Extra weight around your midsection can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance, and it also puts you at risk for certain health issues. Slimming your waistline can help you reduce your risk of certain types of cancer, diabetes and the development of heart disease. It can also help you gain confidence in and feel better about your appearance. A combination of diet and exercises to burn calories and tone muscles can help you successfully slim your waistline.
Reduce your caloric intake by 250 to 500 calories per day. This technique alone can help you lose 1/2 to 1 pound each week. Drink water instead of soda to immediately cut approximately 200 calories. Choose naturally sweet-tasting fruits, such as watermelon, berries or peaches, instead of sweets containing refined sugar, to cut additional calories.
Consume a healthy diet consisting of fresh produce, whole grains, fish, lean meats and low-fat dairy. Avoid fast food and processed foods that are high in sugar and trans fats. Eat a small meal every few hours to keep your metabolism from slowing down.
Exercise for 30 to 60 minutes daily to burn fat. Burn 250 to 500 calories each day to increase your weekly weight-loss total by 1/2 to 1 pound more. You can burn approximately 250 calories with 30 minutes of biking, swimming or jogging, or with about 80 minutes of walking.
Lift weights at least twice per week to build muscles and boost your metabolism. Complete your strength training routine using the weight machines at the gym or at home with 3- to 8-pound dumbbells. A whole-body strength training routine helps slim your waistline as well as the rest of your body and can help you burn fat around your midsection.
Tone your abdominal and oblique muscles at least three times per week for a naturally cinched waist. Add a twist to your situps to work the obliques -- the muscles along your sides. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands lightly behind your head with your elbows pointing away from you. As you use your abdominal muscles to lift your upper body up, twist to the right to touch your left elbow to your right knee. Lower your body until it's 3 to 5 inches off the floor, and then twist to the left to touch your right elbow to the left knee to complete one repetition. Repeat until your abdominal and oblique muscles are fatigued and you're unable to do one more repetition.
- Always check with your doctor before starting a new fitness program.
- Reduce stress and get enough sleep. Too much stress and inadequate rest can both contribute to weight gain around the middle.
- Never go below 1,200 calories per day, as this can lead to a nutrition deficiency and make it more difficult for you to lose weight.
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.