How to Get Rid of Love Handles in 10 Super Simple Steps
Do you suffer from excess weight around your middle? Do you often feel tired and fatigued as a result of your belly? Do you struggle to lose stubborn weight that accumulates around your midsection?
Love handles, as they are commonly called, are anything but lovely. The term refers to pockets of excess weight that accumulate around a person’s midsection. Not only are love handles hard to get rid of, but they also put you at a much higher risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and stroke – among many other things. Don’t be fooled by the name, as these fat pockets can perpetuate major issues down the line if they are not taken care of in a timely fashion. They can zap your energy and make you feel downright drained.
So, how do you get rid of love handles? Many people struggle with weight gain around the middle. They often turn to fad diets and quick weight loss solutions as a means of losing extra weight. Often times, these quick-fix diets produce short term results with little to no sustainability. The result is often pounds lost followed by additional weight gain in the months that follow. If you struggle with love handles, here are ten easy ways to get rid of them once and for all:
10Do More Cardio
When it comes to ditching your love handles, cardio is key. If your current routine is lacking in this area of the fitness world, it is time to step it up a few notches.
When people are trying to lose their love handles, one of the first things they do is incorporate more crunches. Crunches are great for toning and flattening your abs, but are meant to build muscle, not blast fat. Love handles are excess pockets of fat. They contain little to no muscle, meaning that you want to crank up the cardio for the best results.
The best way to include more cardio into your weekly routine is to find something that you enjoy doing. Most people head to the gym and go on the same machine every single day. Not only does this fail to change the way your body looks and feels, but it is also mentally taxing. Who wants to do the same thing every day with little to no results?
If you are one of these people, it is time to start thinking outside of the box. If your local gym offers classes, take a look at what they have available. Try a kickboxing class, an early morning spin class, or join a team training class. If you prefer, track a new route outside for a nice, long run or walk. Doing 30-45 minutes of cardio at least three days a week will help you blast that stubborn belly fat with ease.
9Add in Some Russian Twists
Now that you have revved up your cardio routine, it is time to revisit those crunches. As mentioned prior, crunches are great for building muscle and toning a flabby and underworked physique. Alone, they aren’t going to do much good. In conjunction with a rigorous cardio routine, however, you will see real results in a relatively short period.
One of the best ways to get rid of your love handles is to confuse your body. You want to cross train and make sure that you are working different muscles on different days and working them in a different way each time. Too many people get stuck in the same mundane routine, where their muscles become so used to the exercise that they don’t respond as well as they did when the routine was first started. Russian twists are a good example of this. Why do regular forward crunches when you can add a little twist?
A Russian twist works your core abdominal muscles. It will knock out your oblique muscles and chisel your superficial and deep abdominal groups. To perform a Russian twist, you want to be seated on the floor. Make sure that your feet are tucked under something or that someone is holding them to prevent them from moving. Lift your upper body with your arms extended straight out in front. You can hold a light weight with both hands if you prefer. Using your abs, you want to twist to one side. Hold this position for a couple of seconds and then return to the middle. This should be repeated on the other side, as well. It is best to start light and then work your way up to rock hard abs!
8Fall in Love with Plank Position
If you have completed your set of Russian Twists and are still looking for more, a plank will do the trick. In fact, you should fall in love with the plank position, as it will help you blast fat and tone for that perfectly sculpted mid-section.
Don’t worry – the plank position has nothing to do with walking the plank! Rather it has everything to do with burning fat, fast. To perform a plank, you want to get down on the floor in a push-up position. Rather than support your body on your hands, you want to drop down to your elbows. Make sure your core is fully engaged and that your buttock is level with the rest of your body. Also, position your feet so that they are hip-width apart. Hold this position for thirty seconds, or as long as your body will support. As you get stronger, you can increase the amount of time you hold the position.
Plank position is great because it doesn’t require any fancy equipment and it can be performed from virtually anywhere. In addition to working your core, it also serves to tighten your arms, shoulders, and leg muscles. It is considered a static, or stationary, movement that works your entire body. Hence, the plank position will not only help you ditch the love handles, but it will also serve to tone and strengthen your entire body.
Crunches are great, but bicycle crunches are even better! If you do these along with the Russian twists and planks, you will be feeling and looking great in no time!
