22 February 2020
Love handles, also known as muffin top because of the way they spill out over trousers and jeans, can be very tricky to address. Here we discuss the best exercises for love handles to get you feeling trim and toned.
Love handles are an accumulation of fat over the oblique muscles. Contrary to popular belief, it is not possible to reduce love handles with ab exercises like situps and crunches. To target love handles, you must perform exercises that specifically work the oblique muscles.
However, it is not possible to spot-reduce fat. While exercising the oblique muscles will help to create a toned figure, to effectively lose fat, you need to address your diet and add in more cardio to your exercise routine. Add in 30 minutes of extra cardio 3-4 times a week.
1: Cut or reduce your meat and dairy consumption. These foods contain saturated animal fat that will not benefit your weight loss efforts. Instead, increase your intake of plant-based protein, such as organic tofu, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds.
2: Increase your water intake. Your body operates at its best when properly hydrated. Water helps to flush out toxins that are otherwise stored in fat cells. When there is a high level of toxicity in the body, it is reluctant to release fat because the toxins would then be released into the bloodstream. By aiding in the safe removal of toxins by drinking plenty of water, the body can safely let go of its accumulated fat stores. Aim for eight large glasses of pure water every day.
3: Cut processed foods and simple carbohydrates. These foods have little nutritional value and are loaded with unhealthy fats and sugars. Switch to whole foods and complex carbohydrates, and you will experience elevated energy levels and greater satiety after your meals.
4: Eat enough good fats. Fat is not the enemy of weight loss, despite what most people think. It is the type of fat that is the issue. Avoid saturated animal fats and trans fats. Instead, opt for unsaturated plant fats found in nuts, seeds, avocados, cold-pressed vegetable oils, and coconut oil.
1: Russian twists
Sit with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lean back slightly and grasp a dumbbell with both hands, or interlace your fingers. Lift your feet off the floor and twist to the right, aiming to touch the dumbbell or your hands on the floor. Then, twist to the left, moving the weight to the left side of your body. Repeat 50 times.
2: Side plank
Lay on your side with your forearm on the floor underneath you. Lift your hips so that you are balancing on your forearm and the outside edge of your foot. Either hold this position as long as you can or lift your hips up and down 20 times each side.
3: Bicycle crunches
Lay on your back with your hands behind your ears, your knees bent and feet on the floor. Lift your feet and bring your knees into your chest while lifting your upper body off the floor. Twist your body and touch your left elbow and right knee, then right elbow to left knee. Repeat 50 times.
Do these exercises every day with your cardio and your dietary adjustments, and you will be muffin top free in no time at all.
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