5 Foods to Help You Avoid Love Handles

To stop the buildup of fat and the formation of love handles, it's important to adopt a healthy lifestyle and get physical activity. Eating some of these 5 great foods can also be helpful.
5 Foods to Help You Avoid Love Handles
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Love handles are that unsightly buildup of fat around the abdomen that you can wind up discovering with a feeling of hopelessness as you try on a pair of fitted jeans.

Age, a slower metabolism, and genetics all determine whether some people are more likely than others to develop love handles.

Love handles: it’s not just an aesthetic issue

When you accumulate more fat around the abdomen than is considered normal, it can be an indicator of a risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and the list goes on.

There are, however, a few things to keep in mind before you try and cut calories to eliminate or avoid love handles.

First of all, it’s important to know that calories are necessary for the body to produce energy.

Always remember this when you’re trying to lose weight: the last thing you should do is stop eating.

You still have to eat enough and you have to do it in a healthy way. When you choose to skip a meal or two, you’re only succeeding in altering your metabolism and losing muscle mass, not fat.

Nutritionists are very clear on this. You have to maintain a healthy lifestyle and take care of what you eat.

Certain foods are key to losing accumulated fat little by little. Today, we want to tell you about 5 of them.

1. Coffee and the oxidation of fats

5 Foods to Help You Avoid Love Handles

Believe it or not, one or two cups of coffee a day is synonymous with good health. It’s good for your brain. It helps protect your liver from multiple diseases. And it also helps with weight control.

  • According to a published scientific study, coffee improves the body’s oxidation of fats.
  • If you have a healthy diet with a little coffee, this will help you lose those love handles.
  • Balanced and regular consumption of caffeine speeds up your metabolism and lets you burn fat thanks to the release of adrenaline.

Let’s reiterate an important fact: one or two cups of coffee is all you need. Several liters of this beverage, however, definitely won’t speed up your weight loss.

2. Bitter orange at breakfast

5 Foods to Help You Avoid Love Handles

You might have made a face at that. Bitter oranges? It’s true.

Far from considering this type of fruit (citrus x aurantium) as something unpleasant, remember how delicious a slice of toast can be with some bitter orange jam.

Here are some of the benefits:

  • This variety of orange contains phenylephrine. It’ s a very powerful compound for boosting your metabolism when you’re at rest.
  • If you become accustomed to eating bitter orange in moderation you’ll feel more satisfied and will notice you’ve lost some inches off your waist.

Your breakfast will be complete if you add a little bitter orange to some rye toast. One thing to remember, however, is that consuming too much can lead to high blood pressure.

3. Grapefruit for fat

Grapefruit is a fabulous citrus fruit that you shouldn’t leave out of your diet.

Always look for natural grapefruit when making juice rather than buying the pre-packaged stuff. Natural grapefruit will benefit your health and you’ll enjoy all of its great properties:

  • A study carried out at the University of Arizona found that eating a grapefruit a day is very helpful for people who are overweight.
  • This fruit won’t lead to weight loss. It won’t erase love handles. But it does improve heart health, reduce cholesterol levels, and alleviate high blood pressure.
  • The general health improvements from grapefruit make it much easier to lose weight little by little.

Grapefruit won’t perform any miracles… but it can help them occur.

4. Vinegar, but not just any vinegar

When it comes to losing weight and those pesky love handles, choose apple cider vinegar – not balsamic vinegar. The latter, although it tastes better, contains more calories.

Apple cider vinegar has been around for centuries and its many healthy properties are well known.

The journal Bioscience published several studies carried out at the University of Washington which found that adding apple cider vinegar to diets improves the loss of abdominal fat.

It also lowers bad cholesterol levels, or LDL, helps unclog arteries, and cares for the lymphatic system.

5. Chili peppers and love handles

5 Foods to Help You Avoid Love Handles

Once again, we want to reiterate that the key to losing weight lies in having a balanced diet and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle. 

Just because the foods we talk about here can help fight love handles doesn’t mean that you should consume them in excess.

This is essential when it comes to eating spicy food or chili peppers. Is it true that chili peppers can really help you lose weight? It seems to be.

The secret to their slimming power lies in capsaicin. This is a chemical compound present in the peppers that give them their spicy sensation that so many people enjoy. It speeds up the metabolism and also reduces the appetite.

According to the Journal of Proteome Research, capsaicin also stimulates certain proteins that are capable of breaking down fat and stopping it from building up.

If your stomach isn’t too sensitive, try seasoning your recipes with a little chili pepper from time to time. A little “heat” every so often will feel amazing!


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Icken D, Feller S, Engeli S, Mayr A, Müller A, Hilbert A, de Zwaan M. Caffeine intake is related to successful weight loss maintenance. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016 Apr;70(4):532-4.
  • Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017 Nov 3;9(11):1211
  • Dow, C.A., Going, S.B, Chow, H-H, S., Patil, B.S., Thomson, C.A. The effects of daily consumption of grapefruit on body weight, lipids, and blood pressure in healthy, overweight adults. Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental. 2012, 61:1026-1035 (2012).
  • Pande S., Srinivasan K., Potentiation of hypolipidemic and weight reducing influence of dietary tender cluster bean (cyamopsis tetragonoloba) when combined with capsaicin in high fat fed rats. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 2012.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.