‘Love handles’ are fatty deposits on the back and sides of the waist. They can turn into a real problem. Not only are they ugly, they are not healthy. So what can you do about them? Are they easy to get rid of? Yes, you can get rid of love handles but it has to be part of an overall fat reduction program. Here are some ways you can reduce those ugly ‘love’ bulges.
Work on dropping overall Abdominal Fat
If you have love handles, it means that you have excess fat around the abdominal region of your body. You need to get rid of this fat because it is dangerous to your health. It can lead to metabolic disorders and possibly even heart disease or diabetes. When you reduce the fat around your abdomen, you can decrease your chance of suffering a heart attack or becoming diabetic. Another good side effect is that your love handles will disappear over time.
But hang on a second. Reducing abdominal fat is good but a good fat reduction regime will reduce body fat all over – not just around your abdomen. So, the good news is that while you really want to get rid of those unsightly love handles, you will also be reducing fat all over your body. If you have love handles, chances are pretty good that you have body fat elsewhere that you wouldn’t mind losing, right?
Here are some ideas to start on your fat reduction program:
– Cardio or heart strengthening exercise such as jogging or running on a treadmill will help you burn fat faster.
– Strength training will increase your lean muscle mass, which in turn will make you burn calories faster.
– Eating less calories will keep you from storing extra calories as fat.
– The best way to get rid of love handles is to do all three.
Work on your Six-Pack by Building Strong Oblique Muscles
Have you heard the term ‘Six-Pack Abs”? Probably, right? Well, Obliques are the muscles on either side of your abdomen. They surround the set of muscles known as the 6-pack. Oblique muscles give us the strength and flexibility to twist and turn when we need to. You won’t see yours if your love handles are covering them up!
Sronger obliques will help you burn calories and give you tight abdominal muscles or ‘abs’ to show off after the love handles are history.
Here are some recommended exercises you can use to reduce your love handles, get rid of abdominal fat and build your obliques:
– Bicycle crunches,
– captain’s chair leg raises, and
– vertical leg crunches. (This is also a good yoga stretching exercise)
Lie on your back and do quarter turns with your body while pedaling an imaginary bicycle. These really work your abs. Initially you may only be able to do a few but your ability to do more will improve rapidly the more you do them.
Captain’s chair leg raises
You can do these in an office or home. Hold onto the arms of the chair, raise your legs and hold them for 10-20 seconds. You will feel the pull on the back of your legs and and abs as they stretch. If you don’t have a Captain’s chair, an ordinary chair will do. Just hold onto the seat. Failing that, you can always lie on the bed with your legs over the edge, Put your hands under your bottom and do your leg raises. For extra stretching, intertwine your fingers behind your head and do the leg raises. You will feel the pull..
Vertical leg crunches
These are like the regular bicycle crunches except that you lie on your back and raise your legs perpendicular to your body. The yoga position is called the ‘double leg raise’. By itself, this is a good workout for your abs. Adding the bicycle movement adds power to your workout.
For extra benefit, pull your stomach in while doing an of the above exercises.
Watch What You Eat!
We all know that foods which are sugar and sodium (salt), add fat to your body. To shed those love handles, you’ll need to eliminate from your diet foods that are adding belly fat. Food such as – fatty burgers with cheese and bacon, fries, pizza, hot dogs, pop, high-fat coffees, and junk food like potato chips, Cheesies, etc. Changing what you eat can dramatically affect the amount of belly fat and general body fat you consume. Most doctors will tell you to eat heart-healthy fats, like the ones in olive oil, nuts, and salmon; 3 servings of calcium from green, leafy vegetables or dairy products; and plenty of fiber from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Eat less beef and more chicken and fish.
Your body digests these foods slowly, so they leave you feeling satisfied longer. Remember, there’s a twenty minute lag between the time you eat and when the brain registers that you are full. So at mealtime, stop eating when you don’t feel hungry anymore – not when you feel full. Three cups of green tea per day will speed up your metabolism and ward off diseases
Don’t show your Love Handles
This thought won’t help you to lose your love handles but it should help you mentally. Don’t wear tight fitting clothes that show your love handles to the world. Wear clothes that fit properly – not too tight, not too loose. Even if you don’t have love handles, wearing tight clothes can make it appear that you do. If you already have them, tight clothes will make them seem enormous. If you are fighting to lose them, they are not something you really want to show off, are they? Shoe-horning yourself into a pair of too small jeans is not the way to show off your progress.
The secret to losing those ugly love handles is to lose fat and the only way to do that is to ‘burn off more calories than you eat’!
Bob Taylor is an educator, writer and researcher. He publishes a bi-weekly newsletter about weight loss, diet, exercise and lifestyle changes to help people lose weight and keep fit. Read more articles on his website: http://www.myweightlosssuccess.biz
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