Call them what you want – love handles or muffin top, either way, they can be a serious downer. They may have a cute name, but most women don’t love their love handles. If you’re looking to tighten up your abs and strengthen your core, you’re going to love these exercises and tips for how to get rid of love handles!
What Are Love Handles?
Love handles, also known as a muffin top, are the excess fat that sits at the sides of your waist. They hang over the top of your pants, and are especially noticeable when you wear tight clothing. Love handles are especially stubborn when it comes to trying to get rid of them. They don’t respond as quickly to diet and exercise changes as other parts of the body, but if you stay regimented, you’re sure to reap the results!
What Causes Love Handles?
Love handles are caused by fat retention and excess fat accumulation around the hips and abdominal area. Fat cells accumulate when your body consumes more calories than its burning, and if you continue to take in too many calories, the fat cells accumulate in certain areas, such as your waist and hips.
Fat can accumulate in any area of the body and some people are more prone to love handles than others. There are a few factors that make you more likely to have love handles. Too many hormones, especially too much cortisol can cause love handles. Cortisol increases your appetite and signals the body to shift your metabolism to store fat, which can accumulate at your waist and hips.
Lack of physical activity and diets high in fat, sugars and processed foods can also lead to love handles. Together, a poor diet and lack of exercise are two of the biggest culprits as they lead to weight gain and fat retention. In order to lose weight, you need to burn fat, and you can’t do that sitting around, snacking on high calorie foods.
Sleep deprivation is also a cause for concern. Without adequate sleep, you become more stressed and more tired. Throw onto that a busy schedule, and it’s hard to make healthy food choices. A good night’s sleep will ensure you’re well rested, can manage your time better, and make healthier choices for your body.
How to Prevent Love Handles
1. Banish Added Sugar
Added sugar (found in foods like cookies, sports drinks, fast foods and soda) is one of the biggest culprits of fat and love handles. On top of that, most sugary foods are loaded with calories, but lack nutrients. Banish added sugar from your diet as much as possible to help get rid of your muffin top.
2. Focus on Healthy Fats and Fibre
Not all fats are bad. Healthy fats like avocados, nuts and fatty fish can actually help slim your waistline. They help keep you satisfied, so you feel fuller throughout the day and keep you from mindlessly munching. Fibre is another great food source that keeps you feeling full for longer. Foods rich in fibre like beans, oats, fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients and have been shown to decrease the number of calories people consume per day.
3. Resistance Training
Along with a healthier diet, exercising is key to getting rid of love handles. Resistance training helps your body gain more lean muscle and burn more calories when you rest. It also gives your metabolism a boost, helping you burn more calories throughout the day.
4. Increase Cardio
Along with resistance training, you should also be increasing your cardio to banish your muffin top. Cardiovascular or aerobic exercise is any exercise that raises your heart rate for an extended period of time, such as running or cycling. Mixing aerobic exercise with resistance training is a key combination to get rid of love handles!
5 Muffin Top Exercises That Work
Muffin Top Workout (15 Mins) | Holly Dolke
This at-home, no equipment workout will help you shed fat and get rid of your love handles! It’s only 15 minutes, but it will challenge you so you see results. There is one main circuit, repeated twice that consists of moves like balancing woodchoppers and hip dip planks. Get ready to feel the burn!
Total Ab Workout: No More Muffin Top | XHIT Daily
From starfish crunches to leg circles, heel touches and oblique crunches, you’ll get a full ab workout that targets your muffin top. These are the best ab workouts for toning and slimming your waist, and all you need is an exercise mat!
5 Best Muffin Top Melting Moves | Blogilates
If you want a sleek hourglass shape rather than love handles, this workout takes you through 5 exercises that are most effective for targeting your obliques! You can easily do the exercises in the comfort of your home, and you’re sure to see a transformation after doing them consistently!
10 Min Ab Workout – Bye Bye Muffin Top | Pamela Reif
In just 10 minutes, you’ll work your entire abs, focusing on your obliques to get rid of your love handles! You’ll feel stronger and slimmer, and won’t need any equipment but an exercise mat. You’ll do a range of exercises from planks to cross crunches to bicycle crunches, and you’re sure to feel the burn!
Set Your Obliques on Fire with This Muffin Top Workout | POPSUGAR Fitness
If you’re looking for a muffin top workout that’s a little longer, this one’s for you! Just under 20 minutes, this workout targets your waist with a barre instructor that focuses on strengthening your core and obliques. All you need for this workout is a towel to wipe your sweat – because you’ll definitely be sweating after this one!
Now that you know how to get rid of love handles, are you ready to start the work? Use these tips and exercises to banish your muffin top once and for all!