Love handles and fat loss are common issues and tend to get worse as we get older. The problem is that our metabolisms begin to slow down and usually our activity levels decrease with them. As a result, we don’t burn as many calories as we once did. That’s why it’s extra important that you do not eat too many processed meals and junk food. It’s also a good idea to keep the body moving in as many ways as possible.
If you thought that this article would be the key to solving your fat loss journey, then you might as well stop reading now. However, I will provide you with the most effective ways to improve your current physique that is sustainable and scientific. The misconception is that if we do a specific exercise for a certain area we will see the results we desire. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Unfortunately, no matter how many side-crunches you attempt, without a clean diet to match your efforts there won’t be much fat loss happening.
Your love handles are the result of eating the incorrect foods over a long period of time. However, when you clean up a few areas of your diet, and yes, exercise to train your ‘love handles’ (oblique muscles) then you will notice significant changes! The worst part is that the denser your visceral fat is around your abdominal region, the more stubborn those love handles will be.
Fat Loss Is A Journey
We hear a lot of men and women complaining about their love handles, or ‘muffin top.’ Generally, these people are in their middle-aged years. Often, when the accumulation of fat happens, the process leads from love handles to a ‘muffin top’ appearance around the abdomen.
It’s frustrating to develop this appearance because once it’s set in, it can be tricky to get rid of. The fat loss process may take quite a bit of time.
Love Handles Require Hard Work For Fat Loss
This really is no joke. You can’t look at yourself in the mirror and complain about your appearance if you’ve been laying on the couch eating pizza every day. The only way you’ll see change is through hard work and dedication.
Love Handles Are Stubborn, Here’s How To Get Rid Of Them
I am not going to lie, love handles are challenging to reduce once you have them. This is because fat loss hasn’t happened for a long time. Then there are those of you who are spending hours on the elliptical machines and doing endless ab exercises. Yet you’re seeing zero changes around your side-body. This is very frustrating and can make you feel despondent.
That’s why science says the only way to reduce this mid-section flab is by making a lifestyle change. Your fitness routine is important, but what you eat is crucial. Nutrition is the only way you can force your body to burn unwanted fat build-up.
Liz Lowe, C.S.C.S., head program designer at Scorch Fitness Opens a New Window, says that the most important part of losing any fat on your body is consuming whole foods. Particularly if your goal is to lose back and belly fat. You cannot eat processed, packaged, or chemically altered food. Lowe says that your primary source of nutrition needs to come from vegetables, fruits, grass-fed meats, eggs, healthy fats, anti-inflammatory roots, and herbs.
You can also maximize fat loss by including high-intensity interval training in your exercise routine. Having said this, you need to remain consistent. I promise that if you stick to this every day or most of the time, you will notice that stubborn love handles disappear immediately.
Thankfully, Liz Lowe has provided us with some of the top nutrition and fitness guidelines to boost the fat loss process. Unfortunately, there is no instant solution, but if you remain consistent the results will reveal themselves quickly. Better yet, if you stick to these rules you’ll be fit for life!
What You Eat Affects Fat Loss
1. Eat Good Carbohydrates (Pre and Post-Workout)
Lowe tells Men’s Journal that healthy, complex carbohydrates are your best friends! She recommends eating sweet potatoes, black rice, and oats. This will keep your metabolism stimulated and give your body long-lasting energy. In addition, your body will prohibit the fat loss process and go into starvation mode if it is deprived of energy. This will literally be your body’s last priority.
2. Avoid Artificial Sugars
Eating too much sugar is not something we advise. Of course, it’s okay to treat yourself sometimes. However, artificial sweeteners, according to Lowe, can also help your body gain and hold onto weight. Despite the fact that they claim to have zero calories. This is because science shows that fake sweeteners can increase carbohydrate cravings, stimulate appetite and increase fat storage. Opt for a natural sweetener like honey, agave, stevia, or fructose.
3. Lots of Healthy Fats
Too many ladies and gents fear fat for fat loss. It seems confusing, but fats do not make you fat. If you want to lose fat then you must eat fat. Lowe says that a diet rich in avocados, nuts, seeds, olive/coconut oil, and fatty fish is shown to decrease abdominal fat.
