The Dangers Of Visceral Fat
You might ask: whats wrong with having a bit of extra fat around my torso? If you have excess fat built up around your waist or hips, that can be a sign of visceral fat which is defined by diabetes.co.uk as “body fat that is stored within the abdominal cavity and is therefore stored around a number of important internal organs such as the liver, pancreas and intestines”.
Apart from the muffin top not being the best look in general, storing visceral fat can lead to insulin resistance and ultimately, type 2 diabetes. The process is not instantaneous and can also be reversed through adopting a healthy diet and working to speed up your metabolism. In this article we’ll run though how to lose weight from your hips though a combination of dietary adjustments and exercises.
Why Are Wide Hips So Attractive
Wide hips are attractive because it is an indication of health, as well as youthfulness and fertility. It is a phenomenon that is hardwired into our genes, as scientists will all agree.
The attraction to wide hips is not just a preference of certain cultures and todays modern society. It is natural. It is biological.
We know this because it is pan-cultural and it spans across history .
The attraction to wider hips is an age-old, species-wide, evolutionary preference.
As a matter of fact, studies suggest our natural instincts may actually lean towards even more extreme proportions, but our modern, overweight culture subtly downplays it because having hips that are not extremely wide appears more normal.
Let’s dig a little deeper into why people instinctually find wide hips attractive…
For hundreds of thousands of years before modern medicine, maternal mortality was very high, so having wide hips ensured easier birth and that genes would be passed on. Moreover, the fat that stored around the hips, butt and thighs was important during breastfeeding, so children could be fed even when food might not be available.
Studies even suggest the fat in womens thighs and buttocks is particularly beneficial to a babys brain health – it’s good fat.
Note: Fat around the waist has the opposite effect. It signifies unhealthiness. intra-abdominal fat is highly linked to higher rates of chronic diseases.
How Wide Should My Hips Be
Most studies suggest that 0.70 or lower is the most attractive waist-to-hip ratio . 0.70 and lower is also associated with a higher fertility rate and lower rates of chronic diseases .
Other studies suggest it is 0.75 and lower, with the normal curvy WHR being 0.65-0.75.
It seems like 0.70 and lower is when the hourglass shape really shows.
That said, most doctors would suggest the ideal ratio in healthy women is anywhere from 0.65 to 0.80.
Note: this is for premenopausal women, as WHR naturally increases after menopause.
Here is a picture from a study on waist-to-hip ratio attractiveness that shows different waist-to-hip ratios to give you a better idea.
Anything in this range is perfectly fine, but if you can aim for something, you should aim for 0.70 or 0.75 and lower.
Now, the question is, how do you improve your WHR?
Lets discuss ways to achieve a better waist-to-hip ratio, as this is what attractiveness really comes down to, not just big wide hips. Having hips that are wider than the waist is so desirable because it look so healthy and feminine!
Note: For men, the average ideal WHR is under 1.00.
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Check Your Hormone Levels
After having some trouble with losing weight recently, I discovered that I had a few different issues with hormone imbalances and cortisol levels.
Hormone imbalances are extremely common for women, and play a huge part in your weight loss. They cause your body to store fat on your belly and hips, and make it very difficult to lose weight .
If you are sticking to a strict diet and workout program but cant seem to slim down your hips, then it might be worth paying a visit to the doctor or naturopath to get your hormone levels checked out. I recommend testing for estrogen, progesterone and cortisol at the very minimum.
Incorporating Strength Training To Help Make Hips Smaller
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What Is The Average Size Of Hips And Waist For A Woman
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the average waist size for a woman in the United States is 38.7 inches, and it has increased from 10 years ago when it was 37.4 inches.
There isnt much difference in the sizes across different countries. Thats because Asians and Caucasian people have similar hips measurements on average!
Why Do The Hips Get Bigger
Your hips, buttocks, and thighs get big due to many factors. Study shows that hip bones keep on growing even in your 70s. Pregnancy changes your body a lot. When you deliver your baby, your pelvic region gets wide open. When you sit for long hours at your job, fat muscles accumulate at your hips.
