Although it is impossible to specifically target love handles, a combination of weight training, cardiovascular exercise, and creating a calorie deficit will reduce overall body fat, including love handles.
The following are some effective tips for losing love handles:
- Include plenty of soluble fiber in the diet
- Avoid foods that contain trans fats
- Limit or avoid alcohol
- Include high protein diets
- Find positive ways to reduce your stress levels
- Avoid or limit sugary foods
- Plan your aerobic exercises (cardio)
- Limit carbs in your diet especially refined carbs
Stretches and sets
- According to the American Council on Exercise, if you do sit-ups, push-ups, and crunches, the calories you burn will contribute to weight loss, but the weight loss will be distributed evenly throughout your body.
- Exercises that work the obliques, the muscle under the love handles, and the abdominals will tone and help lift the love handles.
- To lose one pound of fat, you must expend 3,500 more calories than you consume. The recommended rate of fat loss is one to two pounds per week.
- Dropping 500 calories per day is an excellent way to begin the weight-loss process. Even if you consume the same number of calories as you expend daily, you will have a caloric deficit of 3,500 calories in a week, resulting in a loss of one pound, even if you do not exercise.
- Exercise will help you burn off the remaining calories. Keep a journal of your calories to help you stay focused.
- The American Council on Exercise recommends 45 minutes of cardio five to six days a week to lose love handles.
- The exercise should be intense enough to cause your heart to race and make you sweat. If you are just starting with an exercise program, take it slow at first.
- Walk for 20 to 30 minutes per day, gradually increasing to more vigorous activity.
- Running, jogging, swimming, hiking, and biking are traditional forms of cardiovascular exercise, but any exercise that works the heart and lungs will suffice.
- Lifting weights or engaging in some form of resistance training can aid in the development of valuable lean muscle. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism and the more calories you will burn even when you are resting.
- Strength training should be done at least two times a week on nonconsecutive days. Work for each major muscle group, with an emphasis on the abdominals.
- Begin by performing one set of each exercise for 8 to 12 repetitions. As you gain strength, you can increase the number of sets and the weight or resistance.
- Crunches, hip rolls, sit-ups, and hanging knee-ups are all good abdominal and oblique exercises.
- According to physical fitness experts, you should always do some form of back exercise when working the abdominals to strengthen your core.
- Eating a healthy diet will help you keep calories low while providing your body with the nutrients it requires to function.
- For a good source of protein, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends consuming lean meats, fish, poultry, nuts, and eggs. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products are also advised.
- Eat fewer foods that are high in added salt and sugar, fats, trans fats, and cholesterol.
- Control your portion sizes and avoid eating large meals. Allow two to four hours between meals to regulate your metabolism and aid digestion.
The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to develop healthy eating and exercise habits. The way your body stores weight will determine whether you lose your love handles.
What is cool sculpting?
If exercise and diet are not enough to get rid of your love handles, talk to your doctor about other options, such as cool sculpting.
- Individuals who want to lose their love handles will be pleased with the results of cool sculpting. Speak with your doctor about fat freeze sculpting to get a full analysis of your weight issues and determine which treatment will work best for your specific goals.
- Your doctor will start the treatment by marking the areas that will be reduced and applying gel to the marked areas.
- Most patients report no pain associated with the cool sculpting procedure. There may be a deep chill or coldness at the start until the area becomes numb. It usually takes a few minutes for the numbness to wear off.
- There will be some tugging from the applicator's suction, but no topical or general anesthesia is required for this procedure.
- After that, the doctor will clamp the area with the cool sculpting applicator, which will cool the targeted stubborn fat area.
- When the fat is exposed to cold temperatures that are higher than freezing but lower than your body temperature, the stubborn fat cells begin to die.
- The cool sculpting treatment usually lasts an hour and involves freezing the subcutaneous fat cells without damaging the surrounding skin cells.
- The applicator will only target the fat cells you want to remove and will not cause any harm to other areas near the treatment site.
- When your treatment is finished, you may notice some redness or swelling in the treated area, but these symptoms usually go away quickly.
- In some cases, your doctor may ask you to return for additional treatments if the fat in the area was too thick to treat in a single session. The cool sculpting procedure crystallizes and kills fat cells.
- These dead cells will eventually flush out of your body as a natural process. The flushing process may take several weeks to begin, and the results are observed in about three weeks. After three months, the best results will be visible.
Why do I have love handles?
The underlying cause of love handles is fat retention.
Fat cells accumulate when your body consumes too many calories or you do not burn as many calories as you consume. These cells become visible overtime when they settle in specific areas of the body, such as the waist or hips.
Fat cells can settle anywhere in the body, but certain factors increase fat retention in the lower back, abdomen, and hips.
The following factors influence the formation of love handles:
- As you get older, abdominal fat becomes more common, so age plays a role in fat retention.
- Specific diets, especially those high in sugars, fats, and calories, influence fat retention as well.
- Conditions that go undetected or untreated, such as hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid, slow down metabolism and make it difficult to burn off extra calories.
- A significant factor is having too much cortisol or hormones.
- If you are not physically active, you are more likely to develop love handles.
- Poor sleep habits have been repeatedly linked to higher body mass index and weight gain and are regarded as a significant factor in the development of love handles.
Love handles are not a health risk but are an indication of underlying risk factors for chronic illness, such as:
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Insulin resistance
- Diabetes type II
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Breathing issues and sleep apnea
- Colon or breast cancer
- Liver disease
Getting rid of love handles can improve your overall health and self-esteem. The best way to get rid of them for good is to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. If you do not maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine, the remaining fat cells in your waistline may expand and form new love handles.
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Zelman KM. 50 Ways to Lose Your Love Handles. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/50-ways-to-lose-your-love-handles
Providence Health & Services. Ask an Expert: Losing the love handles. https://oregon.providence.org/forms-and-information/a/ask-an-expert-losing-the-love-handles/
Golden N. No love for those love handles: dispelling myths about body fat reduction. NASM. https://blog.nasm.org/love-handles
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