If you’ve got a “spare tire” around your midsection, a “beer belly” (these are other, less attractive, terms for gut flab), you’re probably a guy. The midsection is, for males, the primary fat storage area within the body. “Storing it for what?”, you may ask. Storing it for lean periods, of which we in the First World have seen very few of over the past century. It’s one of those evolutionary quirks, like your useless appendix somewhere underneath all that gut fat (Tips on how to get rid of beer belly). Generally, females store their fat in the butt and thighs, though love handles are not unknown to the fairer sex.
How to Lose Love Handles
The best way to lose those love handles is to go on a diet that will shed pounds from your entire body. By diet, we mean a permanent eating regimen that stresses healthy foods – and not an overabundance of them. There are plenty of diet books out there that will tell you how to balance your intake of protein, complex carbohydrates, fat, and fiber. Now, some muscle-bound guy on TV might have told you to concentrate on reducing those flab handles by building up your abdominal muscles. Fuhgeddaboutit. The American Council on Exercise states in its manual for personal trainers that “exercising the muscles underlying the fat will [not] make it go away. A client who does 100 sit-ups a day for a flabby stomach will increase muscle endurance for the abdomen, but will not burn off the fat in that area.” Any fat-burning aerobic workout is what you need, though you may also want to tone and firm that area where the handles are attached while you’re losing fat. Exercising the abs is good for that, but the best exercises for it are side bends and torso twists.
Stand straight with your knees slightly bent and your feet apart, then slowly lower the trunk a few inches to the left side then back up, and do the same thing again to the right side. Repeat until you’re sick and tired of doing them. Don’t bend forward or backward while you’re doing these as it would be bad for the spine.
While standing firmly with your feet a shoulder’s width apart, twist your torso slowly to the left side then to the right while at the same time keeping your hips straight and even. Again, there should be no bending. Don’t overdo it; twisting too far makes it easy to pull a muscle.
How to Lose Love Handles Fast: Surgical Solutions
If diet and exercise is not your cup of chocolate ice cream, a faster way to remove the fat is liposuction. This is surgery in which you are put under a general anesthesia (maybe local for small pockets of fat) before a cosmetic surgeon sticks a vacuum hose in your gut and sucks out the fat. Although no type of liposuction is a substitute for dieting and exercise, it can remove stubborn areas of fat that don’t respond to traditional weight-loss methods. This will also leave you with a flap of loose skin and if you don’t change your diet the fat will soon return.
This does not come without risk, however. It’s not uncommon for this procedure to go awry, leaving a patient with lingering pain, dysfunction, or a body that’s even stranger looking than love handles. There have been deaths. The risk is greater for those with diabetes, significant heart or lung disease, or poor blood circulation. Age and general state of health are also factors. Another surgical procedure to consider is abdominoplasty or a “tummy tuck.” It removes excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall. Like liposuction, there is some risk involved, and the procedure produces a permanent scar which can extend from hip to hip. In essence, you would be trading your love handles for a big happy face on your belly. Gastric bypass surgery reduces your bulk by reducing the size of your stomach. But if you are a candidate for this very risky surgery, your problems go way beyond love handles and into morbid obesity. This also leaves an ugly scar. Keep in mind, too, that any of these surgeries can run into the thousands of dollars, and elective cosmetic surgery is seldom covered by medical insurance. Diet and exercise is much cheaper.
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