If you covet the hourglass shape of a slim waist and full buttocks, use a multipronged attack plan of diet, exercise and stress relief. This approach melts away fat around your midsection while building up the muscles that lift your butt. As a bonus, when you trim belly fat you'll do more than just change your figure. Visceral stomach fat that pads your internal organs is harmful to your health, contributing to cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, hormonal imbalance and even certain cancers.
You can't choose where your body burns fat, so trimming your waist requires overall weight loss. Shed pounds by shunning simple carbohydrates like white bread and pastries, and go for complex carbs like fruit, whole-wheat pasta, oats and brown rice instead. Eat plenty of fiber-rich vegetables, and trade the sugary soft drinks for water. Choose lean proteins like egg whites and black beans, and pick polyunsaturated fats instead of saturated fats. Portion size also matters; you must consume fewer calories overall to lose fat.
Moderate to intense aerobic activity is also key to trimming fat from your waistline. Aerobic exercise, also called cardio, raises your heart and breathing rate for an extended period of time. For weight control, Harvard Medical School recommends 30 minutes to an hour of moderate activity, like speed walking, each day. For extra burn, incorporate intervals of intense cardio. For example, walk briskly for three minutes, run for one minute, and repeat. Pushing yourself will incinerate more fat and also build endurance.
Shaping Your Butt
As you burn off belly fat, you'll also shrink your butt. However, you can build it up with exercises that work your glutes. Do squats, adding hand weights for extra resistance. Lunges will also sculpt your rear, as will deadlifts. Walking up stairs also builds buttock muscles. If you use a stair treadmill at the gym, don't lean on the rail with your weight on your hands. Let your lower body do all of the work instead.
Researchers at Yale University studied the effects of stress on stomach fat in 2000. They found that higher stress levels caused participants to release the hormone cortisol, which contributes to fat buildup around the middle. This means that stress could be making your waist thicker. Reduce stress with meditation, and try taking deep breaths when you feel anxious. Drink a cup of hot tea to unwind after a hard day of work, and use mental imagery to picture yourself in a relaxing situation, such as a lounging on tropical beach.
- Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide: Abdominal Fat and What to Do About It
- Mayoclinic.com: Rev Up Your Workout with Interval Training
- BodyBuilding.com: Butt Building
- Yale News: Stress May Cause Excess Abdominal Fat in Otherwise Slender Women, Study Conducted at Yale Shows
- WebMD: Blissing Out: 10 Relaxation Techniques To Reduce Stress On-the-Spot
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