There was a time when I was looking for a solution to this same query. “How to get rid of love handles?”
Today, it amuses me how “experts,” tell you about targeting fat with spot exercises. Let me tell you now that spot exercising does NOT work.
I’m not going to on a tangent by telling you how frustrating it is for someone of my profession to see and hear this false information.
Instead, I will tell you the truth.
How to get rid of love handles— the truth
In short, to get rid of love handles, you need to diet and exercise. It is as simple as that. However, it is better said than done.
Losing your love handles is hard and seems impossible due to the flanks being the last to go away.
So, when you are still searching, “how to get rid of love handles?” And following these so-called experts’ advice, stop right now! Listen, or rather, read.
How to lose side belly fat, what you need to do now.
Side belly fat, love handles, spare tire, are all the same and the following are 5 on how to lose side belly fat:
- Avoid or limit sugar at all costs.
- Eat fat.
- Limit carbs.
- Cardiovascular activities.
- Strength training.
1. Avoid or limit sugar at all cost
If you have a sweet tooth like me, getting rid of sugar from your diet is like climbing Mt. Everest (never climbed it). I know how hard it is to resist temptation.
You have to realize that sugar is an empty calorie that only poisons your body.
Yes, POISON your body. Do you know that sugar is the leading cause of obesity? Yes, sugar, not fat.
Let’s get into why sugar is evil for your body.
The average American eats more sugar than they need, wayyyy over their daily recommended intake. Eating this much sugar will only increase your resistance to insulin leading to Diabetes.
Your liver can’t process all the sugar when it’s overloaded, turning it into fat instead — leading to fatty liver disease.
The following are everyday foods you must get rid of to lose your love handles:
- White bread
- White rice
- White flour
- Low-fat yogurt
- BBQ sauce
- Sports drinks
- Chocolate milk
- Flavored coffee
- Protein bars
- Vitamin water
Above is a shortlist, I can go on. However, you can have these types of food if they have low sugar content. Typically, these foods contain high amounts of sugar, so avoid them.
Now, I’m not advocating that sugar is the bad guy here. It is not; it is the overconsumption. You can have sugar— in moderation.
In saying that, moderating sugar is hard because it is addictive, which I know I have been addicted to in the past. I can demolish a whole cheesecake in 1 sitting. Gobble up 10 Krispy Kreme original glazed donuts. I can still overstuff my body in sugar if I don’t control myself.
“…the potential for overconsumption of sugars in form of sugary foods and drinks is substantial, and targeting added sugars as a source of excess calories appears to be a prudent strategy.”
[source: Controversies about sugars: results from systematic reviews and meta-analyses on obesity, cardiometabolic disease, and Diabetes]
2. Eat fat
You may think that eating fat will make you fat because it is fat you are putting in your body. Fat is fat, right? Well, it’s more complicated than that. Did I just mention the word fat 5 times in 2 sentences?
There are many types of fat, good fat, bad fat, and in-between fat. Being educated on the right fats to put into your body can go a long way to you getting rid of your love handles.
Eating the right fats will stimulate your body to burn more calories. You will switch your body from burning carbs to burning fats instead.
How do you do that? It’s all about the Ketogenic diet. If you want to know more about Keto, the following is an article about losing your belly fat through ketosis.
Moreover, if you want more evidence why fat is not the culprit to obesity and Diabetes, the following is a scientific report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
“…multiple studies have found no significant associations of total fat reduction with cardiovascular events or mortality, and total fat does not appear to affect the incidence of type 2 diabetes.”[source: What the Latest Evidence Tells Us About Fat and Cardiovascular Health]
3. Limit Carbs
Carbs such as rice, pasta, bread, and milk. You probably think that you can’t live without those foods. Well, I’m not saying to cut it out of your diet, limit them.
If you think that wholesome goodness is a good alternative, think again. Whole wheat still contains plenty of carbs. So, avoid both white and whole. Yeah, I know, it sux. I’m just real with you.
Instead, you should focus on these types of carbs that are considered superfoods:
- Sweet potatoes
What is cardio? Well, think of it as a workout for your heart and lungs. Similar to how you work out your muscles, the more you do it, the stronger it gets.
Cardiovascular activities train your heart to respond to the demand for oxygen your muscles need in stressful movements.
For example, when you are running, your leg muscles are burning up oxygen. Muscles need oxygen to continue working.
