FitnessExerciseHow To Get Rid Of Side Fat? 6 Effective Ways To Get...

How To Get Rid Of Side Fat? 6 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Love Handles 2023

Are you currently struggling with stubborn belly fat that seems to defy all efforts to get rid of it? This annoying and disheartening ordeal can take a toll on your morale. While the role of diet in weight loss is crucial, overeating can paradoxically hinder your progress.

Perhaps you’ve experimented with a myriad of “supplements” only to be disillusioned by the results.

This article will attempt to present effective strategies for targeting and eliminating side abdominal fat, thereby facilitating the restoration of your confidence and attractiveness. We will meticulously examine the underlying causes of side fat, delve into natural methods to defeat it, and introduce effective exercise regimens to help you shed this excess skin.

Are you ready to embark on a transformative journey towards a slimmer physique and improved overall wellbeing? Let us begin this endeavour and move forward together.

Causes of excess body fat

Causes Of Excess Body FatRecent statistics from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases show that a significant proportion, nearly one in three adults, struggle with being overweight[1], making it a common and concerning health condition. Understanding the factors that contribute to excess body fat is crucial to tackling this widespread problem. Let’s take a look at the main causes of this worrying problem:

Poor diet

One of the main contributors to the accumulation of visceral fat in both adults and children is poor diet. Consuming excessive amounts of fast food and processed foods, which are often high in sugar and unhealthy fats, is a common mistake that many people make. In addition, the consumption of high-calorie alcoholic beverages and sugary soft drinks can contribute to weight gain. Overeating, especially as a form of comfort eating during periods of low mood, can also contribute to the problem. A mindful approach to eating is essential to combat this problem.

Hormonal imbalances

Various hormonal imbalances, such as thyroid disorders, insulin resistance, and fluctuations in testosterone and estrogen levels, can trigger fat accumulation in the body. Insulin, for example, plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar levels, and insulin resistance can lead to increased fat storage.

Sleep deprivation

Inadequate or excessive sleep can disrupt hormonal balance and appetite regulation, leading to cravings for sugary foods and potential weight gain.

Genetic predisposition

Genetics also play a role in determining the propensity for weight gain and fat distribution in certain individuals. Some people may have a genetic predisposition to store fat in certain areas, which can contribute to overall weight gain. Rare genetic conditions such as Prader-Willi syndrome[2] are known to cause obesity and significant weight gain.

Stress and emotional factors

External stressors can influence eating behaviour, leading individuals to choose high-calorie comfort foods as a coping mechanism. Emotional eating during times of stress can contribute to increased calorie intake and subsequent weight gain.

Sedentary lifestyle

Lack of physical activity is a major contributor to weight gain and increased body fat. Sedentary jobs that involve sitting for long periods of time or jobs that require minimal physical activity can lead to the development of excess fat, particularly around the abdomen. Office workers, remote workers and avid video gamers may be particularly susceptible to the accumulation of lower abdominal fat due to their inactive routines.

Other contributing factors

Other factors that can contribute to the accumulation of excess fat include smoking or quitting smoking, pregnancy and the natural effects of ageing.

It is important to recognise that an individual’s weight gain may be influenced by one or a combination of these factors. By understanding and addressing these underlying causes, individuals can take proactive steps to manage their body weight and overall health.

Strategies to eliminate side fat

When it comes to tackling stubborn side fat, implementing effective measures can lead to significant results. Here are some proven strategies to help you in your quest to reduce fat and achieve a more sculpted physique:
  • Go for healthy fats: Not all fats are created equal. Include healthy fats in your diet, such as those found in avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil. These fats can support your body's functions and help you manage your weight.
  • Limit sugar and processed foods: Refined sugars and processed foods are notorious for contributing to weight gain and unhealthy fat storage. Minimising their consumption can support your efforts to lose weight and improve your overall health.
  • Increase your protein intake: Increasing your protein intake can have a significant impact on fat loss and muscle maintenance. Foods such as lean meats, eggs, dairy and plant-based protein sources should be included in your meals to support your goals.
  • Eat soluble fibre: Foods rich in soluble fibre, such as oats, legumes, and certain fruits and vegetables, can help you shed excess fat. Soluble fibre helps to slow down digestion, keeping you feeling fuller for longer and reducing overall calorie intake.
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking adequate amounts of water throughout the day is essential for your body's functions and can help with weight management. Staying hydrated can also help control hunger and prevent overeating.
  • Prioritise restorative sleep: Quality sleep is essential for overall wellbeing, including weight management. Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to support your body's recovery and fat-burning processes.

How long it takes to lose side fat: an elusive quest

When it comes to the exact timeframe for eliminating side fat or love handles, a definitive answer remains elusive due to the limited availability of specific data or research in this area. Scientific research has mainly focused on general fat reduction techniques rather than specifically targeting side fat.

