I have been doing cardio lately, eating pretty healthy and doing lots of ab exercises

  • Planks
    enter image description here

  • The Wheel
    enter image description here

  • Knee lifts
    enter image description here

  • Rotating back with body bar
    enter image description here

my upper abs and upper side abs are getting very tight and ripped but i still can't seem to get rid of lower belly and side love handles.

Are there any recommendations to help target these areas better or other things (diet related, etc) that would make the most impact in this area. I have obviously googled this question and found a lot of different contradictory answers so I thought I would see if anyone on this forum had some good advice that worked well for them.

  • 1
    What is eating "pretty healthy"? Issues like this tend to be diet related. Cut out the grains and dairy for 30 days and see how things go would be my suggestion. Sep 4, 2012 at 15:28
  • @WayneInML - grains is pretty much just whole wheat bread and dairy is skim milk & yogurt . . I wouldn't think these would be issues . . am I incorrect?
    – leora
    Sep 4, 2012 at 17:13
  • 1
    They can be an issue, especially with fat around the midsection. People have really good luck with a paleo diet. Pretty muc it is eats a wide variety of vegetables (especially leafy green ones), meat, and some fruit with dark berries being the best. Veggies and meat should be the main part of your diet. Sep 4, 2012 at 19:32
  • @WayneInML - i will give that a shot and see how it goes . . never would have thought these could be the culprit
    – leora
    Sep 4, 2012 at 19:48
  • 1
    Other than being extremely strict about diet, your only real option is genetic engineering. You cannot spot-reduce. Sep 5, 2012 at 0:42

5 Answers 5


You don't list your age or gender — but the general answer is that you can't spot fix/reduce, you need to reduce and improve overall condition and reduce overall weight. Everyone stores fat differently and the spots you've indicated will be the toughest/last places for you to see improvement. My recommendation: if you're seeing improvement in your fitness and health, then continue and you'll see improvement in those areas where you want — but it might take longer. Pat yourself on the back for focusing on your health and the improvements you've made and continue.

  • 3
    Just a slight addendum, the body basically works on a LIFO concept. Last in, first out. So, if you gained fat around your neck, then your waist, then your butt, it will come off in reverse order (Generally speaking).
    – JohnP
    Sep 4, 2012 at 14:45
  • 1
    @JohnP Interesting; do you have a source for this?
    – michael
    Sep 5, 2012 at 1:48
  • Kinesiology classes, and general acceptance by the industry, including American Council on Exercise. There was one study in the 70's that addressed, but I can only find the citations, not the actual article. It's what I was taught in college, and I've seen nothing that refutes it since. Not every person is the same, but for most people it works this way.
    – JohnP
    Sep 5, 2012 at 4:23
  • @JohnP Thats just so depressing to know...
    – Troy Woo
    Jan 21, 2015 at 16:33

The fat gained around the belly is likely to be "visceral" fat. That is, this fat surrounds your internal organs. Fat gained around thighs and other parts of the body is "subcutaneous" fat, or fat stored under the skin.

Increased visceral fat puts one at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, as opposed to subcutaneous fat, which is less harmful.

A recent study has emerged that aerobic exercise is most effective for losing visceral fat. Any aerobic exercise such as swimming, jogging and cycling that involves continuous repetition for long durations is helpful.

The study involved people jogging 12 miles per week, but researchers thought a less intense regime would also be of benefit. Resistance training was shown to not reduce visceral fat.


I would say:

  • Low-carb (high-fiber carbs only), no bread, pasta or sugar period.
  • High-water/low-salt
  • High-protein (including animal proteins)
  • High-fat (healthy non-animal fats only)
  • Don't starve yourself,loosing 2kg of fat a month is plenty.
  • Sufficient sleep
  • 6 two hour training sessions a week (both heavy lifting and cardio)
  • Only trust your measuring tape. Throw away your scale, it will lie to you, it will tell you you'r not getting leaner or even that your getting fatter while your belly is getting smaller.

Eat high fiber food, Avoid sugar, salt intake to lose belly fat. Eat low carb food and drink lots of water. Daily Excise is must to lose weight.

  • Perhaps you could add some references or personal experiences?
    – FredrikD
    Sep 22, 2012 at 12:39
  • Whats wrong with this forum. The simplest and yet absolutely the best answer, and its getting down votes.
    – Pibara
    Mar 13, 2014 at 11:33

For loosing love handles: try side kick and Side Plank. For keeping the lower belly more fit: try front kick and high knee run,

If you add some other cardio like running it would also help.

And if you keep on with your healthy eating and exercising that should do it.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.