Getting annoyed with carrying extra padding around your middle? Love handles, as they’re affectionately known, are believed to be one of the toughest areas to trim. And if you don’t love your love handles, now’s the time to stop worrying and start working on them.
You’ll be amazed at how these simple tricks trim your torso to love god/goddess proportions.
1. Stop stressing and start sleeping
Losing weight for the long term is about lifestyle changes – a crash diet and a manic fitness burst is not the way to go. Take proper care of all of you and start by considering your stress levels and the quality of sleep you enjoy. High stress levels increase the production of the cortisol hormone which can up your fat levels. Take a long soak in the tub, enjoy a quiet walk in the countryside without your phone, practise Yoga or meditate to reduce stress.
Adopt a regular sleep pattern too, if you avoid food for two hours before bed and turn in when you’re tired you’ll be rested and less likely to reach for sugary foods to compensate for a lack of sleep.
Visit our yoga department and get inspired: Yoga Equipment
2. Replace wine with water
Ever wondered how alcohol makes you fat? Alcoholic drinks are empty calories, it’s as simple as that. Alcohol also releases cortisol, that bad guy we mentioned earlier. Drinking causes blood sugar swings that are hard on the system, they muck up your energy levels and can also prevent you from enjoying quality shut-eye. As well building belly fat of their own accord, people tend to eat more when under the influence of alcohol so it can be a double-whammy on the calorie front.
Drink more water instead – it’s calorie free! 2-3 litres of water a day will keep your body sufficiently hydrated.
3. Eat regularly and don’t skip breakfast
To counter food cravings you should aim to keep a regular glycaemic index (GI) which is the blood sugar level in your body. That means grazing throughout the day not gorging. Opt for low GI snacks and meals – those with no added sugar that have lots of fibre, more complex carbohydrates and protein too.
Start your day as you mean to go on with a wise breakfast like porridge or eggs. Then continue to eat regularly as this will keep cortisol levels at bay. Aim for three to four meals spread out evenly through the day.
4. Swap sweets for fruit and vegetables
Reducing or eliminating sugar from your diet is one of the best ways to lose belly fat. As well as being high in calories, sugary food is low in nutritional content and limited in fibre. After eating sweets you’ll experience a powerful GI high followed by a rapid crash as the body puts all its resources into digesting food which really does it no good and only leaves you craving more.
Swap sweets for flavoursome and fibre-rich fruit and vegetables, preferably raw or juiced or blended. They’re low in calories and fat and high in fibre and water – all essential ingredients to succeed in weight loss. Aim to consume as many colours as you can to get a full range of nutrients too.
Do this religiously for one week and your cravings for sugary foods will be gone.
5. Exercise to drop the fat and tone your torso
Exercise in general will reduce your fat and increase your muscle tone. To really see and feel the benefit you should work out three times a week for at least 45 minutes so you need to find exercise you enjoy and stick with. It takes three months to make a habit so keep yourself motivated for that initial 12-week period by telling your friends, trying on your skinny jeans each week and keeping a diary of your weight and measurements.
As your fitness improves, continue to challenge yourself by adding more weights, more time, more reps and more speed to your regime.
To target the midsection specifically we recommend you add the following exercises every time you work out….
- 30 Bicycle Crunches
- 40 Russian Twists
- 40 Woodchoppers (20 on each side)
- 30 Mountain Climbers
- 10 Squat Jack Burpees
- 30 Side Plank Hip Lifts (15 on each side)