Love handles are the extra flab around your waistline and may not only make you reach out to the next size of clothing, but also take a serious toll on your health. Some of the key causes for love handles include improper diet, lack of sleep, stress, and too much intake of sugar. Getting rid of love handles may not be a simple task, but it’s no Herculean task either. With regular exercise and healthy diet, you can easily chuck out those unsightly and stubborn bulges. Read on to know how to get rid of love handles at home, without hitting the gym.
Lifestyle Changes to Eliminate Love Handles
1. Don’t Stress
Stress increases the cortisol levels in the body, which results in the breakdown of muscle mass that adds to the fat content near the abdomen area. Therefore, try to do away with your stress by adopting stress management techniques (1).
2. Take Enough Sleep
You might be eating right and working out day in and day out to curb extra flab, but if you don’t get adequate sleep, there’s a chance that you may not be able to bid good riddance to your love handles. Then, how to lose love handles? The answer is simple- sleep amply. Due to lack of sleep, your body does not respond to insulin which leads to fat storage, especially, around your abdomen area (2).
Diet to Remove Love Handles
3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The dietary fats EPA and DHA present in Omega-3 fatty acids assists in weight management, therefore include foods that are rich in this content to your diet (3). Some of them are flax seeds, walnuts, soybeans, navy beans, kidney beans, tofu, fish and olive oil (4). Sea food is the major source of omega-3 fatty acids.
4. Add Beans to Every Meal
Intake of beans means more soluble fibre that reduces belly fat with good bacteria in the gut. Beans can be added to every meal in small quantities on daily basis (5). It has been proved through many studies that both, soluble and insoluble fibre decreases hunger and increases post meal satisfaction, which leads to weight loss (6, 7).
5. Vitamin C
Some might exercise well, but still find it hard to reduce belly fat if they do not consume enough vitamin C as it’s essential for the fat metabolism. When you don’t intake vitamin C rich foods, your body will produce fatty tissues but will not be able to use the stored fats which ultimately increase chubbiness in the abdomen. Foods rich in vitamin C include papaya, oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, and kiwi (8, 9).
6. Dairy Products
Addition of the right and small amounts of yogurt, cheese and milk increases calcium content that checks belly fat by reducing calcitriol – a hormone that adds to fat storage (10, 11). The concept of using dairy products for weight loss was confirmed by epidemiological data and clinical trials.
7. Drink Ample Water
Always drink two glasses of warm water prior to your meal. You will not overeat and intake only what’s essential for you. Moreover, one must drink 7-8 glasses of water a day (12).
8. Say ‘No’ to Aerated Drinks
They are fizzy and they’re fun, but aerated drinks will result in abdomen fat over the course of time as the high dosage of sugar increases your appetite. Diet sodas might have artificial sugars or aspartame, but still have the same impact on your appetite, as they convert into formaldehyde once you consume them (13, 14, 15).
9. Say ‘No’ to White Foods
Go low on intake of food with zero nutrition value like sugar, salt and potatoes. It’s time to reduce the intake of those instant noodles you have been living on. Breads, rice and pasta must be shunned too. Replace these with greens and vegetables in your diet, and you may indulge in wheat pasta occasionally (16, 17).
10. Go the Lime Way
Water is the perfect drink for good health, but to lose love handles – add lime to lukewarm water, as this enhances digestion and helps detoxify the body. Apart from this, lemon zest or peel helps reduce hunger and increases metabolism (18).
11. Add Figs to Your Diet
Figs are rich in calcium, fiber, potassium and iron. They are also rich in vitamins A, B1 and B2. The high fiber, whole grain breakfast is very beneficial for weight loss (19). However, you must not overeat; it’s suggested to have these in small portions in your day to day diet (20, 21).
You can add figs to yogurt or oatmeal, or have them as a dry fruit. It also helps in the slow absorption of sugar in the small intestine.
12. Green Tea
Green tea helps you manage weight by balancing your appetite and improving your metabolism. You can replace your caffeine intake with green tea, or have it as a drink alongside your main course heavy meals (22, 23).
Exercises to Get Rid of Love Handles
Here are some workouts to check love handles, which one must perform daily.
13. Twisting Crunches
Crunches directly have an impact on your abdominal fat. Twisting crunches are pretty much like regular crunches, but while performing twisting crunch you raise one knee to touch it with the opposite elbow, i.e., your right knee with your left elbow and vice versa.
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14. Leg Flutters
Leg flutters strengthen your back, and makes your abdominal muscles firm along with weight loss in this area. Lie down on your stomach and lift your head slightly. Place your arms on side or bend them at the elbows. Bring your knees and feet up and kick your legs back and forth. Do these with small relaxation breaks (25).
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15. Standing Trunk Twists
Stand erect with one feet distance between your legs, twist your trunk to the left and ensure your legs are straight. As you twist, punch in the air, with one arm at a time. When you twist to the left side, punch with your right arm. Do 25 reps on each side.
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16. Standard Crunch
Crunches have a good impact on your waistline, but ensure that you go easy on this one – begin and increase the count gradually each day. Lay in the supine position. Bend your knees with feet flat on the floor. Put your hands at the back of your head. Your elbows should be out to the sides. Slightly tilt your chin and gently pull your abdominals inward. Now, curl up and forward in such a way that your shoulder blades, neck and head lift off the floor. Return back to the original position after a few moments (26).
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17. Leg Lifts
Lay on your back or side and lift one leg a few inches off the ground. Repeat with the other leg, and repeat the process for at least 25 times for each leg. Gradually increase it to 50 and then to 100 (28).
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It might be the age of superbikes, but choose to pick a bicycle for your workout sessions every morning and bid adieu to those love handles. These will tone your abdomen and thigh muscles (29, 30, 31).
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20. Side Bends with Dumbbell
This is a very effective exercise to get rid of love handles. Your position of standing should be such that your feet is about shoulder-width apart. Hold dumbbell one hand and other place other hand behind your head. Stand straight and bend to the side where there is dumbbell weight. Return to the initial position. Do not bend knees or hips. Continue bending from side to side (34).
- Have 4 – 5 meals a day instead of savoring on one large meal. Eating in small and adequate portions throughout the day – improves your metabolism and helps burn fat. Moreover, it also provides you energy to carry out daily tasks (35).
- Take the steps instead of escalators and elevators.
- Do not starve.
- Do not hop your breakfast; this is the most important meal of the day (36).
- Do not skip exercises for love handles. However, don’t over exercise (37).