It is important to recognise that the reduction of fat in specific areas is influenced by a variety of factors, including external elements such as dietary choices and exercise routines, as well as intrinsic factors such as genetic predisposition or underlying health conditions.

While these factors may influence body fat distribution, the efficacy of targeted approaches specifically to reduce side fat requires further research and investigation.

In a broader context, adherence to a consistent healthy diet and lifestyle is of paramount importance in the effort to burn calories and maintain physical fitness. However, patience is also required, as losing side fat is a gradual process that requires perseverance and commitment.

Six simple strategies to tackle side and excess body fat

Embarking on a journey to reduce body fat requires a well-equipped arsenal of healthy habits and lifestyle changes. Here are six simple yet effective ways to help you achieve your goal:

1. Choose healthy fats

Incorporating the right type of fats into your diet can help in the fight against belly fat. Include nutrient-rich options that promote satiety and overall well-being, such as avocados, which are packed with monounsaturated fats that fight inflammation and increase satiety. Olive oil, another excellent choice rich in monounsaturated fats, can be used for salad dressings or cooking. Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and trout provide omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and support heart health. In addition, seeds and seed oils such as sunflower, sesame and pumpkin are excellent sources of healthy fats that can be added to dishes or salads. Nuts and seeds, such as chia, walnuts, almonds, hemp and linseeds, contain omega-3 fatty acids that can help you lose weight. Coconut oil, with its medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), has also been shown to help reduce body fat. Remember, moderation is the key when incorporating these healthy fats into your diet.

2. Cut back on sugary and processed foods

Reducing your intake of sugary and processed foods can have significant benefits in your quest to reduce fat. It reduces unhealthy fat intake, improves nutrient density and regulates appetite control.

3. Increase your protein intake

Increase your protein intake: Increasing your protein intake is an effective fat loss strategy. Studies highlight the importance of protein in weight loss efforts by increasing metabolism and preserving lean muscle mass. Protein-rich foods such as tofu, dairy products, fish, eggs, lean meats, legumes and poultry not only stimulate calorie burning, but also reduce cravings for comfort foods.

4. Eat foods high in soluble fibre

To tackle stubborn fat, prioritise the consumption of foods high in soluble fibre. These foods are specifically designed to help regulate appetite, manage body fat and promote satiety. Choose oats, legumes, psyllium husks, chia seeds, oranges, berries, pears, carrots and broccoli to increase satiety, stabilise blood sugar levels and promote healthy digestion.

5. Stay hydrated

Adequate hydration is essential for overall health and plays a key role in supporting fat loss efforts[3]. Maintaining proper hydration levels throughout the day can boost metabolism, optimise exercise performance, improve digestion and reduce water retention.

6. Prioritise sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential to preventing weight gain[4], according to research from the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Make it a habit to get enough sleep as it facilitates fat burning, increases energy levels, supports muscle maintenance, reduces cortisol levels and balances your metabolism.

By incorporating these simple yet effective strategies into your daily routine, you can pave the way for a healthier, slimmer you. Remember, consistency and persistence are key to achieving your fat loss goals.

Five exercises to get ride of side fat: effective exercise routines

Exercises To Reduce Side FatWhen it comes to shedding unwanted side fat, lifestyle changes are key, but incorporating specific exercise routines can significantly boost results. Here are five exercises that have proven to be highly effective in tackling those stubborn love handles:

1. Side plank circles

Although it may seem challenging at first, mastering the side plank circle is within reach with a little practice.

  1. Start by lying on your right side with your forearm resting on the floor.
  2. Lift your hips, relying on your forearm and the side of your right foot to support your body weight.
  3. Bend your left leg and bring it towards your chest, ensuring minimal hip movement.
  4. Effortlessly manoeuvre your left knee in a circular motion to create a controlled movement.
  5. Switch sides and repeat to work both sides.

2. Leg lifts

Simplicity is the key to leg lifts.

  1. Find a comfortable spot on a mat and lie flat on your back.
  2. Place your arms beside you, palms down.
  3. Begin the movement by pulling your navel towards your spine while keeping your legs straight.
  4. Lift your legs off the floor until they form a 90 degree angle with the floor.
  5. Gently return your legs to the starting position and repeat several times.

3. Russian twists

To engage your obliques, try the following Russian twists:

  1. Sitting on a mat, bend your knees while keeping your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Maintain an upright posture and lean back slightly.
  3. Grasp a dumbbell in front of your chest to add resistance to the exercise.
  4. Twist your torso to one side, bringing the weight close to the floor.
  5. Reverse the movement and twist to the opposite side.
  6. Complete a set of 10 twists on each side to feel the burn in your side muscles.

