Love handles, the fat on either side of your stomach that results in a “muffin top” are a problem for many people. In this article, you’ll learn how to get rid of love handles, specifically for men.
Although this article also applies to women.
I’ve had love handles before. And they’re frustrating. I tried fasting, A low carb diet, eating clean. I even tried working out my abs almost every day.
But none of it worked. Eventually, I found what worked. And now I can keep the love handles off effortlessly.
Here’s a picture to show that I practice what I preach.
By the end of this article. You’ll know how to as well. You’ll also learn how to maintain a strong and lean physique for life.
So that you can smile every time you look in the mirror.
The main reason why you get love handles. Is because of calorie intake (the calories you eat). Is more than your calorie output (the number of calories you burn).
If you’d like to listen to what was said in this article. Listen to my podcast by clicking below.
The Takeaways On How To Get Rid Of Love Handles For Men
- 1. Love handles occur because your body fat percentage is too high.
- 2. The only way to get rid of love handles is to eat fewer calories than you burn. This is called a calorie deficit.
- 3.The best exercises to get rid of love handles. Are compound exercises that strengthen your whole body. Including your abs and midsection.
- 4. You can’t specifically target fat loss from your love handles. You lose fat from everywhere.
Why Men Are More Likely To Develop Love Handles Than Women
When body fat levels rise. Men and women can both get love handles. If their body fat levels rise too high.
But women accumulate more fat in their hips and thighs. Whereas men accumulate more fat in their midsection.
This results in men being more likely to accumulate love handles.
But not to worry if you have them. Theres a simple 5 step solution that I provide you in this article (that also works for women).
That will help you get a lean looking midsection like Ronaldo.
So that you never have to worry about love handles again.
And so that you can be happy and confident with the body you have.
The One Thing That You Must Do, To Lose Those Love Handles – Instructions On How To Get Rid Of Love Handles For Men
The truth is, that to lose those love handles you must eat fewer calories than you burn.
If you can get this one thing right. You’ll lose those love handles.
But if you’re not eating fewer calories than you burn ( a calorie deficit). Then it’ll be impossible to lose them.
This is called energy balance. And it’s the first law of thermodynamics.
Its what allows you to include your favourite snacks and drinks in your diet. While getting to your fitness goals.
Does Eating Junk Food Result In Love Handles?
Although junk food is high in calories and highly processed. You can still get rid of those love handles while eating junk food.
You just need to be smart about it. And make sure that you’re monitoring your calorie intake accurately.
As long as you’re using an app like my fitness pal and tracking your intake. You can fit junk food into your diet and still lose those love handles.
Fast food or junk food like pizza, burgers, chips, doughnuts and cakes don’t make you put on fat all by themselves.
Its because you’re eating too many total calories by eating them. This results in fat storage. And developing love handles.
Solution: Limit junk food to 10-20% of your diet if you want to lose that muffin top. This will help you enjoy your favourite foods and treats while losing those love handles.
What About Alcohol?
Alcohol has 7 calories per every gram. And alcohol can only result in you developing love handles if you drink too much.
For example, Binge drinking on the weekend can ruin a whole weeks worth of dieting.
Because when most people binge drink, they also crave junk food.
Which results, in calories in, exceeding calories out. Which cause’s fat gain.
But if, instead you enjoy one or two beers (or whatever drink you enjoy) on the weekend. That can help you lose fat. Because you’re not completely restricting specific foods or drinks.
This results in better adherence.
But you’ll only lose those love handles if you’re in a calorie deficit.
Remember calories are king.
Solution: If you want to drink alcohol and lose those love handles. Limit alcohol to 10% of your diet. And use some of the strategies in my other article.
This will allow you to enjoy your favourite alcoholic drinks. While making fitness a part of your life, instead of your whole life.
And you’ll still be able to enjoy nights out with your friends. And lose fat.
The Worst Foods To Get Rid Of Love Handles
As you now know. Losing those love handles comes down to being in a calorie deficit.
And you can eat any food you like. And still, lose fat as long as you’re in a calorie deficit.
But some foods will make it harder to lose fat than others.
Foods such as:
- Dried fruit.
- Nuts & nut butters.
- High-calorie drinks, like smoothies & full-sugar sodas.
- Burgers & pizza.
- Full-fat dairy.
- Fried foods.
- Fatty meats.
- Chocolate & candy.
I’m not saying that you should completely restrict these foods. But I am saying that you should try and eat as little of them as possible.
If you want to say bye to those love handles.
For example, I try to limit myself to a couple of slices of bread per day. When I’m losing fat.
This is because it doesn’t really fill me up. And it can be very easy to accumulate calories if you eat a lot of it.
