You’ve tried situps, cardio, and dumbbell side bends, but nothing seems to get rid of that stubborn belly fat on your sides. Sound familiar? It might be time to change up your gym routine—or start a new one.

Commonly called “love handles,”that belly fat collecting around your torso is a key indicator of poor overall health. To get the best moves for a lean torso, we asked Sadik Hadzovic, an I.F.B.B. Men’s Physique professional, for his 10 favorite exercises to shed love handles.

“This workout is effective because it’s fast paced and designed to target both the rectus abdominals and the transverse abdominals,” he says. “To burn fat, you must do more then just crunches and situps; you need to recruit your entire body to enter a thermogenic state that leads to an accelerated rate of fat loss.” Complete your dream physique with these 10 moves that will carve up your core fast.

Directions

Hadzovic suggests you do these exercises as a workout once a week, as well as adding individual exercises into your regular strength and conditioning routine. On other days, churn through high-intensity interval training three times a week. And stick to a clean diet—”abs are made in the kitchen,” as they saying goes.

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How to Cut 100 Calories From Your Diet

And here are some tips from the calorie-cutting side of the equation:

  1. Eat a high-fiber, whole-grain breakfast cereal instead of granola
  2. Use mustard or low-fat mayonnaise on your sandwich instead of regular mayonnaise.
  3. Have a piece of fresh fruit in place of cookies or chips.
  4. Drink diet soda instead of regular soda.
  5. Choose sherbet, sorbet, or low-fat ice cream over super-premium ice cream.
  6. Use 2 tablespoons of light whipped butter or margarine instead of regular.
  7. Top your favorite pasta with a red sauce instead of a cream sauce.
  8. Skip the blue cheese topping on your salad.
  9. Order a small drink instead of a super-sized drink.
  10. Hold the bacon on your sandwich or at breakfast.
  11. Use water-packed tuna instead of oil-packed.
  12. Eat a snack-sized chocolate bar instead of a whole candy bar.
  13. Order your pizza with veggies instead of high-fat meat toppings.
  14. Eat an appetizer as your main meal instead of an entrée.
  15. Skip the extra butter shot on your movie theater popcorn.
  16. Order your sandwich on whole-grain bread instead of a croissant or bagel.
  17. Leave the crust on the pie and enjoy the filling.
  18. Leave 3 to 4 bites of food on your plate.
  19. Pass on the gravy on your mashed potatoes.
  20. Try an open-faced sandwich.
  21. Leave the cheese off your sandwich or burger.
  22. Switch to low-fat salad dressing instead of regular.
  23. Use only half the packet of salad dressing when ordering salads to go.
  24. Eat 2 slices of whole-grain bread instead of a bagel.
  25. Spread your bread with jam instead of butter or margarine.
  26. Have a side salad instead of French fries as a side dish.
  27. Savor 5 Hershey kisses instead of a chocolate bar.
  28. Choose skim milk instead of whole milk.
  29. Eat 1/2 cup less of pasta or rice.
  30. Remove the skin from poultry before eating.
  31. Choose ground sirloin instead of ground beef.
  32. Share a dessert.
  33. Enjoy hummus with baby carrots instead of cheese and crackers for a snack.
  34. Drink 1 less 12-ounce light beer or glass of wine.
  35. Choose fruit canned in natural juice instead of heavy syrup.
  36. Skip the butter or margarine in the pan when grilling sandwiches or eggs.

There’s no doubt about it: Getting rid of love handles—the pesky pockets of fat at your sides—can feel impossible. It’s going to take more than a bunch of crunches. But while losing belly fat involves the classic combination of a healthy diet and regular workout routine, if you stay committed, you’re already on the fast track to your goal. Here’s exactly what you need to do:

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What are the best exercises for getting rid of love handles?

The best exercises to get rid of love handles involves a combination of ab and strength training moves, in addition to cardio. And the key to getting the most out of your workout: Think of each exercise as a full-body movement. “Think head-to-toe effort for your moves,” says Amy Jordan, celebrity trainer and WundaBar Pilates creator. “That will crank the cardio and blast calories to reveal the muscles you’re toning underneath.” First up, are planks.

Planks

Jordan says planks are one of the best exercises for getting rid of love handles because they engage the whole body and take major effort to hold with perfect form. “Planks create long lines that look great and are good for proper functionality, while crunches shorten the front line of the body,” Jordan says. This is why she generally doesn’t recommend doing traditional crunches for sculpting your obliques. “Planks develop endurance with the isometric nature of a hold. Challenge yourself for 10 seconds longer every day,” Jordan says. Some ways you can turn up the burn with your planks, according to Jordan:

  1. Bend one knee at a time in plank, also known as baby bends.
  2. Sweep one leg out to the side while your torso holds steady.
  3. Rotate from center into side planks.
  4. Pike up and return to plank position. You can do this by placing a pair of gliders or hand towels underneath your feet to pike your butt up toward the ceiling.

Jordan recommends doing 12 reps of each exercise and doing them for three to found rounds.

Best Ab Exercises for Love Handles

Compound Exercises

It’s impossible to spot reduce fat, but you can focus on building lean muscles, which helps burn fat. Compound exercises, aka two-in-one moves that fire up several muscle groups at once, are a great way to get a great workout with little time, and they’re something that Jordan recommends to her clients who are looking to kiss their love handles goodbye. “Whenever possible, make your exercise a compound movement,” Jordan says. “That means adding small hand weights to a squat, incorporating rotations while holding a lunge, or looping a resistance band around your hands for a roll-up,” she says.

What’s the best diet to get rid of love handles?

