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Losing weight and trimming your midsection are two very good goals. While dropping seven pounds is realistic, trimming five inches off your waist may not be quite as doable. See, when it comes to weight loss, you don't get to pick and choose where the weight comes off. But with a healthy diet and exercise plan that concentrates on toning your midsection, you may be able to lose those seven pounds and certainly take a few inches off your waist.
The Truth About Spot Reduction
With so many diets geared towards busting belly fat, you may find it hard to believe that you can't simply take five inches off your waist. When you lose weight, it comes from all over your body, not one particular area, even if you follow a special diet, take a magic pill, or do a thousand sit-ups everyday. Where the weight comes off depends on a number of factors, including your gender and genetics.
Losing Those Seven Pounds
Dropping seven pounds may be a little easier than trimming five inches off your waist, although you will lose inches when you lose the weight. To lose those seven pounds you need to create a negative calorie balance so your body is burning more calories. You can do this by eating less, exercising more, or a combination of both. While you may be anxious to lose those seven pounds quickly, you may have more luck sustaining your weight loss when it comes off slowly. To lose one to two pounds a week, you need to create a 500- to 1,000-calorie deficit.
Diet to Lose Pounds and Inches
You can easily trim 250 to 500 calories from you daily diet by making a few simple changes to your usual intake. For example, instead of a cafe mocha latte, drink your coffee black. Or, swap your sweet tea for seltzer with a twist of lime. You can also swap your bag of chips or french fries at lunch or dinner with a garden salad flavored with balsamic vinegar and a touch of oil. You can also save calories using the lower-fat version of your favorite cheese or yogurt, baking or broiling your meats instead of frying and making veggies the focus of every meal.
Exercise to Whittle the Waist
To lose pounds and inches, you need to burn calories with aerobic activity. How many calories you burn depends on the activity, your current weight and how long you work out. For example, a 155-pound person can burn up to 260 calories in a 30-minute high-impact aerobics class. For health and weight loss, aim for 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise five days a week. While sit-ups and crunches can't help you lose those five inches, including abdominal exercise can tone the area and help trim your waistline. In addition to your sit-ups and crunches, try side bends and planks to tone, tighten and whittle your waist.
About the Author
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and sharing her love of food, nutrition and health with anyone who'll listen for almost 20 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and Working Mother.