9 Simple Ways to Trim Your Waist

By , FITNESS Magazine
1. Cut just 100 calories a day.
That's all you need to ditch to beat belly bulge, says Mehmet Oz, MD, author of YOU on a Diet: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management. Dropping this amount from your daily intake -- we're talking one cookie, a soda, or a glass of wine -- will help you lose about 12 pounds a year. And it's a cinch to stick to a plan that requires no actual dieting or deprivation.
2. Build muscle mass.
During a cardio workout, your body zaps hundreds of calories, but your metabolism slows down almost instantly when you stop. After strength training, on the other hand, you burn fat for hours. "Regular weight lifting can boost your metabolic rate by about 15 percent," says Tim Davis, director of personal training at Peak Performance, a gym in New York City. He recommends three 45- to 50-minute sessions a week.
3. Run from fat.
One of the most effective ways to reduce flab around your middle is to jog it off. "Hit the road for 30 to 60 minutes two to four times a week," Davis suggests. Steady running not your thing? "Interval training -- constantly switching up the pace of your workout -- will also help you lose weight, because it blasts more calories," Davis says. "Do two minutes of sprinting followed by a 60-second walk, then repeat for a half hour."
4. Eat good-for-you foods.
Your body is smart -- it knows when it's not getting any nutrients. So if you munch on processed foods like chips and doughnuts, you'll still be hungry, Dr. Oz says. The fix: Chow down regularly on fruits, vegetables, fish, low-fat dairy, and whole grains, says Keri Gans, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association).
5. Have a high-protein breakfast.
Skip the sugary cereals. They're too easily digested, which means they speed through your system. "An egg-white omelet is a good choice," says Louis Aronne, MD, a clinical professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and director of the weight-control program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. If you're eating on the go, try unsweetened Greek yogurt with fruit and a dollop of honey or a piece of string cheese with whole-grain bread.
6. Don't skip meals.
That will only set you up to overeat. "Nosh on small portions every three to four hours to keep your metabolism running, so your body won't panic, go into starvation mode, and stop burning calories -- which is what happens when you haven't eaten in a while," Gans says.
7. Head off a freak-out.
Stress causes the body to start stockpiling fat in the gut. "Your system thinks a crisis is coming," Dr. Oz explains. "It deposits fat cells into the belly because it's the most convenient storage space." Chill out with yoga, meditation, or massage. If you're a stress eater, keep healthy snacks such as almonds on hand to prevent junk-food binges.
8. Get your shut-eye.
"Lack of sleep increases the likelihood you'll gain weight," Dr. Aronne says. "When you're tired, the hormones that stimulate appetite increase, while the hormones that help you feel full plummet." Aim for seven to eight hours a night.
9. Move more all the time.
Computers, TVs, video games, and cars keep us glued to our seats. The result: We're less physical than ever before. To trim your tummy, "do whatever you can to keep moving," says Olson. "Even 10 minutes can help." Studies show that you can burn up to 350 calories a day (the equivalent of your lunch!) by walking around when you're on the phone, tapping your toes when you're surfing the Web, doing squats when you're brushing your teeth. Before you know it, you'll be saying buh-bye, belly fat!
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, March 2009.
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When you drink 2-3 cans of soda a day, you will gain 50LBs a year! Report
I liked this blog. Good info not just the obvious stuff sometimes we need reminders. This isn't a quick fix folks. Gradual changes do make a difference over time. It's not a roller coaster diet it's a life change. Report
These are nice and all, but it seems like this blog has been written by someone who forgot what it was like to be overweight/obese. The silly thing is - we are all on this site, and we all know that eating less and exercising more is good for us, and sleeping is good for us, etc... Instead of telling us the same old thing - what we *should* do - maybe it would be nice for the great Dr. Oz to tell people how do stay consistent, persistent, and not give up.