As we mentioned earlier, diet and fitness go hand-in-hand if you want to lose weight and get rid of love handles. “I recommend you approach food simply,” says Jordan. “Is it from nature? Go for it. Is it from a package with a thousand ingredients you can’t pronounce? Skip it.” Her other rule of thumb is to eat 90 percent for fuel, which includes foods that provide protein, fats, carbs, vitamins and minerals. The other 10 percent is for what she calls “fun” food items, like dark chocolate or champagne.

Focusing on high-fiber foods, like whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, and legumes will also fill you up and help tame cravings for sugar and fat. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend women 31 to 50 years old get at least 25 grams of fiber daily, and men 31 to 50 years old 31 grams. On the other hand, women 51 and over should aim for 22 grams per day, and men 51 and over 28 grams. The same goes for protein. Not only does protein keep you full, but it also helps repair muscles after a workout. The more muscles you build, the more calories you burn and fat you lose. A good number to aim for is 70 grams of protein daily—so around 20 to 30 grams per meal.

As always, prioritizing sleep and limiting stress will make losing weight and getting rid of unwanted fat easier. Be sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and make an effort to do something relaxing before bed to help you de-stress and snooze better. Think about what’s causing your stress, and what can you do to instantly feel good. The solution is different for everyone, whether it’s taking a relaxing bath, journaling, or meditating. Remember, stress will just make it all the more difficult to reach your goals, so it’s important to keep it in check.

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Tiffany Ayuda Tiffany Ayuda, a senior editor at Prevention and certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise, has specialized in fitness, health, and general wellness topics in her previously editorial roles at Life by Daily Burn, Everyday Health, and South Beach Diet.

4 Tips to Get Rid of Your Muffin Top

Whether it’s for health reasons, to lessen the risk of disease,(1) or simply because you want your clothes to fit better – getting rid of lower belly fat can be really tough. The worst part is that you could be wasting your time on the wrong approach. Are belly exercises really the best way to get rid of your “love handles” or “muffin top”?

The truth about leaner abs is…

  • Reducing belly fat takes time and continuous effort
  • You should work on improving your nutrition first to encourage overall fat loss (and not specific exercises to “tighten your abs,” which is secondary.)

Avoid focusing on the “love handles”/“muffin top”

Trying to fix a certain “flaw” often leads to crash diets and useless exercises. You’ll invest so much effort and impatiently wait to see the “love handles” melt, which doesn’t happen as fast as you might expect. This causes frustration and you could be tempted to completely give up.

A more rewarding approach would be to focus on your body as a whole, because in truth, there are no special exercises that make “love handles” disappear. Your body is the vehicle with which you experience life – improving your lifestyle will make you fitter, happier, and more content overall – not just fit better in your jeans. Here’s how to do it…

4 tips to reduce belly fat long-term

The following tips are prioritized based on how much of an impact they have on reducing belly fat. That means if you incorporate them one at a time and start with #1, you will experience the most success.

1. Cut calories (moderately, but consistently!)

Putting your body in a fat loss mode is the only way you will eventually lose the excess abdominal fat and keep it off.

Sustainable weight loss is based on a moderate, steady calorie deficit. To make sure that you are in a moderate deficit you need to calculate how many calories you burn (your Total Daily Energy Expenditure) and how much you eat. Aim for about 300-500 calories below your TDEE. Check out these tips on how to start you weight loss journey.

Is there a specific diet that is recommended for getting rid of love handles?

No, as long as you are able to maintain the necessary deficit and not eat too little, you are doing it right. Think about what is the least amount of calories I need to cut to see results – not what is the lowest number of calories I can function on. This expert diet review will teach you all you need to know!

Here are some more ways to cut calories and lose belly fat:

  • Learn to estimate portion sizes
  • Plan your snacks instead of snacking randomly whenever something is around

2. Eat more protein & less sugar

Protein supports your body transformation

Protein is the building block of your body and it becomes especially important when you are trying to change your body composition. And it’s not just when it comes to building muscles. Protein is also extremely important when trying to lose fat. By eating enough protein you make sure not to lose muscle mass. Plus, it makes you feel full longer. Find out all you need to know about protein.

Sugar can mess up your plans

There is hidden sugar in many common foods. When we consume so much added sugar, it’s almost as if our taste buds get “addicted” to it. If you crave sweets after a meal because you are used to having dessert, you are unlikely to reach for a banana to satisfy the urge (even though it has plenty of natural sugar). And once you take that first cookie it’s so hard to stop. This makes it extremely hard to maintain the calorie deficit. Consider a 30-day no-sugar challenge and see how that experience shapes your view of nutrition.

Do I really have to cut all sugar to lose love handles?

Not really. Losing weight is not about extremes. You can still eat occasional desserts. The key is portion size and maintaining a steady calorie deficit.

3. Get more sleep

The importance of sleep if often underestimated when it comes to weight loss. You can read countless studies and lists of benefits of sleep, but nothing will be as convincing as simply doing an experiment yourself. Often we are not aware of how sleep-deprived we are and the consequences it has on our appetite, cravings, mood, motivation…

Make it a priority to get the best quality sleep you can for a couple of days and observe how it affects your cravings and moods. This sleep calculator will help you determine the optimal wake up time based on sleep cycles.

4. Fix your workout plan

Just because it’s #4 doesn’t mean workouts aren’t important for losing belly fat. But remember, they can’t make up for poor nutritional habits.

If you don’t have a workout plan – get one! Why not start with a 12-week bodyweight training plan you can do at home?

