No one’s every excited about the appearance of love handles or muffin tops, whatever you want to call them. I have a family member who saved his ankle from possibly being broken by deflecting the direction of a large piece of lumber with his muffin top. Though we joke with him about this incident, he knows that it’s much better for his health if he’d reduce the size of his love handles. Well, if you know someone who is in the same boat or if you are interested for your own self, then here are 7 tips on getting rid of love handles.
7. Quit Eating Junk Food
Most people know that there is nothing nutritious about junk food. Donuts, snack cakes, cookies, candy bars, and potato chips are all loaded with empty calories. This means you gain a lot of calories to your total of calories taken in for the day, but none of them are beneficial calories that help your body produce energy. Junk food tends to be filled with ingredients that get turned directly into extra fat and stored for later.
6. Walk or Jog
Start by walking short bouts and then slowly increase the amount of time you walk, as well as the distance covered. If you feel like jogging, then go for it. Speed walking may look silly, but I’ve read many articles that state it is better for you than jogging, since it isn’t as high-impact as jogging. You can also speed walk in a mall on rainy days, while jogging through the mall is often frowned upon.
5. Ride a Bike or Take a Spinning Class
I love riding a bike, but unfortunately I now live in an area where it’s difficult to ride a bike. The roads are either too curvy to avoid being hit by a car or there’s too much gravel to steer easily. If you have a gym nearby, see about joining a spinning class. Taking a class with other people who are trying to gain all the health benefits associated with riding a bike might help you become more motivated to stick with this new exercise program.
4. Do Torso Twists
My PE coach used to refer to these as The Bicycle. The motion of the torso twist is very similar to the traditional ‘bicycle’ exercise. Lay on your back with hands behind your head. Bring up your right knee and twist to try and touch your left elbow to the opposite knee. Repeat this motion for the opposite knee and elbow and alternate for 12 to 15 reps.
3. Do Side Bends
Side bends may not feel like they do much for love handles, but the difference can be seen after you’ve done them for a while. Once you get the hang of doing side bends, try incorporating some light weights into the mix. To do a side bend, stand up straight and place your right arm at your side, while the left hand is behind your head. You can also point your left arm straight up past your head too, whichever feels more comfortable. Bend towards the right while tightening stomach muscles and sliding the right hand down your right leg. Repeat for the opposite side. Do about 20 reps of these. When using weights, hold the weight in the hand that is above your head and not the hand moving towards the ground.
2. Limit the Amount of Fat in Your Diet
This should be an obvious tip, since eating a lot of fat often leads to more fat being stored in the body, hence the appearance of love handles. Reducing the amount of fat in your diet will cause your body to use up the fat storage it already has.
1. Count Calories
Find out how many calories you should be consuming each day. There are plenty of calorie calculators online that you can use. The number of calories you should be ingesting will depend on your age, sex, weight, and the level of physical activity you partake in. For losing weight, the average number of calories to cut out is usually 500. So, if you are supposed to be consuming 2500 calories, according to your calculator, but you want to lose weight, then you’ll need to cut down to 2000 calories each day.
I hope you find these 7 tips on getting rid of love handles to be helpful ones. It will take a while to see some results. If you want to keep a visual account of how you are progressing, take some pictures every couple of weeks and compare them. You’ll be surprised at how good you will feel too! What are some exercises that you think are useful for reducing love handles?
Top Photo Credit: catklein