What Are Love Handles And How Can You Get Rid Of Them?

The expressions we use when discussing our anatomy have become pretty creative these days (we're talking about you, hip dips). But it can be understandably confusing in a conversation if you're not sure what part of the body someone is talking about. Enter love handles. What are they? They are not special handles on Cupid's Bow. Or a reference to your heart when it's been gripped by love. If someone is referring to their love handles, then they are referring to the extra flesh around their hips and abdomen, shares Men's Journal. And while some of us may love the reference describing our curves, there are others who would rather have a handle on love in all other places than their hips.

According to Healthline, having larger love handles can occur if you have high cortisol levels, are deprived of sleep, or have a diet high in fat and sugars. And while they themselves don't pose a risk to your health, they could be a sign of underlying diseases such as heart disease, high cholesterol, and hypertension.

If you want to get rid of the "extra love" on your love handles, the best way to do it would be through a combination of diet and exercise because remember, there isn't much evidence in favor of spot reduction when it comes to certain body parts, according to Healthline. Weight loss takes time and is best achieved through lifestyle changes— so don't be discouraged if you don't see a difference after doing what feels like a lifetime of sit-ups. 

Nutrition plays a huge role in weight loss efforts

Health shares that our love handles are located on top of the oblique muscles in a very specific area that needs to be targeted directly in order to see a difference. In addition to increasing your cardio by walking or running, try incorporating Russian twists, side-planks, and bicycle crunches into your strength routine to hone in on the love handle areas. 

Specific exercises and extra cardio is great, but if you want to see a major change, you have to focus on nutrition. Liz Lowe, C.S.C.S., head program designer at Scorch Fitness, tells Men's Journal it's the best way to shed any unwanted fat. "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," she explains. Lowe goes on to recommend keeping healthy complex carbs in your diet and phasing out any artificial sweeteners.

Like we said before, not everyone is trying to get rid of their love handles. But if you're looking to tone the area, diet and exercise can help. Zero heartbreak necessary!