Love handles, muffin top, spare tyre… these are just a few of the names that we use to describe the deposits of excess body fat that sits all the way around our abdominal area. It’s not just about fitting into that dress or your favourite pair of jeans, excessive fat stored around the abdominal area can also damage your health by increasing your risk of developing diabetes or heart disease. It can be pretty challenging to get rid of too. Let’s be honest ladies, there’s not an awful lot to ‘love’ about those love handles is there? Whilst you can target the oblique muscles located on the sides of your waist by doing specific exercises, doing tons of ab exercises alone isn’t enough to banish your bulging waistline. The best way to banish the bulging waist involves the same principles for losing weight anywhere on the body.
Let’s have a look at ways to kick those “love handles” in to touch.
We all know that abs are made in the kitchen, and boy is that saying true. Try to eat lean and clean. Avoid excess sugars, salts and unhealthy fats and add fresh fruits, vegetables, good fats (like raw seeds or avocado) and lean clean proteins to your diet. The secret behind fat-loss success lies in properly fuelling your body with nutrient-dense food.
Make sure you stay hydrated so drink plenty of water every day. Water helps to keep you full as sometimes you think you are hungry but are, in fact, thirsty. It gives you energy, aides the metabolism and helps to burn fat. It is especially important to stay hydrated whilst exercising.
The link between sleep and staying slim is often underestimated. A recent study found that people who slept between 6-8 hours a night had a greater chance of achieving their weight-loss goal than those who slept less or more. It also found that lower stress levels were associated with greater success at weight loss, particularly when combined with between 6-8 hours of sleep.
Even if you eat healthily and exercise regularly, leading a stressful lifestyle can stop you from losing inches. When you are feeling stressed your body pumps out adrenaline and high levels of the hormone cortisol. This affects your appetite causing you to crave sugary, high fat foods. A high level of cortisol also promotes visceral fat (“love handle” fat) which surrounds your organs and releases fatty acids into your blood stream. This in turn raises your insulin levels and increases your risk of developing diabetes. Try yoga, meditation or taking a walk to calm and sooth the mind.
Looking good is all about feeling good and if you boost your body confidence you could see your fat-loss rate soar. Learn to cultivate a healthy love of your body by embracing your best bits and valuing the body you’ve got.
There is no magic exercise that can make your love handles melt away overnight, however, exercising and toning up will make you fitter, reduce your body fat and build muscle all over the body. Try these moves to help whittle your waistline. Alternate side bends, Torso twisting, Knee up’s and Wood chop.
Try incorporating some cardio exercise to your work out too. Not only will it improve your overall health and burn calories but it will strengthen your metabolism helping you to lose weight. Try jogging, walking uphill or cycling.
To help you stay on track and motivated, measure yourself. Taking body measurements can be more helpful than weighing yourself as muscle weighs more than fat. Keeping a food journal is another great way to help you stay organised. Writing down what you eat on a daily basis makes you more conscious of your choices as it’s down to you what you decide to eat throughout the day. Another great source of motivation is to work out with a friend. Exercising together can be a lot of fun and is a great way to help each other stay motivated, especially when one of you feels like giving up.