The harsh winters are leaving us and although, the early mornings and late evenings render quite a chill, the days are bright, sunny and warm. So, now that we can’t camouflage ourselves under the layers of clothing and hide those extra inches of flab that we might have gained whilst gorging on comfort food, or shying away from exercise, we can work towards getting fit.
Overall, exercise and healthy eating is undoubtedly a must and that includes a lot of cardio and weights and the right choices of non-fatty and non-processed food. Weight loss generally happens all over the body rather than at a particular spot. And, there are some of us who may not be overall overweight, but have excess bulge around our midriff area. Not only does having a large waistline make us self-conscious and we end up trying to cover it up with clothing, but excess fat in this region can cause health issues such as diabetes, heart disease etc.
How many of you have found yourself buying a longer top so that it skims just below your belly or buying an outfit that is a tad larger than your actual size? How many of you have found yourselves grabbing a pillow when sitting with someone on a sofa to hide those extra folds of fat? I know I used to do the pillow thing as the sitting posture makes camouflaging impossible and you can’t always be standing, can you?
Fat around tummy is one of the most stubborn body fat to lose, especially after a certain age. But, here are a few tips to reduce your waistline so that you can comfortably and confidently wear cropped tops or fitted clothing.
As I said earlier, weight loss does not occur at specific regions of the body, but overall. So, unfortunately you can’t get away with targeting your tummy only. Having said that, yes we can incorporate some exercises that will focus on the waistline area.
Cardio is a must to burn calories and you can incorporate some running, jumping, skipping, and swimming in your regime. This will help burn off calories from all over the body and that includes the waist/belly/love handles. Aim at 30 minutes of cardio on a daily basis to begin with either at the gym, in your local park or simply by running up and down your staircase and then, increase the intensity gradually so your body doesn’t get used to the same routine. Mix and alternate your cardio to introduce variety.
2. Abs Exercises
After a sweaty cardio session, now focus on your core muscles, so that means working on the transverse abdominals which is known to be the body’s natural corset and we all know what a corset does: it shrinks the waistline.
Do various exercises such as crunches, twist crunches, pushups etc. which will help tone the muscles in your mid area. Another great exercise is using a hula hoop; it’s fun and very effective for toning your midriff. You can also try various yoga postures or pilates that are targeted towards this region and you can check with your instructors on which ones to focus the most. For the love handles, side stretches with dumbbells or any type of weight works well to tone the sides.
3. Keep Moving
Try walking around all day with your stomach sucked in and that will, in time, help tone the stomach muscles.
1. Count Your Calories
Aim at eating fewer calories than what you burn in order to ensure you are able to lose weight. You don’t have to go for crash diets and fad diets, but do keep in mind that your fat content should be at least a third of your total calorie intake. Eat what you like, but do count the calories.
2. Include Miracle Drink
Start your day with a glass of warm water with some honey and lemon juice as that helps clear the body of toxins and cleanses the system before you pile up your stomach with food throughout the day. Have a balanced breakfast comprising of fruits, whole grains and proteins. Maybe go for a homemade yogurt and fruit smoothie, if you are not used to eating a heavy breakfast.
3. Carbs Are Your Friends
Carbs are vital for the body so do eat complex carbohydrates such as fruits, whole grains and vegetables rather than processed carbs.
4. Healthy Fats Won’t Make You Fat
Opt for healthy fats such as nuts, avocados (and other fruits), soya and limited amounts of chocolate which contain monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), and polyunsaturated fats such as Omega-3 fatty acids that are found in fish, walnuts, tofu etc. At all costs, avoid Trans fats such as biscuits, butter, chips and so on.
5. Eat Roughage
Eat lots of roughage in the form of fibrous foods such as spinach, beans, certain fruits etc. as they will aid in your bowel movement and reduce the chances of bloating.
6. Small Is Better
Eat smaller meals throughout the day. Starving all day and then having a heavy dinner won’t help you lose weight. So, keep some fruits or nuts with you when you’re out and about to avoid unhealthy food, especially the fried ones.
7. Drink A Lot More
Drink, drink drink, even if you’re not thirsty. I’m one of those who forgets to drink enough water, so I keep a bottle next to me either at home or at my work station and promise myself to finish the bottle. Don’t use straws, but drink directly from the cup or glass as that will prevent you from sucking in more air than required and will avoid bloating too. Swap your regular coffees for green tea that contains antioxidants and helps in weight loss.
Wear Appropriate Clothing:
1. Wear The Right Size
I know it’s not easy to be prancing around in fitted clothes when your waistline isn’t at its best, but try and avoid clothing that is too loose. Hiding yourself is just a temporary solution. Instead, opt for clothes that are cinched at the waist and fitted tops as not only will they make your waist look smaller, but will be a constant reminder to lose weight and trim down. You can wear belts, A-line dresses or empire cut tops. Remember that the idea is to reduce your waist and not play hide and seek as eventually, a flabby waistline will show no matter what.
2. Corset, Please!
Invest in a corset as cinching at the waist area for a prolonged time can lead to a reduced waistline. Many women across the world do corsetry as a waist training regime, but if you want to do this do read up on the right types of corsets to wear and the duration etc. It should be done under proper guidance. A lot of women who have just given birth wear waist bands which are somewhat similar in order to train the waist to be flatter.
3. Get High On waist
Avoid low waist pants or jeans as creating a muffin top won’t help in reducing your waist, but will allow the excess fat to just hang there. Instead, choose high waist pants that suck your tummy in and will allow better posture. The idea is to train your waistline to feel flatter so proper clothes, and sucking in your stomach while walking all adds up to eventually reducing the waist drastically. Wear clothes to support your waist and stomach and not let it hang loose.
Don’t forget to be realistic in your goals as each of us have different shapes and sizes and we all mustn’t aim to look the same or like a disproportionate Barbie doll. Eating right, exercising regularly without fail and donning the right clothes will all assist in reducing that waist of yours.
Be patient and be dedicated as nothing is impossible. I’m working on this too as I’ve binged quite a bit over the winters and want my slim waist back now so I can wear spring/summer clothes with great confidence.
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