If you do have a workout plan, it’s time to evaluate its effectiveness:

  • Is your workout plan focused on “abs exercises for love handles”? Doing targeted ab work shouldn’t be your top priority. Focus on full body workouts and add extra ab work only if time allows.
  • Do you workout less than 3 times per week? Aim for at least 3 workouts per week.
  • Are your workouts always the same? Your plan should include a variety of workouts, so that you don’t get used the same routine.

  • Do you only do cardio? Make sure to include strength training, too. It will change your body composition faster, growing muscle and reducing fat.
  • Does your plan lack high intensity workouts and/or intervals? HIIT workouts, Tabatas, and interval runs are great calorie burners!

Each question you answer with “yes” indicates that your workout plan is less effective for weight loss than it could be.

Takeaway

Are special exercises for love handles the best way to reduce lower belly fat?

Exercises focused on your side abs are not going to burn the fat that you have sitting there. You need to maintain a moderate calorie deficit to lose fat.

Do abs exercises make a difference in losing belly fat at all?

While abs exercises don’t speed up your weight loss, there is definitely value in training your abs. Your midsection transfers force throughout the body and stabilizes your posture. Besides that, doing abs exercises will help you “discover your abs”. Most people only feel their stomach. Learning to feel your ab muscles will improve your relationship with your body and make you more efficient in all movements.

Bottom line:

Change your eating habits, get enough sleep and protein, stop ravenous sugar cravings, and adjust your workout plan. If you do this, your lifestyle will already be changing in a healthier direction. And if you’re still looking for a special workout for your love handles after implementing the suggestions above, feel free to add this “muffin top workout” to your schedule:

***

Love handles sound like they’re some great, alluring body feature to spice up your most intimate times — but for many guys, the stubborn fat that sticks to their upper hips is something they’d rather not have hanging around.

You might have put on the weight after you settled in with a new partner, or maybe you’ve always carried a little extra heft around the hips. Your love handles are composed of subcutaneous fat, which sits just beneath the skin.

Good news: Outside of cosmetic and general health concerns, you don’t have as much to be worried about that subcutaneous fat as the insidious visceral fat in your belly that can cause all kinds of health issues. Better news: You don’t have to resort to extreme measures like burning or freezing your love handles to get rid of them.

Here’s a plan to ditch your stubborn love handles from former Men’s Health fitness advisor Craig Ballantyne, CSCS.

Find the Right Intervals

Studies have shown that interval-based exercise programs, most specifically high intensity interval training (HIIT), are more effective for burning off your love handles than steady state cardio. Instead of running for miles on end without any clear goal, fine tune your work and rest periods to strip away the fat.

So what type of interval program should you use? You can use a jump rope, or apply the principles to running or weight room work. Ballantyne recommends this setup to banish that pesky midsection fat:

After a thorough warmup, alternate between 20 seconds of hard exercise and 40 seconds recovery. Repeat that pattern 6 to 8 times. Afterwards, finish with 5 to 10 minutes of cooldown exercise.

If you have extra time, do 10 minutes of regular cardio pace.

Don’t Overload on Cardio

Jogging can only do so much. Westend61Getty Images

Even though Ballantyne recommended cardio for a cool down, he’s wary of its effectiveness when performed alone. Extended periods of steady state cardio, like jogging, won’t do much to cut down your spare tire. “It’s not going to work as well as interval training,” Ballantyne said.

This is related to another issue, according to Ballantyne: Many guys don’t have enough muscle in the first place. Losing love handles, like bodybuilding, is a game of illusion. Muscle on your chest and back can essentially “hide” excess fat in your love handle area.

“So most guys are “skinny-fat,” and then try to lose love handles with cardio only, and basically become even smaller versions of themselves — but still skinny-fat,” Ballantyne said. “It’s better to use intervals and weight training to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time — which IS possible — and change your body’s overall appearance.”

Rethink Your Ab Routine

“Ab exercises like crunches are generally a waste of time,” Ballantyne said. The problem is, you’re only working the muscles around your lower spine with crunches and situps.

Instead, you should build up your core with moves that focus on spinal stability, like planks and hollow body holds. Check out this quick core circuit for an idea of what you should be aiming for:

Build Yourself Up While Slimming Down

While you’re cutting down your midsection, do yourself a solid and work on some other areas of your body that can take attention away from your ample hips. Build up your pecs, lats, deltoids, and traps to create the illusion of smaller love handles.

“Most guys don’t have enough muscle to focus on just losing weight,” Ballantyne said, “so every guy must build some muscle in these areas.”

How can you build the muscle and lose fat at the same time? You’re hoping to “culk,” so you should start by training hard, eating properly, and sticking to a consistent program.

Ballantyne also recommended a plan based around two to three total body workouts per week. Use 5 exercises per workout (1 lower body, 1 upper push, 1 lower body single leg, 1 upper pulling, 1 total body ab exercise). Do that as a circuit three times through, with 8 to 12 reps per exercise. Finish with interval training.

Get Out What You Put In

fcafotodigitalGetty Images

If you want advanced results, you have to do advanced things,” said Ballantyne. “Such as cutting all the processed carbohydrates from your diet. One cheat reward meal per week — that’s cheat MEAL, not cheat DAY.”

Replace breakfast cereals and grain carbs with fruits, vegetables, and nuts. “Losing your love handles isn’t going to happen if you insist on treating yourself to a Frappuccino, Pepsi, and a slice of pizza every day,” he said. “It means eating meals of lean protein, fiber-rich vegetables, and snacking on apples and nuts between meals.”

“It’s diet. It’s just too easy for most guys to cheat, Ballantyne said. “They have to realize that they have to have more discipline if they want results.”