All these factors make your hips look bigger over time. If you dont take care of yourself, your skin on the buttocks, hips, and thighs may get cellulite. It is an accumulation of fats that make your skin look like an orange peel.
Read more about cellulite Vs. stretch marks.
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Dont Overload On Cardio
Even though Ballantyne recommended cardio for a cool down, he’s wary of its effectiveness when performed alone. Extended periods of steady state cardio, like jogging, wont do much to cut down your spare tire. “It’s not going to work as well as interval training,” Ballantyne said.
This is related to another issue, according to Ballantyne: Many guys don’t have enough muscle in the first place. Losing love handles, like bodybuilding, is a game of illusion. Muscle on your chest and back can essentially “hide” excess fat in your love handle area.
“So most guys are skinny-fat, and then try to lose love handles with cardio only, and basically become even smaller versions of themselvesbut still skinny-fat,” Ballantyne said. “It’s better to use intervals and weight training to gain muscle and lose fat at the same timewhich IS possibleand change your body’s overall appearance.”
Why Do So Many Women Want Wider Hips
Most women who exercise are looking to build bigger hips. When we surveyed our readers, almost two-thirds wanted to emphasize their hips. Its one of the most common questions we get and has been for the past ten years.
It seems wide hips and big glutes are attractive because it looks healthy. Having strong hips shows that a woman is muscular and athletic. Having a narrow waist shows that she isnt overweight. And this isnt unique to women. In fact, its directly comparable to how women prefer strong, athletic men and how they lean towards some proportions over others. For instance, women often prefer men with broader shoulders. In fact, when we surveyed women, they preferred men with stronger, more athletic butts, too.
Long story short, having a higher waist-to-hip ratio will make you look stronger, fitter, and healthier. As a result, it will make you look more attractive. Win-win.
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Growing The Glute Maximus
The gluteus maximus is the largest and strongest of the glute muscles and it has the most potential to grow. Its main job is to thrust the hips forward. These are the glute muscles that would get most worked when doing squats, deadlifts, and hip thrusts, all of which require you to thrust your hips forward. The glute maximus can also help to rotate the thigh and move the leg away from the body.
Because the maximus is to large, for the best shape itâs best to try and use a variety of exercises to hit both the upper and lower fibres of it. As you can probably guess, that means doing a variety of squat, deadlift, and hip isolation exercises. And because this is by far the largest glute muscle, this is the best way to increase the size of your hips.
However, we can take this further.
Rethink Your Core Training Routine
“Ab exercises like crunches are generally a waste of time,” Ballantyne said. The problem is, youre only working the muscles around your lower spine with crunches and situps.
Instead, you should build up your core with moves that focus on spinal stability, like planks and hollow body holds. Check out this quick video about the way your core muscles function for an idea of what you should be aiming for:
Want a smarter core workout in general? Check out Epic Abs, the program from MH fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. that inspired this video.
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Start Your Day With Lemon Water
Lemon water is a well-known fat metabolizer.
Lemon has lots of vitamin C that help boost your immune system. It also fights the free radicals which damage your skin. It balances the pH of your blood and starts a smooth metabolism.
Add the juice of half a lemon to a glass of room temperature water. You can add a teaspoon of honey if it is too sour for your taste. Stir well and drink up.
Wear Dark Colors On The Bottom
One of the easiest ways to slim hips is wearing dark colors on the bottom half of your body. As you know, dark colors shrink and bright colors expand. If you want your hips to look smaller, you do not have to wear black head to toe, but it will help if you wear dark color pants or skirts.
To take this one step further, you can pair those dark hues with lighter and brighter colors on the top half. When your outfit has a contrast, this draws emphasis to your top half to create the illusion of a more balanced shape.
You can wear a print top with solid dark color pants or a lighter color jacket to achieve this.
Sara wears an animal print top with black pants, a look that draws attention to her upper body and face and make the hips look slim.
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Best Exercises For Building Bigger Hips And A Big Round Strong Butt
The goal is to build bigger hips, so we must do exercises that build our gluteal muscles, as those are the muscles that surround the outer hips.
