Just because they're referred to as love handles, doesn't make them lovable. The excess fat that hangs out at the sides of your waistline increases your risk of numerous chronic health conditions, such as stroke, high blood pressure, certain cancers and Type 2 diabetes.
Fortunately, you can get rid of that jiggle by changing your diet and eating habits and committing to a regular exercise routine. You'll notice your entire body fat reducing, including those unsightly love handles.
The best way to get rid of love handles is to eat a healthy diet, perform cardiovascular exercise to get rid of excess fat and do strength training to tone and define your waist and abs.
Cardiovascular Exercise for Fat Loss
Schedule 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise on five or six days of the week. Cardio helps you burn calories so you lose weight, and is key in addressing love handles that won't go away.
The American Council on Exercise suggests exercising at a comfortable pace during which you breathe faster but can still talk. Add variety and find exercises that you enjoy so you're less likely to skip your workout. Consider jumping rope, walking, jogging, rowing, bicycling or swimming.
Total Body Strength Training
Perform strength-training exercises on two or three days of the week to stimulate muscle mass, which promotes caloric burn. Avoid solely focusing on your abdominals. Also work your chest, back, hips, arms and legs.
Use your body weight for resistance or use free weights, exercise bands or weightlifting machines. Finish eight to 12 repetitions per set with a weight that's challenging enough to fatigue your muscles at the end of the set.
Exercises for Love Handles
Perform love handle workouts that include targeted exercises to strengthen your obliques, which are hidden under your love handles. These exercises won't reduce fat, but they will strengthen the underlying muscles so that when your abdominal fat reduces, you'll have well-defined muscles ready for display.
Incorporate exercises such as medicine ball and cable wood chops, bicycle crunches, diagonal knee raises in a captain's chair apparatus and torso twists on a stability ball.
Read more: Oblique Stretches
Adjust Your Diet
Cut calories from your diet by eating smaller portions and swapping out high-calorie food for lower-calorie foods. For instance, replace soda and alcohol with water.
Eat skinless chicken instead of fatty cuts of meat, such as sausage and ground beef. Focus on getting your nutrients from whole grains, fruits, low-fat or non-fat dairy, veggies and lean protein.
Eat healthy fats; they are a necessary part of a healthy diet and contain essential nutrients. Consider avocados, nuts or olives as healthy sources.
Plan your meals and snacks in advance to make sure you have healthy foods on hand and make it easier to stick to your diet.
See your doctor before starting an exercise routine or diet, particularly if you have a medical condition or injury.
Read more: The Ultimate Guide for Fat Loss
- Harvard Health Publishing: Abdominal Fat and What to Do About It
- American Council on Exercise: Three Things Every Exercise Program Should Have
- NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: Some Myths about Nutrition & Physical Activity
- AskTheTrainer: Best Oblique Exercises
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: Aim for a Healthy Weight: Key Recommendations