You may get mushy at first if you are just seeing the word ‘Love handle’ for the first time. Until you realize that there’s nothing lovey-dovey about it. However, there is no ambiguity where lower belly fat is concerned. Lower belly fat is lower belly fat. Quite straight-forward. And it is quite interesting why these two body features are popular in today’s fast-paced society.
Food is meant for our sustenance, and all forms of rest, whether night rest or afternoon naps, rejuvenate our body. But under basic conditions, too much food and rest bring about manifestations of body fat. These manifestations of fat include lower belly fat and love handles.
Love Handles and Lower Belly Fat. What are they?
Love handles and lower belly fat are simply accumulations of fat in certain areas of the body. From the name ‘Belly fat’, it is easy to guess where it is found on the body. Belly fat is of two types:
- Subcutaneous belly fat or subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT): This is the accumulation of fat directly underneath your skin. This is the fat you see when your stomach jiggles or feel when you poke your stomach.
- Visceral belly fat or visceral adipose tissue (VAT): This is the fat that occurs deep in the abdomen and it surrounds the internal organs like your liver or kidneys.
For love handles, they are found at the waist region of your body, above the pelvic bone. Wondering how the name ‘Love handle’ came about? It is accepted that love handles look like, well, handles; especially considering the way they stick out away from the body.
On a lighter note, love handles may add a pleasing dimension to some women’s bodies, usually enhancing their hourglass figure, coupled with their belly fat being at a bare minimum. But considering the fact that love handles and lower belly fat are an accumulation of excess fat on the body, if you are among these ‘lucky’ few, you might still have some potential health issues to worry about. Read on to learn about their causes and how you can get rid of them.
Causes of Lower Belly Fat and Love Handles
- Food is one of nature’s blessings because that’s where we get the calories to work. However, when you take in more food than you need, the fat cells of your body store fat manufactured from those unneeded calories. Over a period, you will start noticing the effect of this fat accumulation all over your body, usually more prominent in some areas, especially in your belly and waist region.
- Individual-level activity is also a strong determinant in the accumulation of fat in your belly and waist. When you lead a sedentary life, or you’re stationary for quite a chunk of time in your day, or you have very limited scheduled time for exercises, it encourages the accumulation of fat in your belly and waist.
- Genetics is a powerful factor that can never be underrated. Coming from a line of family descendants who are overweight, or obese, definitely tips your body weight scale towards obesity or towards having an overweight body. This surely encourages lower belly fat and love handles.
Are Lower Belly Fat and Love Handles dangerous?
Having some fat in your waist region is alright to some extent. But having a great amount of fat can be problematic.
Love handles may not be scary, but their presence shows underlying risk factors that promote chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, High blood pressure, liver disease, to name a few.
Regarding belly fat, of the two types, you have more to worry about than visceral belly fat. Why?
Aside from the fact that an increase in visceral fat puts pressure on internal organs, visceral fat is metabolically active, i.e. it produces hormones and molecules involved in metabolic regulations that impact the general body systems, including the immune systems.
Chief among these substances are some inflammatory proteins that are strongly linked to conditions that make the body prone to disease, e.g. high blood pressure, inflammation of the body systems, and increased insulin resistance.
Particularly noteworthy is the fact that visceral fat transfers fatty acids to the liver, along with some other substances, including inflammatory proteins, resulting in liver inflammation, possible insulin resistance and fatty liver disease. So how do you get rid of lower belly fat and love handles if you have them? Let’s dive in.
Do Aerobic exercises religiously.
Aerobic exercise, popularly known as Cardio, whips a human body into shape if done consistently. How does it do that? Cardio activity causes fat cells to release fats into the bloodstream. The fat released travels to the muscles where they’re used to give you the energy you need to sustain the exercise.
The outcome? The fat cells of your body shrink all around your body. And you will notice a certain level of reduction in your belly and waist region. Not only do you have a trim figure. Your heart and lungs also get a good workout.
Eat Soluble fiber as much as you can. Why? Because studies show that soluble fiber is water-loving. As a result, it absorbs water, forming a gel. This gel is the substance that slows your food down while it makes its way through your digestive tract. This slow movement of food through your system keeps you feeling full over a lengthy period, stopping you from reaching for a tempting snack. This indirectly helps you fight lower belly fat and love handles. Examples of fiber-rich foods are:
- Legumes, e.g. beans.
- Tubers foods, e.g. yam, sweet potato etc.
Cut back on alcohol or give it up. Too drastic an advice? No. alcohol will always encourage your thick waistline, because it naturally stops you from burning fat. Excessive intake and regular patronage of alcohol readily facilitate weight gain, as it is high in calories. In addition, it leads you to make poor food choices. Cut back on alcohol and watch your midsection heave a sigh of relief.
Eat high-protein foods generously. Because protein behaves like fiber: It keeps you fuller for longer. Studies show that protein foods jack up your metabolic rate, so when combined with exercise, it helps you build. Lean muscles, which burn calories all day long. Take the following protein foods and watch your middle body transformation:
- Lean meat
- Eggs etc.
Be more aware of the sugar in your meals. The last thing you need is a diet rich in sugar. Added sugar, as table sugar or High Fructose Corn Syrup, is the culprit blamed for the occurrences of several chronic diseases plaguing our society at the moment. Because your goal is to lose that lower belly fat and love handle, you would do yourself a lot of good if you reduce your sugar intake and also eat more unrefined carbs to improve your metabolic
Incorporate resistant training into your routine.
This is an easy decision, right? Resistant training or weight training works on your body fat as it builds your muscles. Depending on your body goals, having some muscles in your frame may not be a bad idea, especially in your belly area and waist region. Besides the obvious health benefits of a trim figure, the row of abdominal muscles in the belly region is an absolute delight to have when they are more pronounced.
Get quality sleep! It’s absolutely important for your body. Research over the years has shown that there is a strong link between lack of sleep and weight gain. The rejuvenation and revitalisation of your body occur during your sleep. That said, if you want to lose that lower belly fat or love handle, never cheat on your sleeping time.
Steer clear of sugary beverages.
Your brain can be tricked because your brain cannot tell when you’ve had enough calories from liquids as it does solid foods. You’re more than likely to take in more calories from sugary beverages and store them up as fat. However, there are all-natural fruit drinks you can invest in, including healthy smoothies that can help you on your journey towards getting rid of your lower belly fat and love handles.
Healthy living requires taking very good care of one’s body and watching out for bodily changes that are pointers to the occurrences of chronic diseases in the body. Now you know what to do to get rid of that lower belly fat and love handles. Now you can whip your body back to a healthy shape. Get on with it. Go all out.