What are lovehandles?
Lovehandles are located above your iliac crest (hip bone) and are excess adipose (fatty tissue) that collects over top of your oblique muscles (part of your core muscles).
Carrying excess fat around our waist isn't just a body image concern, because we all hate the way they fall over the back of our jeans, but large lovehandles and excess abdominal fat can lead increase your risk of developing serious health risks like: cardiovascular disease, diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension).
BREATHE! Don't worry if you have small lovehandles! Everyone carries excess fat! It can be a good thing!
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Why oh why do I have lovehandles?!
Lovehandles are deposits of excess fat. So why does our body store fat? Well, fat is our bodies' primary energy reservoir, it helps us regulate body temperature and gives us those sweet and sassy curves. The amount of fat on your body varies from person to person and is greatly influenced by your family genetics and personal environment. Fat is needed for a healthy body and there are several places are body likes to store the fat we are not using right now, for later. These places include our lovehandles, our abdomen (the pooch!), our thighs, our triceps and our behinds.
Your body knows how much fat it can handle. With the right amount of fat on your body you will feel energetic, healthy and happy. With too much fat on your body you will feel tired, lazy and unhappy. The best way to find out if you have the appropriate amount of fat on your body is not to look in the mirror, ask your friends or search for quick remedies on the internet, it is to go see your doctor!
How do I get rid of lovehandles?!
Unfortunately, the hard truth is that we cannot 'spot reduce' our lovehandles. Getting these annoying areas to shrink is going to take a more changes to your diet then your exercise plan. The reason we gain weight is because we take in more calories then we consume. However, we still need a healthy amount of calories to have the energy to workout and exercise. So instead of cutting calories, opt for healthier options, here are some of my favourite ways to choose the 'healthy alternative.'
- Opt for a fruit salad.
- Whole wheat toast.
- Scrambled eggs are great, but use low-fat or soy milk and hold that cheddar cheese.
- Instead of coffee, get your caffeine from natural green tea.
- Add cinnamon to your oatmeal instead of brown sugar.
- Watch your serving sizes on cereal, we tend just to pour from box to bowl. Look a the serving size, you'd be surprised that we overestimate all the time!
- Try something different like turkey bacon and pat off excess oils.
- Again, opt for whole wheat breads and wraps.
- Go for lean lunch meats, like lean turkey breast, lean chicken and lean ham.
- Incorporate some greens! Add lettuce, spinach or alfalfa sprouts to your sandwich.
- Hows about soup for lunch? That's a great way to sneak in some vegetables throughout the day. My favourite is lentil soup!
- Spinach salad with fresh strawberries, blueberries and almonds.
- Take left overs from your dinner last night:
- Have at least 1 cooked vegetable and at least 1 raw vegetable at dinner. For example: roasted potatoes and a side salad.
- Fill half or your plate with vegetables to fill up on fiber.
- Choose lean meats, if you are eating meats at all!
- There are a zillion vegan and vegetarian recipes online. Try www.allrecipes.com and http://vegginaroundthekitchen.blogspot.com/ <-- Great girl! Great food!
- Have whole wheat pasta.
- Skip the bread basket.
- Select fruit for dessert.
At snack time...noms!
- Avoid store bought granola bars. They can be packed with sugar!
- Instead make your own trail mix with: almonds, peanuts (not salted), cranberries, raisins, coconut and dried bananas.
- If you want something crispy, choose raw vegetables.
- If you want something creamy, choose low-fat greek yogurt.
- If you want something chewy, choose a small amount of dried mangoes (not too many, they have lots of sugar too).
What to drink?
- Avoid sodas, fruit juices (unless they are made by yourself and a juicer), carbonated beverages, coffee and caffeine drinks).
Now that you are taking initiative and starting a healthy diet, incorporate physical activity 3-4 times a week. 30 minutes of continuous movement, where your heart rate is elevated and by the end you are a little bit sweaty!
- Aerobics classes like: kick boxing, step, circuit training, boot camps, high-low classes and zumba!
- Dancing around your room.
- Swimming (only if you are trained and are in a location that is supervised by lifeguards!!!)
- Cycling indoors or outdoors.
- Gym equipment like cycle egometers (bikes), ellipticals, treadmills and steppers.
- Make up your own fitness routine.
- Go for a jog.
- Go for a speed walk with your family or friends.
- Play at the local park (playground).
- Play street hockey.
- Play ultimate frisbee.
- Do an at home workout routine.
And when you are done your 30 minutes of cardio try these videos:
Remember, its not about losing weight, its about changing your unhealthy behaviours to healthy beheaviours in order to feel great and enjoy life!
Have a great day, keep smiling :) xo T