomach while trimming your waist. This exercise also gives your upper body an intense workout.

To perform this exercise keep your elbows slightly bent throughout the movement, then proceed to power the dumbbell over and beyond your head until your upper arms are in line with your torso. Once you hit this position pull the dumbbell back up over your chest and repeat the movement. Aim for 12 to 15 reps per 4 sets on this exercise.

14 Bike (with back upright)

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Cardio is a huge key when it comes to slimming your waist naturally. Using a bike as a cardio tool can be very effective. The key when using a cardio bike is to keep your back in an upright position, be sure to use a bike that has a back support as you see in the picture. As you begin to peddle with your back strait, the tension will go straight to the stomach area, working it while pedaling will put the focus on trimming down that given area. This cardio procedure will put you on your way quickly.

13 Plank with stomach vacuum

via:http://www.womenshealthmag.com

As you will see later on in this article, the stomach vacuum is huge when it comes to attaining that hourglass figure. Incorporating it while planking can also be very beneficial. In order to perform a stomach vacuum you must suck in your stomach, do this while planking for 30-45 seconds each set. This exercise will certainly help shrink that waist in no time.

12 Russian Twist

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A Russian twist can be done with or without a weight. My recommendation is once you get used to the movement start incorporating a weight or ball. This exercise targets your core abdominals and oblique’s. This is a great exercise to slim your waist. Make sure your core remains tight while twisting, hold the contraction for one to two seconds before going back to the starting position. Aim for 12 to 15 reps for each side.

11 Side bridge

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This exercise is similar to a plank, the difference between the two is that the side plank focuses more on your obliques. The exercise also helps to stabilize your spine. Like a plank, the goal of this exercise is to stay up on your side for a given amount of time. Anywhere between 30-45 seconds for each side is a very good starting point. Targeting your obliques, this exercise can help trim your waist in a hurry.

10 Lying leg raises with partner

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Yes, even a training partner can help you attain a slimmer waist. This exercise is a great way for you and a partner to motivate one another. This exercise is simple yet very effective at working the entire core of your abs. To perform this exercise one partner stands while the other lies down on the ground holding the person who is standing by the ankles. Lift your legs and contract your abs, once your legs are 90 degrees, your partner will throw your legs down. By doing this, it will cause a great amount of tension to your abs. The goal is that once your partner throws down your legs, you have to avoid having them touch the floor. Aim for 12-15 reps on this partner exercise.

9 Hanging Leg Raises

via:hedolcediet.com

If you find it to difficult to hang off, you can also perform this workout on a machine which gives your back support while holding down your elbows on the padding. This exercise targets your abs and oblique’s, it will also help to shape and tone your waist in a hurry. Make sure to perform this exercise nice and slowly, when your legs reach a 90 degree angle proceed to back down at a controlled pace. Make sure the motion is controlled going up and coming down. Make sure you are not swinging. Controlling the motion properly will allow you to stimulate the muscle as best it can be worked.

8 Landmine 180’s

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Sometimes you’ve got to dig deep, this workout certainly does that. Landmines are a rigorous movement that is starting to trend more and more amongst women. This movement is great for your side abdominals and top abs as well.

The goal of this workout is to rotate the trunk and hips as you swing the barbell all the way down on one side, remember to keep your arms extended throughout the exercise. Proceed to swing the barbell in a reverse motion on the opposite side. Continue this motion for 8 to 15 reps.

7 Deadlift

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Many of my clients are often very surprised when they find out exactly how much a deadlift exercise can affect your abs and help to trim down your waist line. This exercise is one of the best core workouts out there. You can perform this exercise with a barbell or dumbbells.

The goal when doing a deadlift is to keep your core tight and locked in, doing so will allow your abs to develop. When deadlifting it is key to keep your torso from collapsing forward, by doing this you are strengthening your abdominals in an isometric manner. This exercise is a tremendous core builder, the strength involved in the workout also helps to burn off more calories. Make sure to include this exercise into your weekly routine.

6 Ab roller

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The ab roller is a great prop to use when trying to shrink your waist. The roller works the core of your abdominal area. If you have lower back problems skip this exercise. To perform this movement roll the ab roller forward slowly, stretch your body as straight as possible. Once you reach the stretched position contract back upwards nice and slowly.

5 Dumbbell Side Bend

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Basic but effective, sometimes the simplest movements can create some pretty optimal results. The dumbbell side bend is easy to perform, the goal of this exercise is to bend your waist as far right or left as possible while keeping your body and head straight.

This exercise is particularly great for your oblique’s and developing that v-shape to your abdominals, this movement will help get your hourglass figure .

