So many people, men and women, want to know how to lose love handles. Did you know that every month, this exact question is searched at least 15,000 times on Google?
So many of us want to find a fast way to get rid of love handles, yet we probably already know the answer. Yes, it's the ol' weight loss and exercise routine.
What Causes Love Handles?
Love handles are caused, and in fact are, excess weight around our waists. In particular, the fat is sitting on top of the lower part of our external oblique abdominal muscles ("obliques"). The excess storage of fat in this area is what we (sometimes affectionately) call "love handles."
The vast majority of people with this issue are generally overweight over their entire bodies, not just in this one area. Although, some people who appear to be without any excess fat may also have love handles.
Sometimes it's just genetics, but more often it's excess fat and a lack of strong muscles in the area.
So back to the solution for how to lose love handles: lose the excess weight and work the underlying muscles.
Total Body Weight Loss
Many of us are carrying extra pounds or kilos over our entire bodies. Often, the reason we focus on our waists is because of the "muffin top" phenomenon. We don't like the look of the extra fat hanging over the tops of our pants or skirts. So we focus on getting rid of our love handles.
Really, we need to think about losing weight from our entire bodies by implementing a healthy eating plan and engaging in strength training exercises. Integrate a healthy diet with weight training exercises to lose love handles and you're sure to meet your goal.
Incidentally, "spot reduction" (the idea that we can eliminate fat from only one isolated part of our body) is well-known by personal trainers to be a myth. Rather than asking how to lose love handles, the question should be, how to lose weight over your entire body.
How to Lose Love Handles with Weight Training
Along with a healthy eating plan, a strength training program using free weights will help you to reach your goals even more quickly. Lifting weights not only helps you to burn fat and gain muscle, but it also increases your metabolism so that you can lose the pounds even faster.
And if you think you're doing good by only eating fat-free foods or drinking diet sodas, then see this article on
Diet Soda Weight Gain.
Your emphasis must be on a healthy eating plan, not just on cutting calories.
An overall body strengthening program combined with proper nutrition will help you to reach your goals faster, and lose weight over your entire body, not just your side waist.
Specific Exercise for Love Handles
"Side bends" using dumbbells will target your external oblique muscles. Start with light dumbbells and increase the weight as you become stronger.
With a dumbbell in your right hand, hand hanging at your side, knuckles facing your right leg, stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Variation: you can also have a dumbbell in each hand for more of a workout (see video).
Place your left hand on your left hip.
Slowly lower your torso to your right a few inches (focus on contracting your side waist muscles). You can also approach this as sliding the dumbbell down your right leg a few inches.
Return to the neutral standing straight position, then repeat the side bend to your right several times (perhaps 20 reps to start).
Shift the dumbbell to your left hand and repeat on your left side.
Side Bends Tips
Try to keep your torso and legs from bending forward or backward.
You want to go only from side to side in a straight line. Don't bend backwards or forwards.
And of course, you can start on either side, but be sure to work both sides of your waist if you really want to eliminate those love handles.
Exercise Alone May Not Be Enough
Remember that exercises alone are not good enough for getting rid of love handles. If you're carrying excess weight, you have to find a healthy way to reduce your overall body weight.
Strength training will help the process immensely by boosting your metabolism and building lean muscle. This will also keep you from ending up with a bunch of loose skin hanging where the fat used to be.
Comprehensive Program to Help You Lose Weight and Build Muscle
If you're looking for a great overall workout program plus a weight loss plan that will show you how to lose love handles, get rid of stubborn belly fat, and build lean muscle all over your body, I strongly recommend The Truth About Abs.
The Truth About Abs is a complete weight loss and body weight training program with detailed instructions, sample menus, and exercise routines to help you lose weight and build muscle.
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