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How To Get Rid Of Love Handles Fast

Published December 13, 2018 (Revised: November 23, 2019)
KC Clements

Written By: KC Clements, MS

KC holds a Master of Arts in Gender Politics from New York University

how-to-get-rid-of-love-handles
<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context":"http://schema.org", "@type":"BlogPosting", "author": { "@type": "Person", "name": "KC Clements, MS" }, "publisher": { "@type": "Organization", "name": "Warrior Made", "logo": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "https://www.warriormade.com", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/11/how-to-get-rid-of-love-handles-thumbnail-0034.jpg" } }, "headline":"How To Get Rid Of Love Handles Fast", "datePublished":"2018-12-13", "dateModified": "2019-11-23", "description":"Want to know how to get rid of love handles? Here's the surprising truth, plus 6 tips to help get you started.", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/11/how-to-get-rid-of-love-handles-thumbnail-0034.jpg" } </script> <script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Can you lose love handles?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The short answer: Yes, but it's unlikely you can target just the fat on your sides.<br>Love handles are the result of excess fat accumulation around the midsection on your sides, resulting in what looks like a pear-shaped torso. You can lose love handles, but you'll have to reduce overall body fat percentage to do so.<br>There is very little evidence to confirm that spot reduction—reducing body-fat from specific areas of the body through targeted exercises—is effective.<br>Understanding this is important, and explains why the tips we discuss later in this article are more on long-term health and full-body fat loss, and not specifically isolating the fat in your sides." } }, { "@type": "Question", "name": "Why do I have love handles?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The short answer: It's common for your body to store excess fat in your sides and belly.<br>Like it or not, our bodies originally adapted to storing fat as a survival mechanism. Our ancestors used stored fat for energy during times of starvation. When we eat extra calories, our body stores them as fat for later.<br>Where people store their body fat varies. Fat storage in the waist and hips is very common. <br>Two of the most common ways we store fat actually have names: gynoid and android fat patterning. <br>Gynoid fat patterning means you store fat in your belly and sides.<br>Android fat patterning means you store fat in your hips.In general, women store about 10 percent more body fat than men, often in the hips, belly, or waist." } }, { "@type": "Question", "name": "How much time does it take to reduce love handles?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The short answer: In as little as 6 to 8 weeks, though results depend on how much weight you have to lose, the intensity of your efforts, and consistency.<br>With the right exercise and diet habits, you can start to see fat reduction in as little as 6 to 8 weeks. This includes the stored fat in your love handles.<br>However, there's a big difference between initial weight loss and long-term weight management(6). You might lose or reduce your love handles, but if you don't adhere to your health and fitness routine, you're likely to get them back down the road. <br>Consistency is key if you want to reduce your love handles and keep them off." } }] } </script> <article> <div> <ul> <li><a href="#section1">Can You Lose Love Handles?</a></li> <li><a href="#section2">Why Do I Have Love Handles?</a></li> <li><a href="#section3">How Much Time Does It Take To Get Rid Of Love Handles?</a></li> <li><a href="#section4">6 Ways To Get Rid Of Love Handles Fast</a></li> <li><a href="#section5">How To Get Rid Of Love Handles: Wrap Up</a></li> </ul> </div> <section> <p>Many people store fat in their abdominal area. "Affectionately", or perhaps sarcastically. we call the body fat on our sides our 'love handles'. </p> <p>It's kind of a fun term. But you're not going to find many people with love handles describing them as 'fun'. Most people just want to know how to get rid of love handles, and fast.</p> <p>The good news is that you can get rid of them, and probably in less time than you think. But <i>how</i> to do it might surprise you.</p> <p>Here's what you need to know about losing your love handles, why we store fat in our midsection, and 6 tips for reducing belly and side fat quickly.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section1"> <h2>Can you lose love handles?</h2> <p><i>The short answer</i>: Yes, but it's unlikely you can "target" just the fat on your sides.</p> <p>"Love handles" are the result of excess fat accumulation around the midsection on your sides, resulting in what looks like a pear-shaped torso<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3411490/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">1</a></sup>. You can lose love handles, but you'll have to reduce overall body fat percentage to do so.</p> <p>There is very little evidence to confirm that "spot reduction"—reducing body-fat from specific areas of the body through targeted exercises—is effective<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6710407/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">2</a></sup>.</p> <p>Understanding this is important, and explains why the tips we discuss later in this article are more on long-term health and full-body fat loss, and not specifically isolating the fat in your sides. </p> <p>(See section: "8 Ways to get rid of love handles fast" for our best tips on how to lose your love handles.)</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/weight-loss-love-handles-0034.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/weight-loss-love-handles-0034.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/weight-loss-love-handles-0034.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/weight-loss-love-handles-LR-0034.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="weight-loss-love-handles"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section2"> <h2>Why do I have love handles?</h2> <p><i>The short answer</i>: It's common for your body to store excess fat in your sides and belly.