To perform a bicycle crunch, you need to lie down flat on your back. It is important that you press the lower portion of your back firmly in the floor to protect your spine. Next, lift your hands up to your head and place your hands on the back of your neck. Place them gently, as you want the motion to come from your abs and not from your neck. Placing your hands as a prompt behind your head will help to ensure that you do not strain your neck.
Next, you will want to lift your knees. Your knees should be bent and arranged perpendicular to the floor. Begin by bringing one of your elbows to meet the alternate leg. For example, your right elbow should touch your left knee. This will create a side-rotation and a leg kick that simulates riding a bicycle. It is recommended that you alternate sides to reap the full benefit of the exercise.
If you perform a couple of sets, along with Russian twists, planks, and cardio, you will lose your love handles in the blink of an eye.
6Don’t Skip Breakfast
Are you one of those people who wake up in the morning and start your day without eating breakfast? Perhaps the very thought of ingesting food that early in the morning makes you queasy? Are you a person who just doesn’t like the taste of traditional breakfast staples?
If so, you are not alone. Life is hectic and we sometimes start our days too early even to think about making something for breakfast. The very thought of making breakfast while the kids are running around and the clock ticks are nothing short of nerve-racking.
The problem, however, with no eating breakfast is that you tend to consume more calories throughout the day. If you consume more calories without expending a proportionate amount, you are likely to gain weight. For many people, that weight gain occurs in the mid-section.
The word ‘breakfast’, quite literally, means breaking the fast. For those of you who don’t routinely eat breakfast, your body is surviving off very little for an extended period. Instead of waking up refreshed and ready to take on the day, you feel mentally groggy and physically exhausted. Regardless of whether you like or dislike breakfast food or have time to prepare a quick snack in the morning, it is important to incorporate this into your daily routine. Skipping breakfast is one of the quickest ways to gain weight. Even if it is a small piece of toast or a banana, it is important that you fuel your body when you wake up so that you are ready to take on whatever life throws your way. It is important to find creative ways to make this a part of your everyday routine.
5Eat at Regular Intervals
Let’s just say that you are doing more cardio, performing thousands of crunches each week, and have added breakfast to your daily food menu, but are still not losing any weight around your mid-section. What is happening? One of the first things a nutrition expert or weight loss coach might ask is whether or not you are eating at regular intervals. Eating small meals consistently throughout the day is another easy way to lose extra fat around the mid-section with ease.
While skipping a meal or two sounds like a good weight loss tool, it derails all prior attempts to lose those pesky love handles. In fact, skipping meals is one of the easiest ways to pack on the pounds, not lose them. When you skip meals, the cortisol level in your body rises. Cortisol is a steroid that is produced by the adrenal gland as a response to stress on your body. Too much of this hormone can wreak havoc on your system.
Ideally, you should be eating several small meals throughout the day. Four to five smaller meals is necessary to keep your cortisol levels in check and to regulate your insulin levels to prevent energy spikes. Each meal should be well-balanced, meaning that you are eating enough whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and protein at each meal. Eating regularly throughout the day will help to keep your body in check, provide the nutrients you need to stay healthy and strong, and help you shed unwanted weight.
4Get More Sleep!
When you are aiming to lose weight, you probably turn right to diet and exercise. The statement, ‘move more; eat less’ is traditionally used as a motto for shedding stubborn pounds, especially around the mid-section. The problem with weight loss, however, is that it is multi-faceted. If all it took to lose love handles was eating less and moving more, nobody would have to deal with extra weight around the mid-section!
One of the most important, and often overlooked, aspects of weight loss is sleep. Getting enough good quality sleep is important in maintaining a healthy weight. Sleep helps to regulate your insulin levels. After days of sleep deprivation, studies have shown that the body is unable to properly control and utilize insulin. The result, over time, is weight gain. Also, sleep helps to control your brain’s desire for food. The less sleep you get, the more likely you are to crave food, most of which is high fat, high sugar, and high salt food. Your leptin and ghrelin hormones are thrown out of whack, which could lead to excess weight gain around the middle.
To ditch those flabby love handles, it is important that you get at least eight hours of sleep each night. While this can be challenging, it is not impossible. Establishing a set bedtime routine and working rest into your hectic schedule will make all the difference between feeling great and feeling lethargic, foggy, and fatigued.
