Losing inches around your waist not only makes you feel better, but may also improve your health. And, lucky for you, that unhealthy belly fat comes off faster than fat stored on your hips and legs. However, while you may be anxious to lose pounds — and inches from your waist
Belly fat is made up of two types of fat: subcutaneous and visceral. Most of the fat on your body — 90 percent — is subcutaneous, which is the pinchable fat under your skin that hangs over your belt buckle. Visceral fat, which makes up the other 10 percent, is found only deep in your abdominal region, surrounding your organs.
Though neither fat is all that good for you in excess, visceral fat is especially bad because it’s linked to medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. The good news is that visceral fat comes off faster than subcutaneous fat. That means you’ll lose inches from your waist faster than inches from your hips.
When you want to lose the pounds and the inches from your waist, you need to make a change to your calorie equation. Consuming fewer calories than your body needs forces your body to turn to fat for fuel. One pound of fat has 3,500 calories, so creating a 500- to 1,000-calorie-a-day negative balance, through diet, exercise or both, can help you lose 1 to 2 pounds a week. Losing more than 2 pounds a week is not recommended because it typically leads to loss of more muscle than fat.
No special food or exercise can help spot reduce from anywhere on the body, including the belly, so there’s no way to speed up the number of inches you lose from your waist. As you lose weight all over, however, your waist circumference will shrink.
Calories are important, but so are the foods you eat. Too much dietary sodium may cause fluid retention and abdominal bloating
Regular exercise can help you shed inches from your waist. At a minimum, you should do 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise most days of the week, and 60 minutes is even better. A fast-paced walk, a low-impact aerobics class, a bike ride or laps in the pool all work.
Try waist turns and curls. Make sure the exercises you choose specifically target the waist. Avoid doing the old-style crunch. It can damage your spine.
Stand with a pole between your shoulders. Keep your back straight, and your feet apart. Twist your waist from side to side while looking straight ahead. See how many rotations you can do. Try to do as many as 50 rotations.
Try hooping. If you get bored with typical exercises, why not buy a hula hoop? If you hoop for just a few minutes a day, you will end up with a smaller waist. Even hula hooping for 10 minutes a day has been found to reduce waist size! You can also burn 100 calories a day just with a few minutes of daily hula hooping
Reduce stress. It might surprise you, but stress is associated with larger waist size. This is because it increases the hormone cortisol, which is associated with weight gain around the belly. The other problem with stress is that it causes many people to overeat or reach for the snacks. Meditation and yoga are techniques that can help you reduce stress. People sometimes wonder why waist size is so much harder to shrink than it is to lose weight in general. This is because waist size is linked to the hormones of cortisol and insulin, not just diet. If you understand this, you will realize that reducing stress can be a key factor in shrinking your waist size.