Most bros out there have no problem dropping down from 25% to 15% body fat. At roughly 25% you’re starting to creep towards technically obese, and any sort of calorie deficit will do the trick.
But when you start hitting body fat levels around 15% or so you start to notice a disturbing trend. Certain areas of your body are much more likely to shed fat than others.
For most bros, we typically have no issue shedding fat from the upper back, chest, and arms. This is typically the last place we put on fat, and the first place we lose it.
But what about the stomach and love handles? No matter how much body fat you’re carrying, that is a problem area that most bros are dying to get rid of. Not only does that layer of blubber hide your six-pack, but it doesn’t exactly look super appealing in clothes either.
Now, if you’ve been in this position before you could just try dieting the same way you did from 25% to 15%, but you’ll come to find out pretty quickly this doesn’t exactly work. As you change, so to do your dietary needs.
If you’ve found yourself with love handles that just won’t go away, here are 3 keys to use get rid of them for good.
- Get your carb intake under control.
It’s often theorized that where we hold stubborn body fat can be an indication of certain hormonal issues that we have going on. One of the most common theories in this camp is that love handles and belly fat are indicative of insulin sensitivity issues.
One of the best ways to get this under control is by eating far fewer carbs throughout most of the week. I like priming your sensitivity to carbs by spending 2-3 days per week ultra low carb. Think in the range of 50-75g per day. Another day or two with about 150g, and then one day that’s as many as you want.
This alternating approach can help your sensitivity to carbs, and should fall in line with your training as well. The high carb days should be on difficult training days, and low carb days on either off days or easy training days.
*Quick caveat: I don’t count things like non starchy vegetables. So fill up on those, when we’re talking about 50-75g of carbs we’re talking about primarily starches.
- Overhaul your training
If you’ve been doing a typical bro split of chest day, back day, arm day, etc. then it’s probably high time you make a change. Lifting weights is no doubt good for your fat burning pursuits, but if you’ve been doing the same routine over and over it’s no good.
Instead, spend some time during a brutal upper/lower split 6 days a week where each body part gets work 3x a week, and see how you respond.
This typically works because the additional volume and frequency means more muscle. More muscle means more calories burned at rest, and those calories have to come from somewhere.
Additionally, you’ll develop broader shoulders, which means your waist suddenly starts to appear narrower.
- Quit being scared of cardio
Steady state cardio is one of the best tools in existence when it comes to fat mobilization. Not HIIT, not circuits, steady state cardio. Why? During steady state cardio the primary source of fuel is fatty acids. The very stuff that makes up your love handles.
This doesn’t mean you need to start running after every single workout, but for 2-3 sessions a week throwing in 30 minutes of steady state cardio is a fantastic way to start shrinking your love handles.
The big key here is make sure you’re not going too hard, too fast. You should be able to maintain a consistent speed throughout the entire cardio session. You should be sweating, but not completely gassed.
An added benefit is that with an improved cardiovascular system, which only happens with steady state cardio by the way, you can lift for longer and more productive sessions. Which means more muscle. Turns out cardio doesn’t suck after all.