</p> <p>Like it or not, our bodies originally adapted to storing fat as a survival mechanism<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4985254/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">3</a></sup>. Our ancestors used stored fat for energy during times of starvation. When we eat extra calories, our body stores them as fat for later.</p> <p><i>Where</i> people store their body fat varies. Fat storage in the waist and hips is very common<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2585758/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">4</a></sup>. </p> <p>Two of the most common ways we store fat actually have names: <i>gynoid</i> and <i>android</i> fat patterning. </p> <ul> <li>Gynoid fat patterning means you store fat in your belly and sides.</li> <li>Android fat patterning means you store fat in your hips.</li> </ul> <p>In general, women store about 10 percent more body fat than men, often in the hips, belly, or waist<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3411490/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">5</a></sup>. </p> <p>You may be more predisposed to one type of fat patterning over the other, which is why you have love handles.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section3"> <h2>How much time does it take to reduce love handles?</h2> <p><i>The short answer</i>: In as little as 6 to 8 weeks, though results depend on how much weight you have to lose, the intensity of your efforts, and consistency.</p> <p>With the right exercise and diet habits, you can start to see fat reduction in as little as 6 to 8 weeks. This includes the stored fat in your love handles.</p> <p>However, there's a big difference between initial weight loss and long-term weight management<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3780395/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">6</a></sup>. You might lose or reduce your love handles, but if you don't adhere to your health and fitness routine, you're likely to get them back down the road. </p> <p>Consistency is key if you want to reduce your love handles and keep them off.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section4"> <h2>6 ways to get rid of love handles fast</h2> <h3>1. Dial in your nutrition</h3> <p>You can't out-exercise a bad diet<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4864009/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">7</a></sup>. If you want to lose your love handles (or any fat for that matter), getting your nutrition in line should be your top priority. </p> <p>Remember that since you can't spot reduce, your goal should be overall fat loss instead.</p> <p>A diet based on quality, wholesome foods like vegetables, lean meats, and healthy fats—like the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-101-a-beginners-guide-to-keto" rel="noreferrer">ketogenic diet</a>—is a good place to start. Low-carb diets like keto are great for fat loss, and are more effective than low-fat, high-carb alternatives<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3530364/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">8</a></sup>.</p> <p>Also stick to water and low-calorie drinks like coffee and tea. If you're trying to lose fat, eat your calories, don't drink them. Adults who drink high-calorie beverages take in, on average, 147 extra calories per day compared to those who don't<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3840121/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">9</a></sup>.</p> <p>Tip #2 below relates to diet as well, but is important enough to warrant its own section.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/sugar-and-love-handles-0034.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/sugar-and-love-handles-0034.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/sugar-and-love-handles-0034.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/sugar-and-love-handles-LR-0034.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="sugar-and-love-handles"> </picture> <h3>2. Cut out added sugar</h3> <p>Processed and sugary foods not only cause you to gain weight in your midsection, but may increase your risk of diseases like cancer and type 2 diabetes<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5174149/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">10</a></sup>. And according to the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24944282" rel="nofollow noreferrer"><i>Journal of Nutrition</i></a>, excessive sugar consumption is linked to increased abdominal fat.</p> <p>If you're trying to lose your love handles, eliminating foods with added sugar will be a huge help for both appearance and overall health.</p> <h3>3. Exercise more</h3> <p>You'll lose weight faster, feel better, and maintain physical health and vitality longer if you exercise regularly<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3925973/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">11</a></sup>. The type and quality of your exercise is also just as important.</p> <p>The <a target="_blank" href="https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults" rel="nofollow noreferrer"><i>American Health Association</i></a> recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity (cardio) exercise each week—approximately 30 minutes, 5 times per week. Increase the intensity and you only need to do 75 minutes. </p> <p>If you're trying to lose fat stored in your midsection, go with the more intense exercise. Here's why:</p> <ul> <li>High-intensity, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/what-is-functional-training-and-can-it-benefit-you/" rel="noreferrer">functional exercise</a> is probably your best option for shedding excess body fat. According to the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2991639/" rel="nofollow noreferrer"><i>Journal of Obesity</i></a>, your body makes adaptations during high-intensity exercise that helps you lose fat. Similarly, a 2018 study in <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29127602" rel="nofollow noreferrer"><i>Sports Medicine</i></a> called high-intensity interval training (HIIT) a "time-efficient strategy" for decreasing fat in the abdominal area.