The name love handles, sounds cute and cuddly, right?
Unfortunately, there is NOTHING cute about them.
I had a bad case of the love handles right around the time my son was born. I gained some of the baby weight too! It was awful because I had never had love handles before. There was NO WAY I was going to walk around with those on me, so I took action!
The first thing I started doing was eating better (I’ll dive more into that a little later). Once I got myself back on track, I slowly started reintroducing exercise into my routine (I had to do it slowly because of my newborn son ?).
Here, I have listed how to lose love handles quickly, and the steps you can take to avoid getting them back.
1. Drink More Water
I cannot preach this enough! This can actually bring immediate results if you start drinking enough water. To reduce some of that belly bloat, drink roughly a gallon of water a day.
Now wait, won’t drinking this much water make me bloat?
At first, yes.
It will be a little uncomfortable, and yes, you will have to pee A LOT. Once you get past that initial bloat (and you will), your body makes adjustments by flushing out all the excess sodium your body is holding onto. This WILL make you look a little leaner, although this is only temporary.
The idea behind this method is to get you in the habit ofREGULARLY consuming enough water so you do not retain all of that excess sodium.
Studies have shown that drinking half a liter of water can increase your metabolism by 24-30% for up to nearly an hour and a half.
Drinking more water helps keep you feeling full, so you do not consume as many calories.
So, start slamming down water!
2. Get Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep increases cortisol levels in the body. Research has proven cortisol has a large effect on body mass and fat levels.
So, it’s important to get proper rest so we do not elevate our cortisol levels. One particular study showed that individuals who rested for 7-8 hours per night, weighed less and had less body fat than the individuals who slept less than 5 hours per night.
3. Battle Those Love Handles With Proper Nutrition
Having a sedentary lifestyle is partially to blame when it comes to excess fat on the body, but it’s probably not the main culprit. The true enemy is what’s on your plate.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. No matter how many abdominal exercises you perform, you are still going to have a layer of body fat covering up those abs. You NEED to take a different approach. The right approach is to start eating properly.
Start by eliminating addictive sugars. This may be more challenging than removing sweets from your day. This is because these addictive sugars are in nearly all processed foods and drinks.
Instead of eating processed foods, start consuming fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and nuts.
What NOT to do.
People tend to believe that by not eating, they will consume fewer calories and lose weight. This is a bad approach. You will end up binge eating, as a result of starving yourself. End result: more body fat and bigger love handles.
If you eat properly while consuming smaller meals, you WILL look and feel better.
4. Start Exercising the Right Way
Start lifting weights!
Aerobic activity may burn more calories during a workout, but resistance training builds lean muscle, so you can burn more calories at rest.
If you have access to a gym or workout equipment, then use a combination of strength training and cardio.
If you don’t have access to a gym, then start incorporating HIIT(high-intensity interval training) workouts into your routine. The best part about HIIT, you can do it anywhere!
What you shouldn’t do
As tempting as it may be (a close friend of mine does this ALL THE TIME), do NOT use cardio as your only form of exercise. Research has proven that aerobic activity alone has little to no effect on body fat.
If you want to lose the handles, get a handle on the weights!
5. Some Exercises To Help Lose The Love Handles
- Leg Raises – There are several different combinations of this exercise. One way to perform this exercise is to lay on your back with your hands at your sides, have your knees SLIGHTLY bent (in case you do not have a lot of flexibility), and raise up your legs to a 90-degree angle. If this exercise is too easy, try adding some ankle weights to give you a little extra edge. (3 sets of 15 reps)
- Crunches – This exercise also has many different combinations. The simplest way to do this is to lay your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Next, you want to put your hands behind your head, and move forward until your shoulder blades are completely off the ground. Keep a distance of a clenched fist between your chin and your upper chest. To make this exercise more challenging, try using an inclined bench when performing this exercise. (3 sets of 30 reps)
- Russian Twist (slightly difficult) –
- A. Start this exercise with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent while in a sitting position on the floor. Hold your hands together close to your chest. While keeping your back straight and abs tight, begin to lean back slightly and lift your feet a few inches off the ground.
- B. Begin slowly twisting your body from side to side, while making sure you keep your knees in front of you. DO NOTtwist your legs. The only part of your body that should be moving is your torso. To make this exercise more challenging, trying adding a light dumbbell into the mix. (3 sets of 15 reps on each side)
Side Plank With Knee Tuck –
- A. Start by laying on your side, on the floor. Put one foot on top of the other with your legs straight, and rest your body weight on your forearm. Next, raise your hips off the ground so that your torso is straight and abs are tight (the majority of your weight should be on your forearm).
- B. Put Your Free Hand on your hip, and raise your knee to your chest. (3 sets of 15 reps on each side)
Abdominal Bicycles –
- A. Start in a laying position, with your hands behind your head. Extend one leg out straight, while bring the other to your chest.
- B. Bring the opposite elbow to opposite knee. Repeat on the other side. (3 sets of 15 reps on each side)