The obliques are the diagonal muscles on the sides of the ribcage by the stomach. If your obliques are covered by fat, you have what is referred to as "love handles." These overhangs of fat on the sides are often the butt of many jokes, but when you have them, it's no laughing matter. Reduce your oblique fat by doing the right blend of exercises coupled with new eating habits.
Reduce your intake of high-sodium, high-fat, high-sugar foods. This includes cheesecake, corn dogs, deep fried chicken, frozen dinners, ice cream sundaes and pork chops. Select foods that are high in nutrients instead, like lean beef, poultry, fish, whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products.
Reduce your liquid calories to further promote weight loss. Beverages like beer, wine, malt liquors, sweet tea, lemonade and fruit punch might have a good flavor, but they are also loaded with calories and can contribute to your oblique fat. Replace all of these beverages with water. Not only is it calorie-free, but it also helps flush impurities from your system. The Institute of Medicine recommends that women get about 2.7 L, or 91 oz., a day and men get about 3.7 L, or 125 oz., a day. These numbers include water from both beverages and foods.
Step outside to go for a run. Cardiovascular exercise will burn fat throughout your body and reduce the size of your love handles. Choose another form of cardio if you do not like running, such as elliptical training, stair stepping, rowing, step aerobics or kickboxing. Work out for 45 to 60 minutes, three days a week on alternating days.
Lift weights to build up your muscle mass. This will not only improve your appearance, but it will also increase your resting metabolism. Do exercises like push-ups, upright rows, lat pull-downs, triceps extensions, biceps curls and leg presses. Aim for 10 to 12 reps, do three or four sets and work out three days a week on noncardio days.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart to do medicine ball trunk rotations. Hold the ball right in front of your chest and twist your torso to your right side as far as possible. Twist around to your left side as far as possible and continue to alternate back and forth for 15 to 20 repetitions. Keep your lower body still throughout.
Lie flat on your back to do windshield wipers. Place your arms out at your sides and raise your legs so your feet parallel the ceiling. Keep your upper body still as you lower your legs back and forth to your right and left side. Move your legs as far as possible when you do this. Perform 15 to 20 repetitions.
Position your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor to do prone oblique rolls on a stability ball. Place your lower shins on the ball right next to each other and lift your hips to form a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Roll the ball toward your head as you move your knees toward your right shoulder. Extend your legs back out and repeat, moving your knees toward your left shoulder. Alternate back and forth with each roll and do 10 to 12 reps per side.