Get Rid of Love Handles Fast
Who doesn’t want to get rid of love handles quickly? And…whoever thought of the name ‘love handles’, anyway? I’ve yet to meet a person who looks at those guys with loving regard and wishes they’d stay forever. But the fact of the matter is, love handles (or hate handles…whichever you prefer!) are seemingly one of the most difficult areas of the body to get rid of…that is, if you go about it the wrong way.
Most people I come across who have tried to get rid of those little love muffins have done spot training…or workouts specifically designated for the area. This would include crunches, the ab wheel, captain’s chair, side crunches, etc. The list goes on and on. Whereas I’m all for doing core work, this is not going to get you anywhere as it pertains to your love handles. This is because you are not focused on the root issue: losing fat. Go ahead and pinch your love handles…don’t worry, nobody’s looking…now, once you’ve done this ask yourself: Are you grabbing fat or muscle? (Hint – if you’re able to grab it…it ain’t muscle!) So, until you address the bigger issue (fat loss), you will never get rid of love handles.
I’m going to be honest…getting rid of this area is easy for some and very difficult for others. Even very thin people can struggle with love handles. If you fall in the latter category it’s just going to take some laser-like focus, but it will happen!
I will for sure provide some overall information and recommended workouts but I want to also note that there are two phenomenal programs on the market today you might want to check out. One (the first one shown) is mainly geared toward men but helpful for women as well. This one is exclusively geared toward eliminating love handles and full of proven diet and exercise science to really refine that area. Going this in depth is just beyond the scope of this article so for those wanting to get serious about your love handles, I recommend you check it out. There are no programs specifically for women on this topic but the second video I have posted is for women to eliminate trouble spots in general and focuses A LOT on core work, as well as total body workouts. With her techniques, you’ll definitely get rid of your love handles, as well as any other stubborn areas you may have:
EXCLUSIVE “GET RID OF LOVE HANDLES” VIDEOS!!
So…If you want to get rid of love handles quickly, you have to first and foremost focus on your diet. We are going to eliminate all fat-storing triggers from your diet for one month, and we are going to include numerous fat-burning triggers right away. I am going to lay out 5 diet rules for you to start implementing today. But here’s the thing – I need a one-month total compliance to these 5 rules in order for you to really achieve the results you’re after.
So, for the next 31 days…STAY FOCUSED!
RULE #1: Limit Carbohydrate intake to 75 grams or less for men and 50 grams or less for women. This includes any product containing grains like bread, pasta, oatmeal, rice, millet, etc. Why would I take away your beloved spaghetti? Because that beloved spaghetti has taken up residence on your sides. Carbohydrates are your body’s first type of fuel source that it prefers. So, when your body is having demands placed on it in the form of exercise, it is going to go for your stored carbs from your last meal. Guess what happens when your last meal doesn’t have enough carbs to fuel your body? It goes for your fat reserves and utilizes that as fuel! If you’re going to ignore all my other rules, but stick to this one, you are still going to see results pretty quickly. All the other rules will only fast forward your efforts.
RULE #2: Cut out all sugars. This will kinda have to happen with the first rule, but it’s worth mentioning as a second rule because there are hidden sugars EVERYWHERE in your cupboards that you don’t even know are there and are belly fat enemy #1! Check your ingredients list and donate or toss anything with sugar in the ingredients. Keep in mind sugar is discreetly labeled in many different ways to trick you. Here are ten very common names for sugar you will likely find on your ingredients lists. Be sure these are not part of your diet for the next 30 days:
- barley malt
- ethyl maltal
- cane-juice crystals (or anything with cane juice written in it is just a fancy name for sugar)
- cane sugar
- corn syrup (also abbreviated as HFCS – High Fructose Corn Syrup)
RULE #3: Have a cheat meal once every 7 days. Keep in mind I said “meal” not buffet-style feeding frenzy. Once per week, have a breakfast or lunch of whatever you would like, trying to keep your caloric intake at 1000 or below for men and 800 or below for women for that meal. Don’t have your cheat meal for dinner as you will not burn it off and it will be directly stored as fat. This serves to keep your metabolism efficiently burning fat for the next 7 days. It sort of resets everything. A big problem for people when they try to get rid of love handles is when they severely restrict their calories over a long period of time, their metabolism and weight loss will invariably slow down, resulting in the ever famous WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAU. This is because of a hormone called leptin. Leptin production will decrease in periods of sensed starvation. We don’t want this because your leptin controls your metabolism (and pretty much everything else in your body). So, a decreased leptin = a decreased metabolism. By following the other two rules, your body will think it is starving because you have made a big change in your carboyhdrate consumption. A high carbohydrate cheat meal allows the body to settle down and not enter starvation mode because it is supplied with carbohydrates again, which the increases leptin. This will create a burst of insulin, which will then increase your leptin levels and in turn, increase your metabolism.