The Editors of Men’s Health The editors of Men’s Health are your personal conduit to the top experts in the world on all things important to men: health, fitness, style, sex, and more.

How I Lost My Love Handles After 50

Extra rolls on our waists are not irreversible. This is what I learned last month.

After observing two dear friends’ transformations of their body shapes in just 8 weeks I remarked…. “You look so svelte and strong, what’s your secret?” They explained it was a strategy and a system and it took a commitment. I was hoping they were going to tell me they just gave up cheese or bread but it was way more involved than that.

I was a little disappointed there was no diet they could email me so I too could lose the muffin top that I had rationalized as later-in-life flesh. But, then they started telling me about this very smart nutritionist they both were working with. I was intrigued enough to contact her.

The nutritionist is Rebecca Baer, a certified dietitian-nutritionist in the state of Florida and New York. Her “healthy eating made simple” strategy made perfect sense. No, it doesn’t involve hunger pains and games and in fact it doesn’t even include insane exercise shifts. It involves understanding what you are eating and how it is affecting you. Each client for Ms. Baer is unique and food needs and desires are incorporated into the eating plan she devises.

And so it began. I signed on.

I have spent the last 4 weeks under the guidance of Rebecca Baer and my body has indeed changed as well.

Not only have I lost the 5 pounds that I had battled with over these past 10 years, I feel fitter and have steadier energy throughout the day. (Caveat… I’ve been around way too long to gloat about 5 pounds as I can easily reclaim that old number in a few days. However, I feel way better informed about how to reverse incremental poundage).

So here’s what Rebecca did with me.

Just like a business strategist who is working to fix a problem. she gave me a very thorough intake analysis. I kept a food diary for a week before I started, writing down everything I should eat and love to eat which is sometimes different. That set the tone for what needed to be changed.

Who knew I was eating too many avocados? I thought I was eating healthy food. Apparently it is, but too much of a good thing. Nuts were out for awhile as was peanut butter, my favorite quick energy fix. Cheese was out, but not all of it. Snacking was in, water intake was going to go way up and wine consumption would be replaced by whiskey as there was less sugar. Not bad. I would never feel hungry heading into dinner, I would have plenty of food to keep me from heading for the bread basket.

This all happened pretty fast. Rebecca had me buy a few items to get started and one included a device to calculate my body fat. We did this together, remotely, on our first skype call, and she told me this would shift over time…and it has.

I must say I do live on Wasa Crackers with a protein for snack-time because eating the same thing is easier for me to remember. I still start my day with a cappuccino and poached eggs, but only one yolk versus two. I am way more aware of drinking water as Rebecca’s most brilliant advice was to drink a full glass of water before and after each meal (including snacks) and that’s how I am able to drink 8 glasses minimum each day and keep track of it.

My skin looks better and I feel better. My pants are looser and I feel way more in control.

For all those reading this who aren’t able or interested in investing in a nutritionist, look at Rebecca’s web site and read her blog because it will help you reset your eating and embrace healthy wonderful food.

P.S. I’m not done with my 8 week program with Rebecca so I will report back in next month.

In the meantime, here’s some of her gorgeous healthy meal ideas which you can find on her website as well.

Green Smoothie bowl with cherries and mixed berries, bananas, coconut shavings and hemp hearts.

Seared ahi tuna with edamame and salad.

Spinach omelet with blistered tomatoes and baby spinach.

Greek yogurt with tropical fruit salad.

Sliced herb grilled Chicken breast with beet hummus, spiralized cucumbers, chickpeas, beets, rainbow carrots and snow peas.

Seared scallops over creamy cauliflower purée and wilted baby spinach

Oatmeal with banana, frozen berries and hemp hearts.

Click here to see more recipes: http://www.baernutrition.com

You can follow Rebecca Baer here:

Facebook: Rebecca BaerRegistered Dietitian/Nutritionist at Registered Dietitian · Camp Shane

Instagram: http://instagram.com/rebeccabaerrd/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RebeccaBaerRD

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/rebeccabaerrd/

How I Lost My Love Handles After 50 was last modified: March 20th, 2018 by Felice Shapiro

Join the Conversation

The term “love handles” is a bit of a misnomer. In fact, when it comes to the sections of fat on the sides and front of your belly, there’s no love lost. Love handles are zones of “stubborn fat,” the first place guys gain it and the last it disappears. And sometimes, even though you’ve logged hours on the elliptical and the abs station, it can feel damn near impossible to get those little pockets of flab off your body.

But while shifting your lifestyle and altering your fitness regimen are essential for overhauling your physique, nothing is more vital to eliminating fat on your back and sides than nutrition.

“The most important part of losing any fat on your body, especially from your back and belly, is incorporating whole foods—nothing processed, packaged, or chemically altered—as your primary source of nutrition,” says Liz Lowe, C.S.C.S., head program designer at Scorch Fitness, a high-intensity interval training gym in Sarasota, Florida. “By focusing on fruits, vegetables, grass-fed meats and eggs, healthy fats and anti-inflammatory roots and herbs, you can create a nutrition plan that will shed your stubborn love handles.”

Here, we’ve listed Lowe’s top nutrition, health, and lifestyle guidelines to start shedding fat. There’s no get-ripped quick gimmick—just tried-and-true rules that will help you stay fit for life.

Part I: Nutrition

1. Don’t cut carbs (especially pre- and post-workout)

Healthy complex carbs, such as sweet potatoes, black rice, and oats, keep your metabolism stimulated and give your body long-lasting energy, Lowe says. When your body feels deprived of this energy, it goes into starvation mode and burning fat becomes a last priority.

