Guide on How to Measure Your Waist without Tape Measure

We’ve all been there: we want to know our waist size, maybe to be sure of our clothing size, but we do not have a tape measure to check our body measurements. Perhaps you want to buy a cute top that you just saw online. Or maybe you want to start a new weight loss journey, and want to keep a record.

Regardless, there are multiple ways to carry out waist measurement, without necessarily having to bring out a tape measure. Here are some ways for you to keep tabs on your waist size, without having to bend over backward to find some tape measure.


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Method 1: Print-out measuring tape (BEST METHOD)

We have made our very own easy-to-use print out waist measuring tape. Download the free waist measuring tape here!

All you have to do is download the template, print it out at full 100% size, cut the pieces to size, and then attach the pieces with glue or tape. Our template was made to be accurately printed on US 8.5”x11” paper, which means they will show exact measurements when you put them together.

Method 2: Use a piece of string, floss, or yarn

You can also try measuring your waist using string, floss, or yarn. However, to do that, you will need a ruler.

When taking your measurements, you might want to take off your clothing first – or at least raise it above the waist area. A bulky top or oversized pair of pants, for instance, might lead to inaccurate measurements. So, make sure that you take the measurements on bare skin.

Find your way around the true waistline. Typically, it should be somewhere between the top of your hips and your ribcage, just above the belly button. Your waistline is usually the smallest part of your belly. If you still have problems finding the waistline, try bending your body to the side. You’ll see a crease forming, and that’s where your natural waistline would be.

Wrap the whole length of the string, floss, or yarn around the waistline. Make sure that it’s parallel to the floor – snug, but not too tight. Also, don’t suck your belly fat in; keep your posture as natural as possible. At the same time, do not take your measurements when you are inhaling, but rather when you are exhaling. This is because your stomach slightly expands when you are inhaling. Cut the string with a pair of scissors, or use a marker on the spot where the two ends meet.

Take a ruler or a yardstick to see how long it is. Yardsticks are longer so you will likely see the length right away, but using a ruler might have you placing it several times. Make sure you line the ruler up precisely and line up the numbers.

Method 3: A dollar bill

Here’s an odd method, but one that will certainly work: use a dollar bill. Every dollar bill in the U.S. measures exactly 6.14 inches. Therefore, all you have to do to get an accurate waist size is to wrap the dollar bills around you and multiply it by that number.

For example, let’s say that you need to use only 4 dollar bills on your waist. Multiply that by 6.14, and you’ll get a waist circumference of 24.36 inches. If you get a dollar that is overlapping the other, all you have to do is fold it in halves or thirds. For example, a half dollar bill is 3.125 inches, whereas a third of it is 1.25 inches.

It would make it much easier for you if you tape the dollar bills together. This way, you’ll get a more accurate measurement and you won’t have bills falling all around you.

Method 4: Printer paper

Printer paper also doubles as a good way to measure yourself, as it measures exactly 8.5 inches by 11 inches (or 22 by 28 cm). It’s basically the dollar bill method, but you are using something with a larger circumference.

Similar to the dollar bill, you will also need to tape the paper at the edges and wrap it around you. Make sure you’re using regular printer paper, and not a type that is too long or too thin. By doing so, the measurements might end up being inaccurate.

If you end up with a piece of printer paper overlapping the other, simply fold it in halves or thirds. For instance, a half printer paper has a total of 4.25 inches (10.8 cm), and if you divide it by thirds, you get 2.83 inches (7.8 cm).

Bear in mind that European printer paper has a slightly different size as compared to the U.S. While in the U.S. it goes by 8.5 x 11 inches, in Europe, it goes by 8.27 x 11.69 inches (or 21 by 29 centimeters).

Method 5: Your hand

When everything else fails, simply use your hand. The outstretched hand, measured all the way from the tip of the thumb towards the tip of the pinky, is 9 inches on average (23 cm). Moreover, the first joint from your index finger (i.e., from the fingertip to the top knuckle) measures 1 inch (or 2.5 cm) in length.

To make it easier, you should mark in increments. Use eyeliner, for example, as you can easily take it off. Bear in mind that these measurements are not exactly accurate, but can give you an average size.

What Is a Normal Waist Size?

The normal waist size and bmi generally depends on the woman. For example, the waist size of a 20-year-old woman has a different “normal” as compared to a 40-year old woman. On average, however, a normal and healthy waist size for adult women is around 35 inches or less for younger women. If you go past that size, you might want to consult a doctor.

