Table of Contents

How to Reduce Love Handles

Table of Contents

The area on the body known as “love handles” is used to describe the extra fat hanging over the rear and side waistline. Because this area shapes an individual’s midsection, love handles are a figure-defining problem area that’s often a popular target for toning and tightening.

Love handles are present on both men and women, and can be harder to shed with age. Sure, aerobic workouts1 and abdominal exercises2 can help burn calories and reduce excess fat on the body, which in turn can help slim down love handles. Cutting back on certain foods, particularly sugar3 and fructose-heavy beverages, can help minimize abdominal fat partitioning while diet and exercise are often not successful.

So this begs the question – how does one reduce love handles? And what’s the best way to get rid of love handles when exercise doesn’t seem to be working?

There are multiple body contouring treatment options available to treat this body area.

Smartlipo Procedure to Reduce Love Handles

What is Smartlipo?

Smartlipo is laser-assisted liposuction. Done under local anesthesia, 94% of our patients don’t even take an oral sedative and drive themselves home after their procedure.

During the Smartlipo Procedure

During the minimally-invasive Smartlipo procedure, 1-2 tiny punctures (about 1/8″), are made in the skin on each side of the treated area. The area is then infused with a numbing fluid and a cannula containing a laser fiber is inserted under the skin to melt the adipose (fat) tissue.

The heat from the laser melts the fat, and simultaneously tightens the skin4. Once liquefied, the fatty fluid from the area is suctioned from the body.

Following the Smartlipo Procedure

Patients will experience some swelling following the procedure, and patients must wear a compression garment under clothes for 3 weeks. At about 4 weeks patients begin to see the body take shape, though it can take between 3-6 months before final results are visible.

SculpSure to Treat Love Handles

What is SculpSure?

SculpSure is a non-invasive fat reduction procedure and is the only FDA approved warm laser for reducing fat5. The treatment itself only takes 25 minutes to complete and each treatment can reduce fat by up to 24% in the treatment area6. Because this procedure is non-invasive, it relies on the patient’s body to get rid of the damaged fat cells, versus liposuction procedures where the fat cells are manually removed. For this reason, results are harder to predict.

During the SculpSure Procedure

Before the SculpSure procedure is performed, the treatment area will be cleansed, and the necessary frames will be secured to the love handles area. The laser windows are then snapped into the secured frames.

During the 25-minute treatment, the device cycles between 20 seconds of heating, followed by 10 seconds of cooling. The exact sensation varies from person to person. Some patients feel a sense of heating, and others describe it as a crampy or tingling sensation. Once the procedure has been completed, the lasers are removed along with the frames.

Following the SculpSure Procedure

There is zero downtime following a SculpSure procedure, and patients can immediately return to all normal activities. Patients will experience some mild tenderness similar to a bruise for 2-3 days post procedure.

Patients will begin to see results from the first treatment around 8 weeks post-procedure. For optimal results, patients should return in 8-10 weeks to have a second SculpSure treatment on the love handles area.

Which Treatment is Right for You?

At WIFH, we offer free consultations for body contouring patients who want to get rid of their love handles. At that time we can determine the right treatment choice for them. Both of these body contouring procedures work well for love handles, and they can also treat other problem areas such as abdomens, saddlebags, double chin, flanks, bra fat and arms.

For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation, contact us today.

1. Joseph E. Donnelly, Professor; Jeffery J. Honas; Bryan K. Smith; Matthew S. Mayo; Cheryl A. Gibson; Debra K. Sullivan; Jaehoon Lee; Stephen D. Herrmann; Kate Lambourne; and Rik A. Washburna (2013). Aerobic exercise alone results in clinically significant weight loss for men and women: Midwest Exercise Trial-2, 2014 Mar; Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013 Mar; 21(3): E219–E228.
2. Vispute SS; Smith JD; LeCheminant JD; Hurley KS. (2011). The effect of abdominal exercise on abdominal fat., September 2011, J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Sep;25(9):2559-64.
3. Jiantao Ma; Matthew Sloan; Caroline S. Fox; Udo Hoffmann; Caren E. Smith; Edward Saltzman; Gail T. Rogers; Paul F. Jacques; and Nicola M. McKeown (2014). Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption Is Associated with Abdominal Fat Partitioning in Healthy Adults. June 2014;
4. DiBernardo, B., Reyes, J., (2009). Preliminary Report: Evaluation of Skin Tightening After Laser-Assisted Liposuction. Aesthetic Surgery Journal, Volume 29, Issue 5, September 2009, Pages 400–407,
5. Stevenson, Jennifer. “Re: K17111.” Department of Health & Human Services, Food and Drug Administration. 13 June 2017. Letter.
6. Decorato, J. W., Chen, B., & Sierra, R. (2017). Subcutaneous adipose tissue response to a non-invasive hyperthermic treatment using a 1060 nm laser. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 49(5), 480-489.