As you get older, you may find that you have a bit more fat around your middle than you’d like–maybe even a lot more fat. Pregnancy and menopause can be contributors to this, though diet and exercise undoubtedly play a major role. If you want to lose your love handles and belly fat, try doing exercises that will be most effective in helping you lose it.
The Mayo Clinic states that excess belly fat is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, some cancers and diabetes. The fat in your stomach goes much deeper than the fat that you can see–if you have excess belly fat, your organs also have excess fat. Additionally, you do not have to be overweight or obese to start worrying about your belly fat. Even women who are at a normal weight are at risk if they have excess fat around the middle.
Cardiovascular exercise is essential for burning fat, which will come off of your midsection, as well as the rest of your body. The harder you work out, the more calories you will burn. According to the Mayo Clinic, for example, a 160-lb. person will burn about 183 calories per hour when walking at 2 mph, but 986 calories per hour when running at 8 mph. Additionally, abdominal exercises can help you tone up your midsection. Crunches and leg lifts can work your upper and lower abdominals, while bicycle crunches will work your obliques–the muscles you need to tone to improve your love handles.
The amount of time it will take you to get rid of your belly fat and love handles depends on how far you have to go. If you need to lose 100 lbs., it will take much longer than if you only have to lose 10 lbs. In general, safe weight loss occurs at a rate of about one to two pounds per week. A good workout for 20 to 45 minutes four to five times per week should help.
Exercise is not the only thing that will help you to lose your belly fat. Your diet plays a large role in this. If you are serious about slimming down, you have to combine a healthy diet with exercise. Track your calories and vow to eat less than you use. You can do this by focusing your diet on healthy foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins, and drinking plenty of water.
You cannot “spot reduce”–or only lose weight from one area of your body. Weight loss has to come from all over your body and, as a woman, it may come off of your stomach last. Additionally, focusing on only abdominal exercises without doing any cardiovascular exercises will build up your muscles, but only underneath a layer of fat, which can actually make you look more fat.
- hard exercise image by Paul Moore from Fotolia.com