Lifebelt or muffin top - love handles go by many names. Whatever you call it, everyone who has it wants to get rid of it.
The good news: of the 13 folds measured by the YPSI skinfold measurement , the hip fold is the easiest and fastest to reduce.
This skin fold, located just above the iliac crest, is related to your carbohydrate management. Cravings, cravings for sweets, regular blood sugar fluctuations and the problem of not being able to concentrate all the time are signs that the hip fold deserves special attention.
The key to avoiding the problems mentioned in the last paragraph is a stable blood sugar level. The best way to achieve this is through regular meals consisting of high-fiber vegetables, high-quality protein and healthy fats.
Carbohydrates are also good and important - IF you deserve them. However, if your hip fold appears as a priority in the skinfold measurement, you have eaten carbohydrates far too often in your life without having deserved them. This excess energy has accumulated on your hips in the form of body fat.
A gradual low-carb approach, starting with breakfast and culminating in a single carb meal per week. The proportion of carbohydrates in your diet depends on your body fat percentage, your muscle mass and your activity level. Another point is your genetic carbohydrate tolerance, which can also be recognized by the back folds in the YPSI skinfold measurement.
blood sugar, insulin and cortisol
After every meal, your blood sugar level rises. How strong the increase is depends primarily on the type and amount of carbohydrates in the last meal. The hormone insulin is released and lowers the blood sugar level. How much or how little insulin a person has to release for a given amount of carbohydrates and how quickly their blood sugar drops again afterwards is referred to as insulin sensitivity.
If after lunch or after a long period without eating, for example if you haven't had breakfast, your blood sugar level drops again and you don't stabilize it with a meal, the stress hormone cortisol kicks in.
Cortisol counteracts an excessive drop in blood sugar and thus hypoglycaemia by directly and indirectly releasing stored carbohydrates, in the form of glycogen, from the liver into the bloodstream. Insulin is then released again. The subsequent drop in blood sugar levels causes a craving for sweets.
In the reality of many people, it often looks something like this: You come home from work and haven't managed to eat anything since lunch. There was spaghetti bolognese or schnitzel with fries in the canteen – in short: carbohydrates. You didn't have your own food or snacks with you. It was all too stressful to take anything with you, breakfast had already been canceled due to time constraints, since you always get up very close to sleeping as long as possible. On the way home you suddenly realize how hungry you are. Your stomach is growling, at worst your hands are already shaking. When you get home, you eat everything you can get hold of – preferably fast carbohydrates such as chocolate or a frozen pizza. The main thing is that the blood sugar level goes up again and the stress level drops. Finally there is relaxation. However, you would have to buy another pair of pants again.
Three reasons why your hip crease won't drop:
1. You consume more carbohydrates than you deserve and thus store more love handles. - More on how to determine how many carbs you've earned
2. You don't eat breakfast and/or eat irregularly which leads to blood sugar fluctuations and an increase in love handles. – More about breakfast here
3. Your stress level causes constant blood sugar fluctuations and thus an increase in love handles. – More on blood sugar and stress here
Three solutions to reduce your hip crease:
1. Eat fewer carbohydrates, breakfast and regular meals.
2. Optimize your sleep. Go to bed before 11pm, keep your bedroom pitch dark, and supplement with micronutrients, which are precursors to the deep sleep hormone melatonin.
3. Eat a high-protein breakfast and two other main meals, with regular snacks in between. Prepare a double portion of dinner in the evening and take half of it to work for lunch the next day. Do not focus on the problems but look for solutions! Good snacks between meals are, for example: Nuts, seeds, dried meat (beef jerky), canned fish (optimal: in a jar), a spoonful of YPSI AminoElectrolyte Complex in water or a bowl of raspberries.
These snacks stabilize your blood sugar levels instead of raising them. There are no food cravings, your love handles melt away and your old pants fit again.
Nobody needs love handles. Use the 3 tips above to get rid of him...
Image: Tobias has significantly reduced his body fat overall and especially on his hips. Especially with the 3 tips above.