[Article updated on 19/09/2023]
How to lose your love handles? Love handles refer to excess fat that accumulates on either side of the waist and hangs above the belt. They are found in both men and women and they do not spare athletes or thin people. Despite their pretty name, love handles are often a source of embarrassment, discomfort, even complex, to the point that we would like to get rid of them as quickly as possible. But how to lose love handles permanently?
Before reading on
I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.
The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.
Before proposing a series of proven solutions, it is important to understand the origin of love handles. Very knowledgeable on the subject, physical trainer Lionnel Gonnet explains that these bulges reflect a propensity of the body to regularly secrete more insulin than necessary. In the opinion of this specialist, this excessive production of insulin is due to a bad eating habit: that of regularly consuming foods rich in carbohydrates at the wrong time, too often and/or of poor quality. You will have understood: there are “good” carbohydrates (our friends) and there are “bad” ones (our enemies that we must know how to identify, so as not to avoid them or consume them excessively.
“Good” carbohydrates (to be consumed regularly) include but are not limited to vegetables, cereals such as oats and quinoa, bread, whole fresh fruits, lentils, beans, sweet potatoes, etc. “Bad” carbohydrates (to be consumed without excess) are, among others, white rice, white bread, processed cereals, foods rich in starch (such as corn and potatoes), soft drinks, sodas and sugary foods. preserves. Specialists criticize bad carbohydrates for providing little fiber and nutrients to the body and for having very high rates of glucose release into the blood: we speak of high glycemic indices.
For those in a hurry, my summary video will explain it all to you in a few minutes:
#1 Consume “good” carbohydrates at the appropriate times
Is it possible to eat carbohydrates morning and evening to lose your love handles? It is recommended to eat green vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) for breakfast (think omelette, no cereal toppings). They contain a phytochemical called I3C (indole-3-carbinol) which will accelerate the production of testosterone (male hormone) and promote fat burning before your morning workout.
Furthermore, contrary to some assertions, consuming carbohydrates in the evening is a good thing for losing weight and staying in shape. Among these foods, you just have to choose those that have a low glycemic index like vegetables. A study conducted in Israel showed that during a low-calorie diet, people who ate high-carbohydrate foods in the evening lost 27% more fat than those who ate them at lunch.
#2 Incorporate complex carbohydrates into your diet
Swap refined carbohydrates (sugars) like white bread, pasta and white rice for nutrient-rich complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, beans, oats and brown rice can help you lose belly fat. Unlike refined carbs that make you hungry, complex carbs make you feel full throughout the day and can help you eat less. This is because complex carbohydrates are digested more slowly due to their high fiber content.
According to researchers, adding fiber-rich carbohydrates to your diet can help with weight loss, which can also help with losing love handles.
A study of around 50 people found that those who ate oatmeal for breakfast went longer without snacking and ate less at breakfast and lunch than those who ate cereal. Choosing fiber-rich, complex carbohydrates over refined carbs is a great way to lose weight and lose those love handles.
#3 Eat whole foods
One of the easiest ways to lose love handles is to eat a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods. Highly processed foods like fast food, fried foods, candy and TV dinners contain ingredients that are not good for your health.
There is evidence that people who eat a lot of processed foods are at greater risk of obesity and chronic diseases like diabetes and heart conditions. Incorporating more whole, natural foods into your diet is a great way to reduce your waistline. Healthy whole foods include vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, lean proteins and whole grains.
Preparing meals using whole foods at home, rather than opting for pre-made meals, can be another great way to lose love handles. In the opinion of researchers, people who regularly eat canned and fast foods sold in grocery stores and restaurants have more abdominal fat than those who do not have this habit.
#4 Increase your protein consumption
Adding high-quality protein to meals can help lose fat and maintain a normal weight. Protein helps you stay full between meals and can even reduce the urge to snack. Additionally, studies have shown that high-protein diets are more effective at reducing abdominal fat than low-protein diets.
Additionally, follow a high protein diet can help maintain weight once the (weight loss) goal is achieved. Including high-quality protein sources like eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes, seafood, poultry and meat in meals can help reduce excess fat, including losing weight. ‘love.
#5 Focus on healthy fats
By focusing on healthy fats like oily fish, seeds, avocados, olive oil and nuts, it is possible to significantly reduce your waistline and lose your love handles in turn. Healthy fats taste delicious and make you feel full, allowing you to eat fewer calories throughout the day.
A study of more than 7,000 people showed that participants who ate a high-fat Mediterranean diet with olive oil lost more weight and gained less abdominal fat than those who followed a low-fat diet.
