Simple Exercises You Can Do At Home To Get Rid Of ’Love Handles’

shutterstock_224911204 The name ‘love handles’ is a misnomer. Nobody loves love handles. On the contrary, those with love handles are in a hurry to get rid of them. In case you are not familiar with the term, love handles refer to the excess fat that accumulates above the hip bone. Variously nicknamed as side tires or muffin tops, they add an extra layer to the torso. Love handles not only make you buy the next size in jeans, they take a toll on your health, too. You can blame them on junk food, but stress, lack of sleep, improper diet, too much sugar intake and irregular meal timings are also to blame. Getting rid of love handles is not an easy task but it is achievable. You don’t need a gym membership, lift crazy weights or undergo major cleansing diets, although all these can be quite effective. There is a simpler way out. A small change in lifestyle, indoor exercises and some mindful diet changes can get rid of these much-hated appendages. Read on to see how you can get rid of love handles easily at home. Exercises 1. Standard crunches Lie flat on your back and bend your knees with feet placed on the floor. Place your hands behind your head so that the elbows are jutting out. Lift your head and use the abdominal muscles to crunch your body forward. Your shoulder blades, neck and head should lift off the floor. Your hands should not push the head forward. Ensure that the feet don’t move much on the floor. Hold in that position for a second or two and return to your original position. Start with ten to fifteen repetitions in a set and increase gradually. 2. Bicycle crunches Lie flat on your back and lift your legs with thighs perpendicular to the ground. Place your hands behind your neck with fingers interlocked. Now lift your head, use abdominal muscles to crunch forward, and touch your left knee with your right elbow. It is regular crunches with a twist and has a direct impact on the abdominal muscles. Start with ten repetitions in a set and increase your count gradually. 3. Side plank with leg lifts Lie down on your side and keep your knee, hip and hand in a straight line. Prop up with your elbow and maintain a rigid pose. Now, extend your other arm towards the ceiling and hold that position for few seconds. This is a side plank. If and when you wish for a more challenging version, lift the leg that is on the top and hold that position along with your raised hand for a few seconds. Start with five seconds and gradually increase up to fifteen seconds. Do four to five sets with ten-second breaks in between. shutterstock_378796978   4. Knee drop Lie down flat with your abs tucked in. Extend your arms sidewise and lift your legs off the ground, bent at knees. Hold a medium sized ball between your knees. This engages both your inner thigh muscles and lower abs at the same time. Gradually drop your knees to the right side. Ensure that the top part of your body is rigid and does not move with your knees. Breathe out and pull your knees back to centre. Breathe in and repeat the process for your left side. Start with three sets of ten repetitions each and gradually increase the number of sets. 5. Russian twists Sit on the floor with your feet down and knees slightly bent. Hold your hands out in the front with fingers entwined. Lean back approximately 45 degrees and twist your body side to side from waist up. You can also do this by holding a 1 kg or 2 kg dumbbell. Unlike in crunches where your spine is flat on the floor, here you hold your spine off the floor thus working your lower back muscles. 6. Leg flutters Lie down flat on your back. Lift your legs off the floor, ensure they are straight and kick them in the air up and down alternately, i.e., move your left leg up and right leg down. Do this fast for at least ten seconds in the beginning. Gradually increase the timing. 7. Standing twist trunks Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. Keep the knees relaxed and twist your trunk to the right. While doing so, make sure hips and legs are stable. While twisting, punch the air with the left arm. While you are twisting to the left side, punch with your right hand. Do  25 repetitions of each set for a start. 8. Side bends with dumbbells If you don’t have dumbbells at home, you can use any heavy book or small buckets filled with water to do this exercise. Stand straight with your legs shoulder width apart. Bend sideways without bending your knees or hips. Repeat this alternatively on both the sides.   