How To Get Rid Of Love Handles: Simple Ways To Get Rid Of Stubborn Belly Fat In 2024

how to get rid of love handles
Healthy lifestyle choices can help you lose love handles. Photo: freepik/Freepik

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Love handles specifically refer to the unwanted fat located on the sides of your abdomen, including lower back fat. You may notice your love handles the most when wearing tight-fitting pants or shorts.

If you’re researching how to get rid of love handles, you’ve come to the right place. It isn’t easy to get in shape, but when you do, it’s natural to want to remove obvious areas of fat distribution. For some, love handles are genetic. For others, it becomes more apparent as they age. 

Either way, let’s look at love handles and healthy ways to get rid of them once and for all.

How To Get Rid Of Love Handles Fast

  • Stay active.
  • Drink more water.
  • Make healthy food choices.
  • Get quality sleep.
  • Mix cardio and ab workouts.

How To Get Rid Of Love Handles

Unfortunately, without a surgeon’s help, there’s no way to lose fat in specific areas directly, including your midsection. However, you can reduce overall body fat, and in doing so, fat will gradually be burned in all areas. 

This will take some work, and healthy choices must be prioritized. This includes the right way to get rid of love handles with exercises, food, and stress management. Let’s get started.

Stay Active

how to get rid of love handles
Exercising regularly promotes weight loss. Photo: imtmphoto/Shutterstock

Want to know how to get rid of love handles fast? There’s no one magic exercise to do so. You want to combine a variety of ways to stay active to burn more calories and lose excess body fat. 

So, how many calories should you burn? Everyone is different. A good start is to look at how you spend your days and try to find opportunities to keep moving.

Does work keep you at your desk, seated for long periods? Set an alarm on your phone to get up and walk around your home or office for five to 10 minutes every hour. Creating a simple habit like this can greatly impact your weight loss goals.

If you drive into the office, consider whether you can walk or ride your bike instead.  Walking to the bus or subway stop is better than nothing if you live somewhere with public transportation options. If you must drive, try to find a park or nearby area to take a walk on your lunch break or after work.

Ideally, you want to be able to exercise for at least 30 minutes per day. Try yoga, cycling, running, or long walks if you want less noticeable love handles. Daily exercise helps you lose weight by burning fat and building muscle.

Drink More Water

Reduce your intake of soda, alcoholic beverages, and sports drinks. Alcohol consumption is linked to obesity, and you are more likely to make unhealthy dietary choices while drinking. 

Any drinks loaded with calories and added sugar will cause you to gain weight. At the same time, you can’t deprive your body of hydration. You may think you’re craving a sports drink or some juice, but you’re just dealing with the effects of dehydration. 

Instead of reaching for alcohol and sweetened beverages linked to weight gain in the abdominal area, drink water instead.[1] Too boring for you? Start slowly by putting lemon, lime, or cucumber slices in water. 

You can also consider unsweetened tea or naturally flavored seltzer water. Water, in general, aids digestion and enhances your endurance when working out. This is one helpful method for learning how to get rid of belly fat and love handles.

Make Healthy Food Choices

One of the best things you can do when you’re trying to lose body fat in any area is to make healthy food choices.[2] Here are a few specific ways to do this.


Reduce the amount of sugar you consume daily. Limit cookies, candies, sports drinks, or sodas to once a week. Replace those items with whole fruit, smoothies, and dark chocolate when you have a sweet tooth.

Try also to eliminate table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and other artificial sweeteners and focus on healthy eating. Some sweeteners may contain fructose, which increases belly and visceral fat, without adding nutritional value to your diet. Choose snacks such as avocados, almonds, sesame seeds, and crunchy veggies instead that won’t add excess fat.


Secondly, add high-fiber foods to your diet. They make you feel well-fed and satisfied, decreasing the chance you’ll overeat during the day. Fiber is in whole fruits, fresh vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, and oats. 

Not only do foods rich in soluble fiber taste good but they’re also packed with beneficial nutrients and promote good gut health. 


Add high-quality lean proteins to your meals. Protein-rich meals also help you maintain a healthy weight long after you’ve reached your goal. This includes poultry, eggs, nuts, legumes, wild-caught fish, tofu, and lean meats. Choose proteins with healthy fats like salmon, nuts, and legumes.


Minimize your intake of refined carbohydrates. Instead, replace them with nutrient-dense complex carbohydrates such as oats, beans, sweet potatoes, and brown rice. These are nutrient-dense foods.

You’ll appreciate the slow, deliberate way your body digests these high-fiber, complex carbs. These types of foods will also keep you feeling full all day, which helps you eat less. This is better than consuming refined carbs and fighting hunger pangs. 

A diet rich in protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates that’s low in sugar can help you lose weight, which can help reduce love handles simultaneously. Choosing oatmeal for breakfast, some lean meats for lunch, and a big salad for dinner not only tastes delicious, but it will help you lead a healthier life and feel more confident in your body.

Get Quality Sleep

Get Quality Sleep
Quality sleep promotes healthy hormone levels. Photo: Ground Picture/Shutterstock

When you don’t get enough sleep, it affects your mental and physical performance and mood. It also increases the level of cortisol, the stress hormone, in your body, which can lead to weight gain.

Sleep-deprived people[3] tend to feel less motivated to exercise and make healthy dietary choices due to having less energy. This can result in additional weight gain. Everybody’s sleep requirements are a bit different, but sleep deprivation usually refers to people who sleep less than seven hours each night.

