Are you tired of flab on your waist and an annoying bra bulge? The thing is, it’s impossible to get rid of fat in just one specific area of your body – your back and sides, in this case. What you need to get a slim back is a combination of diet and regular exercise, which will help you shed extra fat all over your body, including your back. In addition to a healthier diet and exercise, you’ll also need patience and dedication to your goal, and your effort will pay off greatly!

If your goal is to make your back slimmer, here are a few tips that can help:

1. Get at least eight hours of sleep every night.

Did you know that adequate amount of sleep is just as important for fat loss as diet and exercise? That’s because cutting back on sleep can throw off balance the hormones that regulate the feelings of satiety and hunger. When you are sleep-deprived, you can feel hungry when you actually aren’t. So, get enough shut-eye to lose fat, have energy to exercise, and avoid serious issues that a lack of sleep can cause. By the way, you burn quite a bit of calories when you sleep!

2. Drink plenty of water.

You need to drink enough water daily to maintain normal rates of metabolism and aid fat loss. Limit drinks that dehydrate you; these include sodas, coffee, tea, and alcohol. Drink about eight glasses of plain water throughout the day. If you are not too excited about plain water, put some fruit slices into it to make the water tastier and to get a low-calorie drink.

3. Combine cardio and strength-training.

To lose fat from your back and other areas of your body, you should exercise regularly (preferably every day). If your focus is on losing fat, not on building muscle, do 30-minute sessions of cardio on five days of the week and include at least 2 strength-training sessions a week into your exercise plan.

4. Eat fewer calories than you burn.

To lose extra fat from your back, you need to start eating fewer calories than you burn daily. The optimal calorie deficit is 500 to 1,000 calories every day. Fasting and crash diets are not recommended if you want to lose fat in a healthy way, as they can actually slow down your metabolism. So, achieve a calorie deficit by eating the amount of calories recommended for your age and gender, and by exercising regularly.

5. Choose carbs wisely.

Slow carbs will keep you full longer, so ditch fast carbs, such as white flour and candy, and eat slow carbs instead. Good sources of slow carbs include whole grains, such as oats and barley, and sweet potatoes.

6. Consume enough protein.

Most weight-loss diets are protein-rich. A few good sources of protein are beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, milk and dairy products, and soy products.

7. Eat enough fiber.

Fiber keeps your digestive system running smoothly and helps you stay full longer. Good sources of fiber are whole grains, crunchy vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

8. Reduce inflammation.

Chronic inflammation can hamper your weight loss efforts and contribute to other problems, including heart disease. Reduce inflammation with antioxidant-rich foods, such as cherries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, dark leafy greens, and citrus fruits.

9. Use a visual trick.

Eating your meals from smaller plates can help you control your portions. Another trick is to use chopsticks instead of forks, so you’ll eat slower and be able to stop eating when you’re actually full.

Getting rid of back fat and fat in other areas can seem like a long and tedious task. But be sure, your efforts will pay off greatly in the long run!