Jogging and bicycling can also be incorporated into your schedule. They work your hip and thigh muscles and tone down those areas. If you are too busy to jog outside, jog in the same place inside your house or even your office. Click on the next page to learn 6 diet changes that you can make to help you get rid of those love handles!   shutterstock_279046034 Diet Changes 1. Increase vitamin C intake Vitamin C is essential for fat metabolism. Your body produces fatty tissues, but it will not be able to use the stored fats unless there is enough vitamin C in the system. The fatty tissues only add on to the chubbiness in your body. Increasing vitamin C intake will ensure more efficient metabolism of fat in your body. Foods rich in vitamin C include strawberry, papaya, orange, broccoli, and kiwi, among others. 2. Have enough dairy products Dairy products are usually associated with weight gain, but an addition of small and calculated amounts of dairy products actually aid in weight loss. Yoghurt, milk, and cheese increase the calcium levels.  Yoghurt can be a healthy and a filling snack. 3. Drink more water Another reason for weight gain is the aerated drinks that we consume. Fizzy drinks are fun but they also have heaps of sugar content. High sugar intake causes a sudden spike in blood sugar followed by a slump which makes us hungry again. Thus, we eat more food leading to weight gain. Instead, we should drink seven to eight glasses of water in a day. Drinking two whole glasses of water before a meal will give a feeling of fullness and prevent us from overeating.   4. Say yes to green tea Green tea is literally a bag full of goodness. It helps you manage your weight by balancing your appetite and improving metabolism. Having a cup of green tea after your meals can help greatly in the weight loss journey. You can add honey or lime instead of sugar if you don’t like the taste of green tea. 5. Add figs and nuts to your diet Figs are rich in minerals like calcium, fibre, potassium, iron and vitamins A, B1 and B2. These nutrients are extremely beneficial for weight loss. Small portions of figs, nuts and other dry fruits in the diet are good for overall health. Figs help slow down the absorption of sugar in the small intestine. 6. Add lemon to your water Adding lemon to the water that you drink can help in getting rid of those love handles. Lemon water enhances digestion and helps in detoxifying your body. Also, lemon peel helps in reducing hunger and increasing metabolism.  Preserve the lemon peels in the fridge, grate and sprinkle them on your food and drinks. Save yourself from empty calories. Replace potato chips, onion rings, pizzas, processed meats with fruits, greens, whole wheat, beans, fish and healthy drinks. When you lose weight overall, the love handles will automatically decrease. Click on the next page to learn 5 lifestyle changes that you can make to help you get rid of those love handles! shutterstock_490447549 Lifestyle Changes 1. Manage your stress Everyone is stressed these days, some more and some less. Engaged in a perpetual race against time, people forget to allot some time for themselves. A high level of stress is connected to increase in unhealthy fat in your body. Try to engage yourself in an activity that you love every day and give yourself some quality time. 2. Eat six meals a day Instead of eating three full meals in a day, eat six smaller meals at shorter intervals. Eating six meals prevent you from binge eating at the end of the day, due to a long gap between meals. This is known as mindful eating. Carry some healthy and handy snacks wherever you go. It is important to never ever skip breakfast as it is the most important meal of the day. 3. Get enough sleep You might be eating right, doing all the exercises, but if you don’t get enough sleep you might not get the intended results. Due to a lack of sleep, your body will not respond to insulin leading to fat storage, especially in the abdomen area. shutterstock_374384548 4. Tune out of the screens If your job involves sitting in front of a screen for many hours, remember to take frequent breaks in between. The effects of staring into those screens are directly linked to obesity. Leave your phone behind at the desk and get a cup of tea or take a short walk during your breaks. Talk to your colleagues or read a book. 5. Discipline yourself Love handles are not going to disappear in a day, a week or a month. It is a long process and requires patience and determination. Stick to that diet, take care of yourself, exercise, avoid eating junk food at all costs (even on cheat days) and above all keep doing all the above for positive results. Download the Grow Fit app on Google Play or App Store today for a free consultation with our specialists.

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