Note: You can still lose weight eating these foods. You’ll just be more hungry as you won’t be able to eat as much total food. Because of the high-calorie value of them.
No Single Food Can Make You Fat
No food is fattening in and of itself. They just contain different calorie values. Some foods have a lower calorie value or a higher calorie value.
Foods with a lower calorie value are your best bet when you’re losing fat.
For example, here are some healthy foods. That Are high in calories.
So if you do happen to fancy a pizza on the weekend. Then just make sure you save up calories for it.
So that you can lose those love handles while eating pizza or whatever other food you enjoy.
And if you work a busy schedule and you’re reliant on quick, processed foods. Make sure that you just track the calorie value of whatever food you’re eating on an app like my fitness pal.
Don’t use a busy schedule as an excuse. Everyone can lose love handles. Including you.
So that you can become a fitter, healthier version of yourself.
Can Certain Exercises Get Rid Of Love Handles?
The truth is, that you can’t use specific exercises to target fat loss. This is called spot reducing fat. And it’s a myth. You only lose fat as a result of your dietary choices.
So the common maxim that “abs are made in the kitchen” is very true.
The Best Exercises To Get Rid Of Love Handles
I’m not talking about planks, or crunches, or sit-ups. The best exercises for getting rid of love handles are compound exercises.
Exercises like the:
- Overhead press
- Bench press
- Chin-ups/ pull ups
Whenever you’re performing these exercises. Your core is contracting very hard.
For example, if you can squat 400 pounds. Your core is going to be pretty strong.
Or if you can overhead press your bodyweight. Then your abs and core need to work hard to stabilise your body. Under a heavy load.
Note: Prioritise getting strong at these exercises. And you’ll have a strong, defined core. So that you’ll never have to do crunches again.
What About Sleep, How Important Is It When Losing Fat?
Sleep is often neglected. But it’s very important for every aspect of your life. Including fat loss.
Sleep affects everything.
Getting enough sleep will help you build muscle & lose fat faster.
Although if you neglect sleep. It can make reaching your fitness goals a pain in the ass.
Here are some of the side effects of not getting enough sleep.
- Reduced will power and motivation.
- Decreased strength and performance.
- Reduced rate of fat loss & more muscle loss.
- Increased anxiety & stress.
- Increased appetite & cravings.
- Female- pattern fat distribution in men.
You can probably see now. That you don’t want these problems when you’re losing fat.
How Much Sleep Should You Be Having?
Everyone should be getting 8 hours of quality sleep every night. This isn’t 8 hours in bed but 8 hours actually asleep.
Anecdotally I’ve experienced some of the benefits of having 8-10 hours of sleep per night. Especially with performance benefits in the gym.
If your job requires you to:
- Work in a high-stress job (e.g. public services) where night shifts are normal.
- A manual labour job (also where night shifts are normal).
- Or if you are an advanced level athlete.
Then you may do well getting more sleep in general. Or at least on your days off.
Evidence suggests that you may be able to catch up on your sleep.
So especially for nightshift workers, it makes sense to sleep more on your days off. If you generally sleep poorly.
Sleep is important and you should make it a priority.
Solution: Get between 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Preferably 8. This will help you lose fat faster, build more muscle. And increase your mood and general well being.
Does Stress Effect Fat Storage?
Similarly to getting poor sleep. Being stressed can increase the amount of cortisol you produce.
Cortisol is called the stress hormone.
And this can cause you to crave highly palatable junk food. And binge.
It can also cause you to have problems falling asleep.
In this sense, stress and a bad nights sleep go hand in hand.
They provide very similar outcomes.
Does Getting Stressed And Having A Poor Nights Sleep Result In Love Handles?
As much as not getting enough sleep and being overly stressed. Can make dieting a pain in the ass. You only store fat if you’re eating more calories than you burn.
Note: Stress is a normal part of life. You will feel stressed sometimes and not every night of sleep will be perfect.
So don’t use being stressed, or having a poor nights sleep as an excuse to not get to your goal.
You Can Lose Weight Despite Being Overly Stressed
Again it comes down to the first law of thermodynamics. And no matter how stressed out you are. Or if your sleep hasn’t been as good the past couple of days.
You can’t cheat energy balance.
The solution to stress: Avoid toxic people and situations that stress you out. Also take time to relax by doing things like meditation, reading, and going for walks.
If you follow these steps. You’ll be happier, healthier and you’ll reach your fitness goals faster.
Love Handles And Belly Fat Can Be Stubborn
If you’ve ever noticed that when you lose weight. You tend to lose fat from some areas quicker than others.
