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The Diet and Exercise Plan To Find Your Waist Again, Expert Says

Burn stubborn belly fat and find your waist with this game plan.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

If you've ever tried just dieting or exercising to burn off belly fat and have been unsuccessful, you're not alone. Burning stubborn belly fat and keeping it off for the long haul is best accomplished by a combination of healthy eating habits and exercise to ensure you not only melt your midsection, but also have some solid muscle to show once it's gone. We've put together the ultimate diet and exercise plan that'll help you lose inches off your waist, so listen up.

The following program calls for personal adjustment, depending on your fitness level and nutrition requirements, and it's not a replacement for a dietetic-supervised meal plan. However, in my experience, the guidelines discussed successfully lead healthy individuals to burn fat and get fit when followed consistently for at least three months.

Without delay, let's dive in! And next up, don't miss Lose 5 Inches off Your Waist With This Bodyweight Workout, Trainer Says.

The ultimate diet plan for a slim waist:

healthy fruits and veggies bowl, healthy eating diet concept

If you want to see sustainable weight loss with corresponding health improvements, follow the guidelines below.

Aim for a caloric deficit of 300 to 500 calories per day.

Eating about 500 calories per day fewer than you burn is a sustainable way to burn about a pound of fat per week. While you can go higher for faster weight loss, this is more difficult to sustain and puts you at greater risk of losing muscle mass and having reduced energy levels.

Focus on nutrient-dense foods.

Aim to eat three to five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day to lose inches off your waist. Lean proteins such as chicken, fish, and plant proteins, as well as unsaturated fats from olive oil, are also helpful for getting your body the maximum amount of nutrients while keeping your calorie intake lower.

Limit your intake of sweetened beverages and alcohol.

Sodas, fruit juices, and alcoholic drinks are essentially "empty calories" that spike your blood sugar. They make losing weight harder by racking up the calorie count without providing vital micronutrients.

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Drink plenty of water.

Adult men and women need an average of 3.7 and 2.7 liters of water per day, respectively, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you do not meet your daily need, sugar and food cravings become harder to resist and so does preventing yourself from overeating. If you find yourself craving sweets, ask yourself, "Have I consumed enough water today?"

The ultimate workout plan to blast stubborn belly fat and find your waist:

woman holding pink dumbbell weight loss concept

When it comes to how to lose inches off your waist through working out, you need a two-to-three-day-per-week plan that hits upper and lower body exercises at a high intensity.

For lower body workouts, select three to five leg exercises, then perform 10 to 20 reps with 30 seconds of rest between sets, for a total of three to five rounds.

For upper body exercises, select a horizontal push and pull, along with a vertical push and pull exercise, for a total of four exercises. Perform three sets of 10 on each.

If you prefer jogging, I recommend using HIIT-style training to maximize your calorie burn and fat loss.

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Example of a lower-body workout:

Perform each exercise for 10 to 15 reps using moderate resistance, then rest for 30 seconds, and complete the next exercise. Repeat for three to five rounds.

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Deadlifts
  • Side lunges

Example of an upper-body workout:

Perform each exercise for 10 to 15 reps using moderate resistance, then rest for 30 seconds, and complete the next exercise. Repeat for three to five rounds.

  • Pull-ups
  • Dumbbell overhead press
  • Dumbbell rows
  • Dumbbell bench press

Example of an interval workout:

Run for 10 to 15 minutes, alternating 30 seconds of intense running followed by a 30-second jog. You can start by performing a few interval cycles, then finishing with a slower jog, until you are able to complete a full 15 minutes of interval training.

The bottom line

Any program is only as good as your ability to stick with it long enough to see results. These guidelines give you a framework to follow a diet and exercise program that will lead you to sustainable fat loss, slimming down your waist to reveal a fit, toned physique and all-around healthy body. Following this program for at least three months is the best way to ensure sustainable weight loss results.

Tyler Read, BSc, CPT
Tyler Read is a personal trainer and has been involved in health and fitness for the past 15 years. Read more about Tyler