Why Is My Waist So Wide?

Do you have a big waist and want to know how to get rid of it? You’re not alone. Both men and women have a frustratingly wide waist that they want to reshape and slim down.

Studies are finding waist circumferences are on the rise. And a wider waist-to-hip ratio can be visually unappealing for many and can also be linked to severe health problems and a higher risk of death.

Many with a broad and thick waist have difficulty getting rid of it despite working out and dieting. Some of it is genetics, but you can always get a more defined waist with the right strategies.

If you’re tired of having a boxy torso and blocky waist look, there’s still hope. Here you’ll find out why your waist is so wide and the steps you can take to make your waist go back “in.”

Why Your Waist Looks So Wide (Even if Skinny)

why does my waist look wide

So what causes you to have a wide waist? The square torso look is due to a combination of genetics, excess body fat, and fat distribution.

The classic apple-shaped body is a body type that appears as a circle or roundish. Those with an apple-shaped body tend to genetically be predisposed to having a higher waist circumference than hip circumference. Therefore, genetics are really to blame here for your built-in body type.

Men are more likely to have an apple-shaped body, while women are more likely to have a pear-shaped body. But women too can easily have an apple-shaped body. It just depends on their genetics and the luck of the draw. An apple-shaped body means a higher likelihood of health problems since visceral fat surrounds internal organs and can place stress on them.

If you’re carrying too much excess body fat, then this will make your waist widen even further. If you have the genetics for an apple-shaped body, you’ll be more likely to store fat in your abdomen. So whenever you start carrying too much fat, you’ll be predestined to store this fat in your stomach.

Fat distribution is primarily genetics, so your extra fat goes first to your waist. This is why you can be skinny but still have a wide waist. Too high of body fat means you don’t have enough muscle to tone and shape your body. This leads to a skinny fat belly that causes your waist to widen even though the rest of your body is thin.

Why Men Have a Bigger Waist

wide waist male

Men tend to store excess fat in their belly and abdomen, while women are more likely to keep it in their hips and thighs. But your genetics will determine where your fat distribution is going to go.

This is one of the main reasons why men are more likely to suffer from heart disease. Excess visceral belly fat puts pressure and stress on nearby organs leading to health issues. For example, men who develop a beer belly are more likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

It’ll be easier for men to slim their waistline since they have more muscle on their bodies than women. A better muscle-to-fat ratio makes it easier to burn fat and tone up the body. This, of course, depends on the man’s current fitness level and overall body fat percentage.

The man’s height will also be a factor in slimming down the waistline. The taller the man, the easier it’ll be for the weight to distribute throughout the body. But the shorter the man, the less space for the fat to go around and will end up concentrating in the waist.

Why Women Have a Bigger Waist

wide waist female

Usually, for women in their late 20’s to early 30’s, the middle-age spread starts to kick in. This is when it feels like there was a sudden increase in waist size seemingly overnight. Why does this happen?

This is usually due to a slowing metabolism with age and lifestyle factors. Unfortunately, many women in this age range aren’t as physically active as they were in their younger years due to their job or having or raising children. Diets usually worsen gradually over the years, and many aren’t eating as healthy as they once were.

Over time these changes can “sneak up,” and then next thing you know, you look in the mirror shocked to see the blocky waist. If you’ve had children, you will also be more likely to have higher visceral and subcutaneous fat in your abdomen due to carrying the child. Then if you have an apple-shaped body you could easily have a wider waist.

Stress can also creep up over time with work, children, family, etc., and can cause increases in belly fat. The stress hormone cortisol is released from the body, leading to weight gain in the belly. A study even found women can be otherwise thin but still have excess abdominal fat due to chronic stress.

Can your waist size get smaller?

So now that you know why your waist can get so wide, does that mean you’re stuck with it forever?

Nope! Even if you’re genetically more likely to have a wide waist, that doesn’t mean you can’t improve your situation. A lot will depend on how wide your waist is, and it could be an uphill battle. But you can always slim down your waist from where it currently is.

Having a wide waist isn’t good. But, of course, most that have a wide waist don’t appreciate its appearance, and it’s also bad for your overall health. Deep visceral belly fat is linked to heart disease and other serious health issues. Getting rid of it and slimming it down should be made a priority.

