Alright my little chick-a-dee, I am going to answer the question that’s been burning on your lips for a while.
Just how do you get rid of those stubborn love handles!
Okay, I get it, you’ve tried to lose weight, body fat and get in great shape and even though you’re seeing results, the love handles still plague you. That muffin top just ain’t that sweet!
So, here goes.
Firstly, Let’s establish one thing, the love handles are areas that are stubborn to lose fat. Along with the lower belly and bums and thighs in women, they’re always the last and hardest thing to go. But why? The answer is in the receptors contained in fat cells in that area. Without “sciencing” you too much, let’s just say that there are two main groups of receptors. Alpha and Beta. Alpha are bad, Beta are good. Beta help you burn fat, Alpha stop fat break down, especially Alpha 2 receptors. Stubborn fat areas have more A2 receptors than Beta thus making them harder to burn fat and non stubborn fat have more Beta.
Now, that’s the science part over (almost) so let’s look at 5 things you can do to lose the fat!
1) Calories in vs calories out.
Okay, this is a contentious issue right now in the fitness world and one I debate a lot with my fellow peers who still think it’s ALL about calories in vs Calories out. Now, at the risk of contradicting myself, the whole calorie in vs calorie out thing is still really really important. Now I am not saying you can eat whatever you want (you’ll see why in a moment) and as long as you’re under your calorie needs, you’ll lose weight but you do need to be in a deficit in order to burn fat so make sure you’re calories you consume are lower than the calories you expend a day.
2) Yup I am gonna go there… Carbs
Don’t worry, I am not condoning a zero carbohydrate diet, far from it however, you need to understand that when you eat carbohydrates, they’re broken down into sugar and enters the blood stream. When sugar enters the blood stream, the hormone insulin is secreted. The more sugar, the more insulin and when insulin is released, the body can not burn fat. In fact, it stores fat and one of the prime areas of fat storage when too much insulin is released is in your love handles! Bottom line, control your carbs, remove as much of the processed and sugary crap from your diet and get the bulk of your carbs from greens and veggies.
3) Don’t skip leg day!
Weight training is key in optimum body composition but the key is training the legs. Studies and research have shown that people with more muscle in their legs have a higher metabolic rate and are more sensitive to the effects of insulin (which is a good thing to be with regards to the previous tip!) and less belly fat. Oh and remember in the science part of this guide, I mentioned receptors? Well one of the keys to burning fat is to increase catecholamine activity (in other words, raise your levels of adrenaline and nor adrenaline) – People who train legs have better catecholamine levels according to Charles Poliquin (he’s like the grand daddy of strength training by the way)
4) Perform High intensity cardio training as opposed to low intensity steady state training..
Out goes the hours on the treadmill and in comes in sprint work! Not only will you save yourself a bunch of time but also spare muscle, increase testosterone levels and improve fat burning! Oh and HIIT (high intensity interval training) has been known increase levels of catecholamines!
5) Drink green tea…
Green tea has fat burning properties including Catechins which stimulate fat burning but more importantly actually down regulate a2 receptor activity making it slightly easier to burn stubborn fat! There are other foods that also stimulate fat burning and even blunt the A2 Receptors ability to stop fat from burning too and I’ll probably cover that in another up and coming blog post.
Now, honestly, you’re probably upset that there isn’t an exercise specifically that targets the love handle area specifically, right? Sad to say, that kind of spot reduction is not really going to happen, the body just doesn’t lose fat in one place simply because you train that area (well it does but the amount is so insignificant that you wouldn’t even be able to tell) – The only real way to spot reduce is through diet.
There are a few more things you can do and if you’re serious about how to lose love handles without having to resort to drastic love handle liposuction. If you’re interested in having a chat about them then get in touch and we’ll organise a discovery session for you.