[By Annalisa Hubert]

While the die-hard romantic in me is digging the rom-com reruns, sappy love anthems and online confessions in classic Hallmark cringe-worthy galore, there’s one particular thing attached to Love that’s not getting any of my affection— Love handles. Although I’m all about embracing one’s womanly curves and size zero was never my hero, bulging pockets of blubber overflowing above the waist does not a lovely silhouette maketh! To help shape things up from flab to fab, here are 5 tips to deal with this much dreaded circumferential misfit, to get you ready to tackle the peaks and troughs associated with Love heads on, be it married, attached or single and fabulous!

Eat right

We all know someone or witnessed the body transformation of a celeb or social media influencer who’s committed to a diet, whether it’s Paleo, Zone, Atkins, South Beach or what’s trending at the moment. There were those impressive before/after images plastered all over the internet but ultimately, many ended up where they started off. Why do diets fail so many people and how to avoid this?Going from an ‘anything goes’ way of eating to a very strict diet is like trying to work a pair of towering 5-inches Loubies when you’ve worn flip flops or flats most of your life. You might manage for awhile, but eventually you’ll crash and fall.

“Learning to eat healthy is like learning to speak a different language and you should learn a little at a time till you’re proficient.” Says Dr Kenneth Lee, medical director of SW1 Clinic. “Pick just one simple healthy eating habit like choosing more greens and grains and practice it for at least two weeks. Then, adopt another healthy option such as cutting refined carbs for two weeks and so forth. They’re effective individually, but instead of going all way out, take things slow and eventually, your efforts will pay off and help lose those love handles for good to transform your body permanently.”

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Workout right

When at the gym, do you head straight for the ab-twister machines or spend a good half hour or more doing only crunches and side bends in the bid for a trim waistline? It’s breaking bad time, hun. Sure, you may drop a bead of sweat and cringe at the burn through your mid-section, but the reality is you are probably wasting your time. Health & Fitness experts all round have agreed that “site specific” spot training is not going to help trash those pesky bits of overflowing fat. Combined big, dynamic multi-joint movements with or without weights with cardiovascular training to provide the results you crave and rid you of those horrible handles of love. If you’re already investing your time and money in a gym membership, get professional assistance from a certified trainer and make sure you’re working out right!

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Dress right

The right kind of clothes are those that serve to flaunt your assets and hide your flaws. Armed yourself with a clothing arsenal of stiffer fabrics, camouflaging prints, high-waisted bottoms, strategically placed pleats and color-blocking to help disguise a thick mid-section.Material that’s too lightweight tends to cling, which is not what you’re after when you’ve got a roll or two to hide. A cotton denim dress that falls nicely without being too boxy certainly works better than satin. Love handles can also be hidden from view with a full skirt in a thicker fabric with pleating that helps flatten out your tummy.A high waistline flatters by helping to cinch in bulges in all the wrong areas so don’t be tempted by trending looks you can’t pull off, and steer clear of low slung jeans paired with cropped tops.

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Treat right

Unfortunately, fat loss is never a linear process. For those who had ever embarked on a journey of losing fat, almost all would’ve experienced the dreaded plateau. You work hard and make good progress in the beginning, and then you hit a wall, when doing the same things such as reducing calories and clocking in more time at the gym simply do not make the cut anymore. These “trouble areas” can vary from person to person, with the commonest being love handles, belly, hips and thighs.

Cryolipolysis, otherwise known as fat-freezing, is currently the leading non-surgical modality favored by celebrities for targeted fat loss in jiffy. Fat-freezing by Coolshape is an FDA approved procedure whereby fat cells in the targeted areas are cooled to near freezing. The body will then metabolize the crystallized fat cells and subsequently eliminate them from the body without putting a strain on the liver. The ideal candidate is within 5 to 8 kilograms off their ideal body weight, with pockets of pinch-able soft fats over these identified trouble spots. With added Dream Body Tone and Exilis Body Magic, this best kept Hollywood secret is further enhanced by ensuring optimal lymphatic drainage of the surrounding tissues, thereby speeding up the clearance of the broken down fat cells leading to quicker visible results and recovery time. In addition, treating the overlying skin with skin strengthening vitamins infused to the dermal layers and applying the unique technology of Exilis, the only device of its kind that combines two popular energies today, radiofrequency and ultrasound, act to stimulate collagen and thereby improves skin elasticity, translating to better aesthetics outcome when the fat loss of 20 to 23% is evident in 8 to 12 weeks’ time.

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Sleep right

Most people are under the misconception that you get fat when you sleep too much. A study published in the journal Sleep actually suggested that the reverse is true. Too little sleep encourages the genes that cause weight gain while a longer uninterrupted slumber of 8 hours or more suppresses the action of these ‘obesity’ genes.Our fat burning hormones are at optimal levels between 10pm and 6am so unless you are asleep during these hours, you are not getting the benefits. These very same hormones also contribute to appetite and when one is lack of sleep, lower hormone production can make you hungrier the following day even if you are not. In order to take full advantage of the situation, try your absolute best to turn in early for a good night’s rest. Along with a host of other benefits you’ll reap from this one simple lifestyle modification is perhaps that missing puzzle to help bid your love handles adieu!

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