The term “love handles” can be misleading. The better term is belly fat, but people do not want to admit they have belly fat. In fact, belly fat that accumulates around your torso is one of the best indicators of poor overall health.
And the fact of the matter is that getting rid of love handles is easier said than done. Working out is just one way. But even if you work out regularly, you might still have belly fat around the torso. You work hard to get in shape, but you just cannot get rid of those love handles. Well, believe me when I say it, you are not alone. In fact, most people have troubles to get rid of them.
The reason is simple. Working out the area around the belly will not help you get rid of excess fat. You will, however, strengthen the muscles underneath the fat. And that is important. But in order to completely get rid of love handles, you need to follow these seven steps.
Step 1 – Ditch fats
You do not need to completely throw away fats from your diet. There are good fats and bad fats. What you need to do is consume more healthy fats and less bad fats. A healthy person needs to get 25 to 35 percent of his/hers calories from fats. But we are talking about omega-3 fatty acids here and other healthy fats. What you need to do is get rid of saturated and trans fats coming from processed and fried foods.
Step 2 – get rid of sugar
Same as with fats, there is healthy and unhealthy sugar. The healthy sugar comes from fruits and whole grains. The unhealthy comes from sweets, cakes, chocolates, and so on. You understand what we are talking here. You can read more on good and bad sugars here.
Step 3 – Get some cardio workout
Your goal should be to burn 100 more calories per day. I know that sounds little, but 100 calories per day equals 700 calories per week. And that is in addition to your regular exercise. Here are some ways how to scorch 100 more calories.
– Wash your car
– Walk your dog for 20 minutes
– Swim for 15 minutes
– Walk an extra mile
– Hit the stairs at work or home for 15 minutes
– Drink one less 12-ounce beer
– Skip fries and get a salad instead
– Lose one slice of bread of your sandwich
– Use mustard instead of mayo
Step 4 – The bicycle crunch
I said at the beginning that working out is half of the solution. The other half of the equation is regular and healthy diet, and we covered that in the first 3 steps. Let’s take a look at some exercises that target your core and abdomen.
For this crunch, you need to lie flat on your back. Position your hands next to your ears, and then lift your legs to a 90-degree angle. As you are pulling left knee towards chest, twist so that your right elbow comes in contact with your left knee. Repeat on the other side, so that the left elbow touches the right knee. When doing constantly, it looks like you are riding a bike on your back.
Step 5 – Plank
There is no better core exercise than the plank. When you do the plank, you work out all of your core muscles. There is a saying “A person who thinks one minute is a short time, has never done a plank”. And that is true. One minute plank is something many people cannot do. Start by doing 30 seconds. For the plank, you need to rest elbows and forearms on the floor. Push yourself into a pushup position, but make sure that your body is one line. Start with 30 seconds per set, but try to get to two to three minutes.
Step 6 Side plank dips
This is one of the more effective exercises for your side abs. Start in a side plank position. To get there, turn on your side, stack your legs on top of each other, bend your elbows at a 90- degree angle, and lift your hips off the ground. To do a side plank dip, drop your hips to the floor, and then pull them back up. During all time, keep your back straight and your butt tight.
Step 7 – Stability ball plank
Once you master the regular plank, you are ready for next level, or the pro plank. Get a stability ball, and position your elbows and forearms in the center of the ball. Stretch your legs behind you. You want to lean against the ball at an angle. Hold the position for two minutes, or as long as your abs allow you.