3Reduce Alcohol Intake
Alcohol is a widely accepted and fairly standard part of many cultures. While nobody is going to point the finger at you for enjoying an occasional happy hour with friends or a glass of rose at dinner, regular alcohol consumption can inhibit your ability to lose your love handles successfully.
Alcohol delivers approximately seven calories per gram. Calories are energy that our bodies use to get us through the day. Too many calories, however, can lead to excess weight gain and put you at an increased risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and several other chronic conditions. The difference between alcohol and many other foods that deliver the same amount of calories is that alcohol does not contain any nutrients. Most dietitians and health experts refer to such calories as ‘empty’ calories. Since they do not supply your body with any nourishment, they simply pack on the pounds when they are consumed in excess.
If you want to enjoy a glass of beer or wine here or there, it is entirely acceptable to do so, as long as it is in moderation. If you are looking to lose your love handles, keep the drinking to a minimum and swap out your traditional glass of wine at dinner time with water or another low-calories beverage.
2Restructure Your Diet
Restructuring your diet, above all else, may be the best thing you can do to get rid of excess weight around the middle. While exercise is certainly important, a healthy diet is critical for weight loss and maintenance.
Weight gain, often, is a result of too many calories consumed versus calories that are expended on a day to day basis. By consuming too many calories and not exercising enough, you create an imbalance in your system that leads to excess weight gain. One of the simplest ways to lose weight is to ensure that your calorie count is in check. Often, we eat and drink without thinking about how many calories we are consuming. Today, there are some apps and online trackers that can help you determine how many calories your body needs and help you stay in line with the daily requirements.
While watching how much you eat is certainly important, watching what you eat is critical. If you are consuming a lot of high fat, high salt, and high sugar foods, you want to restructure your diet. This means giving up the processed goods and substituting your snacks for more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The USDA has a great tool that can be used to help you plan your meals and track how much of the good stuff you are getting throughout the day. As you pack your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables instead of chips and soda, you will see a significant difference in your body weight over a relatively short period.
Too often, our diet and exercise goals are derailed due to high levels of stress. Between meeting tight deadlines, supporting your family, paying the bills, and taking care of a household, life is hectic. You spend a ton of time running from place to place each and every day, often without accomplishing a fraction of what you initially set out to do.
Stress happens. Your reaction to it, however, is everything. Just as when you don’t get enough sleep, stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. When there is too much cortisol in your body over an extended period, you are likely to gain weight. Also, when you feel stressed, you are more apt to binge on unhealthy foods. When you feel stressed, you are less likely to grab a bag of carrot sticks to snack on and more likely to reach for the carton of ice cream. This is referred to as ‘emotional eating’, which can lead to unnecessary weight gain around the mid-section. Chronic stress can be debilitating to your emotional, social, mental, and physical health and wellbeing.
One of the best ways to lose stubborn fat around the mid-section is to practice relaxation. Whether it is taking a yoga class, performing some deep breathing exercises, or taking a nice, long walk in the park, doing something at the end of every day to de-stress is key. Engaging in a relaxing activity that you enjoy will help you to find inner peace, achieve a state of mental relaxation, and lose those pesky love handles.
For those of you who struggle with excess weight around the middle, you know that ‘love handles’ are anything by lovely. These pockets of fat not only pose a genuine health risk but are also aesthetically aggravating.
The term love handles refer to pockets of fat that accumulate around the midsection. These fat deposits can be extremely hard to get rid of and can put you at an increased risk of developing a chronic disease, such as heart disease or diabetes. While many people turn to quick-fix weight loss solutions to help remove their stubborn love handles, creating a healthy lifestyle is critical in achieving weight loss and lifelong weight maintenance.
While you can certainly turn to the latest fad diet as a means of losing your love handles, some of the best ways to lose weight include exercise, diet, and sleep. Revving up your cardio routine can help you burn some serious calories while establishing a healthy diet can help you balance your daily caloric intake. Making sure that you get enough sleep each night can help to keep all of your hormone levels in check. Also, de-stressing can help shed those unwanted pounds. When stress levels flair, excess cortisol in the bloodstream can wreak havoc on your system.
Once you have adopted a healthier lifestyle, you can then add in some crunches, planks, and Russian twists to build and tone. Once you add everything together and incorporate such practices into your daily life, you will be able to get rid of your love handles and remain free of excess weight for years to come.