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Crunches and situps alone will not help you lose inches around your waist. If you continue to eat the same number of calories you always have, increasing situps can actually cause your waist to increase because of larger muscles. MayoClinic.com states that doing crunches and situps will strengthen your abdominal muscles but will not reduce the fat around your waist. To do that, you need a combination of diet and cardiovascular exercise.
Assessing Your Inches
Even if the rest of your body appears to be lean, having excess belly fat around the waist can lead to health complications. MayoClinc.com states that extra belly fat can cause stroke, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. Measure your waist with a tape measure just above your hip bone on bare skin. If your waist circumference is more than 40 inches for men or 35 inches for women, you need to lose weight.
Crunches and Situps
Crunches and situps are muscle-strengthening exercises where you lie on the floor and use your body weight to scrunch your belly by sitting upward toward your legs. As you lose fat around your waist your abdominal muscles will become more prominent. Doing situps daily while losing weight will make your progress more noticeable. While crunches and situps won't help you reduce the fat around your belly, the increased muscle tone can help increase your overall metabolism to burn more calories.
Daily Caloric Intake
Losing inches around the waist begins with reducing the number of calories you consume on a daily basis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that reducing your daily calorie intake by 500 calories will cause you to lose 1 pound a week. This is because 1 pound of fat is equal to about 3,500 calories. When you eat fewer calories than your body uses in a day, the body begins to lose fat tissue. Start a food journal to keep track of how many calories you eat daily. Virginia's MOVE! program recommends consuming between 1,200 and 1,500 calories daily if you weigh less than 200 pounds. If you're over 200 pounds, eat between 1,500 and 2,500 calories daily, depending on how much more than 200 pounds you are.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least two hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous activity. Aerobic activities may include running, cycling, swimming, hiking, brisk walking, martial arts, playing sports and dancing.