Achieving that perfectly slim waist is a dream that many women tend to nurture. However, some find it a feat almost impossible to achieve. The sedentary lifestyle that we lead today is one of the major causes of the accumulation of fat around the waist and belly areas. However, exercise alone cannot be helpful in achieving that perfect waistline. Eating right also goes a long way in contributing towards it.

Adhering to a healthy diet and mindful intake of calories is an excellent way to cut down a few inches around your waistline. But, it is important to remember that this process takes time and requires sincere effort. To cut down that excess fat around your waist, you need to follow the weight loss regime with utter discipline.

Also, it is best to keep a healthier diet even after you reach your goals as it is much easier to regain the fat that has been lost after putting in so much effort.

This article discusses in detail all the measures that should be taken in order to help you gain the waist of your dreams.

(Read more: 7 common weight loss mistakes to avoid)

  1. Change your diet to get a slim waist
  2. Work out to get a slim waist
  3. What to avoid to get a slim waist
  4. Takeaway

One of the major hurdles standing between you and a slim waist is an unplanned diet. Any changes in your diet and the time of eating plays an essential part in your waistline goals. A few such changes that you need to incorporate into your diet have been mentioned below.

(Read more: Weight loss diet chart)

Healthy breakfast for a slim waist

Starting the day with a healthy, well-balanced breakfast is one of the most important things to do to get a slim waist. A good breakfast kick starts the metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories throughout the day. It also makes you feel full for a longer duration, thus, reducing your tendency to snack throughout the morning and afternoon. Unmindful snacking may result in an overall higher calorie intake.

(Read more: 5 high-calorie foods that help you lose weight) 

A combination of filling wholegrain cereals and bread, protein-rich foods like eggs and some fresh fruits is a perfect example of a balanced breakfast. If you are short on time, it is best to grab a fruit smoothie and a nutritious cereal bar for a convenient, yet healthy breakfast.

One should also try to drink a glass of water before breakfast (and every other meal throughout the day) as this prevents the body from confusing thirst with hunger, which may lead to eating more than needed. Also, water helps to keep you hydrated, which is always important.

(Read more: Balanced diet chart)

Good fats for a slim waist

People following a diet regime often believe that they need to cut out on fats altogether. However, eating an appropriate amount of healthy fat is essential for a balanced diet and can actually aid in weight loss.

Studies have found that a diet with a higher ratio of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) (avocados, nuts, seeds, soybeans, chocolate) can prevent the accumulation of fat around the waist area. About 25 to 30% of your daily calorie intake should come from healthy fats like polyunsaturated fats.

These include fats as omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, walnuts, and canola oil. The fats contained in tofu are another type of healthy fat that you should try to incorporate into your diet. Such fats help to lower bad cholesterol and boost brain function.

Frequent but small meals to get a slim waist

When trying to lose weight, it is best not to try and starve yourself. Instead, try eating small portions of meals frequently. Eating smaller, more frequent meals prevents one from becoming too hungry, and makes them eat less. It also stimulates metabolism, which allows the body to burn more calories throughout the day.

For best results, try eating six small meals a day, rather than the regular three large ones. In the long run, you will find that sticking to your weight-loss plan is much easier when you are not in a constant state of hunger.

(Read more: 15 tried and tested tips to lose weight)

Include high fibre foods to get a slim waist

Foods rich in fibre are an essential component of any healthy diet, for a number of reasons. Fibre-rich foods help to regularise bowel movements preventing bloating and associated conditions. Also, they help you to stay fuller for longer and may require additional chewing time, thus preventing overeating. Also, high-fibre foods are usually lower in calories than other food types.

It is good to incorporate a wide range of high-fibre foods into your diet, to get the benefits of both soluble and insoluble fibres.

Soluble fibres include oats and barley, peas and beans, apples, carrots, and citrus fruits. Soluble fibres, in particular, has been found to lower insulin levels, which can speed up the process of burning belly fat. Insoluble fibres include wheat bran and products containing whole-wheat flour, nuts, beans, and green vegetables.

Drink water to get a slim waist

It is essential to drink adequate water throughout the day as it flushes out your system, reduces bloating and keeps the body hydrated. However, if you find plain old water too boring, try drinking water with a hint of flavourings like mint leaves, lemon, lime, a few frozen raspberries or a combination of all these. Vitamin water or naturally sweetened iced teas also make a significantly healthier beverage.

(Read more: How much water to drink in a day)

Another essential aspect of obtaining that perfect waist is to work out. To trim your waist, you will need to commit to a regular exercise routine. One should be willing to put sincere efforts to achieve the best possible results.

(Read more: How to begin your fitness journey)

Cardio for a slim waist

Cardiovascular exercise is the best form of workout for burning calories, so it is essential to any weight loss routine. Running, skipping and cycling are all excellent cardio options. These workout options are extremely effective that can help you burn fat fast.

