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How do I Reduce Waist Size?

Jessica Ellis
Updated Feb 07, 2024
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One of the most difficult areas to tone and shape on the body is the waist. Some medical experts suggest that certain people are genetically disposed to store fat around the middle, making toning a constant struggle. For those determined to reduce their waist size, a proper diet and plentiful exercise can be the key to a trim and toned midsection.

Diet and the digestive system have a lot to do with the appearance of the waist. In order to help reduce waist size on a daily basis, avoid foods that can lead to bloating and give the appearance of an expansive waist. Beans and cauliflower can both cause bloating, as can foods that contain a lot of air, like fizzy sodas and popcorn. Some health experts also recommend eating a high-fiber diet to reduce the waist; be sure to include whole grain products for total nutrition.

An adequate intake of water can also help any diet plan. If the body is dehydrated, it will hold on to all available water in a process called retention. Drinking a lot of water not only helps regulate the body's waste system, it can also prevent the body from swelling up due to water retention.

In addition to healthy eating habits, the best way to reduce waist size is through regular exercise. To create a slim and toned midsection, a balance of cardiovascular and toning is usually required. Many health experts say that it is not possible to spot-reduce fat; only by creating and following a comprehensive workout plan can most people achieve weight loss goals.

For beginners, fitness and health experts recommend a regime of at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times per week, such as brisk walking, swimming, or jogging. In addition to cardio, toned muscles can be created and enhanced through at least two days of strength training each week. By blending these two types of exercise together, a person can create a routine that will help improve their overall fitness.

Strength training workouts can be geared toward improving the stomach area, if waist reduction is the primary goal. Exercise forms such as Pilates, dance, and yoga focus extensively on the core of the body, creating strength and improved muscle tone throughout the hips, butt, and ab areas. Many gyms and videos offer strength workouts geared toward improving the midsection as well.

When trying to reduce waist size through strength training, remember that the waist area contains several groups of muscles that all need exercise for toning. Perform a variety of exercises that focus on different muscle groups, such as the obliques or lower abs. It is also important to take at least 24 hours off between each strength workout in order to allow muscles to recover and grow in response to the strain of exercise. For beginners especially, rest may be as important as exercise.

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Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for WiseGeek. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.
Discussion Comments
By anon201658 — On Jul 31, 2011

I was born with a thick waist. Even when I was young and hot, and considerably thinner, I was blocky in shape. Lord knows, I did spot exercises by the hour trying to get a waistline, and I can tell you they did not work.

Now that I'm older and nobody looks at me, I just wear long, loose tops or loose dresses. I don't think I'm going to be jumping rope any time in the near future, and I suppose I'll go to an early grave thanks to my big fat gut. C'est la vie. We all gotta go sometime.

By Crispety — On May 16, 2011

@Oasis11 - I also think that reducing your waist size is important because if you’re women with a waist higher than 35 inches your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer go up dramatically.

If you are really having trouble, I think the best thing to do is to join a weight loss group. The nice thing about the group is that everyone is supportive of your weight loss and you might find people that have similar challenges that can identify with your problem.

This way you focus on the psychological reasons for eating as well as learning what foods you should eat. You might find someone that you can exercise with that will make losing weight more fun.

The thing to remember is that having too much belly fat is a symptom that you have to address in order to change your health for the better. I have been involved with a weight loss group and although I don’t lose weight every week, I am much more focused on my weight loss goals than ever before. This is the best way to learn how to lose weight and keep it off.

By oasis11 — On May 13, 2011

@Latte31 - I am glad you said that because you really have to have a balance in order to lose belly fat and fat off your waist.

Your body loses weight from top to bottom, but if you eat a diet of lean protein and light carbohydrates you will lose belly fat a lot faster. I think that whatever diet you choose it should be something that you are comfortable with because it will need to be a complete lifestyle change in order to keep the weight off.

By latte31 — On May 12, 2011

@Sunshine31 - I know that cardio exercise is important, but you also have to eat right. I say this because I have a friend that exercises all the time. She usually runs every day and yet she hasn’t lost any weight and looks virtually the same.

I think that when you engage in high intensity workouts like running or jump roping for that matter you have to make sure that you are not overeating to compensate for the exercise.

This is why I think that you should write everything down so that you can keep track of what you have eaten because you would be surprised at how the calories creep up on you.

I also think that weight training with dumb bells could also help you lose weight all over especially on your waist.

By sunshine31 — On May 10, 2011

What I like to do to reduce my waist fat is to jump rope. I jump rope in sets of 250 jumps and I will do about five to six sets. This seems to sculpt my body because jumping rope works your entire body including your waist.

As a matter of fact, before I started doing this I was trying to figure out how to lose the love handles that I had and this did the trick.

What I like about it is that it is easy to do and you can work out anywhere you just have to make sure that the rope is big enough for your frame. For example, I am 5’4” and have an eight foot long jump rope which is ideal, but if you go to a sporting goods store they should be able to match you up with the right one.

If you have a jump rope that is too short you won’t be able to go as fast because your feet will be caught when you jump.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
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