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How do I get Rid of Love Handles?

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  • Written By: Ann Olson
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 06 December 2016
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According to health experts, it is impossible to target any specific area of the body, including the love handles, for reducing fat. To get rid of love handles, you should focus on eating a healthy, low-fat diet and engaging in regular exercise that focuses on compound cardiovascular and abdominal exercises. This will help lower your overall body fat while toning your abdominal muscles and will help give your stomach a tighter, leaner look free of excess waist fat.

Experts recommend focusing first on a healthy, calorie-restricted diet program, which can increase overall fat loss. Your diet should include multiple servings of lean, unprocessed meat, such as chicken breasts, omega-3 fatty fish or turkey. Lean meat contains a high amount of protein and low levels of saturated fat, which is necessary for muscle-building. You should refrain from frying or cooking the meat in batter or cream-based sauces, which contain high levels of saturated fat.

Slow-digesting carbohydrates will help you feel fuller longer compared to the effects of simple carbohydrates, making them ideal for losing weight. Slow-digesting carbohydrates have been consistently shown to aid in weight loss, which can help you slowly get rid of love handles. Good sources of slow-digesting carbohydrates include whole grain bread, brown rice, leafy green vegetables and oatmeal. It is recommended that you eat a serving of slow-digesting carbohydrates with every meal.

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Nutritionists also recommend changing certain cooking habits to eliminate even more fat from the diet. They recommend switching to spices instead of sauces to flavor food, especially eliminating cream-based sauces, to save on fat and calories. All foods should be steamed, lightly stir fried or baked. Cooking food by normal frying or broiling methods it is not recommended because the oils used can dramatically increase your fat and calorie intake.

There is no set recommendation for calorie reduction. Many experts recommend talking to a nutritionist to determine how many calories should be restricted. Generally, nutritionists do not recommend consuming fewer than 1,200 calories per day. Consuming too few calories can put your body into starvation mode, which can cause it to hold onto fat deposits, making it harder for you to get rid of love handles.

Exercise recommendations for losing waist fat can vary, but they usually include engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise and performing abdominal exercises. Cardiovascular exercise accelerates fat loss, reducing waist fat. Abdominal exercises build more muscle, which increases your metabolism and gives your stomach a tighter, leaner look.

There are no set recommendations on what cardiovascular exercises should be performed. You should engage in at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise every other day to promote fat loss, however. Examples of cardiovascular exercise include speed walking, running, dancing, swimming, using an elliptical machine, hiking or doing step aerobics. Walking, swimming or using an elliptical machine are easier on the joints, making it ideal for older people with joint problems or arthritis.

Most personal trainers recommend doing a set of abdominal exercise once or twice a week to build muscle. Crunches, incline crunches, long arm crunches and upright abdominal crunches are ideal for increasing abdominal strength. Over time, these exercises can help you get rid of love handles. You should avoid abdominal exercises that specifically focus on the obliques, though, because they can actually make your love handles look bigger and more pronounced.

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