Anyone can lose love handles, and it really doesn’t matter what your personal hurdles are, such as getting older, killer cravings or after-baby weight, as you can learn how to lose fat. There are times when we are all betrayed by a fat stomach and our outfit feels tight, for example when PMS strikes, my belly grumble and gripes, after a heavy meal the night before, I find myself puffy in the morning, then there are the times when I eat something that totally disagrees with me, and can blow up like a balloon within half an hour.
How many of us look in the mirror and overlook the favorite nuances of our figure, but instead the eye travels directly to our abdominal fat. If you are like myself, then probably your first attempt at losing belly fat involved breathing in deeply, but this sucking in action brings only temporary relief, as you can’t hold your breath for ever, and as you breath out the belly fat returns.
Losing stomach fat has become the favoured occupation for the over thirty fives, as the belly expands and spills over our waistbands. You can do crunches until your neck aches, but still you can’t get rid of love handles. In another attempt to lose belly fat you diet, only to watch with disappointment as your face becomes drawn in, and your breasts become hollow, yet lose your love handles – no the belly fat stays firmly put, and soon starts to feel like your fate.
Even the strictest diet or hours on the treadmill doesn’t seem to help you loose love handles – why oh why is it that the belly fat just won’t budge.
If your quest is lose love handles then it is important to motivate yourself and know that it really is possible – yes it is! However there are a number of strategies and tips you may need to inspire and motivate you along the way. Things that will help you to help you forget about your past failures surrounding losing stomach fat, because there are ways to burn belly fat, you just don’t know about them yet.
Here I am tossing around the words belly fat without even discussing that there are two different type of fat. Perhaps you are already clued up on this, but for those who are not and are looking to eliminate love handles, the two types of fat are subcutaneous and visceral.
Subcutaneous fat is what you seek to lose, the inch you can pinch, but a moderate amount of this type of fat is essential for life, but excessive amounts visible indicate that we are overweight, and need to find a way to lose stomach fat. Again the good news is that you can do something to lose love handles caused by this type of fat.
If you are reading this article purely out of interest, but think that you have no fat stomach to lose, then these next facts may concern you a little. This is because the second type of fat, which is known as visceral fat, hides deep within your body and is often known, as hidden belly fat.
This fat is deadly because of its closeness to your liver and heart and an excess of this type of fat brings many more worries than just how to get rid of your love handles, because it increases your risk of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes. You can choose to exercise religiously and cut well back on your calories, yet still be left with too much of it.
More good news, no matter what type of belly fat you are fighting and for most of us it is both, there are flat belly programs, belly flattening nutrients and exercises that will help you lose love handles. The only problem is that you haven’t found them yet.
- Consider liposuction
Okay, so it's not a solution for everyone, but if you've tried many of the other methods described below and you just can't seem to get rid of your very prominent love handles, liposuction might be the solution. In fact, it is ideal for people who are 20 to 30 pounds overweight and who have a particularly problematic area in which they simply can't seem to lose weight.
During this surgical procedure, fat is "sucked" out of the body. Although there is very little actual weight loss, the shape of the body is improved, sometimes dramatically. To find out if this procedure is right for you, talk to your doctor.
- Strengthen your lower back
As you will see below, strengthening your abdominal muscles is a key step in reducing your love handles. But whenever you work on your abs, you should also strengthen the muscles in your lower back to "balance" the strength in your torso and reduce the fat on your back.
Try this exercise: Lie on your stomach, lift your feet and knees off the floor and "flutter kick" your legs as if you were swimming. Do this for 15 seconds, then stop for 30 seconds. Repeat twice.
- Cut sodium
Sodium -- which can be found in table salt, seasonings, soups, condiments, and many other prepared foods -- isn't just bad because it raises your risk of heart disease and stroke. It also leads to water retention, which can make problem areas like the gut and love handles seem even more prominent. Reduce your consumption of sodium-rich processed foods, and avoid adding salt to the foods you prepare yourself.
- Create a "V" shape in your upper body
Although working on your abs is a must in the quest to eliminate love handles, you can also create the illusion of having a smaller midsection by bulking up your shoulders, pectoral muscles and biceps.
There is a wide range of exercises you can perform for these different muscle groups, one of which is the lat pulldown. Sitting with your back flat against the seat, grasp the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart. Pull the bar down to your chest, pause, and extend arms back to starting position. Repeat 12 to 15 times.
- Drink water
You've probably heard it a million times before, and it's true: You should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Not only does it help reduce water retention caused by excess sodium, but water also helps the body metabolize stored fat into energy and suppresses the appetite. All these factors can help reduce your love handles.
- Do crunches
Although increasing the amount of muscle in your abdominal region will help reduce the appearance of love handles, keep in mind that spot reduction doesn't work. You can do all the crunches in the world, but they'll most likely be useless if you don't do any cardiovascular exercise and eat properly, as mentioned below.
That being said, there are a number of exercises that target your oblique abs and love handles more specifically. Try elbow-to-knee crunches: Cross your left leg over your right leg and twist your torso, bringing your right elbow to your left knee. Do as many reps as you can. Repeat on the other side.
- Reduce your alcohol intake
Although there is conflicting evidence as to whether or not alcohol causes weight gain, alcohol does contain a lot of "empty calories." And since men tend to deposit extra calories as fat in their bellies, drinking alcohol may contribute to those dreaded love handles. I'm not saying to pour all your beer and liquor down the sink, but drink alcohol in moderation if you're trying to lose weight, or try "light" or low-carb versions.
- Do dumbbell side bends
Dumbbell side bends are another great exercise to target the muscles under your love handles. Standing up, hold one dumbbell at your side and slowly bend your torso sideways, letting the dumbbell descend toward the floor. Slowly straighten up to the starting position using the strength of your abdominal muscles. Do 15 reps on each side.
- Cut calories
There are no two ways around it: To lose weight, you have to reduce the number of calories your body stores. Even if you work out like a psycho, you will still gain weight if the number of calories you consume is greater than the number you burn. Therefore, your diet is crucial in your quest to get rid of those wretched love handles. In a nutshell, you must consume fewer overall calories, as well as less fat and sugar, and increase your fiber intake. And of course, don't forget No. 10...
- Get into cardiovascular exercise
Once again, it comes down to burning calories so that they aren't stored as fat. Whether it's by hitting the treadmill at the gym, playing basketball with some buddies, walking to work, or even taking the stairs instead of the elevator, every little step counts. Of course, the amount of cardio you must do all depends on how bad those handles really are. If you have a lot of weight to lose, you should probably seriously consider that gym membership. If the problem is minor, some low-intensity exercise may be sufficient.
BURN, BABY, BURN
Although there are no "miracle" solutions to get rid of those unsightly love handles, there are definitely ways to reduce them. A combination of exercise, healthy eating habits and targeted exercises will have you looking slim and trim in no time; just be patient and don't give up.
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