How To Lose Side Fat: An Expert’s Guide To Getting Rid Of Love Handles & Side Fat In 2024

Rachel Rabkin

Reviewed by Jocelyn Chen, BME
how to lose side fat
Exercise is a great way to lose side fat. Photo: chomplearn/Shutterstock

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Side fat, also known as love handles, is the excess fat on the sides of the waist. If you’ve tried to lose this fat but with little success, this article is for you. We’ll show you five ways to eliminate stubborn body fat to restore confidence and attractiveness through a variety of physical exercises, dietary changes, and supplements.

Simple Ways To Get Rid Of Side Fat

There are several things you can do to lose side fat:

  • Make dietary changes.
  • Consume dietary supplements.
  • Burn calories by exercise.
  • Hydrate with water.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Quit or reduce alcohol.
  • Reach your daily steps target.
  • Try a High Intensity Interval Training workout routine.

How To Get Rid Of Side Fat: 8 Effective Ways

If you want to eliminate side fat, remember that it might take some time to achieve that goal. No matter which method you choose, your endeavor, patience, and persistence are the most important.

Consume Dietary Supplements

If you’re wondering how to eliminate side fat without adopting a new lifestyle, consider using dietary weight loss supplements.

Weight loss supplements come in different forms, including liquids, powders, and tablets. 

Supplements effectively manage weight because most have specific ingredients that control your appetite. There are tons of supplements in the market, each targeting a different aspect of weight loss. So you can look for one with ingredients that focus on side fat.

Remember, it is essential to consult your physician before using them. Some supplements may interact with other medications you’re taking, especially if you have a chronic disease like hypertension.

Since the excess body fat you have may cause poor metabolism, supplements may help you boost it. Moreover, if you’re gaining excess weight by overeating, some supplements could help curb your appetite. In addition, supplements limit the body’s fat absorption and help with body fat distribution.

So, if you’re a man wondering how to lose side fat, supplements may help you lose this body fat.

Burn Calories By Exercising

You can eliminate side fat through various exercises. There’s always a way to workout regardless of the nature of the work because you could decide to walk to work instead of driving or using the stairs instead of the elevator.

Whatever you do, ensure you take a break from work every few hours to get some exercise, don’t just sit at your desk all day. Jogging or running several times a week will help you see the change in the weight loss journey. Try walking 4 miles a day to help you burn the side fat.

A good side fat exercise is weight lifting.[1] While lifting weights is helpful in general weight loss, it’s beneficial when you aim to eliminate side fat. Lifting weights helps you burn calories as it boosts your metabolism. Moreover, it also helps increase strength by building lean muscle and eliminating excess body fat.

Love handle workouts are easy to incorporate into your daily routine, as you can easily do them at home. Since your primary intention is to trim your waistline, pilates may also help you lose fat. This routine tones the abs, and engaging in pilates for several weeks will help shrink the waistline.

Other workouts for side fat that work directly on the waistline include:

Hydrate With Water

Another key to losing side fat is drinking enough water. While you might be tempted to take soda or other sweet drinks, water is the best way to hydrate without pumping yourself full of empty calories.

You lose weight by burning calories, and drinking water helps you achieve this goal. Cold water is beneficial. If you’re wondering how to get rid of love handles using cold water, know that such water forces the body to expend energy to heat it.

Dehydration can make your body retain more water[2] as a survival mechanism. Maintaining proper hydration makes your body less likely to hold onto excess water. This results in a leaner appearance and reduced bloating.

If you decide to engage in physical exercises to reduce love handles, the sweating from the routines will inevitably leave you thirsty. Drinking enough water before and after workouts hydrates your body and reduces muscle cramps.

Water could also help deal with hunger pangs and aid in weight loss. Drinking plenty of water before a meal will reduce the food you consume, furthering the weight loss effects.

Make Dietary Changes

If you’re struggling with side fat or are generally overweight, dieticians recommend making some dietary changes. What we eat determines our weight.

One way to lose your side fat is by replacing unhealthy fats with naturally sourced fat[3] from nuts, avocados, olive oil, and seeds. You can also eat fatty fish like tuna to introduce some lean meat for a healthy diet.

Another great way to lose side fat is by avoiding junk foods packed with refined sugar. These types of food[4] can make you gain weight and put you at risk of getting chronic diseases[5] such as diabetes. It’s safe to substitute fries and other fast foods with whole, unprocessed, and calorie deficit foods.

Some beverages and foods are packed with processed sugar, which is terrible for weight loss. For instance, most soda, cookies, and candies contain added sugar. To avoid processed sugar, read the list of ingredients to see what type of sugar is used.

To get a naturally healthy supply of sugar, consider eating fresh, whole fruits.  Other healthy substitutes for refined sugar include agave nectar and honey.

Quit Or Reduce Alcohol

how to lose side fat
Alcohol is a threat to weight loss. Photo: Pormezz/Shutterstock

While there have been some studies that show the potential benefits of alcohol[6] for cardiovascular health, the dangers outweigh the few advantages you may enjoy. Researchers often associate excessive body fat[7] with drinking, which means that if you’re a habitual drinker, you’ll have a rough time losing those love handles.

