How to Lose Love Handles

How to Lose Love Handles

There is simply, nothing to love about love handles. Like gum on the bottom of a shoe, the unflattering fat deposits on your hips and midsection haunt you in the dressing room, the gym, and even getting ready for a hot date. It seems every outfit only emphasizes these annoying fatty parts above the hips.

Yet, most people have them, and few people know how to lose love handles. Losing love handles is no easy task for the average person. It takes a lot of dedication and perseverance because love handles love to stay around [1]. But it is time to say enough is enough, and fight off love handles once and for all. It won’t be easy, but learning how to lose love handles will be worth it.

What Are Love Handles

The term love handles makes these irksome pockets of fat sound like the most adorable body part in the world. However, the physical presence of love handles does not inspire many warm and fuzzy feelings.

Love handles are excess fat that sits on top of the oblique muscles. For those who do not know, the obliques are large muscles in the midsection above the hips and below the rib cage [2]. However, these mighty muscles may have been obscured beneath a not so lovely handle of fat all your life. Love handles are made of subcutaneous fat, which is easy to gain and tough to lose [2].

Despite the resiliency of fat in this area of the body, love handles do not pose the same health risks as abdominal fat. These are more of a fashion faux paux than eventual hospital visit.

ReWork Your Workout

Many people assume that the abs muscles and oblique muscles are one and the same and that the same exercises will target fat in both areas. This is simply not true. How to lose love handles is entirely different than building strong, toned abs. Oblique muscles require a workout routine all their own [2].

A few exercises will specifically target and work the oblique muscles. The first is side plank [3]. This is a simple hold where you balance on one elbow, forearm and side of the same foot. Continue to lengthen the hold and be certain to repeat on both sides. For added oblique work, include hip dips while you remain in the hold. But do not let your hips rest on the ground [1].

Another awesome oblique exercise is done on the bosu ball. Start with both knees on the bosu and both hands flat on the floor in front of you. Then lift your right leg and left arm, crunch both the arm and leg together. Repeat this movement ten times and then again, with opposite leg and arm [2].

Lastly, give Spider-Man press-ups a try. This heart pounding exercise is great for abs, obliques, and upper arms. You will start with hands and toes on the floor. Then lower into a full push-up position [4]. Once at the bottom of a push-up, bring your right leg into your right shoulder.

Push up into the starting position as you return your right toes to the ground. Repeat until tired and then do the same exercise on the other side with the left leg [4]. While difficult, these exercises are only the starting point for how to lose love handles.

Broaden Your Thought

The key to how to lose love handles involves more than spot reducing exercises. It is important to realize that love handles are composed of fat. For this reason, building muscle and improving strength will, likely, not be enough to shred the unwanted fat. For many people beautiful midsections are hiding underneath hard to lose pounds and stubborn muffin top.

For years, personal trainers have warned that it takes more than working a single part of the body to see results [5]. This is true for sticky fat around the midsection. Even if the obliques are strong and taught, these muscles could be covered by excess fat that is hiding them from view.

This is where cardio and full body workout routines come into play. Cardiovascular workouts burn a massive amount of calories. Take on between a half hour and hour of cardio, just a few days a week and focus the rest of your time in the gym on weight training and strength building [3]. This good mix of exercises will allow your body to effectively burn off some of the excess fat and build the muscles underneath.

Cut Pre-Prepared and Processed Foods

For some people no amount of abs exercises or miles jogged through the neighborhood will slim the midsection. The midsection is, notoriously, a place of stick and stubborn fat [1]. Despite this demoralizing reputation, there are ways outside exercise to target and lose love handles. Start by cutting the processed foods from your diet.

Whole, natural foods encourage fat loss throughout the body. When it comes to targeting difficult or problem areas, such as how to lose love handles, replacing processed or packed foods with vegetables, fruits, and whole grains is essential [5].

As well, eliminating pre-prepared and processed foods from your diet is a thoughtful way to change your diet permanently, not a short-term fix. When the love handles are gone, this unprocessed lifestyle will keep them gone.

Drink Less Alcohol

Few people want to hear this, but one of the keys for how to lose love handles is consuming less alcohol [5]. This does not mean you have to cut all of the fun from your life or social events from your schedule, but it does mean cutting back the drinking to a moderate amount.

Alcohol adds a lot of unnecessary calories to a weekly diet. When you cut these calories, particularly if you were previously a big partier, it can have an immediate and noticeable effect on your physique. When it comes to uncovering a sculpted midsection and losing love handles, there are few fixes faster than putting down the beers.

Revamp Your Diet

How to lose love handles is partly about finding the slow carb foods. This means it is out with the white bread and in with the whole bran. You need foods that are going to release sugars slowly and keep you full longer. Think sweet potatoes, shredded wheat, and black rice [6].

Each of these foods is packed with fiber and very few sugars. Plus, many of these complex carbs come with a ton of antioxidants that help your body remove toxins and other irritants that are preventing positive weight loss [6]. All great nutrients for starting the process of losing those love handles.

 

References:

[1] http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/10-oblique-exercises-flat-stomach-fast

[2] http://www.active.com/fitness/articles/4-exercises-to-help-you-lose-your-love-handles

[3] http://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness/say-good-bye-to-your-love-handles.aspx

[4] http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/abs/exercises/ab-exercises-for-obliques/?page=7

[5] http://www.mensfitness.com/weight-loss/burn-fat-fast/how-get-rid-love-handles

[6] http://www.eatthis.com/foods-that-melt-love-handles

Anthony Alayon
 

Anthony Alayon is a Certified Personal Trainer & Certified Sports Nutritionist with the ISSA. He’s written for Natural Muscle Magazine, Bliss Magazine, Bodybuilding.com, About.com (A New York Times Company), Labrada.com, and several other popular fitness websites. He’s taught thousands how to eat better, and build the physique they could only dream of (including numerous pro athletes). Today, he’s here to share his knowledge and experience with you!

>