How to Get Rid of Love Handles
We’ve covered the tips for getting rid of your man boobs, but there’s another area of the body fat that can build up, which has been given a nickname – love handles.
In this article, we’ll take you through all the aspects of your love handles; what they are, how you get them and, crucially, how to shift them for good.
What Are Love Handles?
Love handles are an area of fat build-up extending outwards from the hips. They earned their name for looking like handles you’d get on a jug but which could be held on to during an embrace. The light-hearted nickname should not fool you – love handles are not a good thing to have.
They’re not dangerous as such, but they may indicate other underlying conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and high cholesterol.
What Causes Love Handles?
There are many causes of love handles, some of which are beyond your immediate control. Hormones, specifically too much cortisol, are one common cause. Simply by ageing, you are at increased risk of getting them – belly fat accumulation is one almost unavoidable side effect of the ageing process and love handles are a form of belly fat.
However, there are some causes of love handles you can control. Poor diet is one, and a lack of physical activity is another. Sleep deprivation can also cause them, as can undiagnosed medical conditions such as an underactive thyroid.
How To Get Rid Of Love Handles?
There are three main ways for you to combat love handles, all of which are simple but can be extremely effective.
The first thing to address is your diet. Sugary foods and alcohol can cause love handles – it is best to reduce the intake of both groups. You don’t have to omit them completely, but certainly, try to cut them down.
Some foods are good for reducing love handles, and as with all good weight control programmes, they can be mixed up depending on your tastes. Getting rid of your love handles doesn’t have to be a chore – you can bring items into your diet like oat bran, sweet potatoes, white tea, black beans, guacamole, chickpeas, raspberries and oysters. With such a wide range of positive foods, it’s easy to construct a diet plan that suits you and is effective simultaneously.
Changing your lifestyle will also help. Getting the right amount of sleep is important, ranging from seven to nine hours, depending on the individual. Cutting out excessive alcohol can also help, as can stopping other unhealthy habits, such as smoking.
Many believe smoking is a good way to control weight, but a study has shown that smokers of any weight tended to crave high-fat foods more often than non-smokers. Whilst giving up can lead to temporary weight gain, you’ll be more likely to form positive eating habits and shift those love handles if you’re not smoking in the longer term.
Of course, exercise is hugely important in any weight control journey, and there are some that specifically target love handles.
Side planks are a good start. In this exercise, you lay on your side with your weight on one arm. Stack your legs, one on top of the other, to form a straight line from head to hip. With your knees touching the ground, raise your hips, squeeze your glutes for 30 seconds, and relax. Swap sides and repeat a couple of times.
Russian twists can also be very effective. These seated exercises start with your legs bent in front of you. Lean your torso back so you’re at a 45-degree angle to the floor and, with your knees bent, lift your feet off the ground, so you’re balancing on your behind. Twist your torso right, bringing your weight to the right side of your body, then do the same to the left. Repeat for 30 seconds to a minute at regular intervals during the day.
If you're looking for an immediate solution to get rid of your love-handles, shapewear in the form of compression vests, shirts and girdles are designed to provide targeted compression and support to the midsection, often used to reduce the appearance of love handles and other bulges.
Compression vests are worn over the upper body, like a tank top or undershirt, and are made from stretchy, lightweight, and supportive fabric that helps to smooth and contour the waist and torso.
Girdles, on the other hand, are worn around the lower body and extend from the waist to the thighs. Made of the same fabrics, they provide effective compression, designed to hold in and shape the midsection, hips, and buttocks.
Both compression vests and girdles can be effective at reducing the appearance of love handles and smoothing out other areas and come with the added benefits of improved posture and back support.
Some people find that these products help them to feel more comfortable and confident in their clothing, especially when wearing form-fitting or body-hugging styles. It's important to keep in mind, however, that shapewear is not a substitute for proper diet and exercise and should not be relied upon as a long-term solution for weight loss or body shaping.
Love handles can cause people to lack self-confidence, but there are methods by which you can combat them. By following these simple tips, you can start to battle your love handles and strive for a shape you feel more comfortable with.