Despite what their name suggests, there are very few of us that love having love handles.
If you’re not sure which area I’m talking about, love handles typically refer to excess fat at the side of your waist – often protruding a little when wearing pants. You’ve probably also heard “love handles” referred to as a “muffin top”, and sadly, muffins aren’t the best way to get rid of love handles, either.
As for endless crunches in the gym (or while watching TV), this also isn’t the way for getting rid of love handles.
So what can you do?
Well, in order to banish the dreaded love handles for good, you’re going to need a combination of diet changes, exercises and some lifestyle adjustments. Here’s how to make a start on getting rid of love handles and saying ‘yes!’ to fitting in skinny pants.
Eliminate added sugar
Cleaning up your diet is one of the best ways to get rid of love handles – or shedding excess fat in any part of the body in fact. Commonly found in highly processed foods, such as cookies, sports drinks, sodas and candies, added sugar has no nutritional value while adding excess sugar to your diet unnecessarily.
Instead, opt for natural sugars – such as those found in fruit.
As well as causing dreaded love handles, pesky added sugar is frequently linked with a whole list of health concerns. From heart disease to diabetes, consuming too much added sugar can quickly lead to weight gain, especially around the middle.
If you’re a sucker for a sweet cup of coffee or tea, try to lower your sugar intake gradually. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), as well as honey and agave nectar all, contain fructose – a simple sugar. While it may seem relatively harmless, consuming too much fructose can cause an increase in belly fat and love handles.
Many sugary foods are packed with added sugar, that offer no dietary benefits, while contributing towards love handles. Over advice? Steer clear!
Opt for healthy fats
Despite what many of us think, all fats are not created equal. Yep! Healthy fats do exist, in moderation. Plus, they can certainly help with getting rid of love handles and hitting your weight loss goals.
Foods such as fatty fish, nuts, seeds, avocados and olive oil will keep you feeling full, therefore lowering your urge to snack! And we all know that far too many snacks can lead to love handles… Guilty as charged!
Research has shown that those following a high-fat Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil lose a greater amount of weight, with less belly fat and love handles compared to those on a low-fat diet.
Consuming nutrient-dense foods that are high in healthy fats is one of the best ways to get rid of love handles and lose overall body fat.
However, don’t go overboard with these types of fats, as they are relatively high in calories. Think moderation over a total binge-fest.
Stock up on fiber-packed foods
Eating plenty of soluble fiber, found easily in nuts, oats, fruit and vegetables and beans is key to getting rid of love handles. Unlike highly processed foods, these fiber dense foods keep you feeling fuller for longer, by slowing down digestion.
Soluble fiber can also decrease hunger pangs, making it far easier to avoid snacking throughout your day. Furthermore, research has shown that fiber’s power to keep you feeling fuller for longer had led eaters to consume fewer calories across the day. Which is key for getting rid of love handles!
While packing any type of exercise into your schedule will most certainly help you get rid of love handles, but adding a little weight can also be beneficial.
Don’t be afraid of lifting weights, for fear of getting ‘butch’ or ‘hench’ manly arms or legs. That would take some serious lifting to achieve those! Weight training encourages your body to build lean muscle, while burning calories at rest, making it one of the best ways to get rid of love handles.
While aerobic exercise typically results in higher calorie burn during your workout, resistance training can encourage fat burn long after your exercise has finished.
Knowing how to lose side fat is about knowing where to focus your efforts – and lifting weights should definitely be high on your list!
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When you’re trying to find the best way to get rid of love handles and increase calorie burn, stress plays an important role. Being stressed out can negatively impact your mind and body, even resulting in belly fat and love handles.
When your body feels stressed, it triggers the production of the hormone cortisol – aka, the stress hormone. Although this is a normal bodily function, high levels of cortisol can result in headaches, anxiety, digestive problems and weight gain – resulting in love handles.
Furthermore, research has shown links between increased cortisol levels and weight gain – especially around the middle. Yes, ladies, we’re talking love handle central.
Much like eating well and reducing stress levels, sleep is incredibly important if you’re trying to work out how to lose side fat.
I’m sorry to say it, but a lack of sleep also increases cortisol in the body, which can have a knock-on effect and lead to love handles.
Not only that, we all know what it’s like when we’re grouchy and overtired, we want to snack. And when we want to snack, our healthy eat goals go out of the window.
But don’t just take my word for it, since studies have revealed links between a lack of quality sleep and an increased risk of obesity and diabetes.
How to lose love handles 101 – get some decent shuteye!
In order to keep your body running at its best, good hydration is needed. Instead of reaching for sweetened sodas, energy drinks or coffee, try to get as much water into your routine as possible.
This will ensure your body gets maximum hydration, without any of the hidden calories or added sugar of sweetened drinks. These types of beverages are frequently associated with weight gain, especially where you’d like to avoid it most – pesky love handles.
As well as keep your body running smoothly, many of us believe we’re hungry when we’re actually dehydrated. So instead of grabbing snacks throughout the day, be sure to drink more and tackle those hunger pangs.
Up your cardio
Although we already mentioned lifting weights for killer afterburn, increasing your cardio each is often considered the best way to get rid of love handles.
Whether it’s time on the treadmill or a HIIT workout, there are plenty of ways to up your cardio. Start off small if you’re new to exercise, with a brisk walk or going swimming.
Get extra protein
Much like soluble fiber, getting a healthy dose of protein can keep you feeling full. When you feel fuller for longer, you’re much less likely to snack, which can lead to weight gain.
Plus, research has shown at a high-protein diet can effectively reduce belly fat, helping you in getting rid of love handles!
Once you’ve hit your goal, a high-protein diet may help you to maintain your new weight, according to research.
Check out the following high-protein foods:
Workout your entire body
While it might be tempting to try out 50 crunches in the hope of getting rid of love handles, spot reducing is, unfortunately, a total myth. Instead, focus on exercising your entire body to maximize fat burn and strip away those love handles.
Start by adding whole-body moves into your workouts, such as burpees.
Incorporate complex carbs
Much like fat, not all carbs are the same. When we talk about carbohydrates worth avoiding, we’re speaking about refined carbohydrates. This is your white bread, white rice and pasta!
Instead, opt for complex carbs, such as:
- Sweet potato
- Brown rice
These foods will keep you feeling full, helping you to maintain a healthy weight and shred off love handles.
When it comes to knowing how to lose love handles, there is no one magic answer. However, a combination of a healthy diet, exercise and lifestyle swaps will certainly help.
Pay attention to your food
Many of us eat while distracted, whether at work or while watching TV. By practising mindful eating, you’ll become far more aware of what you’re putting in your body.
Also Read: How to lose thigh fat and get toned up
Take the time to enjoy your food, helping you to build a healthy relationship with the food you choose. When we pay greater attention to the food we eat, we gain control of our eating habits and become far more likely to consume fewer calories.
Much like sodas and energy drinks, alcohol is also packed with calories. With research associating excessive alcohol consumption with obesity and weight gain in the love handle region.
Plus, when we drink alcohol, we’re more likely to make poor food choices, quickly sabotaging any healthy eating.
Getting rid of love handles may not happen overnight…
But it is most certainly made easier with our top tips! Remember, eat well, get plenty of sleep and stay hydrated! You’ve got this, ladies.
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