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Exercise and Fitness

Losing weight in only area left? Love handles

03/01/2001

Question:

If you don`t mind I would love hearing your advice for my problem. I am 40 years old. 6 months ago I was up to 190lbs(in HS I was 160 and muscular). For the past 6 months I have been jogging 45 min and lifting weights 20 min ...5 days a week. I am now down to 165 and have a 17 % body fat. However my"love handles" wont go away. I know I can not do anything that will lose weight only there because you can`t target the area of fat burned. Do you suggest anything. Will they go away on their own if I continue working out or is my age affecting it? I am in great health and muscularly fit again. But the fat on my my sides looks odd because I look so fit everywhere else. I am proud to have gotten down to my weight again and achieved such low body fat again..but can I do more to get rid of the handles? Please give me any advice you think may make a difference and I will appreciate it GREATLY! Thank you and keep up the fine work!

Answer:

You are absolutely correct that spot reduction exercises are not effective for decreasing body fat in localized regions of the body. While performing abdominal curls will help strengthen and tone the abdominal muscles, it is only through aerobic activities (i.e., jogging) that you will mobilize fat stores for energy.

You are doing the right thing by combining both aerobic activity and weight training in your weight loss program. Do make sure that you are alternating days in your weight training program so that you do not work the same muscle groups two days in a row. You mentioned that you are doing 20 minutes, 5 days/week. It is recommended to perform a minimum of 8-10 separate exercises that train the major muscle groups, 2-3 days/week (alternating days).

Flexibility exercises should be performed on a daily basis as part of a well-rounded exercise program.

Congratulations on your 17% body fat measurement. That percentage places you in the `fit` category of body fat norms. Keep up the good work.

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Response by:

Carolyn   Nickol, RD, MEd Carolyn Nickol, RD, MEd
Director
Fitness Center at CARE\Crawley
University of Cincinnati