Even if you’re training hard, have hit your weight loss goals, and are at a relatively low level of body fat, you may find that you still have some particularly stubborn areas where fat remains. Among men, the waist—or love handles—are a persistent issue, as this tends to be one of the last and hardest places to shift fat during weight loss.
In a new video on the Athlean-X channel, Jeff Cavaliere C.S.C.S. shares his advice on how to tackle love handles. One of the easiest ways is through nutrition: he recommends cutting back on the “empty calories” of alcohol and taking a 9:1 approach with your meals, where you eat clean and then treat yourself on every 10th meal.
“I am going to suggest that you don’t attempt to do this by becoming carb-phobic,” he says. “Don’t try to avoid carbs altogether. Not only is it going to set you up for long-term failure because you just can’t deprive yourself forever of these delicious nutrients, but you’re also going to find that it interferes with the process in another way… Although initial restriction of carbohydrates might actually cause you to lose some water weight, over time you’re actually going to increase your cortisol levels, and your cortisol levels have a lot to say about body fat, particularly stubborn body fat.”
On the exercise side, Cavaliere puts forward a couple of tips. Firstly, evaluate the style of your training. For instance, while a traditional push-pull workout is great for building muscle, it’s not especially optimized towards fat loss. Cavaliere advises trying peripheral heart action training (PHAT), a technique which combines compound lifts that hit different parts of the body with no rest in between, encouraging fat loss as well as muscle growth.
Next, don’t forget to train your obliques. “Some might misguide you by telling you that training your obliques is going to thicken up your waistline,” says Cavaliere. “The only thing thickening your waistline is the body fat that’s laying on top right now. When revealed, the obliques look amazing, they actually do the best job of all the muscles in creating that thinning and tapering effect to the waistline.”
Finally, while fasted cardio is a popular and much-talked-about tactic for burning fat, it’s not the be all and end all. “Though you might be burning more fat per session while fasted, you burn less fat afterwards,” he says. “If you do it in a fed state, you’d burn more carbohydrates, but you’d burn more fat after the fact.” When it comes to that stubborn waist fat, however, Cavaliere concedes that incorporating some fasted cardio into your routine may help you see results.
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