I’ve struggled with a boxy frame my whole life. When I first started losing weight one of my biggest concerns was how to get a smaller waist.
For a long time, I just thought that’s the way my body was. That I wasn’t capable of having a smaller waist with any curve to it.
I like to think I’ve proved myself wrong and have made significant progress, so if you’ve been wondering or feeling the same here’s exactly how I did it!
Here are all of my favorite ways I have found to shrink and shape your waist that I have learned over years of research.. and trial and error!
Tips to Getting a Smaller Waist
1. Reduce Body Fat (Not Just Weight)
Depending on your starting point, the most obvious way to trim your waist is to shed some fat.
Now, before you run off in search of tricks to lose weight as fast as possible, I want to make sure we’re clear here..
We want to get rid of excess FAT, we don’t necessarily care about the number on the scale going down.
How do you get rid of excess fat around your waist as fast as possible?
I have good news and I have bad news.
The bad news is you cannot spot reduce fat.
I don’t care how many articles, ads or whatever are telling you that you can lose just your belly fat or arm fat or whatever.. You absolutely cannot.
The good news is I can tell you exactly how to burn fat.
Your body will determine which fat it burns, but ultimately we will be burning belly fat too.
The Basics of Fat Loss
To burn fat and reveal a smaller waist, we need to be burning more calories than we eat.
This is called a caloric deficit.
1 pound of fat is 3500 calories. So to burn that off, we need to burn 3500 more calories than we eat.
Here’s the catch though…
You NEVER want to eat less calories than you need for basic life functions.
Your body needs energy (in the form of calories) to do basic functions.. Like uh.. Breathing, and pumping blood.
The amount of calories needed to do this differs from person to person and it is referred to as your BMR, or Basal Metabolic Rate.
To find out the absolute minimum amount of calories you need to eat (your BRM), you can enter in your information into a BRM calculator.
If you eat less calories than the amount your body needs to do this, it’ll go into starvation mode after a while.
Starvation mode is bad news bears if you want a little tiny waist.
Why? Because your body literally thinks it’s starving, so it starts storing fat for energy and slows down the rate that it burns calories to conserve as much energy as possible.
“Okay.. but I want a smaller waist fast, how can I burn a buttload of calories without going into starvation mode?”
To create a greater caloric deficit without drastically reducing your calories to a detrimental amount, we need to add in exercise.
Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you need to miserably run on a treadmill for hours on end.
If you want the most bang for your cardio buck, try one of these workouts.
2. Build a Tight Core
Okay, so we’ve gotten our body fat down..
But another way we can get an even smaller waist is by tightening and toning our core.
The great thing about ab workouts is that they’re super fast.
You don’t have to spend hours on an ab workout.
5-10 minutes is plenty.
Example Ab Workout for a Smaller Waist
Do each exercise for 45 seconds straight. Take a 15 second rest in between.
3. Reduce Excess Water Weight/Bloating
Let’s say you do everything else right.. You shed the excess tummy fat and your core is muscles are strong af.
Your waist should be significantly smaller.
But.. you’re still feeling bloated and fluffy.
The first culprit is your diet.
Just as important as how many calories you eat is where your calories are coming from, meaning the quality of your food.
If you’re eating a lot of poor quality, sugar-heavy, processed foods you’re likely to feel this way.
Following flexible dieting is a great way to combat this.
Flexible dieting is another name for macro tracking – which from a high level, means you can eat whatever you want as long as you get a certain amount of carbs, proteins, and fats in.
This ensures you’re getting the correct levels of macronutrients into your diet.
Read more about exactly how to get started with flexible dieting here.
Too Much Sodium
If you’re still feeling bloated, you might be taking in too much sodium in your diet.
Sodium, aka salt, makes us hold on to excess water weight.
Too little sodium isn’t good either, and it varies from person to person based on your size on how much you should be getting.
A general rule is to stay under 2000mg of sodium per day.
Drink More Water
Drinking enough water can help flush your system which in turn will help you to feel less bloated.
Getting enough water is not only helpful for trimming your waistline, but for weight loss in general – and of course, your health!
