Love handles refers to the pinchable fat that hangs over the waistline. Don’t be fooled by its endearing name. This belly fat is a nuisance that can be tough to lose. Here is what you need to know about love handles and how to get rid of them.
In This Article
1. How Do Love Handles Form?
Increases of fat cells on the waistline result in excess weight. Aside from taking in too many calories abdominal fat can occur due to the following:
- A diet high in sugar
- Not enough fiber
- Lack of physical activity
- Increased cortisol production
2. Will Doing Crunches Reduce Love Handles?
Your first instinct may be to start a crunches marathon. Before you hit the mat know this; abdominal exercises increase stomach muscles, but the belly fat will stay unchanged. Instead, incorporate these tips into your daily routine.
3. Skip the Sweet Stuff
A high intake of sugar has been linked to weight gain. So cutting back on the sweet stuff can result in decreased belly fat.
Knowing how much sugar you are consuming is also important. According to the World Health Organization, adults should not have more than 25 grams of sugar a day. Alcohol and sweetened beverages are high in sugar and can result in obesity. Decrease your intake by swapping water for these drinks.
Sugar is also hidden in healthy foods such as breakfast cereals, energy bars, breads, soups, pasta sauces, and yogurts. These foods can have up to 30 grams of sugar in just one serving. Eating foods with no added sugar will prevent excess consumption.
3. Feel Full On Fiber
Fiber is a nutrient in plant foods. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber can dissolve in water. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and is what helps move food through your digestive tract. This fiber has many benefits, including keeping you regular and preventing constipation.
Consuming foods with soluble fiber improves weight loss. Soluble fiber slows digestion, giving you a longer feeling of fullness. Adding 10 grams of soluble fiber was shown to decrease visceral fat, the unhealthy fat that forms on the belly.
Soluble fiber is found in oatmeal, nuts, beans, lentils, apples, and blueberries. Insoluble fiber is found in whole grains, brown rice, legumes, carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes. High fiber foods also promote a healthy gut, which is necessary for weight loss.
Adults should get 25 to 35 grams of fiber a day. This can be accomplished by eating 5 to 6 cups of vegetables. If your fiber intake is lacking you can supplement with psyllium husk powder. Psyllium showed the best weight loss results when compared with diet alone.
4. Start Moving
Most people’s day consists of sitting for 8 or more hours. This sedentary lifestyle can lead to an expanded waistline. In order to change your body you need to start moving. Even just walking can lead to weight loss.
Amp up your weight loss with some dedicated physical fitness time throughout the week. The combination of aerobics, weight lifting, and flexibility training will help reduce love handles. Aerobic exercises burn calories. Resistance or weight training along with flexibility exercises such as yoga and pilates builds lean muscle. Muscle mass helps burn more calories at rest throughout the day improving metabolism function.
If you are short on time, high intensity interval training (HIIT) will give you the most bang for your buck. These exercises burn a lot of calories in under 30 minutes. HIIT consists of short bursts of intense aerobic activity followed by a recovery period. HIIT has been shown to be one of the most effective types of exercise to improve body weight.
5. Stop the Stress
Today we are constantly on the go. Demands from work, school, and extracurricular activities leave little time for anything else. It is no wonder so many people are stressed out on a daily basis. When the body undergoes stress it responds by pumping out a hormone called cortisol. This evolutionary response is given when we need to fight or flight. Stress has been linked to weight gain and difficulty losing weight.
As such, doing activities that have been found to lower cortisol and decrease the stress response may be beneficial in your weight loss journey. Exercise, meditation, and yoga are well-known for being stress-reducing, so it may be worth giving them a go!
Love handles can be annoying but over time your with these techniques you should see a change in your body. If you find these regimens do not result in weight loss you may want to talk to a health professional to get more insight into your metabolic health.