RULE #4: Increase your protein intake. The best rule of thumb here is to have 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body weight. If you don’t know your lean body weight, then have 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Protein is going to be your best friend for the next 30 days. All food has what is called a thermic effect, or the energy our bodies use to digest it. Protein has a higher thermic effect than does carbohydrates or fat which means our bodies work hardest to digest it, thus expelling more calories per calorie eaten. Protein’s thermic effect reading is between 20%-30%. So, let’s say you weigh 150 pounds and eat 150 grams of chicken, which is roughly 800 calories. It will take your body between 160-240 calories just to digest that 800 calories. SCORE!
RULE #5: Fast for 24 hours one time each week. Despite the ridiculous amounts of health-promoting benefits fasting has on the body, we’ll just look at it from a fat-burning perspective. When you fast, your insulin levels are low, which in turn increases your fat burning. If your body has no other food source present, it will take from your fat stores (insert LOVE HANDLES!!! here). Be sure you drink a lot of water and having coffee (no cream or sugar) is fine. I generally advise that people eat a high protein, high fat breakfast, then skip lunch and dinner, and resume NORMAL eating the next day at breakfast. Don’t sabotage your efforts by pigging out before and after the fast. The key is to act like you don’t know the fast is coming, and then act like it never happened.
Okay, so now that we have your nutrition nailed down, let’s focus on your workouts. As I said before, there is really no way to spot reduce your way to no love handles. We are going to focus on all over conditioning, with an emphasis on HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) cardio. There is great evidence to prove that HIIT Training in a fasted state (before breakfast in the morning) reduces belly fat within weeks. Moreover, when you incoporate intervals into your training, your body produces EPCO (Excess Post Cardiovascular Output) which is just a fancy way to say your body keeps burning calories long after your workout is over…up to 36 hours later!
More studies demonstrate that if a workout produces a high release of lactic acid buildup, it almost doubles your results. Great news for fat loss, not so great news for your workouts.
To build up lactic acid, you have to tap into your lactic acid energy pathway (1 of 3 energy pathways in the body). In order to do that, you need to do things your body can only physically take for 15-20 seconds. The good news is that it’s only a few seconds, the bad news is that those few seconds are going to suck! Below is a good example specific to running, though you could take the same principles and apply it to any form of cardio:
Sprint 20 yards as fast and as hard as physically possible, walk back to start. Repeat 10 times. Each week, increase your distance by 10 yards. Perform this 5 times per week first thing in the morning before eating.
In addition to your cardio, you’ll want to add in some resistance training. Below is a great sample workout, specifically geared toward getting rid of love handles. Perform this after your cardio 3 times per week. Choose weights that are heavy enough to fatigue your muscles by the end, but not so heavy that it induces muscle failure.
Pullups x 12
Pushups x 12
Front Squats x 12
Burpees x 12
Dumbbell Rows x 12
Repeat sequence 3 more times.
Finish up with some ab work by doing the following:
Plank – hold for 2 minutes (build up to this)
Side Plank – hold for 2 minutes (build up to this)
Leg Lifts (perferably hanging, but on a captain’s chair and lying on your back is fine too until you can build up to hanging) – Perform 5 sets of 20 reps.