How to Get Rid of Love Handles for Men

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Last updated on February 12, 2023

Love handles – it’s a phrase that sounds so cute and romantic. But, if you’re a guy over 25, you are all too aware that there is nothing sexy about them. That huge handful of blubber sitting at the side of your waist is probably driving you to distraction. Not only is it killing your V taper, it’s also a major contributor to your dad bod, and your ever-increasing weight on the scale.

In this article, will reveal the truth about losing your love handles. Rather than buying into all of the spot training reduction nonsense which is so prevalent on the Internet, we will focus on the long-term lifestyle habits that will allow you to remove body fat from all over, including the sides of your waist.

What are Love Handles?

Love handles is the name given to the accumulation of visceral fat storage just above the hips on the sides of the waist. The name comes from the fact that this is an ideal position for your loved one to grab hold of while they are being intimate with you. Men tend to have a tendency to accumulate belly fat and love handles, whereas women are more likely to do so in the thighs and butt.

Before we get into the specifics of how to lose love handles, we need to remind you that it is impossible to spot reduce stored body fat. That means that you cannot do specific ab workouts exercises such as twisting crunches or side bends to achieve fat loss from this area. What these exercises will do is to strengthen the intercostals and external obliques that lie underneath of the fact. The blubber will still remain.

The truth about removing love handles, then, is that you need to do the things required to remove fat from all over your body. Doing ab or intercostals specific exercises will not do it. You need to put your time into doing the exercises that will burn the greatest number of calories from all over your body. This will help you to lose belly fat and get rid of love handles.

The Best Exercises for Love Handles

The best exercises to get rid of love handles are the cardio and weight training exercises that produce the most calorie burning bang for your buck. Combining cardio with weight training allows you to burn a lot of calories while you’re exercising, and to bring about the EPOC (excess post exercise oxygen consumption) effect by which you will be burning more calories for the 24 hours after your workout is over.

Weight training is also an effective way to burn fat and achieve weight loss. That’s because every ounce of lean muscle that gets added to your body increases your metabolism. It takes a lot more energy to support an ounce of muscle than it does to support an ounce of fat. So, building muscle on your biceps will help you to lose weight around your love handles.


When it comes to getting rid of love handles, cardio/ aerobic exercise is key. It will help you to burn off those excess calories. Your cardio training should involve a combination of steady-state and HIIT (high intensity interval training), alternated daily. On your steady-state day, choose exercises such as the treadmill or the elliptical machine and perform moderate intensity training for 30 to 40 minutes. That should burn around 500 to 600 calories.

Come back the following day to perform your high intensity interval training cardio workout. You can choose any of the machines in the cardio area of your gym, such as the rowing machine, treadmill or stair stepper. Perform a light to moderate warmup, then sprint at maximum intensity for 20 seconds. Now give yourself exactly 10 seconds to recover. Repeat this 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off high intensity intervals pattern for eight rounds. Then finish with a two-minute warm down.

This high intensity interval training workout will only take eight minutes, but it will be eight minutes of intense calorie burning. If you can do this three times a week for six weeks, while performing medium paced steady-state cardio another three days, you will definitely be able to reduce those unsightly love handles.

Weight Training

As well as building muscle, weight training will also churn through the calories. When your goal is to get rid of love handles and losing body fat fast, therefore, you are much better off doing compound exercises that are very energy high such as squats and deadlifts than isolated exercises like weighted side bends. Keep your weights moderate and perform high reps. Your rest between sets should be kept at 30 to 45 seconds in order to keep those calories burning.

Love Handle Reducing Nutrition

Getting rid of your love handles all comes down to your eating habits and creating a daily caloric deficit. Your cardio workouts, combined with a weight training plan will allow you to burn off several hundred calories per day. You now need to back up all of that hard work by what you are putting into your mouth. That means reducing your daily caloric intake by 500 calories per day.

Your first step will obviously be to work out how many calories you are eating right now. You can do this with the aid of an app like MyFitnessPal. Once you’ve got that number, simply reduce it by 500 calories. Remove complex carb and sugar heavy foods and processed foods, including pastries, pizza and fast fried foods. You will also need to re-evaluate your liquid consumption. Cut out all the sodas soft drinks and, if you are really serious about getting out of your love handles, alcohol.

Focus on eating more quality lean proteins and healthy fats. Try to include eggs, chicken, fish, lean red meat and whey isolate protein powder as your preferred protein sources. When it comes to healthy fats, go for walnuts, avocado, fatty fish, olive oil and flax seed.

Wrap Up

Hopefully by now you have been dispelled of the myth that you can lose stubborn love handles by doing exercises that target the side of your waist. Nothing could be a greater waste of time. You need to be smarter than that by focusing on overall calorie reduction to get rid of fat from all over your body, including your love handles.

Maintain a healthy living lifestyle and follow our three-pronged approach – cardio weight training and healthy eating – and you will be lowering body fat stored and be able to defeat your love handles. This is the most effective weight management approach, through diet and exercise you will be losing weight fast and keep the weight off.

Always consult a personal trainer if you have underlying health conditions, for example heart disease or arthritis, so that they can devise the best core exercise routine for your circumstances. This will ensure you don’t engage in physical activity which is bad for your health.

Steve Theunissen has qualified from the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and is a certified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist. He has over 30 years experience in fitness and nutrition and currently working with famous fitness professionals. He is currently living in New Zealand with is wife and daughter.

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