Getting Rid of “Love” Handles: Tips Anyone Can Try

Mar 9, 2023

Despite their name, most people don’t love anything about their love handles. Love handles are a different name for the extra fat that sits on the sides of the waist and may hang out over the top of pants. Another name you may have heard it referred to is a muffin top. This fat can be stubborn to lose.

Most people aim to target this specific area with endless abdominal moves like side crunches to target the obliques. Obliques are the muscles that go down the sides of the torso. Unfortunately, this is not an effective way to lose those stubborn love handles. For you to get rid of them for good, you are going to have to make lifestyle changes such as exercise and diet. Below you will find tips to try to help lose that stubborn fat.

1. Short but Frequent Walks

Lots of people live sedentary lifestyles meaning there is little to no exercise with lots of sitting or work a desk job that involves sitting for multiple hours in a row. Finding easy ways to increase the number of calories you are burning during the day is a great way to lose excess body fat. Keith Diaz did a study on how even short walks throughout the day work to help the muscles activate. He says that short, frequent walks can aid in preventing changes in your blood pressure. Sitting for too long at a time is bad for us.

A new habit to help in getting rid of those love handles is setting a timer for every 30 minutes to at least get up and walk around for a few minutes. Creating a habit like this if you are used to sitting down all day can make a large difference in weight loss. Looking into getting some type of watch or pedometer to track the number of steps you are getting in a day is a great way to track your movement.

2. Lower Your Intake of Added Sugar

Eating healthy is key when you are trying to lose excess fat in an area of the body. Checking the amount of added sugar in things you are eating is one of the best ways to make your diet cleaner. Added sugar is found in lots of food and drinks. Foods such as candy, and cookies, or drinks like sports beverages or sodas. Added sugar is not referring to natural sugars such as fruits.

Added sugar is linked to lots of health issues such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease. Consuming an excess amount of added sugar can lead to extra body fat, especially in the stomach area. Your stomach is almost directly linked to your diet. Beware of staying away from other sugars like table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and sweetened beverages. In addition, high-sugar foods and drinks are high in calories but offer very few nutritional benefits. Staying away from added sugars can help reduce body fat, including your love handles.

3. Boost Protein and Fiber Intake

Protein helps you lose fat and helps you stay full in between meals. It may help you resist the urge to snack. Meals that are high in protein are more likely to reduce belly fat than a meal that is low in protein. Some great foods to get your protein in are nuts, eggs, seeds, chicken, and other meats. Having a diet high in protein can help you maintain your weight once you have reached your goals, including your love handles.

Filling up on fiber can also make you feel fuller for longer. It slows down digestion and helps in decreasing feelings of being hungry. Fiber has shown that the extended feeling of fullness has been shown to decrease the number of calories people are consuming during the day helping lead to weight loss. Good fiber is in foods such as nuts, oats, beans, fruits, and vegetables.

4. Weight Lifting

Participating in any kind of physical activity is good for you to lose those love handles, but implementing lifting weights into your routine may be more beneficial to you. Lifting weights could also be referred to as resistance training. This means to contract your muscles against a form of resistance to build strength. While aerobic training such as walking, running, swimming, or cycling may burn more calories, resistance training helps the body lean out and build muscle causing the body to burn fat and a greater number of calories at rest.

Aerobic exercises and strength training have been shown to complement each other effectively. It has been shown to be very effective at burning off belly fat when the two are done together. There are many different benefits to weightlifting such as decreasing fat, lowering your risk of injury, improving heart health, and more. One of the best benefits is that weightlifting slightly boosts your metabolism helping your body burn more calories throughout the day.

5. Exercises for the Obliques 

As a reminder, targeting one specific spot on the body does not work, but there are exercises that can help you tone that area. There are many exercises to help target your obliques or your sides in helping you get rid of those stubborn love handles. Remember, that area typically is made in the kitchen as they say and diet is just as important in getting rid of love handles.

Lots of abdominal exercises help target the obliques such as side planks or basic bicycle crunches. Doing a circuit of a few different things 3 to 4 times can be an effective way to get a good abdominal workout in. Check out this 10-minute workout for love handles with instructions and video assistance.

6. Drink Plenty of Water 

Water is in fact the best drink to keep you hydrated. Many people when working out like to reach for a sports drink with electrolytes or teas and juices that have sweeteners in them. Those calories and sugar found in drinks that have been sweetened can add up and cause you to gain weight around the stomach area. Instead of reaching for sweetened beverages, try plain water, sparkling water, or unsweetened tea to help with fat loss.

While most people don’t want to hear it, cutting out alcohol is an easy way to cut out some of those calories and help lose weight. Alcohol also has the tendency to increase appetite in some. It stimulates the brain cells that regulate appetite which could cause you to indulge in some extra calories. Most alcohols are filled with sugars and hefty in calories making it difficult to lose weight from your waistline. Sticking to water if you are someone who consumes lots of other beverages could be key to losing weight in your abdominal area.

7. Eat Real Foods 

One of the easiest ways to achieve your goals of getting rid of your love handles is to have a diet that is rich in filling, whole, and unprocessed foods. Lots of foods that you eat out are extremely processed and unhealthy like fast food, fried foods, and sweets are not very good for your health. Adding in more natural foods is a great way to shrink your waist.

Foods such as fruits and vegetables, nuts, lean proteins, whole grains, and seeds are always going to be better than eating consuming, unnatural foods. Preparing meals at home with whole foods, rather than reaching for the premade dish in the freezer or going out to eat at a restaurant is an excellent way to tone up that abdominal area. While it is understandable you have a social life, and things happen where you will have to eat out, there are ways to find a healthier alternative when doing so.

With a balanced diet, exercise such as implementing weight training and aerobics together, and watching your sugar intake, your love handles should hopefully start melting away with time. Diet is the most important to make this happen. Health is 80% diet and 20% exercise. Need help with your nutrition intake? Reach out to Betsy’s Nutritional Consulting today for a 1 on 1 personalized plan. Submit a message in the contact form to find out what works best for your needs!

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