Love Handles or Un-Love Handles? - FIT Human Performance

Love Handles or Un-Love Handles?


LoveHandlesSeptember 15, 2013

We all have them, and I’m guessing not many of us love them.  I truly have no idea why they are called love handles, but I can guess it has some hidden meaning in that they can be grabbed. So what exactly is a ‘love handle’? It is when the body stores excess adipose tissue (fat) in that particular area and the fat falls right over the pant-line. Many of us may notice the little side bulge over our pants just above our pockets.  One thing I know for sure, I have never had anybody ask me to help them get their love handles bigger.  Never!

Let me share some information about the un-love handles.  First,  they are comprised of a lot of unused calories that at some point were consumed.  Maybe you loved the calories at the point of consumption, but your probably don’t like where they live now.  This area of the body  stores fat for a couple of valid reasons.  You body likes those area’s to be warm and well padded.  For all of us, the love handles sit below and in front of the kidneys and help with protection from impact.  For women, the area aids in the protection of the ovaries.  Also, the padding on the side aids in the protection of the hip girdle in cases of impact or damage.  So you see, love handles are good after all.

Still, the underlying fact is that most of us do not want or like our love handles.  So what is the solution?  Medically speaking;   the core or trunk is a combination of muscles that stabilize the midsection to protect it from harm.  In our workouts, we often discuss the movement of the spine using the rectus abdominis for crunches, the erector spinea for low back extension, and the oblique group for rotation.  The love/un-love handles reside laterally about or just above hip height.  The action that helps to tone this area is ordinarily a rotation movement.  But here is where it gets tricky, the underlying musculature of the love/hate handle is a muscle and if over trained the muscle gets bigger like any other muscle.  In the case of the un-love handle the muscle does not get longer or wider, it becomes thicker thus building a bigger love handle.  It’s just not fair is it?

The solution is a combination of exercise and that horrible 4 letter word, diet.  Yes, the law of thermodynamics tells us calories in = calories out.  To lose that one extra pound of weight you may be carrying you simply burn more on a daily basis than you consume.  Be careful though because if you do not eat enough food, your intake will remain in your system as fat as well.  The balance can be infuriating! If you would like to get some help with those un-love handles just give FIT a call.

In good health,


“Both belly bulge and love handles are about excess fat, not lack of muscle. The best way to reduce these problem areas is to reduce your overall body fat percentage, and we all know that requires both diet and exercise.” – Jillian Michaels