With a name like love handles, you might think we were talking about something pleasant. Unfortunately, this is the nickname given to the excess stores of fat around your waist and hips.
While not as dangerous as visceral fat, it is substantially harder to get rid of. As positive as that may seem from a health perspective, it’s still not good for you and it’s a major negative from an appearance standpoint.
As with anything in the world of fitness, you need to be willing to dedicate time and effort to make the changes you desire. Love handles are no different, as while they will certainly take some effort to move, it absolutely can be done.
So with that in mind, my mission today is to set you on the right path to chiseling that stubborn fat off your body and making love handles a distant memory.
They say 3 is the magic number and that proves true in this instance as I’m going to show you the 3 most effective techniques for carving it off as quickly as possible.
Diet and Nutrition
There are no two ways about this, if your diet isn’t on point, you simply aren’t going to achieve results.
You’ll probably have heard the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen” and while it may seem a tad cliché it is 100% true.
Building a suitable diet may seem daunting the first time you attempt it but it’s actually fairly straightforward. When it comes to weight loss, the key lies in ensuring you consume fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight.
People often worry about having to sacrifice eating nice foods for the sake of their physique. Now, if you’re a competitive bodybuilder or fitness model this may be true.
If not though, there are a few rules and guidelines that, if you follow them carefully, will allow you to create a diet that is both enjoyable, as well as suitable for helping you achieve your goals. You can use our “Calorie Weight Loss Calculator“, which will give you a detailed report on how many calories you should eat in a day.
The first thing to look at is how “balanced” your diet is. Most people will have heard that phrase but often assume it means lots of different food types. While that is on the right track, if all the different foods provide the same macronutrients, it still won’t be effective.
The three main macronutrients we consume are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. When you look at the average diet, people tend to overindulge in carbohydrates while missing out on protein and fats.
While no two people are exactly the same, we usually function in a similar way. A good starting point for any diet plan is to go in with a breakdown of 40% carbs, 40% protein and 20% fats.
Using this as a base will ensure that, at the very least, you aren’t missing out on anything. From here, you can begin to adapt it to your own body as you learn how it operates.
Fat is easily the most misunderstood of the macronutrients. Often seen as a dirty word in dieting groups, people assume that having it in your diet will lead to fat gain.
This isn’t the case, however, as it is an essential part of your diet. Not only does it provide many health benefits, but it also keeps you satiated for much longer as it takes longer to break down.
The issue lies in what type of fats you consume.
Things such as trans fats, found in man-made products like cakes and doughnuts, provide no health benefits and will indeed have that negative impact people are so wary of.
You want to be looking at naturally occurring, healthy fats when building your diet. These are often rich in nutrients like omega 3’s, which aid in keeping your heart, skin and joints healthy.
Some good sources to look for healthy fats include:
- Oily Fish
If used correctly, fats can have incredible results in your fitness. Some even use them to extremes in order to obtain results, with diets such as keto, which convinces your body to use fat as its primary source.
As I previously mentioned, this is where most people will get the majority of their calories from.
While it plays a very important part in our diet, you do still have to pay attention to what and when you are eating.
You primarily want to stick to brown, wholegrain carbs where possible. These are more natural and, as such, digest slower. This stops your body from receiving energy spikes, where any fuel that can’t be used quickly enough converts to fat.
When it comes to the aforementioned energy spikes, the number one culprit for causing them is sugar. The simplest, fastest-acting carbohydrate, its energy needs to be used almost immediately to avoid fat gain. If you’re looking to lose fat and carve off those love handles, you need to limit this to the absolute minimum.
The other main thing to remember when it comes to carbohydrates is when to eat them. As I mentioned, any leftover fuel from carbohydrates gets turned to fat, even if you are eating the correct types. It is therefore essential to time when you eat them correctly. In the mornings and around workouts is perfect as all the fuel will be used, however, avoid using them later in the day, especially before bed.
Often associated with bodybuilders, sufficient protein intake is essential for anyone who is working out. Realistically, you want to be aiming for an intake of a gram per pound of bodyweight, per day.
While the most common sources of protein are lean meats, eggs, and dairy, protein powders are also a cheap and convenient way to ensure you are getting enough in your diet.
This may feel like another no-brainer, but knowing exactly what exercise you should be doing is important when you are looking to achieve noticeable results, especially when removing stubborn fat, such as love handles.
Everyone’s go-to when it comes to weight loss. Often the quickest way to burn calories and ensure you are keeping your body in a deficit, which is essential for burning fat.
Not all cardio is created equal and HIIT, which stands for high-intensity interval training, has regularly been shown to burn the most fat.
It does this by using short, aggressive bursts, as opposed to long, medium intensity options like jogging. This encourages your body to use fat, instead of lean muscle, for fuel.
Many people shy away from resistance training when looking to shed fat, as they feel it doesn’t burn enough calories compared to cardio.
While it doesn’t burn quite as many, it still uses a substantial amount, however, this isn’t its most important feature.
Building lean muscle increases the body’s metabolism, which is what controls the speed our food is converted to energy and utilized.
Incorporating this into your routine means you’ll be burning more calories even when you aren’t working out. That’s why it is incredibly important, perhaps even more so than cardio, when it comes to shifting stubborn fat.
This may seem like a less obvious issue than the previous two, yet it is still just as important.
When you’re stressed, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. This has a negative effect on how the body stores fat and is one of the biggest causes of weight gain.
While there are no magical cures for stress, there are some good methods for reducing it, such as:
- Getting sufficient sleep
- Going for walks
- Seeing friends
- Warm baths
- Activities that clear your mind
Any combination of these will help to relieve you of your stress and eliminate the physique killing cortisol from your body.
Conclusion On How To Remove Love Handles
While you may be thinking this advice looks relatively easy and like there must be some kind of catch, there really isn’t. Love handles, while they may be stubborn, are just like the rest of our body.
The hardest part about making changes to your body is realizing they don’t happen overnight. You have to stay committed, believe in what you are doing, and stay the course.
Once the changes begin to come, you will be so glad you persevered. Not only will you be seeing results, but you will also develop a better understanding of how your body works, enabling you to adapt and make even greater improvements in the future.