Dr. Oz is sooooo MD. What you need is a PhD. In psychology. FYI. Report
1. well cheat meals do this to many people- they think they can work it off. Bottom line we can't out exercise bad nutrition.. Thin fat people opened my eyes to this fact.. The quality of food is where to start..
2. great of you can strength train, many people will read this and say, well I can't do this and loss interest..
3. I can't jog anymore because of issues running with correct shoes gave me.. I never needed to jog to get the weight off.. Startling revolution those 10,000 steps is all it takes.. Remember many people on sparks don't have health insurance and a damage knee or shin splints can lay people off jobs..
4. Dr Oz also indorsed HCG diet, please find someone else more level headed to use as a good example..
5. High protein breakfast- try to make people just learn food composition switching on the meal suggestions.. Spacing food out correctly may not need high protein to get through the day..
6. First decent peice of info I can use and have used..
7. Freaking out is lack of mastering skills, perhaps focus on getting people to open up about their problems instead of hitting the fridge hard??
8. Teach people working 2 jobs, juggling a family alone and a husband sitting on their ass is wrong.. Then people may get decent shut eye..
9. Move more, is good.. But many people think 30 minutes is great than sit down again for the rest of the day.. So many pump jogging running and tri this and that..
The real message is move more, don't have to be a athlete to get the weight off..

I have many issues with this blog! We have to change society to being a ball player without extremes at both ends.. Report
WOW, lots of negative comments on this blog. LOL
I battle all sorts of fat, and dropping only 100 calories, just won't cut it for me. There is no such thing as spot reduction, you must exercise your whole body, and do your best to eat clean..to achieve success. Report
If all of this worked as they say, I'd be one happy girl :) Report
I agree, these are ways to trim your fat in general. Not your waist specifically. Report
If spot reduction is a myth, I guess I'll keep looking like a long-legged E.T. Report
I'm not a big fan of guest posts either, but this one especially frustrates me. I don't get to pick with the weight leaves my body! Especially from my stomach.

While I've become downright bony in some places, my stomach still sticks out as though I am pregnant. My fault for being born an apple shape! Coming to grips with it is an up and down process, but reading "simple" ways to get rid of it that I'm ALREADY doing, is quite frustrating. Report
Totally agree with Becky3128! In fact, don't other articles on SparkPeople say that spot reduction isn't possible? Way to be contradictory. Can I ask for less "guest magazine" blogs and more blogs by the Spark staff, members, etc? Report
I hope people don't buy into this; while these are good suggestions for general health/weight loss spot reduction is a myth Report
Great article to share with those just getting started on their journey to a healthy lifestyle! Also a great reminder for the rest of us! I'll be sharing this! Report
Yes, I try to eat clean, doing cardio & strenght training helps out too. Report
The "run from fat" tip is potentially dangerous. People in the early phases of an exercise routine are probably not able to run 30-60 min 4x per week. This is perhaps better expressed as a goal to work up to. Likewise, the sprint 2 mins, walk 1 min for 30 mins sounds rather dubious. Again, this might be a goal to work towards, but a logical progression would be better advice (sprint 20 secs, walk 2 mins, repeat 3 more times and when you can do 10 intervals, increase sprint time to 30 secs...something like that).
I love the note about extra sleep and the different hormone levels you have when you are tired. I've always had a tendency to go to the food closet several times during the evening...maybe that's a sign I should go to bed ;) Report
I have an issue with the first point. How do you drop 100 calories? What is that compared to? If I skip a cookie every day for a year, I don't think that's going to help me lose 12 pounds in a year. It's not like I'm eating the same thing every day for a year. I skip cookies just about every day... It doesn't mean I'm losing weight. Plus, won't your body get used to eating 1400 calories a day rather than 1500? It all depends on how much you're exercising and what you're eating. Cutting the 100 calories a day doesn't make sense to me. It's too broad a tip. What's the difference if you cut 100 calories of cookies and 100 calories veggies? (Big difference...) Sorry. I just don't understand the first point. 100 calories is not all you need to ditch. You need to ditch most (don't deprive yourself of everything) junk foods on a regular basis. Eating one less cookie if you're eating the whole sleeve of Fig Newtons isn't going to help you lose weight... (Sorry for the rant.) Report
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