Replacing less nutrient-dense foods with healthy fats can help you lose body fat. It could be as simple as adding a few slices of flavorful avocado to your meal. In fact, one study concluded that people who eat avocados tend to weigh less and have less belly fat than those who don’t. Even though healthy fats are high in calories, incorporating moderate amounts into your diet can help you lose weight and lose love handles.
#6 How to lose your love handles with dietary fiber?
Adding foods rich in soluble fiber to your daily diet can help lose love handles. Soluble fiber is found in foods like beans, nuts, oats, vegetables and fruits. They help keep you feeling full for a longer period of time by slowing down digestion and reducing hunger. The prolonged feelings of fullness from fiber have been shown to decrease the number of calories people consume throughout the day, leading to loss of body fat, including love handles.
If people increased the amount of soluble fiber they ate by just 10 grams per day for five years, they lost an average of 3.7 percent of their visceral fat, a type of harmful abdominal fat. What’s more, whole foods rich in soluble fiber are generally also rich in nutrients. Plus, they’re good for good bacteria and supportive of the internal health of your gut. Finally, how to lose your love handles with dietary fiber? Stock up on fiber…and that’s it!
#7 Drink water to stay hydrated
Properly hydrating your body is a must to stay healthy. Although water is the best liquid to drink, many people tend to quench their thirst with fruit juices, teas, energy drinks, and sugary drinks. The calories and sugar in sugary drinks add up and can cause you to gain fat around your waist.
In the opinion of researchers, increased consumption of sugary drinks induces weight gain, particularly in the abdominal region. Additionally, liquid calories don’t have the same effect on hunger as solid foods, making it easier to consume excessive calories and sugar. Instead of sugary drinks, hydrate with still or sparkling water, or unsweetened tea.
#8 Significantly reduce incorporated sugar
A healthy diet is the key to losing even the most stubborn fats. Reducing your consumption of sugar incorporated into your foods by avoiding eating said foods as much as possible allows you to clean up your diet. Incorporated sugar is found particularly in drinks and foods such as sodas, energy drinks, candy and cookies. The term does not apply to natural sugar found in healthy foods like whole fruits.
In addition to promoting the appearance of disorders such as diabetes and heart disease, eating a lot of sugary foods can lead to significant body fat, particularly in the abdomen, hips and thighs. Honey, table sugar, and syrups all contain a simple sugar called fructose. Several studies have shown that fructose causes an increase in belly fat. The majority of sugary foods are full of calories but contain few nutrients. Reducing the amount of added sugar in your diet can help reduce body fat and lose love handles.
#9 Cut down on alcohol to lose your love handles
An easy way to cut calories and lose weight is to cut down on alcoholic beverages. Drinking too much alcohol can cause obesity. In a study of more than 2,000 people, excessive alcohol consumption was associated with a higher risk of obesity.
Alcohol also increases feelings of hunger by stimulating brain cells that regulate appetite, which can lead to consuming more calories. Additionally, many alcoholic drinks are loaded with calories and sugars, which can cause you to gain weight. Although drinking small amounts of alcohol has been linked to health benefits, such as a reduced risk of heart disease, drinking too much is not good for your health or waistline.
#10 Practice mindful eating
By focusing on the food you eat and paying more attention to how you feel while eating, it is possible to lose belly fat. Eating healthily is a practice that can help you take control of your eating habits and can lead to consuming fewer calories. Mindful eating involves paying attention to hunger and fullness cues, eating slowly without distraction, and understanding how food impacts mood and health.
It’s a great way to become healthier, both physically and mentally, and has been proven to be an effective method for weight loss. A study of around 50 overweight and obese women found that mindful eating practices led to greater loss of belly fat and reduced cortisol levels. Additionally, practicing mindful eating can help maintain a normal weight once the goal is achieved.
#11 Escape stress
How to lose your love handles while being regularly stressed? Too Complicated…. Being stressed has a negative impact on both mental health and physical health, and can even cause you to gain belly fat. This is because stress triggers the production of the hormone cortisol. Also known as the “stress hormone,” cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands in response to stressful situations.
Although this is a normal function, prolonged stress and overexposure to cortisol can cause unwanted side effects like anxiety, headaches, digestive problems, and weight gain. Many studies have linked increased cortisol levels with weight gain, particularly around the waist. To reduce stress and prevent belly fat, focus on activities like yoga and meditation that have been shown to reduce cortisol levels.
#12 Get enough sleep to better lose your love handles
Like stress, not getting enough sleep increases cortisol levels in the body, which can lead to weight gain. Studies have shown that people who sleep poorly tend to be heavier and have more body fat than those who get enough sleep.