How much water you need is dependant on your size but a good rule of thumb is to get at least half your body weight in ounces of water per day.
For example, if you weigh 150lbs, you should be drinking at least 75oz of water per day.
Sweat It Out
If you know you’ve been taking in too much sodium, or your just feeling bloated and like you’re holding onto a lot of excess water, one of the fastest ways to flush it is to sweat it out.
The obvious way is to get a good workout in.
If I’m really wanting to get a good sweat though, I’ll either hit the sauna or pull out my Sweet Sweat gel and belt.
4. Stomach Vacuuming
First thing you want to do is lay on your floor and pretend your stomach is a vacuum.
Apparently, stomach vacuuming is a way of breathing, tensing your inner ab muscles that can significantly reduce inches on your waist.
Admittedly, I haven’t tried this one.
But, I was perusing YouTube as one does and came across a video on it.
I did some digging and it seems legit.
I’m going to be giving it a shot for a few weeks just out of curiosity and I’ll be happy to update with my results.. If you guys are interested in seeing that just leave me a comment!
The idea is that you breath in through your nose, then exhale as much air as you can through your mouth.
While your lungs are still empty, suck in your stomach and hold for 5-20 seconds.
This one is easier to see through video, so if you’re interested, here’s a video:
5. Create an Illusion
Last but certainly not least, we can create the illusion of a smaller waist.
Up until now, we have focused on tactics that with shrink our waistline.
This last trick is the opposite.
We’re going to grow the areas around our waist so that it looks smaller in comparison.
Namely, our bum and our lats (the sides of your back).
Do. Not. Let. That. Scare. You.
This is usually the point where women start freaking out on me that they don’t want to look ‘bulky’.
I can promise you this will not be the case.
It is extremely difficult for women in particular to grow that kind of muscle mass without steroids.
Expecting to get bulky by lifting weights is like expecting to get a PhD by reading 1 book.
Okay, not the best analogy, but you get the point.
Lifting as heavy as possible for women creates lean muscle mass.
Lean muscle is what gives that “toned” and “defined” look.
Lean muscle mass also increases our metabolism.
High metabolism = more calories burn just living.
I call that a win-win.
How to Grow Muscle
This is an entire topic in itself, but here it is at a high level.
This will have to be the last step in your tiny waisted journey because up until now, we had been focusing on burning belly ft to reveal our itty bitty waist.
To do that, we ate fewer calories than we burned (aka a caloric deficit).
To grow muscle, however, you have to do the opposite.
You have to eat more calories than you burn in order to feed the muscle to allow it to grow.
This is unfortunate news for anyone who wanted to grow their bum and shrink their waist at the same time because it can’t be done.
It’s not impossible, it just needs to be done in separate steps.
To grow your lats and bum to make your waist look smaller, simply eat in a caloric surplus and do specific weight lifting routines that target these muscle areas.
Consistency is again key here.
You’ll want to do exercises that focus on these areas 2-3 times per week. You don’t only have to work on these areas on a given day, just work them in at some point during your workout.
- Monday: Lat exercises as part of a tricep and back workout.
- Tuesday: Booty exercises as part of a leg workout
- Wednesday: Rest
- Thursday: Shoulders, biceps and abs
- Friday: Lat exercises as part of a tricep and back workout.
- Saturday: Booty exercises as part of a leg workout
- Sunday: Rest
Example exercises to grow your bum:
- Donkey kicks
- Hip thrusts
Example exercises to grow your lats:
- Lat pulldown
- Dumbbell row
- Dumbbell pullover
Final Thoughts on Getting a Smaller Waist
That was a lot of information to take in.
Feel free to save this post for later. You don’t need to remember everything or do all of this at once.
Take it step by step and focus on one thing at a time.
I would love for you to join my 8 Week Total Body Transformation Challenge, where all of this is already done and laid out for you – including nutrition and 8 full weeks worth of workouts done day by day.
Plus you’ll get weekly check-ins to help keep you accountable and full access to me for any questions you have along the way!