2. Switch to Stevia

“While artificial sweeteners have zero calories, they can still make your body gain and hold on to fat,” Lowe says. Research shows the fake stuff can increase carb cravings, stimulate appetite, and increase fat storage, so ween yourself off.

3. Focus on healthy fats

It may sound counterintuitive, but you need to eat fat to lose fat. “Eating a diet rich in avocados, nuts, seeds, olive/coconut oil, and fatty fish is shown to decrease abdominal fat,” Lowe explains.

4. Go organic

Don’t roll your eyes. The extra buck at the grocery store goes a long way in providing you with better health benefits. Research has found organic meat and milk have about 50 percent more omega-3 fatty acid. “Eat grass-fed beef and whole organic cage-free eggs,” Lowe recommends. “Both of these foods contain conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been shown to promote abdominal fat loss.”

5. Add some spice

“Using fresh or dried turmeric or ginger helps the body fight inflammation, which is a direct trigger for holding on to unwanted back and belly fat,” Lowe says.

6. Hit the (water) bottle

Drinking plenty of water is critical for losing your love handles. When your body is dehydrated, it’ll do everything in its power to hold on to water and trick your brain into thinking it’s hungry rather than thirsty, she says. Shoot to drink a gallon every day.

7. Time your meals strategically

“Focus on eating complex carbohydrates pre- and-post workout, when your body will utilize them for energy rather than storing them as fat,” Lowe suggests. If you can, keep your meals small and consistent throughout the day (say, every 3 hours for a total of 5-6 meals a day) to ward off hunger. “When you’re ravenous, it’s a lot easier to reach for a sugary, unhealthy snack.”

8. Cut the alcohol

“Sometimes cutting alcohol alone will make a drastic difference in your love handles,” Lowe says. If you think about it, a beer or a glass of wine has over 100 calories. If you have a glass of either to unwind after work, or go pretty hard on the weekends, you’re tacking on a lot of unnecessary calories. Always be cognizant of liquid calories.

9. Keep caffeine to a minimum

One to two cups of coffee is fine, but an entire pot is not! Neither are all the added sweeteners and milks. Try to drink coffee black; or, flavor with a bit of agave or infuse coffee beans with vanilla. You can also mix it up by having 2-3 cups of green tea, unsweetened and preferably caffeine-free.

10. Nix protein bars

“Most are so high in sugar they should be considered candy,” Lowe says. If you’re deadset on eating them, for convenience sake, opt for bars with just a few grams of sugar and ingredients who can pronounce. Or, make your own protein balls, bites, and bars.

11. Get in greens

Make sure every meal you eat has a vegetable in it. Seriously. Sneak spinach in your morning omelet. Keep pre-cut veggie sticks in your fridge at work. Do everything you can to get more in your diet since very few Americans get the recommended amount each day.

12. Limit dairy

“Instead of putting sugar and cream in your coffee, use agave and almond milk,” Lowe says. Likewise, use olive oil or coconut oil instead of butter; and if you must have cheese, stick with hard cheeses versus soft.

The best foods for losing love handles

Protein sources: chicken, eggs, lean, ground turkey, all-natural chicken sausage, shrimp, tilapia, salmon, tuna, lean cuts of steak, whey protein powder, tofu, hemp protein, pea protein. Recommendation: Eat at every meal

Vegetable sources: Feel free to eat whatever veggies you like! But some of the best for weight loss are kale, spinach, watercress, chard, and beet greens. Recommendation: Eat at every meal

(Low-sugar) Fruit sources: Avocado, tomatoes, eggplant, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries, and watermelon.
Recommendation: 2 servings of fresh fruit a day. One serving of fruit is one piece of fruit, or 1/2 cup of berries or sliced fruit. Stay away from dried fruits because of their high sugar content.

Be mindful of portion size: Lowe says proteins should be the size of your fist. Complex carbs should be about the size of your palm. Healthy fats should be about 2 tablespoons per serving (the size of a golf ball). Veggies should be two handfuls.

The perfect meal plan for weight loss

Meal 1: 1/2 cup oats cooked with water and cinnamon; 1 whole egg + 3 egg whites scrambled with spinach, peppers, onions, and coconut oil; one cup coffee with almond milk.
Meal 2: Kale, black cherry, whey protein, and almond milk smoothie; one cup green tea.
Meal 3: Spinach salad with tomatoes, peppers, avocado, oil and vinegar, and chicken breast; 1/2 sweet potato; one cup green tea.
Meal 4: Apple and whey protein shake (post-workout, usually).
Meal 5: Salmon with lemon and garlic asparagus; large dark, leafy green salad with oil and vinegar; one cup green tea.
Meal 6: Scrambled egg whites (only if you’re hungry before bed).

Part II: Lifestyle

1. Snooze the night away

Sleep is extremely important for losing body fat—especially your love handles, Lowe says. When you’re sleep deprived, your hormones get out of whack, which can impede weight loss. Your metabolism slows to conserve energy; your appetite is higher (due to elevated levels of cortisol) because you’re lacking energy; and your body craves foods higher in carbs and fat because they help produce serotonin, which calm you from this stressed state. Aim for 7-8 hours per night.

2. Make recovery a priority

“The biggest mistake people make when trying to lose their love handles is dieting too hard and over-exercising,” Lowe says. “In some cases this actually leads to your body holding on to that fat since you’re constantly stimulating the stress hormone cortisol.” Change your mindset to train like an athlete: Zero in on your goals and performance to help create a better focus.

