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How to Reduce Your Waist Size and Burn Love Handles

By Nicole Hogan-Jenkins ; Updated July 18, 2017

Trying to find shirts with a flattering fit can be a challenge when you have love handles. Trimming inches off your midsection requires losing weight all over your body; it is not possible to spot-reduce weight. Losing weight involves burning more calories than you consume on a daily basis. Follow a specialized exercise program while cleaning up your eating habits to lose weight and reduce your waist size.

  1. Engage in weight-training workouts three days per week to gain lean muscle and fire up your metabolism. Train compound muscle groups on the same day. Work back, shoulders and biceps on Monday; chest and triceps on Wednesday; and quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves on Friday.

  2. Work your abdominal muscles and core two days per week to help tighten and tone your midsection. Perform exercises to each angle of your abdominals, such as medicine ball situps, leg raises, stability ball knee tucks and crunches for four sets of 25 repetitions. Include exercises to target the external obliques or sides of the waist, such as side crunches, Russian twists, standing side bends and side bridges for four sets of 25 repetitions on each side.

  3. Perform 40 to 50 minutes of cardiovascular exercise four to five days per week. Ride your bike outdoors, take a brisk walk, jog on the treadmill, step on the elliptical machine or join a group fitness class such as indoor cycling.

  4. Eat less to help create a calorie deficit, encouraging weight loss. Record your meals using an online food journal such as MyPlate. Decrease your calorie intake by 250 to 500 calories per day.

  5. Eat healthfully to help you cut back on calories. Follow a diet that revolves around whole, natural foods such as eggs, low-fat cheeses, fish, lean cuts of meat, whole grains, poultry and healthy fats such as olive oil and avocado. Natural foods digest slowly, so you'll feel fuller with fewer calories.

  6. Cut back on your sodium intake to reduce midsection bloating caused by water retention. Season your meals with spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits instead of salt. Avoid high-sodium, processed foods such as deli meat and boxed meals.

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