If your waist is too big, you can do something about it. Sure, you might not get a totally flat stomach and an hourglass figure, but you’ll definitely want to work towards getting a slim waist. So you’re just going to have to stop what has caused the widening of the abdomen in the first place and then do what works to slim it down.

How to Reduce a Wide Waist

waist before after

The three most significant factors that will determine how able you are to get your waist smaller are your diet, exercise, and stress reduction. With that said, you might already be working on all three of these, but if you’re not doing them to the degree you need to, then there will be a lack of results.

The inability to have a better waisthip ratio can be frustrating even though you’re already working out and counting your calories. So if you’re genetically predisposed to a wider waist, you’re just going to have to take your efforts up another level to get the desired results. You don’t have to have surgery to get a smaller waist as there’s more you can do.

For your diet, you will want to limit your sugars and carbohydrates. I found most people who have trouble with excess fat are eating way too many sugars and carbs to the point their body has a hard time processing it for energy and instead stores it as fat. Metabolic syndrome develops making it hard to burn your fat for fuel. So cutting out sugar, starches, fruit juices, refined grains, and other foods high on the glycemic index will be critical.

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Then for your diet, you want to focus on eating more protein. Protein is necessary for building muscle. It will help to improve your body fat percentage and get a low body fat by adding some muscle, which burns fat too. In for at least 1 g of protein per body weight per day. If you have difficulty eating this requirement, try adding a low-carb protein shake to your daily routine.

Calories will also significantly affect how much you can trim down your waist. For example, women should keep their calories between 1200 to 1500 per day and men 1600 to 1800 per day. Healthy fats such as avocados and extra-virgin olive oil are essential, but you have to be careful as they are very calorically dense. In addition, sugar and carb-rich alcoholic beverages, such as beer, should be eliminated since they’ll add to your waist.

Lowering your stress throughout the day will help lower your cortisol levels, contributing to waking in your abdomen. I know this is easier said than done, depending on your situation but putting to lower your stress or play a more significant role than you think. It all starts with getting a good night’s quality sleep. You’ll not only have less stress the next day after a good night’s sleep, but you’ll have better self-control and won’t crave junk foods as much.

Exercises to Make Your Waist Smaller

best exercises slim waist

Exercise will also help to shape and push back your waistline. Most make the mistake of just doing a bunch of ab exercises in hopes of slimming down their waist, but this doesn’t work. Crazy enough, doing too many abs can make your stomach stick out even farther because of the increased muscle mass and excess fat.

You, of course, want to have some muscle on your abs, but most of your exercise should be focused on burning fat and building some overall muscle. But, of course, you don’t want to do a bodybuilders muscle gaining routine but focus on some full-body compound movements that elevate your heart rate. And then finish o that workout with 20 to 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise such as jogging on the treadmill. It’s best if you do your workouts in the morning, at lunchtime, or fasted state because your body will have an easier time tapping into your excess fat stores.

How Long Does It Take to Lose an Inch Off Your Waist?

Losing inches off your waist is easier and can even be more straightforward than losing weight. When it comes to “weight loss,” you could just be losing muscle (and not fat) which will further contribute to the widening waist since the fat will still be in your midsection. But adding some muscle and burning off the fat will better shape your body and thus trim down your waist.

The weight scale can deceivingly seem like you aren’t getting results since you could be gaining muscle (which weighs something) and burning fat. So be sure to use a measuring tape to track your waist circumference to track your progress.


So it may be true that your wide waist is due to genetics, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it for good. Access Spotify and your fat distribution plays a significant role and is within your control. So it’ll be critical to improve your body fat composition to slim down the waistline.

Visceral abdominal fat is not only physically unsightly for many but will also predispose you to serious health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancers. So your health needs to make sure you are cheering your waistline down. The best way to do that is through diet, exercise, and stress reduction.

The most significant diet factor is eliminating sugar and bad carbs from your diet. Eat more protein and healthy fats, but keep your calories in check. Lower your stress levels and improve sleep quality to optimize your fat-burning hormones. Then add some exercise to burn fat while building lean muscle mass that’ll tone and shape your body.

So now that you know why you have a wide waist, you also know how to get rid of it. Indeed, you might not ever have the perfect flat stomach, but the good news is you can slim down a blocky square waist. Now that you know how to get the results you’re looking for, it’s time to put them into action.