Love handles are one of the toughest areas to trim into shape, but there are measures you can take to tone your sides and abs. Read on to learn how to get rid of love handles.
Start Healthy Habits
Get better sleep. Staying up too late is hard on your body and mind, and results in cortisol overproduction and weight gain around the middle. Getting better sleep is often an overlooked key to weight loss, but it can make a big difference. Start sleeping 7 – 8 hours per night, every night.
Don’t drink too much alcohol. Alcohol leads to blood sugar swings, which are hard on the system and lead to the storage of belly fat. Stay away from sugary alcohol drinks altogether. When you do drink, choose a low sugar drink, such as wine, and limit yourself to a drink or two no more than twice a week.
Relieve your stress. When you get stressed out due to working too much, having family troubles or experiencing some kind of trauma, the body reacts by releasing a hormone called cortisol. In addition to causing a host of health issues, cortisol causes you to gain fat around the middle of your body, leading to love handles. You can probably think of dozens of things that are stressing you out right now. To get rid of love handles, you have got to get rid of the stress! Figure out what is putting strain on your system and take measures to improve your situation.
- See if you can reduce the activity in your schedule so you’re a little less busy. Having back to back activities from morning til night causes a lot of stress.
Eat regular meals. This helps prevent a blood sugar spike, too many of which can lead to weight gain around the middle. If you want to get rid of love handles, eat regular, small meals, stopping around 8:00 at night. Giving your body a break from eating from evening til morning, then eating a good breakfast followed by a healthy lunch and dinner, is the best way to lose those love handles.
Drink more water. Dehydration is another stressor on the body. Many of us are dehydrated without realizing it. Start drinking several liters of water a day, and more on hot days or when you exercise, to make sure your body is sufficiently hydrated.
- Drink a big glass of water first thing in the morning, before you have your morning caffeine.
- Buy a liter-sized water bottle and plan to drink two bottles’ worth every day.
Eat healthy proteins and fats. A diet with plenty of lean protein and healthy omega-3s and other good fats is essential when you are trying to get rid of love handles. Each meal should include a serving size of protein such as chicken, fish, or lean beef.
- Cured meats like bacon, sausage, and lunch meats have preservatives and trans fats that contribute to fat storage, so avoid these and stick to lean, fresh meat.
- There are plenty of vegetarian options for protein as well. Eggs, tofu, legumes, and certain leafy green vegetables contain high amounts of protein.
Eat more fruits and vegetables. Eating well is the single most important thing you can do to lose love handles. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables at every meal is a great way to decrease your belly fat storage. Fruits and vegetables contain a range of vitamins and nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. They’re high in fiber and water and low in calories.
- Start your day with a vegetable omelet or fruit and vegetable smoothie. Make sure every meal includes a substantial portion of fresh vegetables.
Skip the processed foods. Most snack foods, fast foods, and other factory-made food like white bread, canned soups and microwaveable dinners are laden with extra sugar, white flour, corn syrup, and hydrogenated oil, not to mention preservatives and food coloring. When you’re trying to lose belly fat, it’s best to avoid these types of foods as much as possible.
Eat whole grains and fiber. Eating high-fiber foods makes you feel more full, and you’re less likely to consume as many calories when your meals contain a high amount of fiber. Go for whole grains like oatmeal or quinoa, as well as fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, beans and nuts.
Do prone ball roll-ins to the side. This movement is done with an exercise ball, and is especially effective to target love handles because of the prone body position. Your muscles have to work hard to keep you balanced and this is where the toning up comes in.
- Lie on your stomach on an exercise ball. Roll over the ball from side to side, moving your body to stay balanced on the ball so you don’t fall off.
- Each time you squeeze the ball into the side of your body you should feel it in the oblique muscles.
Try the bicycle move. The bicycle is a strong move designed to get rid of love handles and can be included as part of most workout sessions quite easily. This exercise has you quickly shifting from side to side, which works the love handle muscles and keeps the stress on the oblique muscles.
- Lie on your back on a hard floor surface and raise your legs in the air at the waist. Support with your hands by placing your elbows under your lower back so your legs are raised fully off the ground, and perform cycling motions with your legs in the air.
- When performing this exercise make sure to maintain a nice slow movement pattern, as this keeps maximum tension on the oblique muscles.
Try decline twisting sit-ups. Decline twisting sit-ups are more intense than normal sit-ups, as you are working against gravity as you lower the body and rise up again. Just perform a set of normal sit-ups, but twist to alternate sides as you rise from the floor and reverse the position as you lower back to the start position.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet firmly set on the ground.
- Raise your torso, focusing on twisting as far to one side as you possibly can.
- Lower back to the floor slowly, as this helps work the muscles across the full range of motion.
Use a hula hoop. A fun exercise that really tones up that troublesome love handle area is using a hula hoop, sold at most fitness stores. Put on some music and swivel your hips, maneuvering the hoop higher and lower up and down the column of your waist area. After a while you can really feel your oblique muscles kicking in, meaning that you are starting to have some effect on strengthening the muscles below the love handles area.