Over the years I have read (or heard) that it is not possible to "spot" reduce; I do not believe this to be true because it has happened to me personally.
At one time I had "saddlebags", actually from the time I was about 18 until well into my late 40's. I was just developing that middle aged spread and I knew I needed to increase the amount of exercise I did per day. I liked dogs (still do), and began to take the dog for long walks both morning and evening, leave the car in parking spaces far from my destination, and walk, walk, walk. within six months I lost the saddle bags and some weight, but I remained somewhat heavy around the waist, a fate I still "enjoy". I simply have not put in the amount of discipline I need to concentrate on shrinking my abdomen. I am still convinced that if I give the same amount of attention to exercising the muscles in my abdomen, etc. that I cannot lose the two inches I desire to lose.
I just read an article in Bazaar (Beauty Bazaar, page 222) outlining a 25 minute exercise sequence that is believed to work, according to the expert who created this series of abdominal exercises. I am determined to complete (and although I have lost four pounds this year, I still have five to lose to reach my goal) this routine and see for myself if I can repeat my success in shaping a localized part of my body.
This article outlines six specific exercises to be performed and a diet that is reported to flatten the belly; as expected, drinking green tea, avoiding carbonated drinks, and limiting cruciferous vegetables (the gassy ones; i.e., cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc) and the legume family (beans, etc.) and drinking your eight glasses of water a day, will, in fact whittle the waist. No amount of loss is given in the article, but I will still set my goal for a solid two inches....although any amount is an improvement.