They have also proven that reducing your alcohol intake also accelerates weight loss.[8] So try to limit how much you drink or quit alcohol altogether to lose your side fat quickly and effectively.

Reach Your Daily Steps Target

how to lose side fat
Running can help you burn body fat efficiently. Photo: 4 PM production/Shutterstock

When we talk about exercises you can do to lose visceral fat, most people think about cardiovascular exercises or workouts that specifically target your love handles. However, it’s not effective to just focus on one part of your body. It’s better to incorporate full-body workouts into your daily routine that will help you reduce body fat quickly.

Walking is a healthy, whole-body, calorie-burning[9] exercise that may help burn excessive side fat quickly. For best results, schedule a daily morning or evening walk. You can use your smartphone or wearable gadgets to track your daily steps and know how much you progress through the day.

Get Adequate Sleep

Are you sleeping for less than seven hours every night? If you are, you’re not getting adequate sleep, which could hinder your weight loss efforts.

Sleep deprivation increases appetite. People who get adequate sleep have lower appetite and calorie[10] intake than those who don’t shut their eyes enough at night.

Getting enough sleep will also reduce stress,[11] which will boost your metabolism and reduce stress. Once you get adequate rest, you will have more energy to be active and lose weight from activities.

Getting adequate sleep will also help your body lose weight from exercising. When you have exercised for long, your body feels tired, and you’ll fall asleep quicker and sleep longer than the person who doesn’t exercise. If you’re sleep-deprived, you might be too tired the following day to exercise.

Try A High-Intensity Interval Training Workout Routine

If you’ve ever noticed someone who comes to the gym and starts running on the treadmill like their lives depend on it, then drops and does 50 pushups in a minute, you’ve been looking at a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) routine.

HIIT exercises are fast and demanding exercises that run you out of breath in a few minutes and push your body to exhaustion. This gets your blood pumping.

The intense workout is often followed by a cooldown exercise and a short rest before beginning again. You can include any exercise in your HIIT routine as long as it’s fast and will demand a lot from your body quickly. Therefore, anything from running to playing with your children can be a HIIT exercise.
Besides benefits for your heart,[12] HIIT exercises have been proven to reduce body fat[13] more effectively than slow exercises like lifting weights. Therefore, if you’re struggling with side fat, you can include HIIT exercises in your workout schedule and see the results for yourself.

What Causes Side Fat?

Fat can accumulate anywhere on the body, but there are several factors that contribute the most to developing love handles. Eating an unhealthy diet is the biggest contributor to most people’s side fat, followed by age, especially in men.

Lack of exercise will also give you love handles if you eat many calories every day. Finally, lack of sleep and medical conditions that slow metabolism can cause side fat.

Reasons You Can’t Get Rid Of Side Fat

You might have a problem getting rid of side fat when you suffer from conditions that slow your metabolism. A common condition that will hinder your side fat elimination effort is hypothyroidism. Suffering from this condition without treatment affects your metabolism negatively, and controlling your side fat may become futile. 

Love handles may become challenging to control with age. While weight gain for some people is inevitable with age, the ability to exercise reduces, and as a result, it may be hard to eliminate excess fat.

Some hormones also make it hard for people to get rid of love handles. Excess cortisol hormone in the body contributes to the formation of side fat. Coupling this with the consumption of high-calorie foods and lack of physical exercise may make it impossible to get rid of love handles.

Finally, you might have difficulty losing your side fat if you eat more calories than you lose daily. If you’re going to lose your love handles successfully, you’ll need to calculate your daily calorie intake and find a way to lose more.


Losing side fat requires a comprehensive approach. You should reconsider your diet and engage in physical activities to get results. In addition to significant lifestyle changes, getting rid of side fat requires patience, as nothing guarantees overnight results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is side fat easy to lose?

No. Losing side fat requires lifestyle changes that take time, effort, and persistence.

How long does it take to lose side fat?

The time it takes to lose side fat varies among individuals. Expect to put in effort for at least several weeks or more and maintain the changes that you made to your lifestyle to achieve your ideal physique.

What exercise targets side fat?

There are many exercises that target side fat, including sit-ups, leg lifts, bicycle crunches, Russian twists, and woodchoppers.

Can walking reduce love handles?

Yes, it can. Walking improves metabolism and aids in calorie burning.

Are love handles part of the hips?

No. Love handles are the fat deposits on the side of the torso under the ribs and above the hips.

Are love handles genetic?

Genetics plays a part in creating love handles for some people, as some are predisposed to accumulate fat in certain areas.

Why are they called love handles?

The part of the body that collects excess fat is usually where a loved one will embrace, hence the name.

Why do some skinny people have love handles?

You might be skinny from exercising, but you might be losing lean muscle weight while the stubborn fat remains unaffected.

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EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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Rachel Rabkin is a freelance writer and, editor, journalist with extensive experience specializing in health and wellness, parenting, science, nutrition, pain management, and product safety content. For Parents, she has written stories on a range of… See More