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The Truth About Love Handles and How to Get Rid of them

Do you have excess fat hanging around your waist while wearing your favorite dress? Fret not, because you are not alone. Love handles are usually a sign of the accumulation of excess fat across the hips and abdominal area.

Despite rigorous exercise, diet changes, and weight loss, it can be hard to lose flank fat or love handles. In such instances, a more targeted approach is required.

Read on to find out more.

What is a Love Handle?

Despite love in their name, we all know there isn’t much to love for love handles. A love handles are bulges found on the side of the waistline. Love handles are extremely common, but many wonder why they develop despite an active routine and a proper diet.

5 reasons why you can’t get rid of love handles

While the underlying cause of love handles is fat retention. Generally speaking, fat cells accumulate when your body takes in too many calories as you are consuming. Over time, these fat cells become noticeable as they accumulate in certain areas, such as around your waist and hips.


Fat can accumulate anywhere in the body. However, there are factors that make it more likely to accumulate in the abdominal areas, hips, or back. This results in love handles. Other than lack of physical activity or ageing, here are 5 other reasons why you can't lose love handles.

1. You’re eating too much

Despite the obvious, calorie consumption must be reduced if you want to lose the love handle. Studies have shown that creating a caloric deficit of 500 calories can help someone lose up to 1 kilogram a week1. It helps reduce fat around the love handles and throughout the body.

2. You’re not eating enough

It's critical not to cut your calories too quickly when reducing them. Fast weight loss may cause side effects such as muscle loss, metabolic slowdown, nutrient deficiencies, gallstones, and other health problems.

Slow, steady weight loss is easier to maintain long-term because it's better for establishing healthy eating habits and is safer than fast weight loss.


3. You’re too stressed

Among the numerous factors influencing your body weight, hormone regulation is an important one. Small rises in cortisol levels in response to stress are normal and not likely to cause negative side effects. However, when cortisol levels are elevated, it often causes an increase in appetite.

One study found high levels of cortisol associated with increased appetite and weight gain in 59 healthy women2. A second study also found an association between higher cortisol responses and higher belly fat in 172 men and women. This suggests that higher cortisol may lead to overeating3.


4. Your diet and exercise plan are not sustainable

Weight loss is a process of slow and steady progress. The restrictive nature of fad diets in a short period of time is associated with an increased risk of disordered eating and eating disorders. It's likely that if you have a hard time sticking to your fitness plan long-term you'll lose patience quickly and will be more likely to give up before achieving your fitness goals with fad diets.

5. You’re running too much, too often

When it comes to losing weight, many people believe they need to run and run and run some more. With steady cardio, you can end up doing more harm than good to your body if you overdo it.

Continually doing steady-state cardio, such as long-distance running, can result in an adaptation to prolonged aerobic activity and a sustained release of cortisol. As a result, your body will not need to use as many calories to power you through your run. Unfortunately, you may also be required to continue running just as much to maintain your weight once your body adapts to the intensity of your workout.

What can you do to get rid of love handles and flanks?

As mentioned earlier, love handles or flanks are one of the most stubborn pockets of fat. Despite being in the best shape of their lives, some people are still unable to get rid of the pockets on their waistline. So, are there any love handle removal treatments available?

Liposuction has been the most common method of fat removal solution for years. Vacuuming your fat out through a needle was a sure way to get rid of love handles. The last 10 years have seen, however, the rise of non-invasive treatments that do not involve surgery but do not even require anesthesia or a recovery period.

Freezing the Fat with CoolSculpting

CoolSculpting, also known as cryolipolysis or fat freezing, is one of the most popular methods used for non-invasive fat removal. CoolSculpting is the only FDA-approved fat freezing treatment on the market and it has been an effective treatment for targeted fat removal – including love handles.

Some fat freezing providers may only have only one CoolSculpting machine, meaning that they are only able to treat one flank at a time. At Ensoul Body Medical Clinic, Dual Sculpting with the use of two machines simultaneously so clients can treat both flanks at once.

Feel the Burn with SculpSure

SculpSure is another FDA approved and clinically tested non-invasive fat removal treatment. SculpSure also works to eliminate fat naturally much like CoolSculpting, but where it differs is the temperatures that are used to eliminate the fat. Using laser-induced heat energy, SculpSure works to target stubborn fat cells and destroy them with heat.

The takeaway

During your initial consultation, we will determine if you are a good candidate for treatment. They will also make sure you know what to expect before and after your procedure.

Hip or love handle procedures are often combined with other procedures. By assessing other areas (like your abdomen or back) you can determine if additional treatments are necessary to achieve your goals.

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