A study of more than 1,000 people over five years found that those who slept less than five hours a night weighed more and had more belly fat than those who slept seven to eight hours a night. Lack of sleep has also been linked to an increased risk of diabetes and obesity. To avoid gaining weight due to inadequate sleep, try to get seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.
#13 Move regularly throughout the day
Finding simple ways to increase the number of calories you burn throughout the day is a great way to lose excess body fat. Many people lead sedentary lifestyles and have workstations that involve sitting for hours. It has been proven that sitting for long periods of time is not good for your health or your waistline.
A study of 276 people found that every quarter of a minute of sedentary time (sedentary behavior) was associated with an increase in waist circumference of 0.05 inches (0.13 cm). Sedentary behavior was defined as lying or sitting. Creating a habit as simple as setting a timer every half hour to get up and walk around for a few minutes can make a big difference in weight loss. Investing in a pedometer is a great way to track your steps and see exactly how much you move during the day. We know how to lose love handles just by avoiding a sedentary lifestyle!
#14 Integrate weight training into your physical exercises
Exercising can help you lose your love handles, but doing weight training is particularly beneficial. A strength training exercise involves contracting your muscles against some form of resistance to sharpen your strength. While aerobic training typically burns more calories during a workout, strength training helps the body build muscle mass and burns more calories at rest.
Combining strength training with aerobic exercise is proven to be effective for burn fat belly. In fact, a study of 97 overweight or obese people concluded that a combination of resistance exercise/aerobic exercise was more effective at reducing body weight and abdominal fat than aerobic exercise or strength training alone. Additionally, strength training slightly boosts metabolism and helps burn more calories throughout the day.
#15 Favor whole-body movements
Focusing on working the part of your body that bothers you the most may be tempting, but working the entire body may be a more effective way to lose your love handles. Body-part focused exercise is not a valid way to lose stubborn fat and has been shown to be ineffective in several studies.
A better way to lose stubborn body fat is to incorporate full-body movements into your workout and add aerobic exercises that work a large number of muscles at once. Studies have shown that exercises that work the entire body burn more calories than traditional exercises like push-ups.
#16 Increase the frequency of cardio exercises
Cardiovascular or aerobic exercise is defined as any activity that increases your heart rate for an extended period of time. Aerobic exercises help burn calories and reduce excess fat on the body, which can help lose love handles.
Many people feel intimidated by the high-intensity nature of some aerobic exercises, like spinning or running. However, there are plenty of low-impact, easy-to-do aerobic workouts for beginners. Brisk walking, swimming, and working out on an elliptical machine are all great ways to get an aerobic workout. Experts in disease control and prevention recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week. That’s about 20 minutes a day.
#17 Try High-Intensity Interval Training
High-intensity interval training might be one of the most effective workouts for losing body fat. The workouts involve short bursts of intense aerobic exercise, each followed by a recovery period. These workouts are quick and effective. And several researches have shown that they can help lose body fat and lose love handles.
A recent review of 18 studies involving more than 800 people concluded that high-intensity interval training was more effective at reducing body fat and improving cardiopulmonary fitness than low-intensity continuous exercise. Additionally, this type of workout has proven to be a powerful tool against belly fat.
A study of 39 women concluded that adding high-intensity interval training to exercise sessions was more effective at reducing abdominal fat than traditional exercise alone. What’s more, the workouts burn a ton of calories in a short time, meaning you don’t have to spend hours at the gym.
#18 Engage your abs with Pilates movements
How to lose your love handles using Pilates movements? It can be difficult to find an effective workout that you actually enjoy. Fortunately, Pilates is a beginner-friendly exercise method that is beneficial for toning the abs. The practice helps improve flexibility, posture and core strength. Adding Pilates workouts to your daily routine can even help you lose weight and reduce your waistline.
A study of 30 overweight and obese women found that eight weeks of Pilates significantly reduced body fat, waist circumference and hip circumference. Pilates can be modified depending on your fitness level and is suitable for all ages. Another study of 50 women ages 60 and older concluded that eight weeks of Pilates significantly reduced fat mass while increasing lean body mass.
As we can see, there are many simple and natural solutions to losing your love handles. Trying a new set of exercises, eating fewer processed foods, and opting for more fiber throughout the day can help you achieve a more attractive figure. To lose fat and stay in shape for as long as possible, you need to make lasting changes to your diet, physical activities and lifestyle (moving from a sedentary lifestyle to regular travel). Certainly, changing one aspect of your life can lead to weight loss, but combining several of the methods is desirable because it will give a better chance of losing your love handles for good.