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how do i target my love handles, back, and stomach?

I am 19 years old and 5'5. I weigh around 142 I used to be 125 and would love to get back there. I do the best I can from what I know. I try to do a lot of core exercises, machines, cardio, but over all pretty much everything I can, but I must be missing something. I watch what I eat. I eat small portions (or try) and try to do the 5/6 meals a day. But yet it seems like there is no difference. My trouble spots are my love handles, inner legs,back, and stomach. I don't know how to explain my stomach but when I am standing if you poke it, it is solid/hard, but when I sit down it looks like (I hate to say it but) a fat roll. It doesn't make sense...any tips and/or advice for me? I want to try to tone/lose it by June if possible...

8 answers

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The only real effective way of addressing those "problem areas" is by reducing your body fat percentage. "Spot-burning" is a myth. A person could do a million crunches on their current diet and not see any results. Although your abs may be very strong with high endurance you wouldn't be able to appreciate the visual "6-pack" because of fat deposits. Even obese people have abs, open an anatomy book and look at the the pictures of the stripped down human body.
I dont know exactly how you train but your training regimen combined with a balanced diet (ie; carbs, fats, protien) along with cutting out junk food and increase water intake will help you reap better results.
Hope this helps.

Derek Reyes, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Level II Student Nurse

Derek Reyes, CPT 2.2k
6 years ago

Bpalm, hey there...congrats on the hard work and keep it up! You are on the right path. After I had my baby I had some major love handles so I know how you feel! For me, there are really only two things that work...a combined low sugar healthy diet and very high intense cardio.
If you don't have any restrictions on running I would start a high speed interval routine atleast 3 days a week mixed in with the other cardio you do.
there are tons of ways to mix it up but this is where I would start:
1 min as fast as you can
1 min walk
(do this for about 20-25 mins)
after a few weeks this will become easy...then you can add in some hill intervals or lengthen the time...or bring the walk to a "job" etc. Tons of things you can do- the biggest thing is to be sure that the hardcore interval minute (or whatever time you choose) is as hard as you can ...not just half as hard or three quarters as hard! Mentally, intervals are easier because you know it will end in a minute or so, and you can push yourself for that short amount of time- but you really need to deep way down and push so that your body is asking for as many calories as possible....this will burn up those love doubt! Be sure to also make super smart nutrition choices!
let me know if this helps

Liz Mathie 7.2k
6 years ago

I have found that weighted side bends help me with those areas. Sounds like your on the right track! Keep it up!

rosemaryfields 2.4k
6 years ago

Yeah, it gets to be very complicated if you start counting calories or carbs. Its tedious and most people find it confusing. A few things to remember:

Fat: 1 gram = 9 calories
Protein: 1 gram = 4 calories
Carbohydrates: 1 gram = 4 calories
Alcohol: 1 gram = 7 calories

3500 calories= 1lb of fat!

You also want to keep in mind that we burn and take in calories throuhout the day. To reduce body fat percentage you have to create a reasonable caloric deficit.

For example:

You consume 2500 calories a day but only burn 1000 calories mean you have 1500 calories that are going to fuel you for activities of daily living and the rest find somewhere to stick on your body.

Once you start burning more calories that you consume weightloss occurs.
No 2 people burn calories the same due to chemistry, genetics, and presence of disease processes.
Keep those tips in mind when making your food choices along with your exercise regimen and you should be fine.

Derek Reyes, CPT 2.2k
6 years ago

Rosemary-weighted side bends seem to help a bit, I can definatly tell when they do! I love them! Thank you!

Derek-To reduce body fat percentage would be mainly watching what I eat and take in for carbs, fats, protien, etc, like you stated?

bpalm 830
6 years ago

Liz- that definatly helps! i try to do that but its hard sometimes, go figure right haha! but i can tell it works me harder, which is nice. but i will try to do it more often! thank you!

daeous-that helps! thank you! i will try my best, i hope its not too hard for when i make dinners :/ but that definatly helps as well!! thank you guys!!

bpalm 830
6 years ago

I have love-handle issues as well.. I understand "spot-burning' doesnt work and you need to lose weight all over in order for those stubborn things to go away. My problem is I do not want to lose weight. Im 5'7, i weigh 124 pounds and I do not know what to do to get rid of these love handles i've had them forever and I hate them!

ericatrulli 0
5 years ago

Do you know what your body fat percentage is? Perhaps working on adding muscle will allow you to lower your body fat percentage.

5 years ago

add your answer!

bpalm member since Feb '12


3/26/2012 at 5:06 PM
Weight Loss
Body Weight