(Read more: 9 benefits of skipping for weight loss)

One should follow at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of rigorous cardio regime each week. You can even do a blend of moderate and vigorous activity. To reach this goal, aim for 30 minutes of cardio exercise four to five times a week.

(Read more: Aerobic exercises)

Exercise core muscles for a slim waist

To achieve a slim waist, it is important to focus your core exercises on the transverse and rectus abdominals (muscles in the abdominal area). It is essential to breathe when exercising core muscles. As obvious as it may seem, many people forget about concentrating on breathing and right muscle action, which leaves the body tensed and fragile. One should always remember to follow proper breathing patterns associated with a particular exercise. If you are not able to work this out in a rhythm, you can consider joining yoga or pilates for help.

(Read more: 6 Kettlebell workouts to strengthen your core)

Waist-shaping exercises for a slim waist

The following exercises can help you to gain the most out of your workout session. 

  • Sit-ups: These can be very effective in helping you achieve a slim waist. Lie down on the floor or a yoga mat, and bend your knees while keeping your feet flat on the ground. Cross your arms over your chest. Slowly raise your upper body towards your knees before lowering yourself back down again. Work up to doing three sets of sit-ups, with 10-20 repetitions in each set.
  • Crunches: The second exercise for a slim waist - twist crunches. This requires you to lie on your back and bend your knees up while keeping your feet flat on the floor. Bring your fingers up to touch your ears and slowly contract your abdominal muscles, lifting your torso off the ground. When you're at the point of feeling that you can't lift your body any further, contract your side muscles and turn gently to the left. Return your torso flat to the floor. Repeat on the right side. Build up to two or three sets of ten to fifteen repetitions each.
  • Planks and Side planks: Planks and side planks are some of the best exercises to achieve a slim waist. For a plank, get into a pushup position. Rest your weight on the forearms and keep your eyes towards the floor at all times. Pull your stomach muscles in tight, imagining them touching your backbone. As you do this, your bottom should be down and your back straight. Aim to hold this position for about a minute.
    To do a side plank lie down on a comfortable mat, on your right side. Rest on your right arm and extend your legs outward, placing your left foot on top of your right foot. In this position, slowly lift your pelvis up from the floor. Contract the muscles all around the lower torso, including the lower back and hips. Continue to bear weight on your right forearm and feet. Aim to hold this lift for around 10-15 seconds. Repeat three to five times for each side, or work up to holding the pose for 60 seconds.

(Read more: Yoga for slim waist)

As you put in all the efforts by maintaining the appropriate diet and exercising to achieve a slim waist, it is important to remember that there are certain aspects that must be avoided and which could hamper your progress. These include:

  • Trans fats that are usually found in margarine, crackers, cookies, basically anything made with partially hydrogenated oils results in more fat being deposited in the abdomen, so you should avoid these as much as you can.
  • Avoid using straws to sip your drinks. Straws cause you to suck more air into your stomach along with the drink, leading to bloating and a bigger belly. Drink straight from the cup instead to avoid bloating.
  • Avoid consumption of processed foods as they can significantly impair your weight loss program. This is because processed foods typically have high sugar and starch contents, which slow down weight loss and lead to the buildup of harmful toxins. Processed foods with high salt content should also be avoided. These include processed meats and ready-to-go meals. The salt content in these food leads to dehydration and causes bloating.
  • Care should also be taken while consuming foods marked as ‘non-fat’ as cheeses, bread, yoghurt, etc. These products may have a low-fat content, but they are usually packed with extra sugar and empty carbohydrates, and offer very little if any, nutritional value.

It is essential to accept the fact that achieving a slim waist is no easy task. Rigorous exercises with the right type of dietary intake are the most effective way to go about it while also keeping in mind the necessary things to avoid.

References

  1. Stewart Jeromson et al. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Skeletal Muscle Health . Mar Drugs. 2015 Nov; 13(11): 6977–7004. PMID: 26610527
  2. Richard A. Washburn et al. Does the Method of Weight Loss Effect Long-Term Changes in Weight, Body Composition or Chronic Disease Risk Factors in Overweight or Obese Adults? A Systematic Review . PLoS One. 2014; 9(10): e109849. PMID: 25333384
  3. Johns Hopkins Medicine [Internet]. The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Health System; 8 Ways to Lose Belly Fat and Live a Healthier Life
  4. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Aging changes in body shape
  5. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; Why is my waist size important?.
  6. Health Harvard Publishing. Harvard Medical School [Internet]. Major fat-burning discovery. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  7. Health Harvard Publishing. Harvard Medical School [Internet]. 6 tips for reducing holiday waste and waist. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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