I get asked on a weekly basis ''how do I lose my love handles?''
Here are the three areas that I concentrate on if someone comes to me for a program looking to focus on losing their love handles:
1) Healthy Diet (to build energy and burn fat);
2) Cardio-vascular and resistance training (to burn fat and build muscle), and;
3) Targeted Abdominal exercises (to help firm the muscles under the fatty area)
The number one item if you will notice is food intake. As with any fitness and health goal - nutrition and exercise are always the main ingredients to success. Neither can be missing or you will not have the energy to exercise or you will be part of the yo-yo diet crowd, buying a new diet book every year. Here is how I would break it down to get rid of those "love handles":
1) Healthy Diet
The most important factor in acquiring washboard abs is eating a healthy diet. Here is a list of recommended healthy ways to help you lose a few inches:
- Drink at least three liters of water per day
- Eat five servings of vegetables per day especially greens
- LIMIT fried foods and dairy
- LIMIT processed sugar (for example: fizzy drinks or sweets)
- Eliminate fatty red meat - only lean red meats (1-2 times weekly)
Diets like the Atkins and other high protein diets may help at first if you are over 50 lbs. overweight or more, but to get rid of that last 10-15 pounds, it is recommended to follow a more realistic eating plan that does not ELIMINATE any vital nutrients (such as carbs) from your diet. I do not like to endorse certain diet plans because if you eat healthy, drink plenty of water and exercise, the fat will come off too AND you will be healthier and not lose lean muscle than just dieting alone. My nutrition plans are easy to follow and the results you get from following my plans will be sustainable long term, I see this as a lifestyle change and not a quick fix.
2) Cardio-Vascular and Resistance Training Exercise
Losing love handles (stored fat) and increasing the metabolism so you can lose weight more effectively are all tied into a consistent cardiovascular / resistance training program. The stored fat around your mid-section (especially for men) is typically the last to leave your body even after months or years of an exercise plan. It is difficult to lose those last few pounds. For women, the last few pounds of fat is typically stored in the hips / buttocks / thigh areas of the body.
Whether you are a man or woman, you should do 20-45 minutes of activities like walking, running, biking, or swimming daily 4-5 times per week, but also mix in 2-3 times a week of basic calisthenics like pushups, bench dips, squats and lunges. It takes a few weeks before you start to see the physical benefits or your diet and exercise program. You will see almost immediate results in your energy level, overall mental alertness when exercising daily.
3) You can do all the sits up and crunches in the world but without the above, it's no good. Important to get a balance of all three; Cardio, Strength Training and Abdominal work and that's when the results will be at their best. Hope this helps!