As you run faster, your heart pumps oxygen-filled blood harder to circulate and meet the oxygen demand of your leg muscles.
Essentially, you are training your heart to get used to these types of situations. That’s why boxers, swimmers, MMA fighters always incorporate cardio in their training.
There are many cardio activities you can do. You can play sports, do high-intensity interval training (HIIT), or walk.
Walking is great to mix in with your current regimen. It is efficient, less stress on your joints, and anyone can do it.
Perhaps you think walking is too lax. Well, you can enhance it by walking faster or walking uphills, or you can do both.
However, Science shows that you don’t have to be always at your peak when it comes to fat loss.
As long as you are hitting your fat-burning zone, you are effectively burning your side belly fat.
Do you want to know the good news?
Well, to enter the fat-burning zone, it’s not as hard as you think. You can burn fat and talk on the phone at the same time.
[source: Quantifying differences in the “fat burning” zone and the aerobic zone: implications for training.]
How do you determine your ideal fat-burning zone? Ideally, you have to find your maximum heart rate first to determine your fat-burning zone.
You can learn your maximum heartbeat per minute by going to our maximum heart rate calculator.
Then go to our fat-burning zone calculator to ascertain your ideal heart rate for optimal fat burning.
5. Strength training
Strength training builds more muscle, and it’s a surefire way to weight loss. It compliments cardiovascular activities like honey to a bee.
Two decades ago, I used to believe that more muscles burn more calories. However, new studies have shown that this is not the case.
Here’s what Medline has to say about muscles burning more calories.
Myth #2: Adding muscle will help you lose weight.
Muscle burns more calories than fat. So will building more muscle not boost your metabolism? Yes, but only by a small amount. Most regular exercisers only gain a few pounds (kilograms) of muscle. That is not enough to make a big difference in the number of calories you burn. Plus, when not in active use, muscles burn very few calories. Most of the time, your brain, heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs account for most of your metabolism.[source: Can you boost your metabolism?]
So, muscles burn calories but not a significant amount. I also had this notion that with more muscles, your body turns into a fat-burning machine even while at rest.
It is great to be updated with all the bogus advice, especially on the internet, where people blindly follow without doing their due diligence.
The takeaway to this fitness myth-busting study is that continually pursue strength training because when your muscles are not active, it is not burning as many calories. And there is a compounding effect.
Tools you need to lose your love handles
1) My Fitness Pal
There are many apps out there, some free, some paid, and I have tried them all. The best by far, from personal experience, is hands down My Fitness Pal.
You can track calories you gained and lost. Also, you can combine it with their exercise tracker, which you need to add on, for free, of course.
This helps you be more mindful of what you are eating and reminds you that you have to exercise.
I try not to define my body by looking at the scale, but it’s data that you can use to motivate you further.
For example, the other day, my motivation was way low. You will get one of these days, trust me. I felt bloated, and I was doing my video recordings of myself. I looked like I was not losing weight.
However, the next day, I checked my weight, and I lost 1 kilo. I was so happy to see the number 69, no sexual joke intended.
Then I realized it must’ve been the water weight that made me looked like I was not making any progress.
So, get yourself a scale. Digital or analog, it is entirely up to you. The key is that you get some tools to obtain data and track your progress.
Again, there are free apps in the apps store, but the one I am using and love is the Interval Timer from dreamspark. This one contains ads like the many free apps, and you shouldn’t be too annoyed, you are getting a great tool.
You can choose to pay for premium to get rid of the ads. I didn’t even try to look if it’s possible, but I’m positive you can.
The beep is loud, and you can hear it over your music in a single room. I don’t know how it performs in a lively environment, though. A noisy setting where people are smashing dumbells and grunting blatantly to let everyone know they are strong and not to mess with them.
I grunt too, but not to a dB level of, you can hear me from across the room.
Those are all the tools I use to lose weight consistently. You don’t need more than that, but if you have money to burn, go all out.
To recap on how to get rid of love handles, you need to do 5 things. Avoid sugar; it is practically a poison for your body. Albeit, you can have it in moderation.
Eat fat. Eating the right type of fats will only make you feel fuller longer.
Limit your carb intake and focus more on protein to build muscles. Participate in cardio activities to shed some more calories. Couple your hard sweat with strength training, and you will turn your body into a fat-burning machine, a little.