You might be training hard, eating well and doing all the right things, yet those stubborn love handles don’t seem to be shifting.
Those pockets of fat in our mid-section can become problematic and cause us to question if we might be missing something in our diet or exercise regime.
Usually, those fat stores take some time and effort to eliminate, yet it can become frustrating.
Those fat stores are the last to go & they will test you right until the end.
But don’t lose your ground here; there are a few ways to conquer the dreaded love handles, and here are some quick and practical tips to help you push the process along just that little bit faster.
One: Don’t eliminate carbs completely
I realise that many people dive head first to get rid of carbs or go ‘keto’ to remove stubborn, fast stores. However, I don’t deny it’s effective in the short term — it’s probably not the way you want to live over the long haul.
Think of fat elimination, dieting and shaping your body as a work in progress that takes a lifetime.
There is no quick fix, and it’s something you may have to work on for life. Some people find it easy to maintain their weight loss or low weight — but for most people (including myself), it takes conscious effort and hard work.
I don’t want to be in the position to have to sacrifice the foods I love indefinitely for the sake of a shredded body — and neither should you.
Carbs contain nutrients, vitamins and minerals that our body needs. I’m not talking about the refined carbs- but the sources that provide a higher nutritional value.
Low carb consumption over time can increase cortisol and make it even more challenging to lose body fat. Perhaps this is a direction you have taken in the past or now.
According to Medical News Today, carb elimination can cause you to die of coronary heart disease and cancer. That might seem a little extreme, but over-consuming foods like protein and fats could cause all sorts of challenges for those who have compromised health.
Unfortunately, you probably won’t know it’s an issue until you venture down the low to no to common carb pathway.
But, if you don’t have to go low carb, why subject yourself to the impending health challenges that may lie ahead?
Another study indicates that short-term, low-carb diets are adequate, with limited efficacy over the long term.
That’s what you want — something that lasts long-term. But unfortunately, we’ve all done our fair share of short-term dieting, and it’s never worth the trouble.
Two: Train the right way
Weight training is excellent, but your traditional push-pull exercises aren’t going to burn some severe fat stores.
Instead, we have to manipulate our workouts to use the most muscles on our body, giving it a lot less time to recover.
This method is called Peripheral heart action training (PHAT).PHAT is much like circuit training because it elevates your metabolism by doing exercises in consecutive order so that your blood keeps circulating through the body.
As you might imagine, this type of training will work up a sweat, create a burn in your muscles and leave you feeling that it was a very challenging workout.
It’s ideal to do six back-to-back exercises, although you can start smaller if you are a beginner.
Alternating between the upper and lower body will give you a cutting edge to ensure your whole body works to its optimal capacity.
Ensure you limit your resting timeframe, and don’t fret too much about building muscle. This workout will help you to hit both weight loss and muscle-building goals at the same time.
Three: Fasted cardio or weight training in limited amounts
Although I still train in a fasted state myself — it’s not always ideal for optimal fat loss.
Whether you train in a fed or fasted state also depends on when you train.
If it’s during morning hours or very late in the evening, perhaps this is not ideal (but you could try to train during the day, which might increase your muscle building and fat loss goals).
The problem lies in burning fat during your session but less afterwards.
That’s where you see results stalled when burning those stubborn fat stores.
Try to alternate between fed and fasted states regularly. That might mean cardio after lunch or dinner, perhaps.
When you give yourself the boost of nutrition, you burn carbohydrates, but you’d burn fat after the act.
Suppose you don’t need to lose body fat, then ignore this concept.
However, if you want to maintain your body weight and tap into fat stores, then alternating between fed and fasted exercise states might be something to contemplate.
If you have yet to try this, see if it will move the weight loss needle.
Four: It does depend on your nutrition
Let’s not joke now; abs and body fat result from your nutritional profile.
That’s not to say you must be super strict, eliminate food groups, or starve. But a high awareness and commitment to eating ‘clean’ are necessary.
You have to have a lower than average body fat level to see the definition of your muscles — especially the abdominal section.
Cut back on those empty calories you indulge in regularly — such as the biggest culprit being alcohol.
Take this approach to nutrition for some added flexibility — approach all your meals with the 9:1 ratio.
You will be surprised how many calories you drink that may surpass your overall caloric consumption for the day. But it might shock you if you did the math!
Eat super clean for nine meals, and then on the 10th, treat yourself.
Just make sure you don’t overindulge.
I prefer just having one cheat meal a week or having a little snack of my favourite chocolate daily.
The flexibility you have with exercise and your diet is dependent on your goals and the amount of body fat you currently have.
I believe that a flexible and realistic approach to weight loss is critical — the same goes for building muscle.
Those years I committed to the bodybuilder diet and the weight gain relapse taught me many points regarding nutrition and exercise.
However, none is more important than the following:
To succeed, we must work hard at our goals yet simultaneously take a flexible approach to them.
If you don’t rest, you won’t have enough energy to play at your best.
Think of fat loss and building muscle in the same context.
Make your nutrition and training realistic to fit your lifestyle, yet be mindful about what you like to eat and how to train.
We will have to quite possibly do a few things we don’t enjoy doing (such as resisting treats all the time), but over the long term, it isn’t too bad, and it will help us stay in shape and increase our longevity. (not to mention our sanity too!)
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Ange Dim