Usually, you’ll lose fat immediately from your arms, chest and face. But you’ll hardly see any difference in your stomach, hips and thighs.
The main reason for this. Is because fat cells contain types of receptors that are opposed in function.
These are coined as alpha and beta receptors. Alpha receptors make fat loss difficult. Whereas beta receptors trigger it.
And one of the main reasons why your love handles and belly fat. Can seem like they take longer to lose. Is because they contain more alpha receptors than beta.
Resulting in fat loss taking longer in the “stubborn” areas of your body.
Like your belly (where your love handles are), hips and thighs.
If You Focus On What You Can Control The Love Handles Will Go Away
Although this can be frustrating. Ultimately you will lose those love handles. It’s just a matter of time. As long as you stay in a calorie deficit.
You’ll eventually lose them.
For a great article on stubborn body fat: Read this article by Mike Matthews at legion.com.
A 5 Step Solution To Losing Love Handles ( And Fat In General)
1. Ensure That You’re In A 20-30% Calorie Deficit – Instructions On How To Get Rid Of Love Handles For Men
For example, my weight is roughly 174 pounds. So I would multiply 174 by 12. This equals 2088 calories. From my experience, I lose fat effortlessly eating this amount of calories.
You don’t have to be perfect with your calorie goal. A range of plus or minus 50 calories leaves you with some room for error.
If you’re an active individual multiply your bodyweight by 13. Although if you’re moderately active use 12. And If you’re sedentary multiply your bodyweight by 11.
If you set your calories up using the quick and easy method. Or the guides. You should lose between 0.5%-1% of your body weight each week.
2. Eat 1 Gram Of Protein Per Pound Of Your Bodyweight – Instructions On How To Get Rid Of Love Handles For Men
Due to the fact that my body weight is 174 pounds I would simply eat 174 grams of protein every day. Plus or minus 5 grams.
If you’d like to know why I recommend this much protein. Read my article on how much protein you should eat.
3. Lift Weights At Least 3x Per Week – Instructions On How To Get Rid Of Love Handles For Men
This will ensure that you lose fat and not muscle when you’re in a calorie deficit.
Most importantly. You want to be prioritising compound exercises.
Such as the:
- Overhead press.
- Bench press.
- Chin-ups/ pull-ups.
For a free strength training program. Click the link below.
4. Eat Lots Of Nutritious Foods – Instructions On How To Get Rid Of Love Handles For Men
Because you’re eating fewer calories than you burn. It’s crucial that you eat foods that are low in calories, but high in volume. To stay full.
Eat foods like these:
- Low-fat Dairy like fat-free Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese and skyr.
- Lean meats like lean cuts of steak and lean steak mince.
- Lastly, Nuts & other healthy fat sources (try not to eat too many of these foods. Because they can easily accumulate in calories).
5. Drink Enough Water – Instructions On How To Get Rid Of Love Handles For Men
By drinking enough water you send signals to your stomach saying that you’re full.
And by staying full you’re less likely to binge on your favourite junk food and go over your calories.
So that you can lose those love handles.
How Long Does It Take To Get Rid Of Love Handles?
Love handles are the side effect of having a high body fat percentage.
So depending on how high your body fat percentage is. It could take a few months to a year or longer to lose them.
But the good news is that. No matter how bad your love handles are. All you need to do is make sure you’re in a calorie deficit.
And follow the steps in this article for long enough until they go away.
The Bottom Line On How To Get Rid Of Love Handles For Men
- Love handles occur because your body fat percentage is too high. Men are more likely to store fat in their midsection. whereas women store more fat in their hips and thighs.
- The only way to get rid of love handles is to eat fewer calories than you burn. This is called a calorie deficit. As long as you stay in a deficit for long enough your love handles will go away.
- The best, exercises to get rid of love handles aren’t ab exercises like crunches or sit-ups. They’re compound exercise that strengthens your whole body. Including your abs.
- It doesn’t matter how stressed you are. Or if you’ve had a bad nights sleep. You can’t outsmart the first law of thermodynamics, energy balance. As long as you’re in a deficit. Fat loss will occur.
- Generally speaking, the best foods to lose fat and get rid of love handles are lean protein sources. And low-calorie fruits & vegetables.
- You can’t specifically target your love handles. The only way to lose them. Is to reduce your whole body fat percentage. Spot reduction is a myth.
If you follow the advice in this article. You’ll be able to say bye to those love handles.
And by doing so you’ll become a leaner, healthier, fitter and stronger individual.
So that you can live your best life in and outside of the gym.
I hope this article has covered everything you need to know to lose those love handles forever.
If there are any ways that you think I can make this article better. Or if there’s anything else you’d like to know.
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