Unsightly fat between the waist and hips causes a negative impact on self-esteem -- especially when trying to look good in tight clothing. When this fat builds up in the stomach particularly, you also have to worry about your overall health. Visceral fat, which packs around the organs, raises the risk for cardiovascular disease. The best way to melt this off is by exercising discipline at the dinner table and exercising your body.
Focus on total body weight loss by cutting your calories. To lose weight between the waist and hips, you need to lose weight throughout your entire body because spot reduction is not possible. Reduce your intake by 500 calories a day, and you should lose about 1 pound of weight a week.
Start your day with a nutritious breakfast. Skipping breakfast to get a head start with weight loss can backfire right before your eyes. This often leads to hunger later in the morning and binging on unhealthy fare. Prevent this from happening by fixing a healthy meal, such as a vegetable omelet, oatmeal with low-fat milk or half a whole grain bagel with almond butter spread across the top. Focus on eating nutrient-dense foods and those high in fiber/protein since they'll help you stay full.
Integrate healthy snacks into your diet plan. The goal is to just eat enough to take the edge off your hunger. Whole grain crackers with hummus dip are a healthy snack option. Eat your snacks two to three hours after your meals, or as soon as you start feeling hungry.
Burn the weight off your waist and hips. Running, biking, elliptical training, stair-climbing, rowing and water aerobics are all good forms of cardio because they burn calories and work the muscles in the waist and hips. Choose a form that you like and perform it in an interval fashion to boost your fat loss. Start with a light warm-up, then alternate back and forth between high and low intensity for the rest of your workout. Make your high-intensity bouts half as long as your low-intensity bouts. For example, run fast for 20 seconds and jog slowly for 40. Aim for 45 to 60 minutes of training and work out three days a week on nonconsecutive days.
Perform strength training exercises to tone muscles in your waist and hip areas. While strength exercises can't target fat in your midsection, they can give your waist and hips a tighter, more defined appearance once you shed the overlying fat. Do exercises such as split squats, lunges with medicine-ball twists, cable abduction, hanging knee raises, bicycle maneuvers and crunches. Aim for one to three sets of eight to 12 reps and work out three days a week on non-cardio days.
Execute proper form when doing your exercises. Move through a full range of motion and be conscious of your body position. For lunges with twists, stand with your feet hip width apart and hold a medicine ball straight out in front of your chest. Take a long step forward with your right foot and bend both knees to lower your body. Stop when your front thigh parallels the floor and your back knee is an inch above the floor. Twist your torso and move the ball to your right side and hold for a second. Twist back to the center, rise up and lunge ahead with your left leg. Perform another twist and continue to alternate back and forth with each lunge.
Check with your health-care provider before beginning an exercise program for the first time or if you have been away from fitness programs for a while, or if you have any chronic health issues.