Are you tired of struggling with those persistent love handles? Perhaps you’ve heard about intermittent fasting (IF) and wonder if it can help you achieve the lean, sculpted waistline you desire.
To give you the answer right up front, intermittent fasting does not directly eliminate love handles. But, it can be used as a tool when paired with a calorie deficit to get rid of love handles.
I will now explore the connection between intermittent fasting and love handles, and how you can use intermittent fasting to help.
Let’s get into it, shall we?
Does Intermittent Fasting Get Rid Of Love Handles?
Intermittent fasting, by itself, does not directly eliminate love handles. It’s not a magical solution, but it can be a powerful strategy when used in combination with other factors, primarily a calorie deficit.
The only way to reduce body fat is with a calorie deficit. There is no other solution to lose weight.
However, starting your own calorie deficit is not rocket science and you can easily learn how to start one while using intermittent fasting to help.
Related Post: How To Eat Whatever You Want With A Calorie Deficit
What Is a Calorie Deficit?
A calorie deficit occurs when you consume fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight.
This deficit forces your body to use its stored fat for energy, including the fat stored around your love handles.
To calculate your calorie deficit:
- Start by determining your daily caloric needs based on factors like age, gender, weight, and activity level.
- This is known as your maintenance calories, and you can calculate this easily using a calculator such as this TDEE calculator.
Once you have your maintenance calories figured out, you can now put this number to work.
Related Post: Calorie Deficit Calculation Hack
How To Start A Calorie Deficit
Starting a calorie deficit requires a thoughtful approach.
Here is the best way to start:
- Aim to consume 300-500 calories less than your calculated maintenance calorie amount per day to create a safe and sustainable calorie deficit over time.
- For example, if your calculated maintenence calories comes out at 2,100 calories, you will want to aim for a calorie intake of 1,700 calories to start off.
- Once you start, check your weight for about 2 weeks, once per week and if you are not losing 1-2 lbs per week, lower the amount of calories you consume by 100-200 calories per day.
- It also helps to measure your body with a measuring tape. Measure around your belly button, hips, and thighs and keep track of decreasing measurements.
- Track Your Calories: Utilize apps or journals to meticulously monitor your daily caloric intake. This awareness will help you make informed choices.
- Reduce Portion Sizes: Gradually decrease portion sizes to reduce calorie intake while still enjoying the foods you love.
- Choose Nutrient-Dense Foods: Opt for whole, nutrient-dense foods that provide essential vitamins and minerals while keeping you full, making it easier to sustain a calorie deficit.
I have multiple posts centered around a calorie deficit, so feel free to check any of them out for additional help!
How Can I Use Intermittent Fasting to Get Rid Of Love Handles?
While intermittent fasting alone won’t make love handles disappear, it can be an effective tool when used in conjunction with a calorie deficit.
What Intermittent Fasting Is
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that alternates between periods of eating and fasting.
While intermittent fasting itself doesn’t directly target love handles, it can be a powerful strategy when combined with a calorie deficit.
Intermittent fasting helps create this deficit by narrowing your eating window, making it easier to control your calorie intake.
When you are able to more easily control your calorie intake, you can become more calorie conscious throughout the day, which will help decrease the overall calories consumed on a daily basis.
The combination of intermittent fasting and a calorie deficit can help you effectively work towards losing those stubborn love handles.
Another great plus is that there are many studies that show intermittent fasting has shown positive effects on weight loss, in addition to reducing insulin resistance.
It is helpful to know that there are many types of intermittent fasting. Let’s go over the methods used the most.
Related Post: Can You Eat Whatever You Want When Intermittent Fasting?
Common Types of Intermittent Fasting
- 16/8 Method: Fast for 16 hours and eat during an 8-hour window. This is one of the more common methods.
- 19/5 Method: Similar to 16/8, with a shorter eating window. This method is not for everyone.
- Alternate Day Fasting: Alternate between fasting days and regular eating days.
- 5/2 Method: Eat normally for five days and restrict calories for two non-consecutive days.
- Other Types: Explore variations like the Warrior Diet or OMAD (One Meal A Day) to find what works best for you.
Let’s say for example you choose the 16/8 method to start Intermittent fasting.
To begin the 16/8 method, you choose an 8-hour window during the day when you will consume all your calories, and the remaining 16 hours will be your fasting period.
For example, you might decide to eat between 12:00 PM and 8:00 PM, leaving the hours from 8:00 PM to 12:00 PM the following day as your fasting window.
During the fasting hours, you abstain from consuming any calories, but water, herbal tea, and black coffee are typically allowed.
Related Post: Do Calories Actually Reset At Midnight?
This method is flexible, allowing you to adjust your eating window to fit your daily routine.
The best part is that the majority of the fasting window takes place when you are sleeping!
By consistently following the 16/8 method, you can naturally create a calorie deficit as you limit the time available for eating, making it a practical and sustainable way to work towards your health and weight goals.
Related Post: 16/8 vs. 19/5 Intermittent Fasting: How To Choose
Does Intermittent Fasting Reduce Side Fat?
Intermittent fasting does not reduce side fat unless paired with a calorie deficit.
As with love handles and intermittent fasting, it must be used only as a tool.
To put it simply, intermittent fasting will not work to lose body fat unless you are in a calorie deficit that is working for you.
Does Intermittent Fasting Reduce Belly Fat?
Intermittent fasting will not help you lose belly fat, just like it will not help you lose fat from elsewhere on the body, UNLESS it is paired with a calorie deficit.
You cannot choose where you will lose body fat from when losing weight. Your body decides this for you.
Intermittent fasting is not a wizardly magical way to lose weight in itself.
Intermittent fasting MUST be paired with a caloric deficit in order to see results when it comes to weight loss and losing body fat from the belly, sides, or anywhere on the body.
Related Post: Does A Cold Stomach Mean You Are Burning Calories?
How Do I Lose My Love Handles?
Losing love handles involves a multi-layer approach for best results.
Here are key important aspects to keep in mind when trying to lose love handles.
- Calorie Deficit: Maintain a calorie deficit through diet and exercise to target the overall reduction of body fat.
I will say it again, in order to lose love handles, you MUST be in a calorie deficit.
Doing hours upon hours of sit ups and side bends are not going to get rid of love handles, only weight loss through diet will!
- Regular Exercise: Incorporate a mix of cardio, strength training, and core focused exercises to tone and strengthen your abdominal muscles.
While cardio and strength training are not required for weight loss, it is definitely a good idea to incorporate them.
Not only will you burn more calories through exercise making your calorie deficit easier, you will build a great muscular foundation.
- Hydration: Stay well hydrated to support your metabolism and overall health.
Staying well hydrated is so important. If health conditions to not contraindicate, aim for at least 8 glasses of water per day.
How Long Will It Take To Lose Love Handles When Using Intermittent Fasting?
The timeline for losing love handles can vary widely.
Depending on factors like your starting weight, body composition, and the strictness of your calorie deficit, it could take as little as two months or up to six months or more.
Remember that individuals lose body fat at different rates and from different areas.
Love handles and belly fat often tend to be the last areas to show significant results.
The important thing is that you keep at it and don’t give up.
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Intermittent fasting can be a powerful tool to help you achieve your love handle goals when combined with a calorie deficit and a consistent fitness routine.
Keep in mind that patience, dedication, and consistency are key on your journey to a slimmer, healthier you.
Losing love handles or body fat from anywhere on the body is a slow but steady journey.
It will not happen overnight.
Intermittent fasting is just one of the many tools you can use when paired with a calorie deficit to help you.