It is not possible to lose belly fat in a week. But you will surely be making progress in that week. Though the phrase is cute but the love handles are not. That’s why you are looking for how to get rid of love handles.
Love handles are a presentation of excess body fat in the belly area. This is the fat that is visible around your waist on the sides. And for women this fat protrudes over the sides of their dress. Women call this muffin top. This fat gives a jiggly appearance and is subcutaneous, which means that it is just under the skin.
This is different from visceral fat which is deeper inside your body and mostly surrounds body organs. Excess of visceral fat is dangerous and can lead to many diseases like heart disease, metabolic syndrome, hypertension and diabetes. (1)
So, there is at least some consolation that love handles are not as bad as visceral fat. (2)
But still it makes your body look fat and out of shape. That is the reason many people are searching for a quick fix for helping them know how to get rid of side fat.
Are muffin tops and love handles the same thing?
They are not the same things. However, when you have love handles, your back and sides will give appearance of muffin tops when you wear a dress that fits around the waist. So, practically, muffin tops is a result of having love handles. Therefore, if you are looking for how to get rid of muffin top, you need to focus on how to lose love handles. Muffin tops will disappear as a result.
What causes love handles?
Love handles appear when you have excess body fat around the belly area. This can be due to a sedentary lifestyle, poort diet or certain medical conditions. Here are the reasons you may be having love handles:
- Unhealthy diet that is full of foods and drinks with added sugar, fats, processed food and energy drinks.
- Little to no physical activity.
- Lack of sleep. When you are running a sleep deficit for a long time, you will sooner than later develop love handles.
- Age is another factor. As we age, our body’s metabolism slows down and fat starts to accumulate faster than before.
- Medical conditions like hypothyroidism or a hormone like cortisol going overdrive.
What is the best exercise to get rid of love handles?
Actually there is a disappointment in store here for you. There is no workouts to get rid of love handles.
This might be surprising but it is a fact that you can not focus your exercise routines on a particular area of the body and lose fat in that area only. Medical research has no evidence for that. (3) (4) (5)
So if your exercises for love handles are those that you mostly see in advertisements that promise great looking abs without any love handles, it will not work.
But I am not entirely discounting the importance of exercises for back fat or belly fat. To lose body fat you will have to take a three-pronged approach. Here are our simple ways to get rid of love handles:
Start eating healthy from today
There is a saying that abs are made in the kitchen and not in the gym. There is a lot of truth to this. You most probably got these love handles from eating unhealthy. In order to reverse the process, you will have to start eating healthy. Here are the most important healthy eating habits that will help you remove stubborn love handles:
- Eliminate empty calories from your diet. Most of these are in drinks. No colas, juices (fresh or off the shelf). Drink coffee and green tea as your leisure drinks. And by coffee we mean black coffee. Also, fried food and high calorie foods like chips and nuggets should be eliminated to reduce love handles.
- Avoid added sugar. Almost all processed foods have some sugar or salt added to them for taste enhancement. Processed foods like cakes, cookies, chips, sweets, chocolates, fried foods are loaded with added sugar that go straight to enhance the appearance of your love handles. Try to cut back on processed food and you will indirectly cut back on added sugar in your diet.
- Eat vegetables and fruits because these are full of nutrients and because of their high fiber content and complex carbohydrates, you will feel fuller for longer and hence eat fewer calories in a day.
- Add lean protein to your diet. You can get it in chicken, fish, eggs and lean meat.
- Eat high fiber foods because they have been linked with weight loss. So beans, avocados, whole wheat bread and oatmeal are your friends in your endeavor to get rid of love handles.
- Enjoy healthy fats. While trying to get rid of belly fat doesn’t mean that you have to completely forego fats in your diet. In fact, fat is an essential component of a healthy diet. You should focus on healthy fats that you can find in avocado, nuts, fatty fish and olive oil.
Improve your lifestyle
And by lifestyle we don’t mean that you change your car for a new model. It means introducing healthy changes in how you spend your days and nights.
You need to get enough sleep because lack of sleep causes obesity. Try to reduce stress in your life because stress leads to mindless eating and you keep padding up your love handles. Stop alcohol consumption because we all are fully aware of beer belly.
Cardio and resistance exercise
Exercise is good for your health. Apart from that it keeps your metabolism at optimum level and when you workout you burn calories. You should target cardio exercise exceeding 40 minutes every day. You can also try walking for weight loss. If you can manage 12000 steps every day, you will be burning many calories.
Moderate intensity exercise like brisk walking, biking, swimming or jogging should be an important element of your daily routine.
Cardio is the best exercise to get rid of love handles. However, keep in mind that the fat around your belly will be the last to go because first your body will burn the fat stored deep inside your body, which is more important to lose because it is a greater health risk.
Along with cardio, you need to include resistance training or weight lifting in your exercise routine on two days of the week at least. It will supercharge your metabolism and build your muscles which burn calories even when you are resting.
Targeted abdominal exercises
As we noted above, it is not possible to use specific exercises to reduce fat around your waist. But targeted abdominal exercises can help you strengthen and tone your muscles under that layer of fat.
What about the bent over flys for losing love handles? In fact, it is advised by fitness instructors to avoid these if you are targeting to lose fat around your waist at sides. First because it is not possible to spot reduce that fat by doing this exercise. Second because it may further broaden your muscles at the back, giving it a fatter appearance.
But it is advisable that you also try side planks and bicycles as resistance exercises because these will build the muscles under that jiggly fat called love handles. Once your love handles will be gone, you will have a toned back rather than muffin tops.
Two easy exercises you can easily do at home that target muscles in the belly area are side plank and bicycles crunch.
Take home points
The above tips to get rid of love handles will work their magic but it will be a few weeks before you will see the result because the belly fat will be the last fat to go.
You have to be really watchful of what you eat. Avoid bad diet and keep moving and you will be well on your way to a slimmer and beach ready waistline without muffin tops.