Love handles are made of stubborn fat that most women struggle to get rid of, especially as we get older.
To lose your extra tummy pooch make sure you add these secret exercises perfect for targeting love handles.
Love handles might sound like something rather nice but actually, they’re a polite way of pointing out that unwanted excess fat around the middle, particularly at the sides of the waist!
Love handles usually affect middle-aged people, so from about the age of 40 onwards.
This is because the metabolism notably slows down after 40 and that’s when pockets of fat are more likely to accumulate around the tummy area, it’s also referred to as “middle-aged spread”.
Don’t worry though, there are things that you can do to get rid of your love handles after 40.
Read on to find out how to tone that chubbier than you’d like waist!
1. Try a Side Plank
This exercise not only helps to strengthen the core, but it also trims inches from the waist.
If you’re used to a full plank, this one is similar.
Lie down on one side and push your body upwards, while placing your upper ankle on top of the lower ankle.
You can either start on your elbow or extend your lower arm so you bear your body weight on your feet and wrist.
Extend your other arm into the air, or rest it on your upper waist.
Stay in this position for 20 seconds until you get used to it, you can gradually increase the time you side-plank by 10 seconds to get maximum benefit.
Repeat the exercise on the other side.
2. Crunches with a Twist
Tummy crunches are an effective way to tone your tummy but if you only do crunches, you’ll miss the area around the sides of your waist.
So, next time you do your crunches, add in an extra twenty, raise to a crunch, then twist to one side, next crunch, twist to the other side and so on.
3. Keep Moving
If you have a rather sedentary job then it’s important that you factor in enough movement during the day.
It’s essential that you get up and move around every 15 minutes or so, if this isn’t possible, use half of your lunch hour to go for a brisk walk and get your metabolism moving.
Try to use your legs as much as you can.
Take the stairs rather than the escalator or lift, walk an extra stop to the next bus stop, park further away than usual.
All of the above helps your body to get fitter and stops that fat from lingering.
4. Try HIIT
High-Intensity Interval Training is a very effective method to burn fat and certain exercises really target the belly area.
The sessions are short too so they’re easy to incorporate into your day but they’re hard-core so be prepared to work it!
HITT usually last between 10 and 20 minutes, focussing on repetitions of certain high-impact exercises with minimum rest in-between.
Expect crunches, push-ups, planking, squats, lunges, burpees and more and be prepared to sweat.
The main benefit of HIIT is that it keeps on working long after you’ve exercised and could burn up to 16 calories a minute (based on average weight/height).
You can find a local class or there are lots of HIIT apps and YouTube sessions.
Weight training isn’t just for bodybuilders!
It’s for everyone and there are suitable exercises no matter what your age, weight or gender.
Great for getting lean, weight training targets specific muscles and builds them up, converting fat.
However, it’s best to combine weight-training with cardiovascular exercise for the greatest possible results.
Aerobic workouts will help you to burn calories but weight training builds leanness and strength, it’s really effective for trimming fat from the waist.
It’s not just about lifting enormous weights, you can use small dumbbells and kettlebells until your body gets used to pumping iron.
Swimming is a fantastic all-over body workout and it’s great for calming a busy mind too.
Going for a swim is cathartic, take it as leisurely as you like or power-up for an intense workout, even if you’re not a swimmer you’ll see the benefit.
A front crawl is excellent for toning the middle of your body because you twist as you move.
Try and swim two or three times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes, not only will you lose belly fat, but you’ll also increase your fitness levels.
7. Try Yoga
If you don’t like fast-paced exercise but know you need to do something to work your muscles, try yoga.
It’s a great workout for the body, albeit slow but you do need to also do some sort of cardio for maximum effect, even if it’s as simple as going for fast-paced walks two or three times a week.
Yoga trains the core to be strong and incorporates lots of long, slow movements that you hold in a pose.
This trains your muscles and elongates your body and that’s why yogis are so lean and slender.
Yoga is also mindful practice and helps you to feel calm and balanced so it has added benefit.
Other things to Do to Lose those Love Handles
Don’t forget that as well as exercise you need to think about your diet too, especially if you’ve noticed weight piling on.
Cut out refined sugar (that relates to sweets, cake, biscuits, buns, muffins, etc.) and don’t drink cans of sugary drinks either.
It’s always best to stick to water and try and consume at least 2 liters a day.
Water stops bloating as it flushes liquid out of your system and hydrates your whole body, it’s absolutely essential.
Don’t eat too late at night as the food won’t have time to digest properly, so much of it will turn to fat.
Try and reduce your carb intake too, especially potatoes, white pasta, white rice and other stodgy carbs.
You could try a Keto diet which eliminates carbs altogether pushing your body into a state known as Ketosis.
This is when your body uses fat as its energy source rather than carbs.
You could add more healthy fat to your diet, including olive oil, nuts, seeds, fatty fish and avocado.
They help you to feel full as well, so you’re less likely to reach for a sugary or high-carbohydrate snack.
Additionally, high-fiber foods are good for helping you to feel full.
As well as eating a healthy diet, a healthy lifestyle is essential.
Sleep well (at least 7 hours a night with a regular bedtime and waking time) and learn to cope with stress.
Stress is often a factor of weight-gain because many people comfort-eat to raise their serotonin levels.
If you do feel particularly stressed for a long period and you notice weight piling on, you might benefit from visiting your doctor to discuss options.