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Why Am I Losing Weight Everywhere But My Love Handles?

author image Dana Severson
Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Dana Severson has been writing marketing materials for small-to-mid-sized businesses since 2005. Prior to this, Severson worked as a manager of business development for a marketing company, developing targeted marketing campaigns for Big G, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, among others.
Why Am I Losing Weight Everywhere But My Love Handles?
Woman holding love handle on waist. Photo Credit: bennyartist/iStock/Getty Images

No one can predict exactly how they are going to lose weight, since patterns of weight loss vary greatly from one person to the next. It has a lot to do with your genetic makeup, which also influences fat distribution on the body. Some people tend to lose weight almost immediately from their hips and thighs, while others see their belly fat just disappear. But the love handles prove to be problematic for almost everyone.

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Body Fat

Initially, people lose the majority of their weight in the areas of the body with the most fatty tissue. If you gained most of your weight in the stomach, this is the area where you’ll see the most significant reduction in fat. Love handles, on the other hand, are fairly small pockets of fatty tissue, so your body won’t necessarily target these areas until later in your weight loss. Sometimes, it’s the last area of fat you will shed.

Weight Loss

Since you are losing weight already, half the battle is won. Eventually, your body will turn to these pockets of fat for energy. It just takes time, so continue following a calorie-controlled diet and getting regular exercise to promote weight loss. This doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t reassess what you are doing to lose the weight. People commonly hit what’s known as a weight-loss plateau, so you may need to cut a few more calories from your diet as well as increase the intensity or duration of your workout to kick up results.

Spot Reduction

As you increase the intensity or duration of your workouts, include some abdominal exercises in your exercise routine. Though there’s no way to spot-reduce those love handles, exercises that work the abdominals and obliques can provide you with a trimmer appearance once you lose the fat. Crunches, sit-ups, planks and twists all help to strengthen and tone the core; and while they won't target love handles, they do burn calories like any other exercise and therefore can burn fat if they put the body into a caloric deficit.


If you’ve hit your target weight and are still plagued by love handles, talk to a dietitian as well as a personal trainer. A dietitian can better assess your diet and help you make changes that may benefit those love handles, while a personal trainer can establish a workout routine that can help you get rid of the remaining excess fat.

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