Over the years, one of the most asked questions I’ve gotten is, “How do I get rid of my love handles?” Although sometimes referred to as a “spare tire” or a “muffin top,” no matter what you call it, no one wants it.
So how to get rid of love handles, exactly? Well, it’s more than just fat-burning workouts, though that’s a good start. You need to also look at losing fat via diet changes and choosing the right core-centric exercises to reduce your middle.
Step 1: Fight Love Handles With Food
Since having a high percentage of body fat is responsible for love handles, it stands to reason that one of the best ways to get rid of them is to take a look at your diet.
No matter how much you work those abdominal muscles, there is no such thing as spot reduction and until you lean out through a well-balanced program of proper nutrition and exercise, those love handles aren’t going anywhere.One of the first things you should eliminate is addictive sugar.
At first, with the exception of giving up that morning doughnut, cutting out sugar may sound relatively easy. But the reality is that sugar is in virtually all processed foods and drinks.
The easiest way to avoid sugar? Avoid manufactured foods and choose vegetables, fruits, nuts and lean protein like fish and chicken. Another trick to help you lose weight is to make sure you are eating smaller meals throughout the day (aka, mindful eating). Oftentimes when we want to shed a few pounds, our natural tendency is to NOT eat.
The problem with that is what usually happens, at the end of the day we are starving, and we go on a nearly unstoppable binge of eating everything in sight. Simply by cleaning up your diet, you’ll be surprised just how much better you feel and look.
Step 2: Add in Some Exercise
Once you get your diet under control, it’s time to address your exercise routine. Maybe you don’t currently have one, that’s alright. You are a clean slate, and we can get you set on the right path with the best way to workout in order to burn unwanted fat while at the same time building strength.
And after all, that is exactly what you are trying to do. You want to change your BMI so that you have more muscle and less fat. Decreasing our percentage of body fat is what gets rid of love handles!
If you think that spending endless hours mindlessly logging miles on the treadmill is what I mean by exercise, I’ve got good news for you. Doing only cardio workouts can sometimes actually do you more harm than good. In addition, research indicates that regular aerobic exercise on body fat is negligible.
However, don’t let that discourage you. There are more efficient methods of working out that will help you reach your goals quicker. Your best option is burst training. Also known as interval training, burst training combines short, high intensity bursts of exercise with slow, recovery phases.
This is then repeated during an exercise session. The big difference is, you will be training at a higher intensity, usually around 85–100 percent of your maximum heart rate compared to the typical 50–70 percent with moderate, endurance activities.
Similar exercise methods to burst training include high-intensity interval training (HIIT workouts) and the Tabata workout. Another advantage of burst training is it can be done virtually everywhere, no fancy gym membership required. You can literally do it at home, in a park or in your hotel room if you’re traveling.
Here’s an example of a short burst workout:
Pick a few basic moves, that you will do for 4 rounds. Let’s say squats, jumping jacks, push-ups and running in place.
Perform each of these moves for 45 seconds with 15 seconds off before beginning the next move.
Try to work as hard as you can during those 45 seconds. Maybe try challenging yourself to see how many reps you can get in each of the working phases, that tends to keep you focused and working harder.
Take a minute off between each round.
Once you’ve completed all 4 rounds, you just successfully did a 20 minute burst training session … congratulations!
Step 3: Do 5 Simple Moves to Shape Your Waistline
I know I mentioned earlier that there is no such thing as spot reduction. Meaning we can’t just simply do crunches to melt away. I know we wished it worked that way, and there are certainly a lot of gimmicks on the market that promise us just that, but the reality is it’s a combination of proper nutrition and exercise.
That being said though, there are certainly exercises out there that when done in conjunction with those things can help us build better muscle definition and give us that slim, muffin-top free waist we covet. The following are my top 5 exercises for how to get rid of love handles.
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