Why You Can’t Get Rid of Your Love Handles

Love handles are every fit man and woman’s worst nightmare! They’re that stubborn bit of fat on your sides that, no matter how much you work, they never quite leave you. Getting rid of love handles is surprisingly difficult. Even people with a solid six pack will still struggle to deal with that last fat along their sides.

So what’s the deal? Why can’t you get rid of them? Well, to understand that, you have to understand why the fat is there in the first place…

The Reason for Love Handles

Men tend to store more fat around their midsection–meaning their bellies and, yep, you guessed it, their sides. The body deposits fat on their stomach and sides to make it easier to access in case of “starvation”. Your gut and sides are basically your body’s dumping spot for the excess fat. For women, fat ends up more on the backs of their arms, their thighs, and buttocks, but plenty gets sent to the sides as well.

Your body is designed to STORE fat, so getting rid of fat is going against the way your body works. This is why it takes so much more effort to lose weight than it is to gain it. You can spend hours burning calories every week, and you will see fat loss. However, your body will first get rid of the fat it has stored elsewhere (arms, legs, etc.), saving this deposit of fat for last. This is the reason that so many VERY fit and strong people still have a bit of fat around their bellies and sides.

It Gets Worse…

To make things worse, the oblique muscles beneath the fat are some of the smallest muscles in your body. Your leg muscles are huge and use up a lot of energy, so you’ll notice leg fat burning the soonest. Your upper body also has some big muscle groups, meaning the fat will be used up quickly. Heck, even the backs of your arms and legs have larger muscles that will use up calories and cause fat to be burned. But your core muscles are smaller, designed to support your spine more than anything else. You can’t really build big side muscles, making it that much harder to get rid of the body fat around those muscles.

What Can I Do?

If you want to get rid of your love handles, there are two solutions to the problem:


  • Overall fat loss — This means to decrease your body fat percentage overall. In the beginning, you’ll notice most of the fat loss from your arms, legs, and thighs. Your belly and sides may shrink a bit, but the decrease will be much slower. However, don’t give up! Keep up with your efforts, and keep burning fat. As your body fat percentage lowers, the fat around your abs and sides will disappear. It takes time and a lot of work–cardio, HIIT, weight lifting, bodyweight training, and the list goes on–but it can be done.



  • Target your core –– There is no way to “target” fat loss, so you can’t train away just the fat around your sides. However, if you are already burning fat as a result of your diet and workout program, you can add some more core-oriented workouts to the mix. This will help to enhance the musculature around your core, and will make it more likely that you will actually get rid of your love handles. Throw in some abs, back, and obliques work to your daily exercise, and you will see results.


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