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Progressive overload</strong>, or making gradual increases to intensity, reps, or weight lifted, is the priority. According to <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3438871/" rel="nofollow noreferrer"><i>Sports Health</i></a>, progressive overload ensures your body has to keep making physical adaptations (such as fat loss) to exercise. Without tiny improvements, your body will plateau and stop getting results.</p> <p>If you're interested, Coach Tyler breaks down a great exercise for toning your sides in <a target="_blank" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u71aEFQVnzc" rel="nofollow noreferrer">this video</a>. </p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/sleep-and-weight-loss-0034.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/sleep-and-weight-loss-0034.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/sleep-and-weight-loss-0034.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/sleep-and-weight-loss-LR-0034.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="sleep-and-weight-loss"> </picture> <h3>4. Recover from your workouts</h3> <p>Remember that consistency is key to reducing your love handles and maintaining your results. You might see reduction after six weeks, but will lose those results if you fall back on bad habits.</p> <p>Proper recovery from exercise can help you stay consistent. Consider things like:</p> <ul> <li><strong><a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/stretching-when-is-the-best-time" rel="noreferrer">Stretching</a>, before or after your workouts</strong>: Stretching reduces soreness and increases the range of motion in your joints, making it more comfortable to perform high-intensity exercise<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3273886/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">12</a></sup>. Think of stretching as something that keeps you in the game and able to workout regularly.</li> <li><strong>Getting plenty of quality sleep</strong>: A <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/how-going-keto-can-improve-your-sleep-quality" rel="noreferrer">good night's sleep</a> plays a bigger role in body composition than you might think. According to a 2015 study in <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4688585/" rel="nofollow noreferrer"><i>Sleep Science</i></a>, poor sleep messes with your metabolism and increases cortisol, a stress hormone that causes you to store more fat around your midsection (see tip #6. Control Stress for more).</li> <li><strong>Drinking plenty of water</strong>: You lose a lot of water when you sweat during exercise, and those fluids need to be replaced so your body can recover<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23899752" rel="nofollow noreferrer">13</a></sup>. Don't skimp on hydration when it comes to fat loss, either. One six week study found a reduction in weight, body fat and appetite in overweight participants who drank an extra 1.5 liters (about 48 ounces) of water per day<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4121911/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">14</a></sup>.</li> </ul> <h3>5. Sit less</h3> <p>The amount of time you sit has a direct impact on your body fat percentage. The longer you sit, the more likely you are to be overweight<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23021800" rel="nofollow noreferrer">15</a></sup>.</p> <p>Besides your workouts, moving as much as possible throughout the day can help you reduce fat quicker. A light walk of even 30 minutes burns more than 100 calories, which will add up if you stay consistent<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22446673" rel="nofollow noreferrer">16</a></sup>.</p> <p>One study found that replacing one hour per day of sitting at a desk with standing can help reduce fat accumulated around your waist<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5999077/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">17</a></sup>.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/stress-yoga-weight-loss-0034.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/stress-yoga-weight-loss-0034.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/stress-yoga-weight-loss-0034.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/stress-yoga-weight-loss-LR-0034.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="stress-yoga-weight-loss"> </picture> <h3>6. Manage stress</h3> <p>Believe it or not, stress may be contributing to your love handles.</p> <p>When you're stressed, the body releases a hormone called cortisol<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28900017" rel="nofollow noreferrer">18</a></sup>. It's a natural and necessary response, but prolonged cortisol exposure can lead to tissue inflammation, pain, and autoimmune disorders<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28900017" rel="nofollow noreferrer">19</a></sup>.</p> <p>Further, the cortisol response also causes you to store more fat around your abdominal area<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28900017" rel="nofollow noreferrer">20</a></sup>. In general, people with abdominal fat tend to have elevated levels of cortisol<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28900017" rel="nofollow noreferrer">21</a></sup>.</p> <p>Ways you can reduce stress while improving health include going for walks, deep breathing, meditating, and doing yoga<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28900017" rel="nofollow noreferrer">22</a></sup>.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section5"> <h2>How to get rid of love handles: wrap up</h2> <p>Accepting that spot reduction (targeting the removal of fat from specific areas of your body) is unlikely, is the first key for getting rid of love handles. Shift your goal to overall body fat reduction and you're far more likely to get results.</p> <p>The basics—exercise, healthy foods, less sugar—are all proven ways to reduce fat in your midsection. But some things you maybe didn't think of, like stress, sitting too much, and recovering from workouts, also matter.</p> <p>As is the case with so many things in the fitness world, quality and consistency is key. Find <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/" rel="noreferrer">a program</a> you like and can stick to, exercise several times a week, and eat healthy foods. Do all of these things long enough and you're very likely to get rid of your love handles faster than you might think.</p> </section> </article>

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