3. Get your metabolism started

When you wake up in the morning, before you have anyting to eat, drink 16oz of water with the juice of 1/2 fresh lemon. This will help kickstart your digestive system, Lowe says.

Part III: Training

“When it comes to incorporating certain exercises into your training, countless crunches and side bends won’t do the trick,” Lowe says. Spot training—the idea that you can eliminate fat in a particular part of your body—is a nice idea, but it just doesn’t work. “A combination of HIIT cardio, total-body strength training, and the occasional long, slow, distance session will burn the fat off the stubborn areas, like your back,” Lowe adds.

1. To build lean muscle

“Doing compound lifts—like squats, deadlifts, hang cleans, and thrusters—will help build lean muscle mass, which will stimulate your metabolism to burn fat at rest,” Lowe says. To create a strong core and simultaneously strengthen your entire body, perform exercises like a weighted plank and barbell front squats.

2. To burn calories

HIIT cardio workouts create an after-burn effect, which drives up your heart rate and metabolism. You can increase calorie burn for 24-48 hours after your session. Incorporating HIIT-style training, like sprints on a track or a bike, will help rid your body of excess fat fast.

3. To burn fat with long, slow cardio

Sometimes your body needs to be shocked. If you’re a gym rat, switching up your cardio one or two times a week and incorporating a 45-minute (or more) cardio session can do the trick, Lowe says. “This form of cardiovascular training taps into fat stores during the actual session for energy,” she explains.

The training plan

Day 1: Total-body strength training

Day 2: HIIT cardio

Day 3: Total-body strength training

Day 4: Long, steady-state distance cardio

Day 5: Total-body strength training

Day 6: HIIT cardio

Day 7: Rest

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How to lose your love handles in three days

We spoke to fitness powerhouses Rob Edmond and Ross Edgley about losing weight and getting fit quickly:

How to lose love handles and man boobs with one exercise, says Rob Edmond

“For love handles, you have to work your legs. They’re the biggest muscle group in your body and they use the most amount of energy. They’re going to strip fat quicker than any plank. You need to do five sets of squats a day, increasing your weights daily. For man boobs you have to do loads of press ups. Do 50 or so a day, up to a 100, and you’ll see a difference in three days. Try it for a month and see if you have man boobs then.”

The oldest (and best) back exercise, says Ross Edgley

The deadlift is arguably the oldest exercise known to man. It’s also the most effective for training the lower back and lowering body fat. For those not familiar with this strength and conditioning “staple” it really is quite simple. You pick a barbell off the floor and put it back down for a pre-agreed number of sets and repetitions. All with the correct form.

How to deadlift, says Ross Edgley

  • Place the bar in front of you with your agreed weight.
  • Stand with your mid-foot under the bar, but don’t touch it with your shins.
  • With your feet hip-width apart grab the bar.
  • Holding the bar with a grip shoulder-width apart keep your arms straight and hanging just outside your legs.
  • Bend your knees. Keep going until your shins touch the bar, but don’t move the bar.
  • Keep the bar over your mid-foot position. Lift your chest.

Straighten your back, take a breath and pull.

  • Holding the bar stand up keeping the bar against your legs.
  • Then slowly return hold it and stand up. Keep the bar against your legs. Don’t shrug or lean back at the top.

The key is finding the right weight, sets and repetitions to use and battle gravity with. This can of course vary depending on many factors – and should be continually varied to subject the body to new training stimuli – but research published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research found a, “3 sets × 10 repetitions at 75 per cent 1 repetition maximum” training protocol triggered a significant spike in testosterone levels.

Why is this important? Boosting testosterone has been shown to help with everything from more muscle mass to greater fat loss. Two physical adaptations that will obviously help re-design your lower regions.

The other oldest (and best) back exercise, says Ross Edgley

This second tip is basically a gym-based optical illusion.

That’s because to make your lower back look smaller and more defined it makes sense to increase the size of the top portion. To do this you must fully engage – and train – the latissimus dorsi muscle.

For those that didn’t show up to that biology lesson, the latissimus dorsi is the large muscle on your back that you use during most pulling movements. Gym-dwellers often refer to them as your “lats” and studies show should you improve its strength and shape you can instantly improve the appearance of your entire physique too. Which is why understanding hand placement during the tried and tested pull-up is crucially important.

Take the research from the Department of Kinesiology at Pennsylvania State University for example.

Scientists wanted to measure which grip activated the back muscles the most: an underhand grip (supinated) or an overhand grip (pronated). Using electromyography to measure muscle activity they found a, “Pronated grip (overhand) is recommended for maximally activating the latissimus dorsi (back)”.

Fat Loss, says Ross Edgley

Scientists still don’t know exactly why we hold fat in different areas of our bodies. It’s this kind of biological ambiguity that continues to baffle biologists. But what we do know – thanks to the

British Medical Journal – is where we hold the fat has serious health implications. With waist, back and hip fat being linked to everything from heart disease to premature death. Therefore for health reasons alone make sure your gym routine has at least some emphasis on fat loss if you’re carrying a little extra timber around those areas.

There are hundreds of practical training protocols to use, but one of the easiest and most effective is H.I.I.T (High Intensity Interval Training) using a rowing machine as your weapon of choice. To do this simply jump on the seat. Strap your feet in. Warm up for 5 minutes and then work at a fast pace (75 per cent+ of your maximum heart rate) for 20 to 40 seconds, followed by a period of low intensity training or complete rest which lasts 20 to 120 seconds.

You then repeat this for a total of 10 to 20 minutes.

