Are you in love with your love handles? I don’t think so.
Spot training is a common fitness that was busted years ago, especially when referring to abdominal muscles. Abs are made in the kitchen, and people often have trouble developing a six-pack due to unhealthy eating habits and a lack of cardiovascular exercise.
You can, however, train certain muscle groups while focusing on your nutrition and cardiovascular exercise routine. When you combine all three, the end result is often toned muscles.
Despite the name, no one actually loves their love handles. Thankfully, once you know what mistakes you’re making, you can finally lose belly fat and shrink your hips for good!
There are other things you can control that will help you shrink your hips and melt away those pesky love handles once and for all.The following are the reasons you might not be loosing your love handles.
YOU ONLY DO CARDIO:
Don’t get us wrong, cardio can help you burn calories and lose weight, but if you want to slim your hips, you’ll have to lift some iron, too. “Cardio activity may work to burn calories, however, it won’t necessarily target the specific area you’d like to lose from. Although you can not spot reduce, targeting certain areas with weight training may help to build lean muscle mass, decreasing overall fat.
YOU’RE SUPER BUSY:
Running from work meetings to the kid’s soccer game and back to the office, again, is enough to leave anyone feeling strung out. This, in turn, could lead to extra pounds around the hips. “A stressful work or personal life can lead to higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which triggers the storage of belly fat and can lead to less desirable food choices,” says Jess Horton, the personal trainer behind the blog The Fit Petite, adding “When you are rushed or stretched thin, making healthy eating choices is more difficult and can fall off of your priority list.”
You may not be able to rid the amount of stress in your life, but you can develop a better plan to help you handle it. “Try starting your day in quiet. Wake 15 minutes earlier and sit with a cup of detox tea in the dark. Allow yourself to wake up slowly and use this time to set the tone for the day,” advises Horton. “Pray, meditate, and enjoy those precious morning moments. Resist the temptation to check your email or hop on social media. You will feel more in control and your be in a better place to make healthier decisions through the day. Over time, this can help you reach your body goals.”
YOUR BODY FAT PERCENTAGE IS TOO HIGH:
It may seem obvious but if you have too much fat on your frame, you’re going to have a pretty tough time targeting the fat that’s covering your hips. “If a woman’s body fat percentage is above 25 per cent or a man’s body fat percentage is above 15 per cent, the shape of their body may be less than ideal, hit the gym five days a week, incorporating both cardio and weight training and add some of these into your daily diet.
YOU’RE EATING TOO MUCH:
While it may seem obvious, but if you want to lose your love handles, you need to consume fewer calories. And one of the easiest ways to do that is to simply reduce your portion sizes. “Creating a deficit of 500 calories a day can help someone lose a pound a week. This can help with reducing fat around the love handles and all around the body,” notes White. One of the easiest ways to reduce your calorie intake? “Swap in broccoli, spinach or other non-starchy vegetables to replace higher calorie foods that may be packing in the calories,”
YOU’RE GOALS ARE ALL AESTHETIC:
Studies show that when goals are aesthetic-based, rather than health or strength related, they’re more difficult to stick with long term. “There’s nothing wrong with wanting to slim down, burn those love handles, or build a little bit of muscle and definition. But I find that when you focus your energy on non-appearance-based goals, you’ll enjoy your workouts more and feel better about your body all around!” says Fried. “Want to do a pull-up? Run a 5k? Great! Set your mind on those athletic based goals and the aesthetics will follow.”
YOUR PLAN ISN’T SUSTAINABLE:
When it comes to weight loss, slow and steady wins the race. That means it’s super important to find a diet and fitness routine that’s sustainable, says Fried. “If you really want to burn fat from those stubborn, tricky areas it takes time and patience. If you can’t adhere to your fitness routine long term, chances are you’ll lose patience quickly and are more likely to give up before reaching your goals. So eat healthy, but allow yourself a cookie or burger every now and again. Work out hard, but give your body appropriate rest when needed.
YOU’RE ALWAYS ON A DIET:
Excessive dieting can wreak havoc on your hormones. Not only is this bad news for your metabolism, it can mess with your sleep quality, energy levels, mood, and strength, too. “If your hormones aren’t in balance then physique goals are going to be much more challenging to attain,” she explains, adding, “Eat adequate amounts of wholesome food, resistance train with intensity, and don’t over-exercise or abusing cardio. If amending your diet and exercise routine doesn’t help you to feel and look better, then getting blood work done to check hormone levels would be the next best step.”
YOU’RE A SLAVE TO THE TREADMILL:
Many people assume that they need to run, and run, and run some more if they want to shed the pounds. However, if you overdo it with the steady cardio, you could do more harm to your body than good. “Spending months doing excessive steady state cardio like long-distance running can lead to adaptation, lowered testosterone levels, and a sustained release of cortisol. While our bodies cannot adapt to anaerobic efforts (like jumping and sprinting), they can adapt to prolonged aerobic activity. This means that over time, the body will not need to use as many calories to power you through your miles. That also means that you will need to continue to run just as much to simply maintain your weight. Further, excessive running has been proven to lessen testosterone levels, a key hormone in muscle preservation and growth.”