Many people wonder about parts of their body. Love handles are no different. People ask what are love handles? Why causes them? Can love handles be reduced?
The truth is simple. Love handles are sections of extra fat that surround a person’s waistline. They’re like a circle of fat around a person’s midsection.
Sound a bit unflattering? It can be, but it’s also important to remember that love handles do serve a purpose, especially for women. That circle of fat helps support and protect the reproductive system and the organs in the pelvic cavity.
But even so, many people want to learn what causes love handles and how to reduce them fast, which are topics covered here.
What causes love handles in men and women tend to be similar — a lack of a clean diet and proper exercise. Simply eating too many fried foods and not walking is enough to make anyone gain love handles.
Also, consuming too many sugary foods, not controlling stress levels, and not sleeping enough can also contribute to love handles. The body needs to be balanced. Any of the above reasons can put your body out of balance, resulting in unsightly love handles.
But there are differences between men and women and how love handles develop for each gender. Knowing these differences can be key in order to help in efforts to reduce love handles.
For men, the excess drinking of beer — or any type of alcohol — is one of the fastest ways to get love handles. Because beers and alcohol have hidden calories and carbs, even a man who works out moderately but overindulges in alcohol may see himself getting love handles.
Smoking has also been shown to make men store fat in their abdomen. Women naturally store fat in their midsection, but for men who smoke, the habit can cause them to grow love handles as well.
Low testosterone is also known to play a part in men developing love handles. Because love handles are typically considered a feminine fat distribution area, when men develop love handles, it can be a sign of more important complications.
Women typically store fat in their abdominal area, so love handles are normal on women. However, there are some factors that can play into women developing them at various times in their life.
Pregnancy is one of the biggest factors of love handles for women, particularly if that woman has relaxed her dietary restrictions through her pregnancy. Also, muscles in the abdominal area and the midsection suffer tears during the term of the pregnancy. Getting back to pre-baby shape is often a struggle.
Genetics also play a role in love handles — women who have the apple or bear body type tend to accumulate fat on their waist and hips area. Other women, who have an hourglass or rectangle shape, distribute their body fat differently, leading these women to rarely develop love handles.
Also, women’s metabolisms drastically decline as they get older, increasingly the likelihood of love handles. While this can be reduced by diet and exercise, a woman will have to work harder the older she is to reduce or eliminate love handles.
(RELATED: How to Get Rid of Love Handles: learn what you need to do to get rid of love handles with simple tips and ideas)
Why are They Called Love Handles?
Love handles are given such an affectionate name — even though they cause women headaches — because they are located in the abdominal area of the body. And because many people only allow loved ones to be that physically intimate with them, they are considered love handles.
Love handles are thought to have been coined by the hippie generation of the American 1960s. Free love and total body acceptance were major cornerstones of that era. And that generation was all about being positive, including body positivity.
How to Reduce
Now that the question of what is love handles has been answered, another question is raised — how does one reduce love handles?
While most of this will be covered in another article, one of the best ways to continuously reduce love handles is through diet. Avoiding fried and sugary foods, alcohol, and sustaining a diet based on a whole food approach will limit love handles for just about anyone.
Love handles are generally thought of as eyesores that are very hard to get rid of. But knowing what love handles are and what causes them is the first step in getting rid of them. Just remember to be informed when it comes to learning about love handles.