Build a sexy, feminine, hourglass figure!
Have you ever found yourself admiring the girls with tiny waists and curvaceous hips? At some point, we’ve probably all wondered if the hourglass figure is genetic, or if it’s something that girls of all shapes and sizes can attain. While it’s true that we’re all built with different frames and bone structures, it is possible–no matter what body type you are–to tighten your waist and shape your hips. This guide to building an hourglass figure contains everything that you need to know to build the body of your dreams!
The classic hourglass measurements are a 36-inch chest, a 24-inch waist, and 36-inch hips. Just because you may not have this frame doesn’t mean that your body isn’t beautiful! You can still earn your curves. It’s important to embrace who you are before improving on it through healthy eating and exercise!
There are several core components to achieving an hourglass figure. These include diet, cardiovascular exercise (including HIIT workouts), core training, and weightlifting. While all of these things can be performed at home, having access to a gym or gym equipment would be extremely beneficial.
Component #1: Diet
First and foremost, you must maintain a clean, nutritious diet. The biggest mistake that most people make is consuming too few calories. Starving yourself is not going to get you an hourglass figure.
1. Eat Clean and Avoid Processed Foods – What do we mean by “clean” food? Clean foods generally refer to whole foods that are as close as possible to their natural state. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and lean meats are the most commonly consumed clean foods. For a more detailed list, check out The Whole Foods Shopping List.
You may also like this 7-Day Clean Eating Survival Guide for Beginners
These healthy choices are packed-full of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your body needs to lose weight and firm-up. Processed foods should be avoided, as they are typically much more calorie dense and offer little-to-no nutritional value.
2. Get More Protein and Soluble Fiber – Protein is critical to weight loss and muscle gain. It aids in weight loss by keeping you fuller for longer, thus helping you to eat less throughout the day. Protein is also key in repairing and strengthening your muscles so you can build a curvier figure. Read our High-Protein Shopping List for some great protein options.
Fiber is excellent for weight loss, too, because your body digests it slowly. That means it will also maintain that full-belly feeling. When you feel full, you’ll be less tempted to snack on unhealthy foods.
3. Eliminate Soda and Alcohol – Regular soda is loaded with calories and offers no nutritional value. Diet soda has been shown to increase cravings for sugary foods, so it’s best to steer clear of it, as well. Alcohol has not only been associated with excess belly-fat, but it can also lead to unhealthy food choices. If you want to tighten your waist, you must avoid these things.
4. Cut Back on Sugar – Who doesn’t love a sweet treat every now and then? You don’t have to completely eliminate sugar from your diet, but you should try to cut back. There is a direct correlation between sugar and excess body fat. The American Heart Association recommends that females consume no more than 25 grams of sugar per day. It’s extremely important that you read nutrition labels, as many foods these days contain added sugar.
5. Drink Plenty of Water – Staying hydrated should be a main priority for anyone, but especially for those that are participating in a fitness routine. Drink a full glass of cool water when you first wake up to get your metabolism cranking. It’s also recommended that you drink another full glass before every meal to keep yourself from overindulging.
As you lose weight, your body will also require more water to flush out extra toxins. Staying hydrated will keep you from retaining water as well, which will reduce any “fluffiness” in your abdomen. A general rule of thumb is to drink at least 64 ounces of water daily, but feel free to drink even more!
If you’re trying to lose weight, you must eat a sufficient amount of calories each day in order to keep your metabolism up. Starving yourself will cause you to stop losing weight because your body will go into starvation mode. In other words, don’t do it.
A safe daily caloric deficit is 200-300 calories each day. This means that if you normally consume 1,800 calories in a day, aim for 1,500-1,600 instead.
Since we’re all different, it’s important to eat the right amount of calories for YOUR body. Check out our article on Daily Calorie Intake: How Many Calories Should I Eat to Lose Weight? It will help you figure out exactly how many calories you should be eating each day.
When it comes to planning your meals, focus on protein first, fats second, and carbohydrates last. Protein is the magic macronutrient for weight loss, so you should aim to get around 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight per day. If you’re not sure how much to eat of each, read our recommendations to help you determine what is a portion size.
Even if you need to put on weight, you should still focus on a clean diet. Try to eat 200-300 calories more than you normally would each day, but make sure it’s not junk food. Try adding in one or more of these 5 Carbs You Can Happily Indulge In. Obviously, we want the weight you put on to be mostly muscle mass, so your diet will require more protein. You should aim for 1.5 grams of protein for every pound of body weight.
Keep in mind that neither carbohydrates nor fat is an enemy. Your body requires both of them to function optimally. You simply need to focus on getting the right amounts of each of them. This article will show you How to Calculate the Correct Macronutrients for your body.
Next up: Cardio and HIIT!