4. Bicycle crunches

Eliminate side back fat with bicycle crunches, a dynamic core exercise.

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your hands behind your head for support.
  2. Raise your shoulder blades off the floor and simultaneously bring your right elbow toward your left knee as you extend your right leg.
  3. Alternate by bringing your left elbow towards your right knee while extending your left leg.
  4. Perform 10 repetitions on each side to maximise the effect.

5. Woodchoppers

A full-body exercise, woodchoppers target the core and engage multiple muscle groups.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grasp a dumbbell or medicine ball with both hands.
  2. Start with the weight over one shoulder. Pivot on your toes, rotate your torso and swing the weight diagonally across your body, aiming low at the opposite hip.
  3. Repeat on the opposite side to maintain balance.

Remember, a well-rounded approach is essential for optimal results. Combine these exercises with a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular physical activity for a more toned and sculpted physique.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will increasing your protein intake help reduce side fat?

Increasing your protein intake can help with fat loss by promoting satiety and supporting muscle maintenance, which are essential elements of an effective weight management plan.

Can hormone imbalance lead to excess fat, especially on the sides?

Yes, hormonal imbalances can contribute to the accumulation of excess body fat, including on the sides.

How can I target and get rid of side fat?

It’s important to understand that spot fat reduction is not possible. Focusing solely on reducing fat in one specific area, such as the sides, is not feasible. Prioritising overall fat loss through a combination of diet and exercise is more effective.

Can doing leg lifts alone reduce excess side fat?

Leg lifts, like any isolated exercise, cannot specifically target side fat. Instead, they contribute to overall fat loss as part of a comprehensive exercise routine.

Can following a specific diet help reduce side fat?

Eating a balanced and nutritious diet can certainly help reduce side fat by creating a calorie deficit. However, it is not advisable to focus on a specific diet for side fat reduction.

Will doing cardio exercises alone help me lose side fat?

Although cardio exercise can help to lose fat, relying on it alone will not lead to a targeted reduction in side fat. Combining cardio exercise with lifestyle changes is essential for effective results.

Is it possible to reduce side fat without exercise?

While lifestyle changes, including dietary changes, can help reduce side fat, the combination of exercise and a balanced diet is more effective in achieving noticeable and lasting results.

Is getting enough sleep important for reducing overall fat?

Yes, getting enough good quality sleep is essential to support weight management and minimise weight gain.


In conclusion, tackling side abdominal fat is challenging due to the limited availability of specific data and research on targeted techniques for this area. The scientific evidence tends to focus on general fat reduction strategies rather than targeted solutions for love handles or side fat. It’s important to recognise that localised fat reduction is influenced by a variety of factors, including external aspects such as diet and exercise, as well as internal factors such as genetics and underlying health conditions.

A comprehensive approach that includes a healthy diet, regular exercise and lifestyle changes is recommended for overall fat loss and improved well-being. Maintaining a positive attitude plays a key role in achieving your weight loss goals. While the journey may require patience and dedication, taking a holistic approach will undoubtedly yield long-lasting results in your quest to reduce belly fat.


  1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. “Overweight & Obesity Statistics.” NIDDK, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Link.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. “Role of the Gut Microbiota in Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.” PubMed Central, PMC4630255. Link.
  3. Bray, George A., et al. “Obesity: a Chronic Relapsing Progressive Disease Process. A Position Statement of the World Obesity Federation.” Obesity Reviews, vol. 18, no. 7, 2017, pp. 715–723. Wiley Online Library. Link.
  4. Trabelsi, Manel, et al. “The Gut Microbiota in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Major Player in Disease Progression and Therapeutic Perspectives.” Microorganisms, vol. 3, no. 4, 2015, pp. 809–834. National Center for Biotechnology Information, PMC4410731. Link.

Ashley Bujalski is a second year clinical psychology doctoral student at William Paterson University. She holds a MA in Forensic Mental Health Counseling from John Jay College, and has worked as a mental health clinician at Riker’s Island Correctional Facility and Crossroads Juvenile Detention Center. At present, she is a graduate assistant at the William Paterson University Women’s Center, where she implements programs to raise awareness on campus and in the community about prevention of violence against women. Her research interests include trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder in forensic populations and among those who have been victimized by interpersonal violence.

Claire Galloway is a post-doctoral fellow at Emory University. She received her Bachelor of Science in psychology from Georgia State University in 2011, her Master of Arts in psychology from Emory University in 2013, and her Doctor of Philosophy in psychology (neuroscience and animal behavior program) from Emory University in 2017. Claire studies the nature of hippocampal dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease and how brain regions important for memory, the amygdala and hippocampus, interact during memory tasks.


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