4 Elliptical stair climber

via:http://www.americanfitness.net

Doing cardio is one of the most important aspects in order to obtain that hourglass figure. Cardio burns the fat off of your waist area, using an elliptical stair climber can not only help to do that but it can also help you build muscle at the same time. A stair climber also works your glutes and leg muscles. This cardio machine is a great all around exercise that can help you achieve a slimmer waist while building some muscle in the process.

3 Strength training

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Lifting heavier weights can actually help to speed of the process of attaining that hourglass figure. Activating your muscles through strength training causes your metabolic rate to increase significantly. Strength training not only causes you to burn more during your workouts but also keeps you in a burning state throughout the day. Don’t underestimate the importance of strength training, make sure to use weights that challenge you.

2 Stomach Vacuum

As I discussed in my earlier entry, a stomach vacuum is one of the most effective movements you can do in order to obtain that v-shape without the use of a waist trainer. This exercise can be performed in the comfort of your own home and is quite simple to do. The goal of this exercise is to breathe in while bringing your stomach in as much as possible, once this is done, try to hold this position. Once contracted, try to hold this position for 20 seconds while breathing normally. Once you gain some experience you can hold this movement for 40 to 60 seconds. This exercise is regarded as a simple solution to a waist trainer.

1 Proper Diet

A fine balance between diet and exercise is the best and most effective way to attain that hourglass figure without a waist trainer. If you’re looking to lower your body fat, opt for a diet rich in protein and fats, limit your carbohydrates to immediately after your workout. Protein wise stick to lean proteins like salmon, tuna, cod, tilapia, mahi mahi and chicken. For fats make sure to intake the proper amounts, fatty foods are quite high calorically. Avocado, almonds, cashews and eggs are great sources of dietary fats. Eating the right foods intermixed with the proper workouts will get on your way to that hourglass figure in a hurry!

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Forget crunches and hours spent on treadmills. The key to trimming your waistline may start at the gym, but your cardio session isn’t the only form of exercise that can help. As a matter of fact, science suggests that interval training may be more effective at helping you lose weight than steady-state cardio. (No gym membership? Here’s how smart technology can help trim your waistline.)

A 2019 review and meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine analyzed more than 75 studies involving more than 2,000 people. Each study compared interval training—working at quick bouts of high-intensity effort, followed by short rest periods—to continuous effort exercise at a moderate intensity for at least four weeks. The researchers found that those who turned to interval training reduced their overall fat mass by 28.5 percent more than those who did continuous, lower-intensity exercise. (Read more about the benefits of high-intensity exercise as compared to straight cardio.)

Many different types of interval training were included in the meta-analysis, but Albert Matheny, RD, nutritional advisor to Promix Nutrition and co-founder of SoHo Strength Lab, suggests this workout set-up to get you started: “Go for 20 seconds of high-intensity effort, followed by 40 to 60 seconds of recovery. You could do an exercise like a step-up to a box above knee height, a good idea for beginners, or run stairs if you’re more advanced. Just make sure your form stays strong and during your rest, walk around slowly. Aim for eight rounds, alternating between work and rest.” (Don’t want to run? Check out these exercises that burn more calories than running.)

Matheny says to keep in mind that there is no definitive work-to-rest ration for high-intensity interval training (or HIIT), so see what works for you. “The main parameters are intense exercise, which could be 10 seconds or a few minutes, with alternating intervals of rest or very low-intensity exercise,” he says. “In general, I would recommend working above 80 percent of your max heart rate for the interval, and no longer than 20 minutes maximum of a training session. The goal during rest is to get your heart rate down around 60 percent of your max.”

An important caveat for anyone who wants to try HIIT for the first time: It’s not for everyone and requires a familiarity with any exercise you’re doing. “Due to its high-intensity nature, you should have some familiarity with exercise in general, and specific experience in the movements you will be doing for your HIIT workout,” Matheny says. “Also, as with anything, like driving a car, when you first learn to do something you should not be doing it as fast as possible, which is often required as part of a HIIT workout. The faster you go, the more your heart rate will go up. The reason is when you learn a movement you need to practice performing it correctly at a slow speed before trying to do it as fast as you can in a HIIT setting.” If you’ve never run stairs or done squat jumps, don’t use that as your first HIIT exercise. Stick to what you know.

As a bonus, intervals allow you to focus on different muscle groups as you switch between exercises, which gives certain muscles time to recover while you fire up others. Get started with these 8 ab exercises to help reduce belly fat, without a single crunch.

Taking aim at belly fat

Published: August, 2010

Unlike fat parked on the hips and thighs, fat around the middle produces substances that can create serious health risks.

