Love handles, the love of few the enemy of many! That blob of fat on our sides that so many of us hate. Why do I have them and Tom and Susie don’t? I must be too fat, I should lose some weight.
What if I told you that you are wrong?
What if you aren’t too fat, just built different. If you can’t accept that may be the possibility, stop reading because while I intend on proving it to you, you likely won’t listen.
Built different? In many cases (please note not all), yes. The human body is an amazing design and the shapes and layout it comes in vary greatly from individual to individual. We see this quite easily in things like height and skin color, but rarely do people think about the fact that the visual proportions of positions are different from individual to individual as well. Let me clarify. If we take two people, both 6 feet tall, one persons shoulders might be two inches higher than the others, but the person with the lower shoulders has a longer head and neck length, so the two people have the same total height. This is case of my father and I. Both of us stand 5’8″ tall, but his shoulders sit ~2″ higher than mine.
Just as in the above scenario which we routinely recognize in shoulders, hips do the same thing. Two people with the same total height could have wildly different heights at the top of their pelvis. Many people see people like this and simply say they have a shorter torso. When someone has high hip bones, it is very common that the fat sitting on them, even when it is minimal, gets pushed out quite far compared to the narrowest point of their torso and voila, love handles. The truth is though that for many people it is simply design. That no matter how low their body fat gets, their hips will always be there and even a ½” layer of fat will look like the dreaded love handles. I worked with a woman whose body fat measurements were under 12%, she had a full eight pack set of abs, crazy muscular definition everywhere, and she still had a love handle look. I’ve seen men who were 5’8” 140lb professional athletes measuring sub 10% body fat, shredded muscles, and still had the love handle look. The truth is that hips are hips and that’s just it. So unless you are going to try to attain dangerously low levels of body fat, if this is your body type, they are going to be there, and that’s ok!
Something we skipped over…
Let’s address something we skipped over at the beginning and face the realization that you also may be correct, you may simply be overweight and need to lose some body fat. It is necessary to say though that the visual test is commonly a poor one because most people don’t know what a healthy body fat is. Woman should have more body fat than men (I’m purely speaking from a health standpoint here). Older people should have more body fat than younger people as well. Different cultures also have different visual norms of what a healthy body fat is. Simply due to complexity I’m going to leave it here but remember that you probably should consult the science to find out if you have too much or too little body fat instead of the mirror! If you need your body fat measured, contact us and we can test you at many of our locations. Also, read our blog to get a better understanding of body fat and body fat measurements.
If it turns out that you do need to simply lose weight, GET STARTED !