Why? All because the International Journal of Obesity found the intense, short nature of interval training to be a better alternative to burning fat than spending hours slowly and steadily wishing your way leaner on the treadmill.

Don’t disregard the diet, says Ross Edgley

This article does a great job of detailing eating for fat loss, but essentially, understand that certain dietary evils could be causing you to store fat in all the wrong places.

One of the worst culprits being high-fructose corn syrup which accounts for as much as 40 per cent of caloric sweeteners used in the United States and has since expanded over the pond to plague us too.

According to research from the Journal of Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behaviour high-fructose corn syrup is, “Accompanied by an increase in adipose fat, notably in the abdominal region.” For this reason alone, avoid those highly processed sugary treats and instead opt for healthier snack options. The below program will work so much more efficiently when you do.

Follow this workout and melt your love handles

Exercise 1: HIIT

  • 5 minute warm-up
  • 30 seconds (Fast paced, 75 per cent or more maximum heart rate)
  • 60 seconds active rest (gentle rowing, 50-60 per cent of maximum heart rate)

Exercise 2: deadlift

  • 10 Repetitions
  • 3 Sets Total
  • Using 75 per cent of Your 1 Repetition Maximum

Exercise 3: pull ups (overhand grip)

  • 10 Repetitions
  • 3 Sets Total
  • Using Your Bodyweight

Exercise 4: single-arm bent over dumbbell rows

  • 10 Repetitions
  • 3 Sets Total
  • Using 75 per cent of Your 1 Repetition Maximum

Read more about fitness and body sculpting

  • How to get abs like a surfer
  • Eat your way to a six-pack
  • Three exercises that are a waste of time
  • How to lose belly fat
  • Build your own portable gym
  • How to get a chest like Calvin Harris
  • Get rid of man boobs

Follow Ross Edgley on Twitter: @RossEdgley

And for more fitness tips from Rob Edmond…

“If you have a high metabolism, you’ve got to find things you like to eat with higher calories that are still reasonably healthy. I mean stuff like fat, not chocolate and sweets as that will bring you up and down. I’m talking pasta: brown pasta and rice. The average calorie count would be 2500, but step it up, and keep stepping it up until you’re putting on muscle. If you get to 3500-4000 and you’re still not outing on muscle then keep stepping it up. But it’s important that you aren’t putting on fat. Balance it.

And you should do exercise. Start using your legs, squats, deadlifts, big movements in the gym, because you actually release natural growth hormones which promotes testosterone that promotes muscle. It makes you lean but it’ll make you put on muscle. Sumo wrestlers are the best for putting on weight because they eat consistently all the time. Often they’ll have a big meal and then go to sleep. Make sure you mix up your meals, don’t just have pure meat, mix up meat with carbs. A trick is also to set your alarm for 3am and have a protein shake. Keep it on the side of your bed, wake up, drink it, then go back to sleep.”

How to squat properly

“You should always squat with weights, and you should always squat all the way down to the ground. If you’re starting off then you should probably keep it at around ten sets. And then do multiple ones. But if you’re into your training already then you should do what a lot of people don’t do, which is go real heavy, and then you can probably do about four or five sets. And then you have a big rest. It’s all about intensity using a maximum amount of energy in a short space of time, then having a big rest and then doing it again and again and again. You should feel as much pain as you can tolerate so long as it’s not a joint cracking or a bone breaking.”

What to eat and avoid when getting lean

“Avoid bags of sugar. Sugar is the worst thing to have consistently because that just goes on as fat. On the other hand, fat can actually be quite good for you. It’s sugar that’s the worst, I’ve been telling people this for about ten years. I actually pour fat onto my food, like olive oil. I’m not worried about fat, and I rub it onto my skin too since it’s natural. It’s always better to eat a burger and chips than a bar of chocolate. Carbs are the best to eat when you’re training as it recuperates the muscles, as are protein shakes.”

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How to keep motivated

“My best motivational tip is to set yourself a goal – something that is going to be challenging. Let’s say it’s a race, or if you like tennis, set yourself a competition that you can be in. Do something that is going to challenge you and then tell everyone you’re going to do it so that you can’t back out. It could be anything, you could be like, “right I’m gonna do some modelling so I’ve got six months to get ready.”

How to get a summer body in four weeks

“You would have to train about four or five times a week. If you really want to change your body then you have to train a lot. Most people look at personal trainers and think “they look in great shape I want to look like them.” But they will only train two or three times a week, whereas the trainers will be working five or six times a week, so there’s a huge difference. You can do training sessions that aren’t necessarily five or six hours – they can be twenty minutes or something, but they have to be really intense.

If you want that person to be as thin and as strong as possible, I would throw in some big man-training, gym-based possibly, twice a week, so big heavy movements, squats, deadlifts and presses above the head. You should also do one hill-sprint session a week. Find a nice hill. It doesn’t have to be crazy steep but quite steep, and then do a ten second sprint, then walk, then a ten second sprint, then walk. Aim to do five sprints in the first session and then you’re looking to add another two over the next few weeks.”

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How to stretch

“Stretching too much is a big problem. Sometimes you see people stretching out like they’re some kind of crazy ballerina whereas the main thing should be dynamic stretching. A simple one would be moving your arms around in circular movements, rather than stretching your arms out. The main thing is, the muscles contracts and that’s where the strength goes. If you elongate the muscle before you actually contract it, you’re actually making it slightly weaker so if you stretch the muscles afterwards that’s better.

You should dynamic stretch for a good five minutes, even if you’re running. If it’s a running race, I’ll do a light run before hand for 20-30 minutes. I’ll do a warm up of whatever the sport is, whether its cycling or swimming. So if you’re trying to break a world record on breaks, you’ve gotta be warmed up. However, for weights, you do dynamics and then your set. You take it easy because that forms another part of your warm up.”

