Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How to Lose Love Handles


Love handles is the traditional term applied to describe the folds of extra abdominal fat that gives your belly an bulged out appearance. This term has been cited in literature from the 1960s. Some sources indicate that the phrase love handles mention the soft and supple region of a romance partner's stomach that is accessible to grab during a close wrap or a hug. Although some people accept the development of love handles as an unavoidable sign of aging, many don't and want to get rid of it. They feel that it destroys their good appearance. Here are some ways in which you can lose your love handles.

Avoid late night eating

Many people enjoy eating late at night especially at weekends after watching a movie or two with their families or friends. And sometimes late night eating becomes inevitable in cases when you come late from work. But have you ever realised that late night eating is the culprit behind your love handles? The reason behind late night eating making you put on weight is that at night there is no need for much physical activities. After eating, you may just sit and watch TV or straight away fall asleep. Since there is no energy consumption, the sugar level in your blood stream raises and the excess sugar gets stored as fat under your skin.

No saturated and trans fats please

Saturated fats mostly occur in animal products such as meat, dairy, seafood and eggs. It is also found in some plant based foods such as palm oil, coconut oil and palm kernel oil. Saturated fats are bad fats that increase the total blood cholesterol as well as the level of bad cholesterol in your blood. Trans fats are formed as a result of hydrogenation and are found mainly in processed and packaged food products like hard stick margarine, microwave popcorn, French fries, etc. These are also bad fats.

Replace the above mentioned bad fats with good fats that comprises of the monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fats. MUFAs play a great role lowering the total cholesterol level and the level of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in the blood stream. Besides, it increases the level of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) in your blood. Avacado, walnuts, canola, peanuts, olive oil, pistachios and almonds are rich in MUFAs. Polyunsaturated fats also decrease the total cholesterol level and LDL level. Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats; and are contained in salmon and fish oil.

Avoid all processed foods

In the modern days, we get instant and very convenient form of foods. But little do we realise that these canned, processed and refined foods are a leading cause of the prevailing epidemic called overweight and obesity. Avoid all processed foods; switch on to fresh foods like fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are packed with loads of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Besides, they are less in calories. You can take them in abundance. Include a minimum of 5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day.

Shun alcohol

Avoid alcohol consumption as alcohol like beer consumption results in weight and fat gain that is concentrated in the belly region. Every single gram of alcohol has 7 calories in it. Besides, there is nutrient in it; and the entire thing is fat. So whenever you consume alcohol you are consuming fat that would obviously settle in your belly part. If you can't give up alcohol all of a sudden, try putting it off as an occasional drink. Always remember that moderation is the key.

Exercise regularly

If you want to lose your love handles and keep your flat abs forever, you have to inculcate regular exercising into your life style. Outdoor exercises like rowing, bicycling, swimming, hiking, running, walking, jogging and biking not only work well on your abs, but are also great ways to keep away boredom. In case you prefer indoor exercises, push-ups, pull-ups, squats, treadmill, stair climbers, stationary bicycles, ladder climbers, etc are good options. Mix in some abdominal exercises in to your exercise regime. Work out every day for at least 30 to 40 minutes daily.

Make your lower back strong

Here is an exercise to strengthen your lower back. Lay flat on your stomach, raise your feet and knees from the floor and flap your legs to and fro, pretending to swim in the air. Practice this for a period of 15 seconds, stop and relax for thirty seconds. Do this exercise for two times every day to strengthen your lower back. Strengthening your lower back muscles is needed when you strengthen your abdominal muscles for reducing your love handles. This is because your lower back muscles help you to strengthen your trunk and decrease the fat that is on your back.

Reduce sodium intake

Table salt, condiments, seasonings, soups and many other foods that are prepared contain sodium. Sodium not only increases your likelihood of getting a stroke or heart disease, but also makes way for water retention in your body which in turn makes areas like gut and love handles appear even more distinguishable. Therefore cut your sodium intake. Avoid processed foods that are sodium rich and do not add salt to the foods that you prepare.

Drink water

Probably this is the millionth time you are hearing this -"drink water", but this is the fact, a very important factor that contributes to weight loss is water. Drink three litres of water daily to lose those ugly looking love handles. Water cracks down hunger, lowers water retention that results because of excess sodium, metabolizes fat into energy, flushes out toxins, improves digestion, and keeps you hydrated and fresh all day long.

Count your calories

Record all your calorie intakes in a journal. Calculate how many calories you have consumed that day. Every single calorie counts. Always try and restrict your calorie intake to a certain level depending upon your lifestyle, age, gender and genetics. Generally average people require about 2000 calories every day. But for those opting for weight reduction, this amount is to be reduced to 1400 to 1800.

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