4. Organic Is Better
It might be a little annoying at first. However, the difference in quality speaks for itself. Yes, the products might be more expensive but it’s totally worth every penny. Scientists have found that organic meat and milk have about 50 percent more omega-3 fatty acids. Moreover, Lowe explains that eating grass-fed beef and whole organic cage-free eggs contain conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). This has been shown to promote abdominal fat loss.
5. Embrace Spicy Food
Did you know that eating spicy food helps with fat loss? Lowe explains that fresh or dried turmeric and ginger help the body fight inflammation. She says that spices prevent your body from holding on to unwanted back and belly fat.
6. Drink Lots Of Water
A lot of the time, when we’re busy working and running around we forget how important it is to drink water. Staying hydrated is crucial for losing love handles and fat loss. Often, you retain unwanted fat because your body is thirsty. It’ll often make you feel hungry when you’re just dehydrated.
Try drinking at least a gallon every day.
7. Take Your Exercise Into Consideration
What you eat before and after your workout is very important. Don’t try to skimp on fuel if you’re trying to lose weight, nor overeat just because you’re working out. Keep things balanced. Lowe says it usually works best to keep your meals light and regular throughout the day. She says it might help to eat a small snack every 3 hours for a total of 5-6 meals a day to get rid of hunger.
The issue with allowing yourself to get to that ravenous stage is that you’ll be more likely to reach for the sugary processed snack first. Fat loss will be stopped in its tracks.
8. Cut Down On Alcohol
If you enjoy celebrating with some bubbly, don’t stress. Everything in moderation, just try to cut down on your consumption. This will decrease your love handles and boost fat loss significantly. Alcohol makes you retain fat the most.
Lowe says a beer or glass of wine has over 100 calories. Therefore, if you have a glass every time you celebrate, you’re consuming a lot of unnecessary calories. Try to avoid empty calories!
10. Protein Bars Are Dangerous
Unless you’re highly active and require extra calories, give these a miss. They’re also usually filled with sugar and might result in hunger cravings. It’s better to prepare your own energy bars, balls, and bites.
11. Leafy Greens Go Down A Treat
Lowe recommends eating copious amounts of leafy greens to stimulate fat loss in your body. She says you must incorporate them into every meal you eat. Try your best, even if it means keeping them in your fridge at work.
12. Don’t Overdo Dairy
Many people are opting for plant-based diets nowadays for a reason. Too much dairy is not good for you and contains a lot of extra calories. Try replacing your cow’s milk with almond milk. Hard cheeses are often better than soft ones too.
Fat Loss Depends On Your Lifestyle
Watch the love handles melt away as soon as you clean up your life. Keep sleep a priority and always get enough rest. You don’t want to overtrain either.
As we have established, fat loss doesn’t happen in specific areas. You cannot target just one area. You need to create an overall body fat burn. Lowe recommends a combination of HIIT cardio, total-body strength training, and the occasional long, slow, distance session for overall fat loss to occur.
Lowe provides Men’s Journal with the best kinds of exercises to stimulate fat loss and get rid of love handles for good.
1. Build Lean Muscle First
Lowe says compound lifts like squats, deadlifts, hang cleans and thrusters will help build lean muscle mass. They will then stimulate your metabolism to burn fat at rest. Moreover, to create a strong core and simultaneously strengthen your entire body, perform exercises like a weighted plank and barbell front squats.
2. Fat Loss and Calorie Burn
Lowe says HIIT cardio workouts create an after-burn effect just as strength does. This increases your heart rate and metabolism. You can increase calorie burn by 24-48 hours after your session. Incorporating HIIT-style training, like sprints on a track or a bike, will help rid your body of excess fat fast.
3. Steady-State Cardio For Fat Loss
Don’t waste your time spending hours on the treadmill. Limit these sessions to only once or twice per week. Your body needs a shock, otherwise, it gets used to the exercise. Lowe says this form of cardiovascular training taps into fat stores during the actual session for energy. Keep each session for 45 minutes.
Lowe’s Recommended Fitness Plan
Day 1: Total-body strength training
Day 2: HIIT cardio
Day 3: Total body strength training
Day 4: Long, steady-state distance cardio
Day 5: Total body strength training
Day 6: HIIT cardio
Day 7: Rest
Remember to keep your lifestyle clean 80% of the time and the rest balanced. Fat loss will happen naturally after that.
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