How to Get Rid of Love Handles (for Men)
Fat loss looks different for everyone. Love handles on men are one of the most challenging areas of the body to burn fat. These pesky ‘spare tires’ are the region of fat that hits just above the belt.
Unfortunately, it will take more than a few crunches and push-ups to get rid of the excess fat. Love handles sit on top of the obliques, and this specific group of abdominal muscles is known to be tricky.
Tip: You can’t really target fat loss. Fat is used as energy during your workouts and is reduced after time.
What Causes Love Handles in Men?
Flabby bits on your tummy are usually caused by being overweight. Obesity is one of the leading causes of fat retention, but even men who are not drastically overweight can have love handles. It all depends on how your body stores fat.
These fatty deposits can also be caused by stress. Stress creates a hormone called cortisol. The more cortisol in your system, the greater your chances of developing fat around the midsection.
What is Belly Fat?
Your love handles are made from subcutaneous fat, which sits just beneath the skin. Believe it or not, this is good news. Subcutaneous fat doesn’t lead to heart disease and other health issues associated with visceral fat, but it’s still annoying to carry around.
Some men turn to opt for medical procedures to get rid of love handles like liposuction or non-invasive treatments like fat freezing. Another option is to lose fat and gain muscle mass through diet and strength training. So if you’re looking to say goodbye to stubborn love handles, be prepared to put in the work.
Abdominal fat loss is a challenge. Losing some of your overall body weight can help speed up the process. Concentrate on the following areas to help eliminate body fat.
- Healthy Diet
- Cardiovascular & Resistance Training
- Abdominal Exercises
Read on for some of the best tips and tricks to lose belly fat and achieve a slimmer waistline.
How to Get Rid of Belly Fat by Dieting
How are your eating habits? Weight gain is one of the most common causes of those annoying fat pockets on the sides and front of your belly. The first step in achieving your body goals is to focus on weight loss. You’ll never achieve washboard abs if you’re not eating healthy. It’s time to replace the soda and pizza with water and whole grains.
Here are a few weight loss tricks to remember:
- Drink plenty of water per day
- Limit fried foods and cheese
- Replace grain carbs with fruits, vegetables, and nuts
- Eat five servings of vegetables and fresh fruits each day
- Limit processed sugar
- Eat meals with lean protein and fiber-rich veggies
- Incorporate healthy fats like avocado or coconut oil
- Eat carbohydrates before your workout session
Exercises for Love Handles
A consistent cardiovascular/resistance training program will help you lose stored fat in your midsection while increasing your metabolism. For men, the excess fat in the lower back is the last to leave your body.
For the best results, do around 20-45 minutes of a full body workout per day like running, biking, jogging, swimming, or anything that will increase your heart rate. Also, try to mix in basic exercises a few times per week like push-ups, bench dips, Russian twists, squats, and lunges.
Remember, it’s important that you don’t focus all of your energy on losing fat in one place on your body.
Build Yourself Up While You Lose Your Love Handles
It can be easy to focus on a specific area when you have a goal in mind. But when you’re slimming your midsection, it’s important that you don’t forget about other body areas. For example, build up your upper body, including your pecs and arms, to give the illusion of a smaller middle. Spot reduction or only eliminating fat from one area of the body doesn’t typically work. Instead, it’s best to focus on building muscle throughout your whole body.
Check out this sample routine below to help give you a better idea of what you should be doing to slim your middle.
Monday & Thursday: Upper-Body
Two days per week, you should focus on your upper body. This could include push-ups, crunches, bench dips, pull-ups, or weight training with dumbbells.
Tuesday & Friday: Lower-Body & Love Handles
Two days out of the week should be dedicated to your lower body, like walking, running, or biking. Include squats, lunges, left & right crunches, and hip rollers to focus on your love handles.
Wednesday: Cardio Day
Dedicate one day per week to really getting your heartbeat up. A lot of men enjoy HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training. This training technique requires you to give 100% effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise. HIIT is great for keeping up your heart rate and helps burn fat in less time. However, if this is too intense for you, consider doing sprints, aerobics, or jogging.
Find a Routine that Works for You
If you’re not interested in staying in a plank position for 3 minutes to lose belly fat – that’s ok! Instead, look for a diet and exercise routine that works for you. Getting rid of annoying side bulges is about losing excess fat and building up lean muscle.
Use the tips above to help slim down your middle and prevent love handles from returning.