the truth about love handles

THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE HANDLES AND HOW TO LOSE THEM

 

What is a love handle?

Despite love in their name, we all know there isn’t much to love for handles! Some of you may be wondering ‘what is a love handle’ and why do they get a bad press? Love handles are the excess fat that sits at the sides of our waist and over hangs pants - you know, a bit like a muffin top (just less tasty)! However, just because you have this fat – it does not mean that you are fat! A lot of people wonder why they get love handles, with common questions being ‘why do I have love handles if I am skinny?’ and ‘do guys get love handles’ well the truth is there are reasons into why this side fat exists!

What causes love handles?
Well, the unfortunate news is that that our side fat exists partly because of sheer physiology and not just the food we eat! So, why do some people get them, and some people don’t? Are love handles genetic? If you want the short answer, then no! But there are reasons why some of us have these undesired muffin-tops! For men, love handles are more difficult to lose because most of their fat cells are located in this area, meaning when excess energy is circulating the body, its prime storage is going to be around the tum. For women, side fat is mostly due to our hormones. Estrogen is the female hormone designed to encourage fat deposits in the hip and thigh area – creating the illusion of love handles but this also forms our most desired ‘hour glass’ figure.

Whilst many people try to target their waist to banish the muffin-top, endlessly doing crunches and other oblique exercises, the dead weight still clings on for dear life. The facts above may sound dismal (as you can’t do much to alter your physiology, sorry about that) and all too familiar - there are still dietary, exercise and lifestyle factors that we can control to help melt that muffin away!

how to lose love handles
how to lose love handles

How to get rid of side fat?

Reduce stress Hip and belly fat can be a result of high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. When the body is in a constant stressful state, cortisol raises blood sugar levels and can cause insulin resistance. This leads us craving sugary and fatty foods (just like that cake you had after your Monday morning meeting). To keep waist-widening stress at bay, engage in stress relieving activities such as yoga, socialising with friends, going for a stroll or taking a nice hot bath. Perhaps drink a cup of tea and unwind with our Slender Night Tea at the end of a stressful day.

Don’t obsess over your core You’re not going to see your abs if there’s body fat in the way, so doing a 100 sits up a day is not going to be effective. You don’t necessarily lose fat in the area you train, in-fact the majority of research suggests that ‘spot reduction’ doesn’t work. However, that's not to say your efforts aren't a complete 'waist' of time! It is worth noting that specific targeted exercises - when combined with cardio, strength training and a healthy diet - can indeed lead to fat loss and hence the fat hanging around on your sides.

The truth about love handles

Eat a healthy balanced diet To get rid of the fat that covers your waist and stomach, the diet is the first thing to address! Focusing on full body workouts and eating a healthy diet to create an overall calorie deficit is the only real way to lose fat from any region of the body, but be careful of entering the extreme... For more information on calorie deficits for weight loss check out our article on How to Create a Calorie Deficit here!

Avoid the fads Excessive dieting can wreak havoc on your hormones. Not only is this bad news for your metabolism, it can mess with your sleep quality, energy levels, mood and strength. Following a realistic diet that does not eliminate any vital nutrients and creates a moderate calorie deficit is much more sustainable. Not only will you see the fat fall off over time, but you will feel healthier, more energetic and not lose hard-earned lean muscle.

Cut back on alcohol Did you know alcohol contains 7.1 calories per gram?! Even just moderate amounts of alcohol have been shown to increase body fat (especially around the midsection), not only due to its calorie content but also its appetite-enhancing effects - the reason you reach for a kebab on the way home from the club! Alcohol can also mess with your digestion, making it difficult for your body to absorb important nutrients like amino acids and B vitamins, and can lead to impaired protein synthesis.

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The truth about love handles

 

THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE HANDLES AND HOW TO LOSE THEM

 

Despite love in their name, we all know there isn’t much to love for handles! Some of you may be wondering ‘what is a love handle’ and why do they get a bad press? Love handles are the excess fat that sits at the sides of our waist and over hangs pants - you know, a bit like a muffin top (just less tasty)! However, just because you have this fat – it does not mean that you are fat! A lot of people wonder why they get love handles, with common questions being ‘why do I have love handles if I am skinny?’ and ‘do guys get love handles’ well the truth is there are reasons into why this side fat exists!

What causes love handles?
Well, the unfortunate news is that that our side fat exists partly because of sheer physiology and not just the food we eat! So, why do some people get them, and some people don’t? Are love handles genetic? If you want the short answer, then no! But there are reasons why some of us have these undesired muffin-tops! For men, love handles are more difficult to lose because most of their fat cells are located in this area, meaning when excess energy is circulating the body, its prime storage is going to be around the tum. For women, side fat is mostly due to our hormones. Estrogen is the female hormone designed to encourage fat deposits in the hip and thigh area – creating the illusion of love handles but this also forms our most desired ‘hour glass’ figure.

Whilst many people try to target their waist to banish the muffin-top, endlessly doing crunches and other oblique exercises, the dead weight still clings on for dear life. The facts above may sound dismal (as you can’t do much to alter your physiology, sorry about that) and all too familiar - there are still dietary, exercise and lifestyle factors that we can control to help melt that muffin away!

The truth about love handles
The truth about love handles

 

Reduce stress Hip and belly fat can be a result of high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. When the body is in a constant stressful state, cortisol raises blood sugar levels and can cause insulin resistance. This leads us craving sugary and fatty foods. To keep waist-widening stress at bay, engage in stress relieving activities such as yoga, socialising with friends, going for a stroll or taking a nice hot bath.

Don’t obsess over your core You’re not going to see your abs if there’s body fat in the way, so doing a 100 sits up a day is not going to be effective. You don’t necessarily lose fat in the area you train, in-fact the majority of research suggests that ‘spot reduction’ doesn’t work. However, it is worth noting that specific targeted exercises when combined with cardio, strength training and a healthy diet can indeed lead to fat loss.

The truth about love handles

 

Eat a healthy balanced diet To get rid of the fat that covers your waist and stomach, the first thing that needs to be addressed is your diet. Focusing on full body workouts and eating a healthy diet to create an overall calorie deficit is the only real way to lose fat from any region of the body.

Avoid the Fads Excessive dieting can wreak havoc on your hormones. Not only is this bad news for your metabolism, it can mess with your sleep quality, energy levels, mood and strength. Following a realistic diet that does not eliminate any vital nutrients is much more sustainable. Not only will the fat fall off, but you will feel healthier, more energetic and not lose lean muscle.

Cut back on alcohol Alcohol contains 7.1 calories per gram. Moderate amounts of alcohol have been shown to increase body fat (especially around the midsection) due to its calorie content as well as its appetite-enhancing effects.  Alcohol can also mess with your digestion, making it difficult for your body to absorb nutrients like amino acids and B vitamins, and impairs protein synthesis.

 

- OTHER STORIES -

Cut out sugar in 7 days

CAN YOU CUT IT?

Avoiding sugar can be extremely difficult, so we've come up with a 7-day challenge to help you reduce sugar intake to a healthier level.

 

Full body hiit workout

FULL BODY HIIT WORKOUT

Try this combination of cardio exercises and abdominal moves and you'll be on your way to a slimmer waist in no time!

 

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