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An hourglass figure can really attract attention and increase your self-confidence, especially when you’re out and about in a swimsuit at the pool or the beach.

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Getting an hourglass figure is as much about building up the right muscles as it is about losing weight from the right areas. In order to do both and get the figure you want, you’ll have to focus on specific areas during your workout routine, while cutting a few things from your diet. Here are the specifics:

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1. Retool Your Diet

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Do you always eat things like meatball subs, flavored popcorn, cookies, hot wings, burgers, and fries? None of these things have very much nutritional value, so shift your diet away from them.

Replace them with things like chicken, lean beef, seafood, fruits, vegetables (especially leafy, green ones), beans, oats, whole-grain breads, and low-fat dairy foods. These food choices give you more energy and less fat.

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2. Commit To A Water-Only Drinking Plan

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Starting right now, choose not to drink anything with alcohol or lots of sugar in it, including mixed drinks, wine, beer, soda, dessert coffees, sweetened iced tea, and fruit punches. Replace all of these beverages with good, old-fashioned water.

All these alcoholic and sugary beverages have very little or no nutrient value and lots of calories, so they contribute to weight gain. Water contains no calories, plus it keeps you much healthier by keeping your body hydrated and removing toxins.

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3. Switch To Small, Regularly-Spaced Meals, Including Breakfast

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If you don’t already eat breakfast every morning, it’s time to start. After breakfast, continue eating in small portions every few hours throughout your day.

Scientific studies conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH) have demonstrated that people who do not eat breakfast and eat larger meals fewer times a day are often heavier, while those who eat smaller meals 4 to 5 times a day, beginning with a healthy breakfast, often weigh less.
4. Start Working Out Daily

If you want that hourglass figure as soon as possible, developing regular workout habits is a necessity.

Your new workout routine should include several different types of activities. For an hourglass figure, you should focus on weight training, cardio, and abdominal exercises.

Weight training: You should choose exercises that work the muscle in your thighs, hips, butt, back, shoulders, and chest, such as step-ups, lunges, squats, bent-over rows, bench presses, and shoulder presses.

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You should only be able to do 8 to 12 repetitions of each exercise – if you can do more comfortably, then you need heavier weights. Do 4 to 5 sets of each of these exercises three times a week, and alternate these workouts with cardio workouts.
Cardio: Your cardio workouts should be interval workouts – they should alternate between low- and high-intensity activities every couple of minutes within an overall workout period of 45 minutes.

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Some activities to consider are indoor cycling, elliptical training, running, dancing, jumping rope, rowing, and step aerobics. Do these workouts on the days when you aren’t doing weight training.
Abdominal Exercises: Use exercises such as Russian twists, V-ups, incline and reverse crunches, bicycle maneuvers, and alternating leg raises to give all your abdominal muscles – your obliques, lower abs, and upper abs – a good workout.

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Do three or four sets of these exercises with 15-20 reps per set, right after each interval-training workout.

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