You can increase your number of uninterrupted hours of sleep per night in a few ways. This includes limiting the amount you eat or drink shortly before bed and not engaging in any intense aerobic activity too close to bedtime.

About an hour before bedtime, dim the lights in your home and shut down all electronic equipment. Consider meditation, breathwork, or book reading. If you live in a noisy area, use a white noise app on your phone to ensure that outside noise doesn’t interfere with your rest.

Mix Cardio And Ab Workouts

Learning how to get rid of love handles also involves cardio exercise.

Cardio, or aerobic exercise, involves any movement or exercise that raises your heart rate for an extended period. These kinds of workouts also help to burn calories, tone abdominal muscles, and reduce excess weight. In turn, this helps to slim down those pesky love handles. 

Everyone is different when it comes to how much cardio or weight training you should do. Start slow and work to a level that feels challenging but not overwhelming.

High-intensity workouts can also be fun and an opportunity to socialize, such as a spin class or running group. You’ll find lots of paces, body styles, and tons of support. You can also join a gym with a lap pool, elliptical machines, or beginner-friendly, low-impact aerobic workouts.

Also, you can consider starting a walking group in your neighborhood.

Doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that adults should get at least 150 minutes per week[4] of moderately intense cardio exercise. That’s about 20 minutes each day.

And for targeting your abs, consider giving Pilates a try. This popular, novice-friendly exercise is known for toning abs while improving core muscle strength, flexibility, and posture. Combined with a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet, Pilates can help you lose weight and shrink your waistline. 

Depending on your fitness level and age, combine Pilates with other workouts and find a class that matches your energy.

What Causes Love Handles?

Love handles occur for lots of reasons. You may have love handles due to age, genetics, or lifestyle choices. Ultimately, fat retention is the underlying cause of love handles. 

If you have love handles, it means that fat cells have accumulated when you eat more calories than you burn off. Those fat cells accumulate throughout the years, and then you begin to notice that you’re gaining weight in specific areas. 

The most common areas for fat accumulation are in your belly, thighs, face, lower back, and sometimes around your waist and hips. If you want to learn how to lose weight fast, consider healthy supplements and diet pills in addition to lifestyle changes.

Can You Get Rid Of Love Handles?

It is possible to get rid of love handles. Even if they don’t disappear completely, you can reduce their size and appearance with exercise, better lifestyle choices, and a nutritious diet that results in fat loss. 

How Long Does It Take To Get Rid Of Love Handles?

The time it will take you to get rid of love handles depends on how much weight you need to lose. They might not disappear entirely, but you shouldn’t wait too long before seeing results. Be realistic and expect to lose one or two pounds per week. 

If you stick to a healthy diet,[5] move daily, combine the best cardio with ab workouts, and drink plenty of water, you should see your love handles start to melt away within a few weeks.


You can find many natural and easy ways to reduce the size of your love handles. With the right effort, you may even get rid of them altogether. You must commit to the right exercise routine, eat fewer processed foods, and get more sleep every night.

Even though getting rid of your love handles is your primary goal, still give your entire body the attention it needs. Focusing on love handles might result in some weight loss, but combining all or several of the above suggestions will give you a better chance of living a healthier life for good.

Learning how to get rid of love handles for men, as well as how to get rid of love handles for women, means adopting healthier habits that become a foundation for a healthier life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does running get rid of love handles?

Running is widely considered one of the best ways to get rid of love handles. It allows you to burn calories efficiently and helps reduce belly and back fat.

Is it better to run fast or slow to burn fat?

Running fast tends to burn more calories and, therefore, more fat. However, you don’t want to focus on running fast every day. Alternate with slower paces to make your running schedule sustainable.

Why is getting rid of love handles so hard?

Love handles are hard to get rid of, thanks to biology. Many people gain weight on their midsection first, but it may also be the last place they lose it.

Are squats good for love handles?

Squats are excellent for love handles and losing weight. It’s an exercise that builds lower body strength and helps you burn calories.

+ 5 Sources

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  1. Thornton, S.N. (2016). Increased Hydration Can Be Associated with Weight Loss. Frontiers in Nutrition, [online] 3. doi:
  2. Cena, H. and Calder, P.C. (2020). Defining a Healthy Diet: Evidence for the Role of Contemporary Dietary Patterns in Health and Disease. Nutrients, [online] 12(2), pp.334–334. doi:
  3. Worley, S.L. (2018). The Extraordinary Importance of Sleep: The Detrimental Effects of Inadequate Sleep on Health and Public Safety Drive an Explosion of Sleep Research. P & T : a peer-reviewed journal for formulary management, [online] 43(12), pp.758–763. Available at:
  4. CDC (2022). Physical Activity Recommendations for Different Age Groups. [online] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at:,aerobic%20physical%20activity%20a%20week.&text=Get%20at%20least%202%20days,include%20all%20major%20muscle%20groups.
  5. James, A., Lawrence, B.J. and O’Connor, M. (2022). Healthy Eating as a New Way of Life: A Qualitative Study of Successful Long-Term Diet Change. INQUIRY: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing, [online] 59, p.004695802210903-004695802210903. doi:


Christine is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist with an undergraduate degree from Missouri State University. Her passion is helping others learn how strong and healthy they can become by transforming their daily habits. Christine spends… See More