Having a small waist in proportion to your body shape is considered to be an attractive feature in both men and women. Although your natural waist size is mainly determined by genetics, it is possible to achieve a smaller waist through weight loss, dedicated exercising and strategic clothing choices. Be prepared to change your diet. Getting a smaller waist will require weight loss, which cannot be achieved through exercise alone. You will also need to adhere to a healthy diet and reduce your calorie intake in order to really see results. This will require discipline and determination. In addition to reducing your calorie intake, there are also some smart food choices you can make that will specifically help to reduce your waistline. ♥ For example, in a scientific study, people who ate all whole grains (in addition to five servings of fruits and vegetables, three servings of low-fat dairy, and two servings of lean meat, fish, or poultry) lost more belly fat than another group that ate the same diet, but with all refined grains. Remember that fruits have sugar, so exceeding your intake of fruits per day will impede your progress. ♥ Keep in mind that in order to lose a pound of weight, you will need to cut 3500 calories from your diet. Health specialists advise that the optimal level of healthy weight loss is one to two pounds a week, so it is not recommended that your starve yourself or follow fad diets in order to lose weight more quickly. Start the day with a healthy breakfast. Kicking off the day with a healthy, balanced breakfast is one of the best things you can do when following a weight-loss diet. A good breakfast kick starts the metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories throughout the day. It also keeps you fuller for longer, reducing your tendency to snack throughout the morning and afternoon, which may result in a higher calorie intake overall. ♥ Try eating a combination of filling wholegrain cereals and breads, protein-rich eggs and high-vitamin fruits for the perfect balanced breakfast. If you're on the go, grab a fruit smoothie and a cereal bar for convenient, yet filling goodness. ♥ You should also try to drink a glass of water before breakfast (and every other meal throughout the day) as this prevents your body from confusing thirst with hunger, which may lead to you eating more than you need. Plus it helps to keep you hydrated, which is always important. Eat smaller, more frequent meals. It is very common for dieters to try to starve themselves between meals, with the result that they actually eat much more than necessary when the food is finally in front of them. One of the best kept secrets of successful dieters is that they actually eat more frequently throughout the day, they just eat smaller meals. ♥ Eating smaller, more frequent meals prevents dieters from becoming too hungry, causing them to eat less overall. It also stimulates the metabolism, which allows the body to burn more calories throughout the day. ♥ Try eating six small meals a day, rather than your regular three large ones. You'll find sticking to your weight-loss plan much easier in the long-run if you're not in a constant state of hunger! Eat healthy fats. Many dieters believe that they need to avoid fat like the plague when trying to lose weight. However, eating a certain amount of healthy fat is essential for a balanced diet and can actually aid weight loss. In fact, studies suggests that a diet with a higher ratio of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) (Avocado's, nuts, seeds, soybeans, chocolate) can prevent the accumulation of belly fat. As a result, 25 to 30% of your daily calorie intake should come from such healthy fats. ♥ Polyunsaturated fats - such as the Omega-3 fatty acids found in mackerel, salmon, herring, walnuts, canola oil and tofu - are another type of healthy fat that you should try to incorporate into your diet. They help to lower bad cholesterol and boost brain function ♥ Trans fats, on the other hand, (found in margarine, crackers, cookies--anything made with partially hydrogenated oils) result in more fat being deposited in the abdomen, so you should avoid these as much as you can. Get more fiber in your diet. Fiber-rich foods are an essential component of any healthy diet, for a number of reasons. Firstly, fiber-rich foods help to normalize bowel movements, which minimizes bloating and blockages. Secondly, fiber-rich foods help you to stay fuller longer and may require additional chewing time, thus preventing overeating. High-fiber foods also tend to be lower in calories than other food types. ♥ Try to incorporate a wide range of high-fiber foods into your diet, to get the benefits of both soluble and insoluble fibers. Examples of soluble fibers include oats and barley, peas and beans, apples, carrots and citrus fruits. Examples of insoluble fibers include wheat bran and products containing whole-wheat flower, nuts, beans and green vegetables. ♥ Soluble fiber, in particular, has also been shown to lower insulin levels, which can speed up the burning of visceral belly fat. ♥ Plain water is the best alternative, as it flushes out your system, reduces bloating and keeps the body hydrated. However, if you find plain old water too boring, try drinking water with a hint of flavoring like mint leaves, lemon, lime, or even toss in a few frozen raspberries or create a combination- Be creative! Vitamin water, or naturally sweetened iced teas also make a significantly healthier alternative to sodas. ♥ Don't use straws. You should also avoid using straws to sip your drinks, as straws cause you to suck more air into your stomach as you drink, leading to bloating and a bigger belly. Drink straight from the cup instead to avoid Avoid processed foods. Even if you are carefully monitoring your portion sizes and consistently working out, your weight loss can be significantly impaired by a continued consumption of processed foods. This is because processed foods typically have high sugar and starch contents, which limit weight loss and lead to the build up of harmful toxins. ♥ Be extra careful when it comes to products that are marked "non-fat", such as cheeses, breads, yogurts, etc. These products may have a low fat content, but they are usually packed with extra sugar and empty carbohydrates, and offer very little, if any, nutritional value. Some frozen processed organic meals are actually not too bad, as long as you make sure to carefully read all the labels and check the content and ingredients list. ♥ You should also avoid processed food products with a high salt content, such as ready-meals and frozen goods, as the salt leads to water retention and causes bloating. Just go for fresh foods instead of pre-packaged or frozen whenever possible.