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Danny Jacob — The Disney Blog Interview

Danny Jacob is the man behind the music of Disney Channel’s hit show Phineas and Ferb, and now you love him already. I’m sure he gets that a lot.

Jacob has performed on a number of award-winning projects (we’re talking Oscar, Emmy, and Grammy!) and is a three-time Emmy nominee as a composer. Some of his popular television works include the main title songs for shows Lilo and Stitch, The Emperor’s New School, and Jackie Chan’s Adventures.

Mom, Danny Jacob is performing the song for a title sequence.

Sorry about that.

I recently spoke with Danny Jacob over a pretty poor phone connection (curse you, spotty cell phone coverage!) and discussed the music of Phineas and Ferb as well as his own influences… Hey, where’s the interview?
Oh, here it is.

Whit: What influences do you rely on when composing songs for Phineas and Ferb?

Danny Jacob: When I’m doing songs I rely on all of the tools that I have acquired over my years as a composer and guitar player. I am, and always have been, a professional guitar player. I have toured with big stars and have been a part of the L.A. studio scene, and through all that I have learned a lot about what makes a record a hit record.

When I get a Phineas tune, which a little bit of the time I’ll co-write, but mostly I arrange and produce the tunes with Dan and Swampy (Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh), the creators, I think about where it needs to go. If it is a hard rock song I’ll think about all of my favorite hard rock bands like Van Halen or Def Leppard, or if it’s a show tune I might think of Aladdin, or study some of the other great Disney stuff. Then I go into my own place and I make it my own.

W: So they give you the songs and say…

DJ: They usually say, this is a rocker, or this is a show tune. (laughs)

W: What about the underscore?

DJ: Each episode is broken into two 11 minute parts and the songs are only a minute each. There is a lot of underscore, sometimes they’ll (Povenmire and Marsh) take their favorite music, like music from Jaws, Die Hard or Alien, and it will be there from the original composer and I’ll know the direction that they want. If it’s Jaws I’ll jokingly say, “Thanks a lot, how am I supposed to top John Williams?”

But we trust each other and a lot of the time they say, just do a good chase scene or a good fight scene. If it’s Perry the Platypus I know we’re in the world of James Bond or The Incredibles, and if it’s Candice I kind of have this Wizard of Oz homage, so if she’s busting the boys, there’s a formula, you know. They all have themes.

W: The music on the show is popular with both kids and adults, is that something you put a lot of thought and effort into, or is that even considered?

DJ: I like that question. I’ve been asked that before and I like the answer. No, we don’t play down to the kids. As far as my job, and I think Dan and Swampy would say the same thing about the way they created the show, is that we play up to kids. You know, when I’m scoring Perry the Platypus I’m taking him very seriously as a James Bond character, the same way you would if you saw a movie, and when there is an action scene I try to score it cinematically, like they are in serious trouble, not funny — now there is so much humor and jokes that sometimes you stay out for the joke, but the answer is no, we don’t play down to the kids.

W: I love that. I do a lot of writing for parenting sites and I must say that parents really like Phineas and Ferb. Very often a discussion happens where parents don’t let their kids watch this show for one reason, or that show for another, but as soon as someone brings up Phineas and Ferb they all agree that it is awesome. You guys should be very proud.

DJ: Thank you, I am. And I know that the show’s creators are.

W: Do you have a favorite song from the show?

DJ: You know, we do so many that it changes, but I would say that “Come Home, Perry” which was nominated for an Emmy is a favorite.

And I love the Slash song — I got to write it with him and Swampy, and then work with Slash in the studio. That’s one of my faves because I’m a rocker at heart.

W: Speaking of rockers, any chance of a Love Handle album?

DJ: (laughs) Well, Love Handle is a fictitious band fronted by a singer from a real band, Jaret Reddick from Bowling for Soup, who sings our main title. Love Handle makes a lot of appearances and we like bringing them back. They’re great. They’re like this 80s band that broke up over creative differences which is so typical.

W: That’s totally my era, and now all of those bands are back together playing at casinos.

And then we talked about Van Halen for a while.

DJ: I’m going to speak very diplomatic, but as a guitar player, I don’t that anyone has come along since Eddie Van Halen who has left a mark like him. There are those who have refined it after him, but as far as a true innovator of rock guitar I don’t know of anyone that has come after Eddie Van Halen that you can say has left a mark on rock guitar and rock music like that. When he came out it was an explosion…

W: Or, an eruption, if you will.

DJ: Right, eruption, exactly, very well put.

W: Eddie Van Halen still plays as great as ever.

DJ: I’m glad to see that rock and roll is still alive.

W: Speaking of still alive, what’s next for the show?

DJ: We are wrapping the third season, and then we’ve got a fourth season.

W: I hope there’s more!

DJ: Me too! You know, there is no end in sight. There are a lot of great new episodes coming up, all kinds of surprises in the fourth season, and, I’m not even sure what I can say, but another movie direct-to-video, and they’re talking about a feature. So it’s going to be a long life for Phineas and Ferb.

W: Fantastic. Thanks a lot, Danny, for taking the time to speak with me today.

DJ: It was a pleasure, Whit. I appreciate your time and energy.

W: Any parting words for the fans?

DJ: I would just like to say thank you to everyone, so much, for being loyal fans. We wouldn’t have a show without them.

Isn’t that photo courtesy of Danny Jacob? Yes. Yes, it is.

Can you lose love handles

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