Love handles, also referred to as muffin top, is the fat comfortably sitting on both sides of the torso appearing in men and women.
How to get rid of love handles? To be honest there is no easy way to get rid of love handles fast, it is a difficult job that requires a lot of persistence and hard work. You must understand that fat will not melt off over night, especially if it was accumulating for months or even years.
Anyone saying otherwise is either not well-informed about how human organism works or is trying to sell you something.
The best way to get rid of love handles is the right combination of proper diet, high intensity interval training (HIIT) and a workout schedule targeting all abdominal muscles to remove this excessive fat. HIIT workout might not be suitable for everyone. Low or medium intensity workout (such as fast walk or jogging) will work wonders too.
Regular exercise vs HIIT exercise
Any cardio exercise intense enough will melt fat off. HIIT is a form of cardio that comprises high intensity intervals (like sprint) followed by slower cardio periods (let’s say jogging).
This training speeds up the metabolism which aids in losing body fat. Although HIIT sessions are usually short (5-15 minutes) the so-called afterburn effect lasts for hours to come.
Major weight loss happens as a result of getting more muscle mass which burns more energy than fat tissue.
Generally, exercises that target the obliques (moves that incorporate reaching to the sides) help in reducing love handles, but working out the torso as a whole sculpts the entire middle section more effectively.
Some examples of effective exercises to get rid of love handles
Unfortunately it is impossible to target a particular area in your body and burn fat off locally so there are no specific exercises to get rid of love handles. Nevertheless below exercises will help you lose those love handles. These exercises are suitable for men and women.
Instructions: get into plank and put the palm on the floor right under the shoulders. Start with one arm and lower down to the forearm and repeat with the other arm. Going back to plank can be repeatedly with one arm and then switch to the other or by changing arms each time. Make sure the hips and torso are steady while performing the moves.
Plank with oblique twists
Instructions: get into plank with the palms set in a straight line right under the shoulders. Lift up one foot, extend it to the back and then pull the knee towards the opposite arm. Extend the leg again and go back to plank. Do the same move with the other leg.
Side plank with hip drops
Instructions: go into a side plank with one hand placed right under the shoulder. Straighten both legs, anchor them on the floor, put the other arm on the hips and balance your weight on the straight arm. Lower your hips until they come a few centimeters from the ground, and then lift them up again. Do the same exercise while holding a side plank on the other side. Holding a dumbbell in the hand that is placed on the hips will add resistance to the move.
Instructions: lie on the floor with a flat back. Lift the legs up at 90 degrees and keep the same angle at the knee i.e. knees above the hips. Start by slowly dropping the legs down to the floor on one side, lift them up and then drop on the other side. Try to keep the shoulders on the floor and make sure you do not change the 90 degree angle on the knees.
Instructions: sit on the floor with bent legs and both feet on the ground. Extend the arms holding dumbbells or kettle bell. Lower the upper body at a 45 degree angle to the floor and start twisting the upper body while rotating the arms from one side to another. This can be modified by rotating the arms so the weight touches the floor or lifting the legs up in the air. In both cases, the legs should not twist as the body does.
Instructions: lie on the floor with bent knees, place the hands behind your ears and lift the shoulders so they do not touch the ground. Twist one elbow to the opposite knee while stretching the other knee forward. Repeat same movement on the other side.
Twisting sit ups
Instructions: lie on the floor with bent knees, feet on the floor and put your hands behind your ears. Raise the torso while twisting the body so that the elbow touches the knee on the opposite hand. Lower the upper body to the ground and do another sit up by twisting the torso to the opposite side.
Another very important aspect in losing love handles is what, how and when you eat. A diet rich in sugars will reduce the chances of getting a lean torso, while introducing good fats (coconut oil, omega-3s), seasonal fruits and vegetables, nuts and whole-grain foods will help you get to the goal.
The so-called “comfort food” including pizzas, fries, chips, cakes, candy etc should be avoided. Eat regularly and cook your own food; do not skip meals, especially not breakfast as the body has already been fasting for hours.
Try drinking a glass of warm water with squeezed lemon juice first thing in the morning. It will help in getting rid of the waste products that support fat storage around abdominal area and formation of love handles.
In any case, keep in mind that calorie intake must be lower than calorie expenditure so weight loss can happen.
Sleep and alcohol
Central elements are also sleeping and alcohol intake. When exhausted, people usually go for sweets and foods high in fats and carbohydrates. Going to bed and waking up at the same time puts the body in a routine and lowers stress levels.
Alcoholic beverages, especially sweetened alcohol drinks, have a lot of calories, and cause rapid changes in the blood sugar levels which can lead to fat storage around the torso. However, a glass of wine every now and then is allowed even when dieting.