“Love handles”. It’s a pretty affectionate term for something that has caused so many of us so much aggravation. Those stubborn little extra bits we carry around the hip are easy to gain and hard to lose. Just ask anyone who’s ever tried getting rid of love handles.
Burning them away tends to be much harder than shedding belly fat, and it can be so much of a struggle that it’s no surprise that many people give up hope.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Will the right knowledge and a little diligence, it is possible to shed a stubborn muffin top before your next beach trip. And to help you on your way, we’ve assembled a few tips to help you get started.
1. Cut Out the Sugar
At the most basic level, we build up fat deposits when we take in more calories than we expend. Which is why many people try to lose weight by simply eating less and exercising more. On the surface, this is a sound strategy, but the reality is a bit more complicated.
The sheer quantity of calories we take in isn’t the only — or even the most important — factor in how we retain fat. Food quality is at least as important if not more so. And in terms of quality, refined sugars rest squarely at the bottom of the charts.
When we say refined sugars, we’re talking about the common stuff that you find added into sodas, candies, and the like. These foods are full of a simple sugar called fructose, which in addition to being linked to a slew of health issues are also strongly correlated with increased fat accumulation.
2. Fill Up on Fiber
While cutting out harmful, hyper-processed foods should be a priority, the overall number of calories we eat is still a factor, of course. But cutting calories doesn’t mean that we have to literally tighten our belts.
A great little hack for feeling fuller for longer while eating less overall is to focus your attention on fiber-rich foods like beans, nuts, oats, vegetables, and fruits.
This works for a couple of reasons. One is that fiber is, by definition, indigestible. So that extra matter helps fill you up without actually adding any calories to your final total.
Another great perk is that fiber actually slows digestion down, so you feel satiated for longer and the calories that you do eat end up stretching farther.
Stress is probably the single most pervasive toxin in our society. Too much of it can have a negative impact on nearly every aspect of your physical and mental health. And your waistline is no exception.
This is because stress triggers the production of the hormone cortisol. Under normal circumstances, this is an ordinary biological response designed to make you more alert in dangerous or demanding situations.
But chronic exposure to cortisol can have a bevy of side-effects, including weight gain. Cortisol is also known to increase appetite, which is where stress-eating comes from.
In order to keep the effects of cortisol exposure at bay, you need to find an effective means of stress management. Yoga and meditation are two common choices, but everyone’s different and it’s important to find an option that works for you.
4. Work Out Smarter, Not Harder
Cutting calories is only half the equation. The other half is burning an excess of them.
But after hours on the treadmill, you still may not be seeing the desired results. That means it’s time to start working smarter.
Shake up your routine with compound strength-training exercises like squats, push-ups, and burpees. They’re so-named because they work for multiple muscle groups at the same time, making them highly efficient at burning calories.
5. Stay Hydrated
They say that water is life. But they should also say that water is weight-loss.
We all need to stay hydrated, but too often when we feel thirsty we find ourselves reaching for sugary sodas, sports drinks, or sweet teas. Which as we’ve established are among the worst things for shedding fat.
But staying properly hydrated ahs a side-benefit as well. While it’s not quite the same as eating a snack, drinking water nevertheless makes us feel temporarily full and can help stave-off midday cravings.
What’s more, our stomach sends us similar nerve impulses when we’re dehydrated as it would when we’re hungry. This causes many of us to eat more often than we need to when what our body really wants is just a drink.
6. Sleep It Off
It sounds counter-intuitive, but getting ample rest is crucial for slimming down.
This is because, as with stress, sleep deprivation increases levels of cortisol. Consequently, one five-year study concluded that individuals who slept less tended to carry more weight around the midsection.
7. Scale Back Your Alcohol Intake
Many of us enjoy a little libation from time-to-time. And enjoyed in moderation, there’s no reason why it needs to be unhealthy. But in large enough quantities, alcohol can have a sizable impact on our waistlines.
While it is a myth that alcohol is metabolized into sugar, many alcoholic drinks are loaded full of added sugar anyways. That alone would be enough to make drinking less a good idea.
But most alcohol is also loaded down with empty carbs and calories. And alcohol itself is linked to higher rates of obesity. Take all of that together, and it appears that now’s as good a time as any to scale back.
Getting Rid of Love Handles Made Easy
Bodies are like snowflakes; no two are the same. This means that although these tips are generalized, no two bodies will respond to them quite the same way. And despite their best efforts, many people find the common remedies insufficient for getting rid of love handles.
Fortunately, there are options. Whereas surgery was once the only viable clinical option for reducing the appearance of unsightly fat stores, there are now quick, painless, and non-invasive alternatives.
To learn more about how you can visibly reduce your love handles in as little as one visit, check out how our FDA-approved treatment works.