Follow our tried-and-tested advice to start shifting excess body fat on and around your lower back and end up the proud owner of a leaner and fitter body!
“Love handles” makes it sound like such a lovely thing to have, but storing too much fat around your sides and on your lower back is a problem for a lot of men, and even though you can’t really see it when you’re standing in front of the mirror, you always know that it’s there.
It stops nice clothes from fitting how they should, it can make you self-conscious at the beach, swimming pool or in the changing rooms, and you’re constantly reminded of its presence every time you sit down or stand back up.
But don’t worry a minute longer, because if you’re troubled by too much fat around your lower back and want to shift it fast to look and feel better, you’ve come to the right place!
Back for good!
First up, although many people want to prioritise reducing body fat from specific parts of their body – for men, it’s usually fat from the chest (the misery-causing man boobs), around their stomach (the dreaded beer belly), around their sides (the loathsome love handles), or from around their lower back – doing so is not that straightforward.
The concept of “spot reducing” fat, a theory where specific exercises, ways of eating, or lifestyle choices could dictate from which part of your body fat is eliminated from first, has been widely debunked.
Where on our bodies fat is deposited when we eat more energy than we burn is largely determined by our hormones: it’s why women tend to store fat around their thighs, hips, and bum, while men tend to gain weight around their bellies before anywhere else. (Increasing your testosterone level, the primary male sex hormone can help you lose fat, if you have high levels of the female sex hormone oestrogen.)
And just as you can’t “instruct” your body to store fat, you also can’t tell it from where you want to lose it from first. But that’s not to say you can’t still make major changes to you body, and can very quickly strip excess fat from everywhere it’s stored to look and feel like a brand new man so friends, family and colleagues have to do a double-take when you walk into the room.
Fire up your metabolism!
To lean-down your lower back you need to start burning more calories per day than you consume – it’s as simple as that! (Here’s how to work out how many calories you need per day to lose weight or gain muscle.) But while most people – unwisely – start to dramatically cut down their intake of food to create that “calorie deficit” needed for your body to start burning fat stores for fuel (a big mistake: low-calorie diets are dangerous, and result in low energy, bad moods, poor sleep and weight gain), a far smarter strategy is to first increase your daily calorie expenditure through moving more.
After all, the more energy you burn through exercise, the less the pressure on your dietary approach to end each day having used more calories than you ate! Take a daily walk, always use the stairs, never sit still at your desk or on the sofa for too long, offer to make everyone tea and coffee – anything that means you’re moving rather than sedentary is going to require energy, and the more you move the more calories you burn.
Become a fat-burning machine!
One of the very best ways to increase your daily energy expenditure is through exercise – but pounding the pavements for hours on end isn’t your best option. Research has proved time and again that the best approach to burn body fat is by lifting weights, especially multi-joint moves, such as the barbell squat, deadlift, overhead shoulder press and bench press, (these lifts turn your body into a calorie-torching machine for up to 48 hours after your session) combined with short bursts of intense cardio (better known as high-intensity interval training or HIIT), not miles and miles of gentle jogging.
This weights-plus-HIIT approach is the basis for our best-selling training programme New Body Plan that has helped thousands of men lose their bellies and back fat and turn their lives around. It was also the programme that enabled Jon Lipsey to burn 10kg of body fat in just eight weeks and end up on the cover of Men’s Fitness magazine – so we know it works if you’re serious about getting back into shape!
Find your perfect eating plan!
If someone tells you there is only way to eat for fat loss, stop listening to them at once. The truth is there are many ways to skin a cat, and there are many nutritional approaches that can help you lose excess body fat. You may have heard of Intermittent Fasting (IF), where you go for extended periods of the day (typically 16 hours), then eat during the other eight hours. There’s Paleo, where you eat like your human ancestors did 10,000 years ago (mainly meat, fish, nuts, veg and fruit, and no dairy, grains or alcohol), Atkins (a low-carb approach), or Keto (an even stricter no-carb strategy where fats can be eaten with free abandon).
While very different dietary plans, all the nutrition approaches listed above (and every other one you’ve ever heard of) have two things in common: the first is that they are designed to reduce your daily calorie intake below the number you need to maintain your weight, so you start to lose weight as your body starts burning fat stores to make up for the energy deficit.
The other common feature of all these diets is that they can be incredibly hard to stick to for more than a few days or weeks: how long do you think you could last without eating a single slice of bread, or having a scoop of ice cream, or maybe even a cold beer at the end of a long week? And that’s the problem: as soon as a dietary strategy completely restricts certain foods or food groups it majors them almost impossible to adhere to for long enough so you get the fat-loss result you want.
That’s what we created a brand new eating approach: it’s called 90% Nutrition and it’s helped thousands of guys finally get the body they want. The diet – and it’s not a diet at all, but a simple, smart and sustainable way of eating for greater health and happiness – is based on the concept of eating well for 90% of the time, then having whatever you want the remaining 10% of the time. It’s easy to follow and it gets results! Here’s what else you need to know to start eating for a leaner body today!