In a perfect world, you’d be able to pick and choose where you lose and gain weight. Unfortunately, when your body needs energy, it takes it from all over your body—not just from your hips because you’re sick of your love handles and muffin top. There are, however, tweaks that can be made to your diet and exercise plan (and your attitude towards helpful living in general) that make shrinking your hips a feasible endeavor. We turned to some of the country’s leading health and fitness experts to find out the most effective strategies, all of which eschew quick fixes—and instead encourage long-term results. For more tips on how to lose weight permanently, check out these ways to lose weight for good.
Forget spot training
Most personal trainers no longer endorse spot training, since scientific evidence supports that it doesn’t successfully eliminate fat in the targeted area,” says personal yoga and group fitness instructorm Amanda Murdock. She goes on to explain that body fat, unfortunately, works like the old’ “first in, last out” method. “The first place you gain weight will be the last place you lose weight, and that’s usually the belly and hips.” Exercises focused on your abdomen, however, do help you to tone that area; but the fastest way to lose excess fat in your stomach and hips is to perform exercises that cause you to lose excess fat overall (like from those intense exercises mentioned above).
Make your lower body work as well
“If you want to slim your hips, think of your entire lower body,” says Rachel Piskin creator of Chaise Fitness. “Focus on exercises that build long & lean muscles. This will lengthen your hamstrings and quads, which as a result will create a more lean and toned lower body.” Exercises you should consider include opposite leg and arm lifts and yoga-inspired moves like the twisted chair and downward dog.
Eat lean meats
“Unless it’s for ethical reasons, eat up,” says Murdock. “Organic and grass fed lean cuts of meat are an amino acid powerhouse. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, protein is the building blocks of muscle, and muscle keeps you lean.”
Avoid diet-based foods
Stay away from items labeled low-fat or sugar-free. Becker cautions that most of these diet-based foods are highly processed or use substitutes that have very little nutritional value. Instead, she recommends snacking on nutrient dense, fiber-rich foods like raw almonds, carrots, and hummus, or apple slices dipped in raw honey, all of which help provide energy and keep you satiated between meals. She also recommends steaming or boiling your vegetables whenever you can to get the most nutrients from them.
Image courtesy of: images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com, cdn.vkool.com.