Belly fat or “love handles’ as they are often referred to, is something many of us struggle with. Excess body fat annoyingly has the power to pop up wherever it likes. Although we are not able to target specific body parts to shed fat, losing body fat overall will mean a slimmer mid-section.
So, now you want to know what you can do to get rid of the fat around your waistline. Let’s get to it.
Prepare your body for shredding the fat
Well, we should point out that’s it going to take a little more than some exercises to shift those love handles. The key here is also to be in a calorie deficit by controlling your diet and getting your body moving.
A calorie deficit is the most important thing when it comes to fat loss. However, when it comes to losing weight, there are many factors that can affect this, such as:
- Body type
- Medical conditions
Strength training and cardio exercise will also contribute greatly to your TDEE (total daily calorie expenditure). If you then reduce your calorie intake, that gap widens even further.
Whilst there isn’t really a way to predict fat loss, you can gain the general idea from the 3500 calorie rule. A pound of fat is approximately 3500 calories, so for every 3500 calorie deficit you create, there would be a pound of fat loss.
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Working on this rule, if you were to create a deficit of 500 a day, you’d lose a pound a week. If you chose to create a 1000 calorie deficit, that’s two pounds a week. As much as we are not able to target areas, some of this will likely start to come from your waist and hips.
Pump up your cardio sessions
Any type of cardio will help to burn fat from all over your body, including your midsection. Although, this also depends on you exercising regularly. When deciding the types of workouts you’re going to be doing, not only is the calorie burn important, but it’s also essential that you opt for exercises that you enjoy the activity to stay motivated.
With that said, the intensity is also very important. The harder you exercise, the more calories you burn, it’s simple. For example, running is better than walking. If you’re someone that cycles or prefers to perhaps dance or kickbox to get your cardio, then make sure you challenge yourself and up the intensity to keep your body burning fat.
Exercises to trim down your love handles
There is a rumor that doing a lot of ab exercises will help to shed the fat around your waist. Sadly, this is not the case, all that will happen is that your abdominal muscles will get stronger. Whilst that may be an important part of strength training, the only way to truly say goodbye to your love handles is to be in a calorie deficit and burn fat.
We know that cardio burns calories, but strength training does too. This is because building muscle mass boosts your metabolism and your body expends energy to build and uphold it. So, if you want to get more out of your workout sessions, add some weight exercises.
Compound exercises are the best exercises to do in the gym to help minimize love handles. They’re great because they use more than one muscle group at a time, activating more muscle fibers and therefore leading to a greater calorie burn.
Also Read: Are squats cardio or strength training?
Let’s go over some of these compound exercises for you to use yourself.
- Hold a dumbbell on one end at chest height.
- Keep your feet hip-width apart, toes facing forward or slightly turned out.
- Engage your core and keep your chest tall, push your hips back and sink down into a squat. You’ll want to go low enough so your upper legs are parallel with the floor, or as low as you can go.
- Then, push through all parts of your feet to return back to the starting position.
- To start, hold a dumbbell in each hand, either at your sides or up by your shoulders.
- Step forward a few feet with your left foot.
- Lower yourself into a lunge position until your knees are bent at 90 degrees. At this point, your right knee should be just above the ground and the left knee, stacked over your ankle.
- Hold the move for a moment before pushing through your left foot back to the start.
- Then, repeat this with your right leg.
- Get yourself a barbell and have it on an elevated platform to reduce the range of motion.
- Next, step up to the bar so your shins are almost touching it. Stand with your feet firm hip-width apart. Keep your shoulders back and down, back straight and chest up.
- Move from the hips, soften your knees and sink low enough to grasp the bar with both hands, shoulder-width apart.
- Before doing anything else, check your posture, shoulders back, chest open, spine straight.
- Engage your core to keep your position, push your feet into the floor and lift the bar.
- Lift your chest and engage your lats to keep the bar in front of your hips.
- Now, reverse the motion to return to the starting position.
- Start off in a high-plank position and keep your glutes and core engaged. For correct form, your shoulders should be over your wrists and your hips in line from head to heel.
- Next, bend at the elbows so you’ve got a 45-degree angle at your torso, and lower your body to the ground.
- Whilst you’re lowering yourself down, squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- Once your chest is hovering just above the ground (or however far you can go) push your shoulders apart, press into the ground and return back to the start.
- Stand with your arms by your sides and your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your back straight and bend your knees, allowing your butt to drop into a squat.
- Reach out with your hands, placing them on the floor in front of you, shoulder-width apart.
- Next, kick your feet back to get into a high plank position, then lower your chest and belly down to the floor.
- After this, press through your hands to push your body back up and jump your feet in, ensuring they land wider than your hands.
- Press through your heels to stand and lift your hands, jump straight up and reach your arms up.
- Finally, land gently and go straight into the next rep.
Compound exercises performed at a high intensity, whether it’s lifting heavy weights or only taking very small rests in between sets, this encourages something called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC.
Our bodies expend energy to repair, recover and return to their normal state after a period of intense exercise. What this means is that you’ll still be burning calories after you’ve finished working out.
Another benefit you love to learn about compound exercises is that they challenge your abdominal muscles. So, once you’ve worked your butt off and burnt off the love handles, you’ll reveal a toned waistline.
The bottom line, consistency is everything
It’s not just one workout that is gonna fix this. As we’ve already mentioned, it’s going to be the regular exercise that gets you those results.
There isn’t really a strict number of workouts to get into your week, it is more of as much as you possibly can. We all have different lives and commitments, meaning some may be able to stick to two-hour gym sessions, whilst others can just about squeeze 45-minute workout into their lunch break. What is important is that your exercise routine works for you, not the other way around.
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