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Love handles be gone
September 3, 2008 2:50 PM   Subscribe

Help me get rid of my love handles

My weight is fine. I'm at or even below my goal weight. But I have a definite roll around the middle. It's just where my body stores fat. And when I lose weight it comes off my butt where I would rather have it.
Anyway! Need ideas for exercises to help target this. Especially the back side of my waist.

Would also be willing to make some diet changes but like I said, I don't want to lose more weight unless it's gonna come off the right places.
posted by chickaboo to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (18 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
You can't spot reduce fat. There is no exercise in the world that's going to target your love handles - not crunches, not situps, not ab rollers, not anything.

If you want to get rid of the love handles, you have to lose more weight. Once your body decides that there's no more fat in your butt, it will target the love handles. Then, you can work on putting on muscle and getting back to the weight you want.
posted by unexpected at 2:57 PM on September 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


unexpected is right. What you can do however is get more fit which can help the appearance of things like love handles. I swim. Swimming tightens up my whole abdominal area. This means that without sucking in my gut, my gut looks pretty good. It was not always this way. Losing weight is the only way to actually make the fat itself go away but you'd be surprised how much difference getting in muscular shape (and posture, don't forget posture!) can do for how your general midsection looks.
posted by jessamyn at 3:03 PM on September 3, 2008


I agree with unexpected.

You'd have to lose weight until your body decides it needs to loss the love handles. To combat the shape you lose in your bum, you'll need to do butt exercises.
posted by modernsquid at 3:27 PM on September 3, 2008


Ditto unexpected....I know this from experience. I have rockhard abs/obliques under my love handles and they won't show until I lose overall body weight. I do a lot of work on that area to get the muscles in shape but it's not as if the muscles magically replace the fat.
posted by kenzi23 at 3:36 PM on September 3, 2008


Swim or run. I take natural fat burners, too. Whole Foods has them. They worked for me. But everyone is different.
posted by Zambrano at 3:54 PM on September 3, 2008


my sister who studied nutrition insists that weight around that area of the body comes from too much sugar in the diet. my family is all skinny but with small love handles. I didnt believe her when she told me this so we made a bet.

I bet her that a) she wouldnt be able to stop eating sugar and b) even if she did, she wouldn't lose her handles. I said I would give her a hundred bucks if she stopped eating sugar for 2 months and proved it worked.

she accepted my bet and stopped eating sugar for a few weeks and I swear her love handles got smaller. It might have been that she just lost general weight, cos she's pretty thin. who knows. but it did seem to work. (I gave her a $70 gift voucher I had because she didn't go the whole 2 months but she did get some results.)
posted by beccyjoe at 4:05 PM on September 3, 2008


I don't want to lose more weight unless it's gonna come off the right places.

In that case, rather than fat-burning cardio, concentrate on adding muscle mass.
You won't gain muscle without gaining fat, and you won't lose fat without losing muscle, but you can gain predominantly muscle and only a little fat, then the increased energy requirements of the new muscle will take it's toll on the fat, and you can lose more fat than muscle. So you arrive at a similar weight to now, only with more muscle tone and less fat. And even keeping the fat, fat looks less fatty when there is toned muscle beneath it.
posted by -harlequin- at 4:07 PM on September 3, 2008


Unfortunately for the human species, the adbomen is where your body stores gravy first and loses it last. If it's a true source of upset, the only real solution is to either lose more weight, or increase muscle mass for more even distribution, making the muffin tops a little less apparent.
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:15 PM on September 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


You need to keep losing weight. You think your weight is fine, but it isn't if you're still bothered by your "love handles." There are problem areas unique to both men and women (men - arms, belly, women - arms, thighs, hips) where fat will hold on for dear life, but it is simply a case of continuing your weight loss plan until it goes. You say you don't want to lose more weight, but you'll probably find weight loss is minimal in a lot of areas and from here on in you'll be shedding from the areas still harbouring the lumps.

To nth all the advice above, you can't spot reduce fat.
posted by fire&wings at 4:40 PM on September 3, 2008


Hey so it looks like the fat part of the question has been pretty much resolved by consensus, though unsatisfactorily. So how about we breathe new life into another part of the question by asking the crowd the best ways for we of little butt to get more buttmeat? I am from a long line of buttless (but devastatingly handsome as far as you know) men, and I get it that it's mostly an immutable genetic curse. The only time I have any butt is when I'm a chubster and even then it's not much, and I don't want to go back to chubland just for some butt. How can the OP and I get some butt bulk while remaining trim? Lunges haven't seemed to do much. What's the hardcore way, barring implants, to get some bulk down south?
posted by Askr at 6:49 PM on September 3, 2008


How can the OP and I get some butt bulk while remaining trim? Lunges haven't seemed to do much. What's the hardcore way, barring implants, to get some bulk down south?

Full barbell squats. Make sure you do them with correct form (move your hips, not your knees, and go down until you hit parallel), start light, and increase the weight each workout. I started my squat at a few months ago 5 sets of 5 with 90 pounds and tonight I did 190. Last week I split a pair of boxers down the ass at the bottom of my squat. Glute power! More details in Stronglifts or Starting Strength.
posted by ludwig_van at 7:19 PM on September 3, 2008


Yeah, askr, squats and deadlifts, squats and deadlifts.

Basically, you don't necessarily want a fat ass- you want to strengthen your lower back and your hamstrings and glutes to give you the illusion of a fat ass.

AND, the question was answered plenty satisfactorily- just not to the OP's liking! ;)
posted by unexpected at 7:48 PM on September 3, 2008


You won't gain muscle without gaining fat, and you won't lose fat without losing muscle, but you can gain predominantly muscle and only a little fat, then the increased energy requirements of the new muscle will take it's toll on the fat, and you can lose more fat than muscle.

Eh, not really true. Don't be afraid to lift weights if you think you're gonna gain fat, it's completely possible to build muscle while burning fat. But love handles are called love handles for a reason, they're great to love on, a little extra cushion can be a great thing.
posted by BrnP84 at 9:48 PM on September 3, 2008


You think your weight is fine, but it isn't if you're still bothered by your "love handles."

No. OP's weight might be fine but he doesn't like the way his body looks. These are very different issues.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 10:45 PM on September 3, 2008


I think the OP is a she - most guys don't tend to gain or lose weight on their butts, have usernames like chickaboo, or put F under gender on their profiles.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:17 AM on September 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


haha! good eyes Ubu

Anyway! Ok. Back on South beach diet phase one. And I will try to up my weight lifting

I do squats and lunges all the time and find the butt only decreases...

I think the advice to swim more is well taken. Obviously I need some overall full body cardio more intensive than I'm doing. If you see a previous question I made, I do try to swim.

Also going to try to add Yoga and see if my bum hip will tolerate it. thanks a lot.
posted by chickaboo at 8:19 AM on September 4, 2008


Eat less food and exercise more.
posted by welephant at 2:07 PM on September 4, 2008


I do squats and lunges all the time and find the butt only decreases...

Then it seems likely that your form is incorrect or you aren't using enough weight. I see plenty of both at my gym. If you don't squat to the appropriate depth and move your hips the right way you won't be hitting your glutes. How to squat with proper technique.
posted by ludwig_van at 8:49 PM on September 4, 2008


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