Are love handles really lovely? We don’t think so unless you or your partner is into it. We are all for body positivity and we promote all forms of healthy body types, but despite their cute name, there isn’t much to love about love handles. Furthermore, love handles can make even your favorite dress look not-so-good on you and it is rather embarrassing when they try to peep out of your blouse every time you wear a saree or a lehenga set. What are love handles? Love handles are the common name for the excess fat that sits at the sides of the waist and hangs over the top of pants. Love handles are also known as muffin tops and unlike fats in other parts of the body (like thighs and belly), it is pretty stubborn and can be a real challenge to shed it. Many people believe that endless side crunches and rigorous abdominal exercises, specifically targeting the obliques and muscles that run down the sides of the torso can help reduce the love handles. However, it is not an effective way to shed those sides of the waist. To get rid of love handles, it is important to follow a strict dietary, exercise, and lifestyle regimen. Read on to know how you can effectively shed the love handles without any surgery or liposuction. 6 ways in which you can reduce love handles To reduce love handles, all you need to do is live a life that is controlled and is best for your wellbeing. If you exercise proper self-control, the process of shedding that extra fat gets easier, faster, and more effective. However, if you fail to control your diet and lifestyle, it becomes almost impossible to shed the love handles no matter how hard you exercise. Here are a few important lifestyles and dietary changes that will aid you in reducing love handles better: 1. Cut back on sugar Healthy eating is the key to lose those extra pounds from any part of the body and skipping added sugar is one of the most effective ways to fix your diet. Added or artificial sugar is found in beverages, confectionaries, and even in most food. However, by cutting back on sugar, we do not mean avoiding the natural sugar which is present in certain fruits and vegetables. Replace store-bought crystalized or granulated sugar with pure honey or maple syrup or agave nectar. The sugar in these sweeteners is not sucrose but fructose and is thus healthier for the body. 2. Consume healthy fats ONLY Consuming healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish helps in slimming the waistline. Moreover, these nut oils are super delicious and make you feel full, causing fewer intake of calories throughout the day. 3. Consume LOTS of fiber Adding foods rich in soluble fiber in your daily diet may help you get rid of stubborn love handles. Foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and oats are high in soluble fiber and help you keep full for a longer period of time, thus, slowing down digestion and decreasing the feelings of hunger. 4. Reduce your stress levels Living under excessive stress harm both your mental and physical health and can even lead to gaining belly fat. This is because stress triggers the production of the cortisol hormone and prolonged exposure to it can lead to anxiety, headaches, indigestion, and weight gain. To reduce stress and lose bodyweight, practise yoga and meditate daily. 5. Get adequate QUALITY sleep Studies show that not getting enough quality sleep can lead to increased production of the cortisol or stress hormone. The hormone has a negative impact on the body and can lead to many health issues. To avoid weight gain due to inadequate sleep, aim to get 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. 6. Stay hydrated Although athletes prefer energy drinks to simple water, water is still the best energy drink available. It does not contain any artificial sugar that can lead to gaining pounds around the waistline. Moreover, it is important to stay hydrated as dehydration can lead to serious bloating that can make you look flabby. 4 Exercises for love handles (or to get rid of them) Lifestyle and dietary moderation help your body to the extent that it does not let it develop more excess fat. A healthy lifestyle and a proper diet must be complemented with effective body movements and exercises to get rid of love handle completely. Even a 10-minute workout, three times a week will bring about tremendous changes in your body. You can follow these exercises in addition to the previously listed health tips to lose your love handles faster: 1. 40 Woodchoppers (2 X 20 on each side) (Image Source: spotebi.com ) With your feet hip-width apart, using a one-hand weight, stand in such a way that you put maximum weight on your left leg. Begin by holding the weight with both hands up by your left shoulder. After that, twist to make a chopping motion down towards your right hip in a way that you allow your feet and knees to pivot with the twist. Raise the weight back on the left shoulder and repeat the same procedure for 20 reps. Repeat the same procedure for the right side. 2. 50 Russian twists (Image Source: spotebi.com) For Russian Twists, sit on the floor and stretch your legs out straight. Lean back slightly so that your torso and slightly raised legs (at around a 30-degree angle to the ground) make a V-shape. Balancing at this position, twist your torso 50 times from side to side keeping your legs fixed. 3. 30 Side plank hip lifts (2 X 15 on each side) (Image Source: spotebi.com) Begin with lying in the standard side plank position so that your resting elbow is under the shoulder and the shoulder is in line with the feet. At this position lower your hip without touching the floor and then bring it back to the original side plank position. Repeat this exercise 15 times on each side. 4. 30 Bicycle crunches (Image Source: spotebi.com) Lie flat on the floor with the lower back pressed to the ground. Placing the hand behind your head, bring your knees in towards the chest and lift your shoulder blades off the ground. Make sure not to pull your neck by any chance. After that, straighten the right leg out at a 45-degree angle to the ground while turning the upper body to the left (so that the right elbow is towards the left knee.) Be sure that your rib cage is moving along with your elbows. Repeat this exercise 30-times slowly increasing the pace of each crunch. Lose the love handles and start loving your awesome figure!