45 Easy Habits for a Smaller Waist Size

Woman with a small waist size in sports bra and underwear on baby blue background
What truly impacts waist size? To answer this question, HUM has conducted our largest study to date on health habits and waist size. We asked over 13,000 women aged 18-44 about their food, drink, lifestyle choices, and waist size to determine best practices for those on the journey to feel amazing about their bodies. Discover all our amazing findings in the infographic below.  

Infographic - 45 simple habits for a smaller waist size - The Wellnest by HUM Nutrition


We measured self-reported waist size and the habits that followed. Are you curious as to why? As every body is shaped differently, it can be difficult to measure what it means to have a healthy body. You may have heard of Body Mass Index (BMI), based on height and weight, as an indicator of your well-being. However, BMI calculations have definite limitations. Particularly, a recent study by the Mayo Clinic found that waist circumference was actually associated with a higher risk of death regardless of BMI.


We learned a ton about the health habits that impact waist size. We divided them into five categories: food, drinks, exercise, mindset, and routine. In the graphic above, you’ll see some of the best and worst habits we found when it comes to slimming down.


Regularly choosing small portions is the number one habit common among those with a small waist size. In the 18-24 year old age group, 17.1% of those who regularly ate small portions had a small size. Furthermore, barely 3.9% of small-portioned eaters reported a large waist size. The trend continues similarly over time, as it’s the number one key habit for 25-34 year olds and the number two key habit for 35-44 year olds in staying trim. As expected, on the other end of the spectrum, those who consumed larger portion sizes more consistently reported a larger waist size. Particularly among the 35-44 year old age group, only 4.4% of those regularly choosing larger portions were fitting into small sizes. The lesson here is simple: Eat until you feel comfortable, not until you’re overloaded. Smaller portions equal a smaller waist, and they’ll leave you looking and feeling your very best. Tip: Need an extra hand in controlling your portion size? Caralluma fimbriata, a key ingredient in Skinny Bird, is derived from an edible cactus known for satiating hunger to feel fuller longer and prevent overeating. Hello, skinny jeans!


Here’s something to toast to! We found a positive correlation between wine consumption and waist size. Women aged 35-44 were 2.5 times more likely to be in the 29” group when reporting daily wine consumption. While we don’t recommend overindulging, we were (happily) surprised to learn we didn’t have to hide away the rosé just yet. This finding is especially cause to celebrate, since it looks like soda and fruit juice are out. Soda drinkers were half as likely to be skinny as their counterparts, demonstrating just how negative sugar can be on the waistline.


Although all forms of sport and exercise showed a positive correlation to a slim waist size, yoga surprisingly reigned as the number-one habit. Yoga beat out the gym, regular exercise, and sports. Namaste!


One of the most striking showings is the importance of having a healthy mind in addition to a healthy body. It’s unclear from this analysis whether waist size informs the mindset or vice versa, but the delineation was obvious. For example, slimmer people more often reported feeling energetic, focused, happy, loved, and relaxed. Meanwhile, feelings of weight concerns, sadness, tiredness, and stress were much more common among those with larger waists. While causation is up to debate, it’s clear that consideration of your attitude when attempting to lose weight can’t be underestimated. Further research into this trend could prove fascinating.


Routines we found linked to a smaller waist include meditation and cooking. They show that turning healthy decisions into healthy routines can go a long way in achieving your health goals. Smoking seemed to have a negative connection to a smaller waist. This finding put a nail in the coffin of the old Hollywood myth that smoking is a glamorous pastime of the thin and beautiful.


Last month, we looked at the 23 health habits most linked with acne breakouts. We received overwhelming responses about what surprised you and what really helped to understand how beauty starts from within. As a result, this month we decided to dig deeper into an issue many of us struggle with: weight. We looked at two groups out of 13,028 female consumers. The first reported a waist size below 29 inches, and the second reported a waist size greater than 35 inches. Our thorough analysis of the information we received on diet, lifestyle, and health helped us determine the habits most significant in shrinking your waistline. Now it’s time to hear from you! What shocked you, what helped you, what will you continue to do or what will you change to become your most empowered, confident self? Take our three-minute quiz to get a detailed report personalized around your lifestyle and health habits, prepared by your very own nutritionist.
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