If there’s two words that irk women along the lines of ‘everything happens for a reason’ or ‘you look tired’, it’s love handles.
You’ve spent hours in the gym, yet your love handles are plumper than ever.
Don’t worry – you aren’t relegated to a lifelong, loveless relationship with those not-so-loved handles. We can show you how to get rid of them in three easy steps.
Wait, But What Are Love Handles?
Your body is comprised of two kinds of fat – visceral and subcutaneous.
Visceral fat is the deeper layer, surrounding your internal organs. This type of fat is worse for the body, linked to chronic health conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Subcutaneous fat is the outer layer, the stuff you can hold onto – love handles – which you can see in the mirror.
Okay, back to getting rid of those subcutaneous fat handles.
Change Your Diet
You can perform stomach exercises every day, but without the correct diet, those love handles aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. As the old adage goes, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet.
Now, there’s a difference between fueling the body, and denying it. We suggest the former; cutting calories without a thought to nutrition won’t necessarily lead to smaller love handles. Even if your calorie count is low, foods that trigger inflammation means your belly fat is there to stay.
Luckily, getting rid of inflammatory foods from your diet is simple. You don’t need a full overhaul, just a few food swaps like:
- Swap white rice and bread for brown rice and whole grain bread
- Swap foods high in trans and saturated fats for foods high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as avocados and walnuts
- Swap butter for olive oil (but don’t go overboard)
- Swap red meat for salmon
- Swap high-carb, low-nutrient snacks like chips for high-protein snacks like almonds
Manage Stress Levels
Yes, unfortunately stress can weigh on your waistline, too.
Stress results in an increase of cortisol levels, which in turn spikes insulin levels, resulting in – you guessed it – even more belly fat.
Here are some ways you can reduce your stress:
- Breathing exercises
- Practice yoga
- Get enough sleep every night
- Eat a balanced diet
- Go for walks
- Stay away from technology – read a book instead
- Chill out to relaxing music
Taking the necessary steps to reset and relax will not only help you achieve your body weight goals, but improve your day-to-day mental health, too.
Prioritize Exercise, Within Reason
You don’t need to train for a marathon or adopt a HIIT regimen daily to make changes to your body.
The most important aspect of physical activity isn’t the most obvious one: just keep it consistent. Don’t stress your body by overexerting yourself when you exercise – choose something you like, and do it regularly.
You need just 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise to keep the body healthy and happy, and there’s countless ways to get there. A quick post-work jog, a Zumba class, or even a brisk walk with your family are all acceptable forms of exercise.
Just keep that heart pumping, give yourself a way to reset and relax, keep an eye out for inflammatory foods, and you’ll be on your way to getting rid of those love handles for good.
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