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!