“Get Rid of Love Handles” – that no one loves it. So ironic.
I get many online coaching clients for losing weight, but ‘how to get rid of love handles, side fat, and belly fat is their topmost query.
Most of them specifically want to reduce love handles, belly fat, and face fat too. Even you could be one of them, but you might have probably heard that ‘spot reduction’ isn’t possible while it’s true.
Unfortunately belly fat is the area where you pack on fat very quickly and burn it lastly in most cases. So are the love handles, hence the name “stubborn fat”.
By now you’ve also tried endless ab-exercises and crunches but still
didn’t get any results. Sorry to say, abdominal exercises won’t reduce your belly fat or love handles either.
So the question is – What will? How to get rid of love handles?
Here are my top simple hacks for you all to lose side fat a.k.a love handles which you hate.
1) Well-Structured Nutrition (No Crash Diets)
Did you know that exercise and physical activity only accounts for 15-30% (depending upon the intensity) of your total daily energy expenditure? All those quotes and sayings which you heard that 70% diet and 30% workout absolutely makes sense, at least specifically if we’re talking about overall body fat.
You would be amazed to know that well-structured nutrition & diet can get you rid of your overall body fat including those love handles even without the exercise.
You don’t need to starve yourself being on salads & fruits or eat those super exotic foods to do that. In fact, crash diets can screw up your metabolism in the long run and not at all sustainable. You might end up gaining those pounds again once you stop (which is the YO-YO effect).
Also, they would worsen your belly fat and love handles issue.
Bottom line: Follow a well-structured “calorie deficit diet”.
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2) Eat Adequate Protein
As per RDA, one should at least have 0.8grms of Protein/kg of body weight. If you’re non-sedentary, physically active, or a gym-goer it can go up to 1-2grms/kg depending upon the activity.
The upper end is recommended for athletes and bodybuilders as they’ve high activity levels and follow a vigorous exercise routine.
Proteins are the building blocks of muscles that are essential for the growth, development, and recovery of the body.
During the fat loss phase, you might also lose some muscle and adequate protein intake would help you to prevent muscle loss.
Interestingly, Protein has the maximum TEF i.e thermic effect of the food amongst all the nutrients. TEF is the calories burnt by your body to breakdown and digest the food. Hence, more calories burnt.
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Bottom Line: Eating adequate protein as per your activity levels would help you to preserve muscle mass, burn more calories, and give you a speedy recovery.
3) Avoid Processed or Refined Foods
They have the least TEF and aren’t nutritious enough. Nutrients are stripped of during the processing. Refined foods are very quickly digested by the body and don’t keep your satiated enough. And guess what? Your body burns lesser calories digesting them.
Sugar is one of the examples of processed & refined food item which makes up my point no. 4
4) Limit Your Sugar Intake
Sugar is just empty calories not providing you any nutrients apart from ENERGY. You’ll pack on unnecessary extra calories with too much sugar.
This overtime will also decrease your insulin sensitivity leading to obesity, and the body would store more fat in the abdominal area. Also, excess sugar can cause bloating especially in carb-sensitive people. Say bye-bye to those sugary colas and cold drinks.
5) Avoid Junk Foods / Limit Your Sodium Intake
Junk foods are loaded with calories and sodium. Excess salt/sodium intake will make your body hold water especially on your face and the abdominal area. This gives them a fluffy appearance. Though it’s temporary, but even from a health perspective excess sodium intake should be avoided.
6) Eat Fiber
Fiber is filling and slows down the digestion keeping you fuller and satiated. It will keep cravings at bay, avoid constipation, and get rid of bloating.
Fiber works as an amazing natural appetite suppressant. As a result, you get hungry less often and consume lesser calories throughout the day. Fiber will prevent gaining those chunk of fat on your body and love handles.
7) Manage Stress
Stress hormone – cortisol which also increase your cravings make you eat more and make your body hold water resulting in bloating. This is called stress induced water retention.
Don’t believe me? Try exerting yourself too much in any physical activity and not sleeping straight for 2 days. You’ll mess it all up.
Recovery is crucial for optimal performance and managing our hormones. High cortisol levels are linked with belly fat and love handles. (study).
When the cortisol skyrockets, all your positive hormones like testosterone, GH, etc. goes down. Low testosterone levels will not only kill your sex drive and performance, but also result in less fat loss and muscle growth.
8) Add Healthy Fats
One of the biggest mistakes people which trying to lose weight is eliminating fats completely from their diets.
Same as the fiber, fats slows down the digestion making ya feel fuller for long. Fats are very crucial for the absorption of vitamins and production of hormones in the body. No – Fats doesn’t makes you FAT. #mythbusters.
A balanced diet having a good proportion of protein, carbs, and healthy fats should be the way to go.
Examples of healthy fats: Nuts, Whole Eggs, Flax seeds, Coconut Oil, etc.
Did you know that Black Coffee with Coconut Oil makes an insane Pre-workout Drink?
9) Weight Training
Yes, Lift weights. Weight training boosts up the metabolism keeping it elevated up to 48hours. It also builds muscles
and in the bigger picture you will burn more calories!
Compound and power lifting exercises like deadlifts, squats, bench press, etc. will recruit your maximum muscle fibers and burn max calories.
Cardio isn’t the only way and the best way to lose weight. Instead, combining it with weight training can give you the best of both worlds!
Check out: 9 Amazing Benefits of Deadlifts.
10) Supplements – Add On!
Supplements are always add-ons to your diet providing you an extra edge & support. If you’re following a well-structured nutrition protocol, supplements can help you to speed up the process be it recovery or any specific goals they’re been used for.
Cherry on the cake as they say! And as I say, supplementary not mandatory.
Check Out: 3 Bodybuilding Supplements of all time!
There isn’t any direct way to lose love handles or belly fat. You’ll need to focus on your overall body weight. “A Well structured nutrition plan along with the synergy of weight training and cardio or any other physical activity would help you do that”.
There aren’t any magical pills and you don’t need any so called ‘fat burners’ to do that. period.
Patience would also be required as getting rid of them could take the maximum time. Don’t give up and all the best!!
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