Component #2 : Cardio and HIIT
These forms of exercise are great additions to a healthy eating plan. If your goal is to lose weight and you’re eating 200-300 calories less per day, you can increase this deficit by performing cardiovascular exercise. By burning another 200-300 calories each day through exercise, you can double your weight loss and lose more than one pound per week!
There are many different forms of cardiovascular exercise. Check out these Top Cardio Workouts for Weight Loss. Even if you’re one of the ladies trying to gain weight, you should still perform cardiovascular exercise to improve your heart and lung health. The AHA recommends performing at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise weekly.
You’ve probably also heard of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training). This is another form of cardio that combines short bursts of heart-pumping moves with even shorter periods of rest. The goal is to increase your metabolism so you’ll burn more calories, even after the workout is over. This is a great choice for those of us that don’t have a lot of time to work out. The AHA recommends 75+ minutes of HIIT per week.
Try some of our newest HIIT routines!
- Lean Body HIIT Workout Challenge
- Belly Fat Melting HIIT Workout Routine for Beginners
- HIIT for Abs
- Total-Body HIIT
- Kettlebell HIIT Challenge for Women
What to Do
Perform any combination of these two forms of exercise, aiming to complete the AHA recommendation each week (150 minutes of moderate-intensity OR 75 minutes of HIIT).
No matter what your goal is, performing some form of cardiovascular exercise is integral to living a healthy lifestyle. When it comes to building an hourglass figure, these forms of exercise will help whittle away at your waistline.
Component #3 : Core Training
Speaking of whittling your waist… core training is the third key element in the guide to building an hourglass figure. When you strengthen a muscle, it becomes more compact. Your core has multiple layers of muscles running in all different directions. Strengthening these muscles will also tighten them, pulling your waist in and flattening your tummy.
When performing abdominal exercises, it’s important that you hit all of these different muscles. The following routines will ensure that the work is evenly distributed throughout your core.
What you’ll Need
What to Do
Complete each of the following routines once per week (each on a different day). This mean you will work-out five days per week. Try to up the difficulty every seven days by increasing the duration of an exercise or adding in another round.
- 7 Minutes to Whittle Your Middle
- Ultimate Fat-Sizzling Ab Workout
- 6-Pack in 6 Moves
- 20-Minute Oblique Workout for a Slimmer Waist
- Muffin-Top Meltaway 200
Finally, let’s talk about weight lifting.
Component #4 : Weight Lifting
Remember when we mentioned earlier that having access to gym equipment would be extremely beneficial? Well, here’s why.
For an hourglass figure, you’ll want to build up your booty and hips, right? In order to build muscle, you must push yourself out of your comfort zone. In this case, that means you’ll need to work with heavier weights than you’re probably used to. Belonging to a gym will give you access to the appropriate equipment.
For your muscles to become stronger and firmer, they must routinely be placed under tension. Weight lifting will help you accomplish this. On your weight-training days, your muscles will be placed under an appropriate amount of stress. On your rest day(s)–which are just as important–your muscles will repair and rebuild themselves, leading to growth and curvier hips! Yay!
Now, if you don’t belong to a gym and you want to workout at home, you can totally still participate. You’ll just need a few pieces of equipment.
What you Need
A gym membership OR one moderately-heavy pair of dumbbells (8-12 lbs.) / one heavy pair of dumbbells (15+ pounds) / a bench, step, or chair / yoga mat or towel / an interval timer / moderately-heavy barbell or EZ bar (optional)
What to Do
Complete each of the following routines once per week (paired with a core routine from above). This means you will still work out five days per week. Try to up the difficulty every seven days by increasing the duration of an exercise or adding in another round.
Proper form should always be at the forefront of your mind. With that being said, we want you to use the heaviest weights that you can safely use for all of the following exercises. Remember, the more challenging an exercise is, the greater your results will be. Luckily, to help you maintain proper form, each of these routines includes instructional videos.
- 5 Exercises to Get a Bubble Butt
- 3 Exercises for a Firm, Round, Lifted Butt
- 30-Minute Booty Blast Thigh Workout
- 7 Moves to Leaner Hips and Thighs
- 5 Moves to get a Rounder, Higher, Tighter Butt
It’s important to note that spot reduction is a myth. You cannot choose where your body sheds its fat from. This is why it’s so important to eat right and perform cardiovascular exercise and/or HIIT. These two components will work on melting excess fat while core training and weight lifting will firm and tone the muscles underneath.
We also want you to remember that you’re not going to wake up with an hourglass figure tomorrow. It takes time to lose weight and tone-up, which is why you must stay consistent. Put the effort in each day. After a few weeks, you’ll start to notice your body changing.
What do you think? Are you going to try it out? Let us hear your thoughts on the guide to building an hourglass figure by commenting below!