How to Lose Belly Fat & Keep My Hips

Warming up
A woman is stretching in a gym. (Image: SolisImages/iStock/Getty Images)

An hourglass body has several distinct features. At the base of this appearance is a lean, defined abdomen and robust hips. Losing belly fat while maintaining your hips will give you this definition, as long as you follow the right procedure. Exercise is a big part of this plan and you also have to tweak your diet. The main objective with keeping your hips is to perform key weight-training exercises to build your muscles.

Step 1

Reduce your caloric intake slightly to promote weight loss in your stomach. Being that you want to keep your hips broad, but slim down your midsection, make a modest reduction, like 250 calories a day. Find your starting intake by tracking your calories for a full day. Make sure to choose foods that are high in nutrient value like lean meats, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and legumes.

Step 2

Consume snacks between your meals. This will give you energy, prevent overeating and keep your metabolism lifted. Pace your snacks two to three hours after your main meals and keep them in the range of 100 to 200 calories. Air-popped popcorn without butter is a healthy snack, for example.

Step 3

Sprint your way to a leaner stomach. Sprint training burns a high amount of calories, and it also boosts your resting metabolic rate. As an added benefit, you have to contract your abs forcefully to generate power and to maintain spinal stability. Start your workout with a light jog to warm up, and then sprint as fast as you can for 15 seconds. Rest completely for 30 seconds and sprint again. Continue this pattern for 20 minutes and finish with a light cool-down jog. Work out three days a week on nonconsecutive days.

Step 4

Perform weight-training exercises that target your hips, such as squats, lunges, leg presses and hip abduction. Do hip abduction with the aid of a cable machine. Fasten an ankle strap to your lower right leg and to a low setting on the machine. Stand with your left shoulder facing the weight stack, and raise your leg in the air laterally to your right as high as possible. Lower it back down slowly, repeat for a set of reps and switch sides. Use heavy weights to maximize your muscle gains. Aim for a resistance that you can only lift eight to 12 times with good form, and do four or five sets. Work out three days a week on non-cardio days.

Step 5

Execute an ab workout after your cardio sessions. The goal here is to do multiple exercises to target as much abdominal muscle as possible. This will in turn help tighten and tone your stomach as you lose weight. Perform exercises like alternating leg raises, hanging oblique knee raises, twist crunches and bicycle maneuvers. Aim for 15 to 20 reps, do three or four sets, and work your abs after your cardio sessions.

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