“Can you help me lose my love handles?” This has been one of the most popular questions I’ve been asked as a personal trainer. Here’s my challenge for all of you who are wondering:
This Valentine’s Day I want you to break up with with your love handles and leave them for a sexier hourglass shape. That’s right, say good-bye✌️to those stubborn love handles and hello to a new relationship…with your body and with food:) ❤️
Sounds good huh? Letting go of what you don’t want anymore and actually believing it’s possible to have what you deserve is empowering. Before you get too confident, if you’ve ever been through a break up you know the real challenge is days after when you begin missing the familiar routine and you’re tempted to go back to your old life.
You might have crazy thoughts like wanting to miss a workout, getting fast food for lunch or eating that bowl of ice cream at night. Don’t let these cravings fool you! They are not going to satisfy what you are really hungry for and are only poor substitutes.
Here’s how to lose the love handles for good!
1. Let go of processed foods and instead eat whole nutrient dense foods. You can’t expect to see results if you keep splurging on pizza, cookies and fried foods daily. Letting go doesn’t mean you won’t feel cravings anymore; it just means that you are embracing a healthier lifestyle.
Processed foods are typically foods that come out of a package and/or contain more than 5 ingredients;
Whole foods are foods that were grown from the ground, picked from a tree or bush, swam in the ocean, or lean meats, or have come from an animal. They typically have 5 ingredients or less if those ingredients are whole foods (not sugar, flour, etc ).
You can have carbs and still lose your love handles!
Instead, swap out processed and refined carbohydrates for ‘slow carbs.’ Insulin surges can lead to love handles, so eating slow carbohydrates helps reduce this insulin spike after meals. Slow carbs are the healthiest type of carbohydrates because they take a long time for your body to digest, and include most vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes and dairy products.
2. Have a well-rounded workout program that includes:
Interval training There are tons of studies showing that interval training produces more belly fat loss than slow cardio. You don’t want to train this intensely everyday because this can lead to overtraining and injury. I recommend starting at 1-2 days a week.
Weight training I’m sure you all know, whether you’ve accepted this fact or not, that you can’t spot train. However, you can train the total body and this will lead to overall fat loss.
3. Tighten the obliques and core
Most of you perform too much direct ab and oblique work. I read an article in T Nation by Chad Waterbury that was an eye-opener for me. He used Britney Spears as an example of how the more you train a muscle, the bigger it will get. When she first started her career she had a nice hourglass shape, but by overly training her abs, she built them up to where she actually increased the size of her waist.
Theses photos show the difference in her waistline. Although in the gladiator photo she is lean, she has lost that subtle hourglass shape. Think about if you’re working your abs like a mad dog and you put on weight. You got it; you have a thicker waist.
Training your abs 1-2 times a week is sufficient. Here are some moves that will not thicken the waist, but will keep them tight.
- Side Plank- This exercise strengthens your core, in the front and the back.
- Russian Twist
- Bicycle Crunches
- Hanging leg raises for beginners do leg raises on a mat.
I know it’s not easy letting go of unhealthy habits, but if you are tired of feeling bad about your weight, give yourself 100% to living the fit life.
One of the simplest ways to be happy is letting go of the things that make you sad.
I’m a certified personal trainer/lifestyle fitness coach NESTA/Health Coach NDP. I provide personal and group training as well as health coaching. I can work with you locally or out of state. Send me a message, and I would be happy to share my services with you.
For more articles on ab training: