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Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can eliminate love handles.
Although they're referred to as love handles, there's nothing to love about the excess flab at the sides of your waistline. The muscles underneath that layer of fat are known as your obliques. Although their function is to rotate your torso, it'll take more than torso rotations to get rid of the fat. Reducing fat in one area of your body isn't possible. Instead, focus on losing weight from your entire body, and as the fat reduces, so will the fat around your middle.1.
Create a daily deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories by dieting and exercising so you lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, this weight-loss rate is safe, doable and allows you to gradually incorporate new lifestyle changes.2.
Reduce your caloric intake by eating smaller portions and by replacing high-calorie foods with low-calorie foods. Include fruit, vegetables, fat-free or low-fat dairy, lean protein and whole grains in your diet. Limit foods that are high in sugar, trans fats, cholesterol, saturated fat and salt. This includes processed foods, baked products, fatty meats and high-fat dairy products.3.
Perform 30 to 60 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise on five days of the week to burn calories. Walk briskly at a rate of 3 miles per hour, play doubles tennis, ride a bike slower than 10 miles per hour or participate in water aerobics. Exercise at a rate where you can still talk but can't sing. Alternatively, increase your exercise intensity so you can only say a few words before taking a breath. This allows you to cut your workout duration in half and still get the same results.4.
Schedule strength training on two days of the week to maintain and build muscle tissue, which burns more calories than fat. Work all of the major muscle groups including your abdominals, arms, legs, hips, shoulders and chest. Use machines, your body weight or free weights for resistance.5.
Include targeted exercises in your strength-training routine to strengthen your obliques that are hiding underneath your belly fat. When the fat reduces, your toned muscles will be displayed. According to a study commissioned by the American Council on Exercise, knee raises in a captain's chair apparatus, and bicycle and reverse crunches, are the most effective exercises to target your obliques.
- If you can't do the recommended amount of cardio all at once, break it up into three, 10- or 20-minute sessions throughout the day.
- If you're new to strength training, consider hiring a certified trainer to show you how to correctly and safely perform the exercises.
- Consult a doctor before starting a diet or exercise routine, especially if you have a medical condition or injury.