No matter what your body shape, excess fat isn’t good for your health. But saddlebags and ballooning bellies are not equivalent. When it comes to body fat, location counts, and each year brings new evidence that the fat lying deep within the abdomen is more perilous than the fat you can pinch with your fingers.

In most people, about 90% of body fat is subcutaneous, the kind that lies in a layer just beneath the skin. If you poke your belly, the fat that feels soft is subcutaneous fat. The remaining 10% — called visceral or intra-abdominal fat — lies out of reach, beneath the firm abdominal wall. It’s found in the spaces surrounding the liver, intestines, and other organs. It’s also stored in the omentum, an apron-like flap of tissue that lies under the belly muscles and blankets the intestines. The omentum gets harder and thicker as it fills with fat.

Although visceral fat makes up only a small proportion of body fat, it’s a key player in a variety of health problems.

As women go through their middle years, their proportion of fat to body weight tends to increase — more than it does in men — and fat storage begins favoring the upper body over the hips and thighs. Even if you don’t actually gain weight, your waistline can grow by inches as visceral fat pushes out against the abdominal wall.

Where’s the fat?

Visceral fat lies in the spaces between the abdominal organs and in an apron of tissue called the omentum. Subcutaneous fat is located between the skin and the outer abdominal wall.

The trouble with visceral fat

Body fat, or adipose tissue, was once regarded as little more than a storage depot for fat blobs waiting passively to be used for energy. But research has shown that fat cells — particularly visceral fat cells — are biologically active. “One of the most important developments is the realization that the fat cell is an endocrine organ, secreting hormones and other molecules that have far-reaching effects on other tissues,” says Dr. Barbara B. Kahn, chief of the division of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Before researchers recognized that fat acts as an endocrine gland, they thought that the main risk of visceral fat was influencing the production of cholesterol by releasing free fatty acids into the bloodstream and liver. We now know that there’s far more to the story. Researchers have identified a host of chemicals that link visceral fat to a surprisingly wide variety of diseases.

Subcutaneous fat produces a higher proportion of beneficial molecules, and visceral fat a higher proportion of molecules with potentially deleterious health effects. Visceral fat makes more of the proteins called cytokines, which can trigger low-level inflammation, a risk factor for heart disease and other chronic conditions. It also produces a precursor to angiotensin, a protein that causes blood vessels to constrict and blood pressure to rise.

Researchers at Harvard have discovered that, compared with subcutaneous fat, visceral fat secretes more of retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4), a molecule that increases insulin resistance. As the volume of visceral fat increases, so do levels of RBP4. The connection is so strong that researchers are developing a blood test for RBP4 as a way for physicians to measure an individual’s store of visceral fat.

Subcutaneous fat produces more of certain beneficial molecules, including the hormone leptin, which acts on the brain to suppress appetite and burn stored fat. Adiponectin, another hormone produced mainly by subcutaneous fat, helps protect against diabetes by regulating the processing of fats and sugars; it also has an anti-inflammatory effect on the linings of blood vessels. (Adiponectin is made by visceral fat, too, but production falls as fat volume increases.)

Gut check

A tape measure is your best home option for keeping tabs on visceral fat. Measure your waistline at the level of the navel — not at the narrowest part of the torso — and always measure in the same place. (According to official guidelines, the bottom of the tape measure should be level with the top of the right hip bone, or ilium — see the illustration — at the point where the ilium intersects a line dropped vertically from the center of the armpit.) Don’t suck in your gut or pull the tape tight enough to compress the area. In women, a waist circumference of 35 inches or larger is generally considered a sign of excess visceral fat, but that may not apply if your overall body size is large. Rather than focus on a single reading or absolute cut-off, keep an eye on whether your waist is growing (are your pants getting snug at the waist?). That should give you a good idea of whether you’re gaining unhealthy visceral fat.

From fat to disease

Visceral fat can be measured in a variety of ways. CT scans and full-body MRIs are the most precise, but they are expensive and rarely available, so investigators often use estimates based on waist circumference or waist size in proportion to height (see “Gut check”). To ensure that they’re not just measuring overall obesity, researchers also check whether a person’s waist circumference is higher than average for her or his body mass index (BMI).

Visceral fat is implicated in a number of chronic conditions, including these:

Cardiovascular disease. Several studies have documented this effect. For example, a large study of European women ages 45 to 79 concluded that those with the biggest waists (and those with the largest waists in relation to their hip size) had more than double the risk of developing heart disease. The risk was still nearly double even after adjustment for several other risk factors, including blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking, and BMI. Even in healthy, nonsmoking women, every 2 inches of additional waist size raised the risk for cardiovascular disease by 10%.

