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2 ways to shed that belly and those ugly love handles

Fitness By Bob Otieno

Love handles are fat deposits on the sides of the abdomen just above the hips. Fat here is stored in fat cells called adipocytes, also located in the rest of the body, especially around thighs, buttocks, hips and even arms.

The more you eat, the more these areas increase in size. When you consume more calories than you can burn, the excess fat is transferred to the fat cells and stored as fat. The stored fat remains dormant unless something is done to push fat either to the blood stream or muscles for use.

What to do to cut the excess fat

• Consume a low fat diet

Reduce the amount of calories you consume daily. To do this, try to multiply your body weight by 11. Whatever figure you get will be the number of calories your body needs to maintain your current weight.

Now, reduce this number by a hundred calories. This should be what you eat each day. This will create a calorie deficit between how much you consume and how much you expend. Reduce also your sugar and carb intake because when all these are in excess, they are stored as fat which is otherwise unhealthy. As you cut down on fatty foods make sure you increase your veggies and fruits intake as a substitute.

• Exercise

Doing cardiovascular exercise is not only great for your heart health but is also actually great to stimulate the fat reserves i.e. fat cells to release fats for energy to be used by the rest of the body.

Activities such as swimming, cycling, rowing, jogging, walking and aerobics classes done three to four times a week for about 40 minutes to an hour will give you the boost you need to create and increase your daily calorie deficit.

Other re-constructive exercise you can add to your fat loss programme to eliminate love handles are floor exercises such as alternate twisting crunches, side raising crunches and alternate knee in crunches. All these workouts are almost similar to abdominal workout but they all require you to lie on your side on the floor as you crunch your external obliques (side abdomen muscles).

A few sets and repetitions during your exercise regimen will give you the look you’ve always wanted but just know they go hand in hand with the above two.

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