Teenage and young adult women tend to have a smaller waist – the normal healthy waist ranging around 30 and 32 inches. That being said, this number is just an average, as each woman has a different body build.

For instance, a petite woman with a smaller frame will have a different sized waist compared to a taller woman. The taller woman may not have any extra fat, but her bone structure might make it seem like she has a bigger waist.

How to Decrease Your Waist Size

If you want to decrease your waist size, there are multiple ways for you to do so. Some are traditional, others are relatively uncommon options – but just as effective. With that in mind, here is how you may take off those extra centimeters so that you can look perfect whenever you want.

Habit 1: Waist Training

Waist training can give you the best of both worlds: immediate results together with long-term results. A waist trainer uses the power of compression, basically “relocating” the fat around your midsection and giving you a smaller waist. Acting like a corset, it will take off the extra inches the moment you put it on for the first time.

With that in mind, waist trainers can also help you lose inches for good, along the way. First things first, while the compression effect does not push your organs together or anything dangerous like that, it will still put pressure on your stomach. This, in turn, will cause you to eat less per meal than you normally would.

Plus, waist trainers have a thermal effect that will cause you to sweat more than you usually would. By sweating, you are burning off fat, which means that eventually, your waist will begin to look smaller. Fitness belts such as the one provided by Luxx Curves have a sweat-inducing technology that allows you to burn more body fat – therefore, reducing your waist size much faster.

Habit 2: A Clean Diet

If you want to lose inches around your waistline, then there is one thing that you should make sure of: that your diet is a clean one. No one says anything about a slice of pizza here and there or perhaps a cheat day when you eat some junk food. That being said, this should not be your whole diet.

Stick to healthy foods if you want to lose inches around the midsection. Go for diets that are rich in fruits and veggies – specifically ones that can provide vitamin D, soluble fiber, and probiotics. These can help your metabolism while preventing fat from being stored.

You might also want to keep away from refined carbs. Sugar and processed carbs are a no-no if you want to get rid of fat and cut your calories. Rather than eating a lot of junk food packed with the wrong kind of fat, try eating healthy fats instead.

Make sure your diet is rich in avocado, fatty fish, cashew, and almonds. These ingredients provide the good type of fat – the kind that will not send your heart into higher risk of a cholesterol-packed heart disease frenzy. It is also much easier for your heart to digest this kind of fat.

Also, we know that salty food is good and you can’t help seasoning all your food with it – but at the same time, salt is the worst thing that can happen to your waistline. Salt causes you to retain water, which in turn can make your waistline swell. When you are feeling bloated and not because you ate too much food in general, it might just be because you had too much salt in the last couple of days (or weeks).

While you are here, try swapping your average cup of coffee with a cup of green tea. Coffee is good enough as it is low in calories, but green tea has more health benefits. Aside from the usual dose of caffeine, you get some L-theanine in your system as well. This will reduce your stress and anxiety while giving your metabolism a boost.

Habit 3: Fitness

If you want to reduce the size of your waist, don’t expect only the diet to be enough. Sure, diets help, and you might indeed get rid of an inch or two – but if you want to get rid of those awkward bulges, you need to pack some exercises in there as well.

Go for exercises that target your waist in particular. Yoga, for instance, has proven to be quite an effective choice when it comes to trimming down the waistline. Plus, since it can help you manage stress as well, it keeps you away from stress eating.

Planks are also great for the muscles around your core area. It’s a one-size-fits-all kind of exercise, one that targets your abs, your butt, your arms, everything. What’s important is that you keep the posture correctly, without curving your body parts as you are planking.

Crunches are great to tone your abs as well, and you might want to ensure you add a lot of oblique exercises there. Exercises such as the candlestick dipper can chip away at the side of your waist – so, this is a routine likely to give you that hourglass figure.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises are also helpful for slimming down your waist, as they can offer you a fat-burning cardio workout. This can help you burn away the extra calories, and it is often more effective than your daily cardio workout. For HIIT, try going on the treadmill, biking, running, or other activities that have a brief period of “intense.”


Over 250 Glowing Reviews!

Sculpt Your Body with our Waist Trainers

We help women shed that stubborn belly fat by using body contouring garments that help support and shape the waistline so you can look fabulous and feel confident!

Summary: You Don’t Need To Buy Measuring Tape to Measure Your Waist

As you can see, the world is not coming to an end if you don’t have a measuring tape. You just need to be creative enough. Whether you use print-out tape, printer paper, string, dollar bills, or just your hand, you can still get an average measurement for your waist.

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