Written by Jon Clarke
The bane of many men’s lives. Those over-hangy, shirt-untucking, belt-swallowing bits of flesh that compromise the silhouette of even the most dapper outfit. Love handles. It’s a well known fact that the first and easiest place the male body packs on fat is around the hip and waist area. And while all kinds of weird and wonderful slimming inventions have been developed in order to reduce the appearance of love handles, we’re here to tell you how to lose them for good...
1. Eat green stuff and lots of it
Not weird, we know. Eating your vegetables has been commonplace advice since we set foot on the earth. However, it’s the time at which you eat your greens that needs more consideration. Green veg (broccoli, kale, spinach etc.) contain a phytochemical called IC3. And, without going all Louis Pasteur on you, this will ramp up your production of fat-burning testosterone. Throw this green veg into an omelette before your morning workout, and watch the biceps grow and the handles shrink.
2. Have a pack mentality
Here’s an odd one you probably haven’t heard before. But boffins over at the University of Colorado say so, so must be true. Apparently, individuals with similar body fat levels form groups, and these social forces drive them to obesity. This is their way of saying surround yourself with motivation and people who have commitment to similar fitness goals. As brutal as it sounds, strong wolves leave the weak behind for a reason. Don’t let weak people drag you down with their habits. Focus, re-focus, and promise yourself results.
3. Don’t neglect the weights
When it comes to losing fat, a lot of emphasis is placed on cardio. Now, while cardio is great for incinerating those flabby areas of your body, building muscle is arguably even better. Why? Well the more muscular you are, the faster your metabolism becomes. Just like a finely tuned V12 engine needs more fuel, all of that muscle requires a lot of energy expenditure to run. So even in a relaxed state, a muscular person tends to burn more calories than an average sized or skinny person.
Not only this, but for hours after a weight-training session, your body is still churning through those calories - more so than after a cardio workout. Bottom line: don’t prioritise cardio over free weights. They’re both necessary and important to your love-handleless goal.
4. Stop thinking you can spot-burn fat
Can you believe that, in this day and age of so much freely accessible knowledge on the internet, there are still people who think you can hand pick where you lose fat from your body. You can’t just decide you want to lose your love handles specifically. The process will take time. You’ll lose fat from all over - from your face, legs, abs.
Doing sit ups will not make you lose fat from your stomach, just like those leg sidelifts won’t reduce love handles. All you’re doing is building the muscle underneath. Be patient, watch the results and form develop naturally. It will take time, but the fat will ebb away slowly and evenly across your body.
5. Put those pints down
Lastly, and certainly the most painful sacrifice for most, you need to really lay off drinking if you’re going to make any progress with your fat loss. It’s easy to think eating a pizza or a few doughnuts is detrimental to your waistline, but a couple of beers won’t hurt right? Wrong actually. The average amount of calories in one pint of beer is around 200.
Considering most guys go out and have five, six, seven, eight (you get the idea) on a Friday and/or Saturday night and suddenly, all that hard work and calorie deficit you built through the week, evaporates. Seven pints is equivalent to 1,500 calories - which is like three large tubs of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Curb your drinking. Limit yourself to one or two pints on either Friday or Saturday. Try to make lower calorie choices - a slimline Gin is better than a pint of Guinness.
Put these five tips into action, alongside a solid and consistent diet and workout plan, and we can almost guarantee you’ll see those love handles vanishing in no time. Making those trousers fit much nicer, and showing off that beautiful Goodwin Smith belt that’s been hiding underneath!