Youll want to hit your glutes from all angles, so you need to do a variety of movements. This will ensure you are developing your glutes in their entirety.
Here are the basics:
We will now go over various exercises that fit into the above categories, starting with vertical movements then horizontal movements, as these are your main glute builders for achieving wider hips.
Put The Lazy Bum To Work
Sitting on your bum too much? Then, you must get up and work it out. Here are a few effective exercises that you can do at home at your convenience. Make sure you do at least 3 sets of 15 reps, take 30 seconds rest between each set, and breathe in and out while doing these exercises. Here are two exercises to bring your buttocks back in shape.
- Standing Cross Kick
Step 1 Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise your arms to your side. Your palms must be facing the floor.
Step 2 Lift your right leg and kick it up in the air on your left side. Simultaneously, bring your left palm near your right foot as if you are trying to touch it. You can support your body on the balls of your left foot.
Step 3 Swing your right foot back in place. Lift your left leg, kick it up, and try to touch the right palm.
Step 4 Do this at medium speed for 3 sets and 15 reps.
Step 1 Assume the Cat Pose on the mat. Keep your palms flat on the floor, arms shoulder-width apart, and spine neutral.
Step 2 Lift your right leg and extend it at the back with the toes pointing out.
Step 3 Supporting your body on your palm and left knee, kick your right leg up and slowly lower it. Repeat this 15 times.
Step 4 Bring your right leg down. Lift your left leg off the floor, extend it behind you, and kick it up. Repeat this 15 times.
Step 5 Do this at medium speed for 3 sets and 15 reps.
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How To Get Rid Of Fatty Hips
The Harvard Medical School finds that belly fat is more dangerous to your health than hip fat, but even so, fat hips can leave you feeling self-conscious about your appearance and uncomfortable in your own skin. To get rid of fat on your hips and work toward slim, toned hips, you must combine a calorie-reduced diet with exercise that results in overall weight loss. Before you embark on your plan to lose excess hip and body fat, check with your doctor.
Are Hip Dips Good Or Bad
A common misconception is that hip dips are a sign of how healthy you are. As we’ve said, hip dips are associated with the shape of your bones… Something, it won’t surprise you to know, that cannot be changed.
Because of the variation in pelvis shapes, your hips may look different from someone else’s and that includes your hip dips, too.
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Resistance Train Those Glutes
“You will be able to somewhat target those love handlesjust keep in mind that results will be seen all over your body when you have a body fat decrease goal,” says fitness expert Adriana Gentile, whose fitness and nutrition program helps her clients achieve balance through facilitating healthy digestion, increasing natural energy, balancing hormones, deep cellular cleansing, decreasing body fat, and increasing muscle mass.
Her biggest suggestion for that “little in the middle” look that will also perk up your booty is targeting your glutes.
“Heavy resistance training in all three glute musclesyes, there are three,” Gentile says. “Your gluteus maximus is the biggest muscle that makes up your booty. This is important to hit when the main concern is losing weight in your hips because we need to shape your derriere so that the muscle becomes tight and sticks out a bit further which gives the illusion of less fat on the hips. Exercises that target your glute are big lifts like glute bridges, donkey kicks, and deadlifts.”
Are Hip Dips Normal
Hip dips are not a sign of being healthy, unhealthy, overweight or underweight, says Wiener. Although the amount of body fat you have can make hip dips more noticeable and can be the result of having a higher level of muscle mass, its important to remember that hip dips are a part of your bone structure and, while you can enhance your body shape through exercise and diet, you cannot change your bone structure.
So, tempted by any of those ‘how to lose hip dips in a week’-type videos? Scroll on by, they’re simply clickbait.
If you are worried about carrying a harmful level of body fat, there are safe ways to lose weight well, bringing your fat to muscle ratio into healthier balance. Check out our expert-lead, safe, sustainable advice on how to lose body fat, how many calories to eat to maintain safe fat loss or how to calculate the best macros for fat loss, for you.
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