Higher visceral-fat volume also has a deleterious impact on several other heart disease risk factors. It tends to increase blood pressure and blood sugar levels, raise triglyceride levels, and lower levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Taken together, these changes, known as metabolic syndrome, create a serious risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In 2009, a consensus group of medical professional organizations agreed that abdominal obesity should be recognized as a major feature of metabolic syndrome.

Dementia. Researchers at Kaiser Permanente found that people in their early 40s with the highest levels of abdominal fat, compared with those who had the least abdominal fat at that age, were nearly three times more likely to develop dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease) by their mid-70s to early 80s. Dementia was not associated with increased thigh size.

Asthma. In a large study of California teachers, women with high levels of visceral fat (a waist circumference of more than 35 inches) were 37% more likely to develop asthma than women with smaller waists — even if their weight was normal. The risks were highest for women who were both large-waisted and overweight or obese. The investigators believe that belly fat raises the risk of asthma more than other poundage because it has inflammatory effects throughout the body, including in the airways.

Breast cancer. A combined analysis of several studies found that premenopausal women with abdominal obesity (the largest waist size in proportion to their height) were at greater risk for breast cancer. Large waists were also linked to breast cancer risk among postmenopausal women, but that effect was not significant once BMI was taken into account.

Colorectal cancer. People with the most visceral fat have three times the risk of developing colorectal adenomas (precancerous polyps) than those with the least visceral fat, according to a Korean study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology (January 2010). The relationship was found after many other risks were accounted for. The researchers also confirmed that adenomatous polyps in the colon are associated with insulin resistance, which may be the mechanism that increases the cancer risk.

Keeping visceral fat at bay

Where you tend to gain fat depends on your genes, your hormones, your age, your birth weight (smaller babies more readily add belly fat later in life), and whether you’ve had children (women who have given birth tend to develop more visceral fat than women who haven’t).

As young adults, women on average have less visceral fat than men, but that changes with menopause. In a four-year study at Louisiana State University tracking healthy middle-aged women, every one of them put on some subcutaneous belly fat, but only those who entered menopause added significant amounts of visceral fat. Lowered estrogen levels (which increase the proportional influence of testosterone) contribute to the shift toward a male pattern.

You can’t change your birth weight or your genes, and you can’t hold off menopause. (Studies are mixed about whether hormone replacement therapy influences visceral fat gain.) But there are several ways you can minimize the accumulation of visceral fat. The good news is that because it’s more readily metabolized into fatty acids, it responds more efficiently to diet and exercise than fat on the hips and thighs. Here are some approaches that may help:

Keep moving. Exercise can help reduce your waist circumference. Even if you don’t lose weight, you lose visceral fat and gain muscle mass. In the Louisiana study, the women going through menopause (those who gained visceral fat) also became less physically active.

Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity most days, such as brisk walking or bicycling at a casual pace. Also, Kahn suggests, create opportunities to add motion to routine tasks. For example, park farther from your destination and walk the rest of the way, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and stand while you talk on the phone.

Studies have shown that you can help trim visceral fat or prevent its growth with both aerobic activity (such as brisk walking) and strength training (exercising with weights). Spot exercises, such as sit-ups, can tighten abdominal muscles but won’t get at visceral fat.

Exercise can also help keep fat from coming back. In a study at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, dieting women lost an average of 24 pounds and reduced both visceral and subcutaneous fat, with or without aerobic or strength-training exercise. In the following year, those who maintained their exercise programs — a modest 40 minutes twice a week — maintained their visceral fat loss, while those who didn’t exercise or abandoned their programs showed a 33% average increase in visceral fat.

Eat right. Choose a balanced diet that helps you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Include plenty of calcium: according to another study from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, the more calcium a woman consumes, the less visceral fat she gains. Avoid products that seem to encourage belly fat deposition, including trans fats (hydrogenated vegetable oils) and fructose-sweetened foods and beverages.

Don’t smoke. The more you smoke, the more likely you are to store fat in your abdomen rather than on your hips and thighs.

Get your sleep. Too little is bad. A five-year study found that adults under age 40 who slept five hours or less a night accumulated significantly more visceral fat. But too much isn’t good, either — young adults who slept more than eight hours also added visceral fat. (This relationship wasn’t found in people over age 40.)

Mind your mood. In the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation, middle-aged women who showed more hostility and had more depressive symptoms also had more visceral fat — but not more subcutaneous fat. In other studies, higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol were associated with a buildup of visceral fat even in lean women.

Forget the quick fix. Liposuction for cosmetic fat removal doesn’t reach inside the abdominal wall.

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