AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — It’s one of the most annoying parts of trying to lose weight and become more fit, and it seems like they just won’t leave.

I’m talking about those pesky love handles and in part one of today’s turn up time, our friend in fitness, Noelle Owens over at TRUFIT, is dropping some knowledge on how to finally get rid of that spare tire.

“The answer is diet and cardio,” Owens said. “Cut down on alcohol. So any of the fat that grows around the belly. It’s generally made of sugar, stress or alcohol. So cutting down on alcohol. I know we talked about having an eating lifestyle that doesn’t take foods that we enjoy out, it’s always a good idea to at least minimize the foods that we shouldn’t be eating and alcohol is one of them, because it is a very difficult fat to burn and it always lands in the gut for storage.

“We love our beer, we love our margaritas,” she said. Alcohol has a very different sugar in it, and it’s called acetate, and it’s the very last sugar to burn in the body.

Diet wise, sugar. Simple sugars specifically, man-made sugars specifically. Stuff that you find in cookies, Oreos, and I love me an Oreo, Chips Ahoy, stuff like that, chips,” she said. “Because that sugar that’s also not used, returns here for long term storage. “

Owens also advises to cut out, “soda, and their gonna shoot me in Texas for this, but sweet tea,” she said. “Guys, that’s sugar!”

When it comes to “cheat meals” or “cheat days”, Owens emphasizes that’s a big no-no.

“There’s no such thing as a cheat meal, we’re going to get that word out of your vernacular, it’s a reward,” she said. “I would keep it to one meal and obviously not the dozen donuts that i was just kidding around about, but don’t go the healthy version of your reward meal, if you wanna go and have a deep fried fisherman’s platter that’s this high and this wide, then eat that.

And, she said, don’t be afraid to “enjoy it, and don’t leave that meal, feeling like you’ve taken a step back, because that one meal.

“Put it in perspective, if I eat seven days a week, three times a day, I’m going to eat 21 times, so put it in perspective. That fisherman’s platter, it was one meal, don’t overthink that! It’s a drop in the bucket compared to all of the eating experiences you had during the week.”

When it comes to cardio to incinerate those love handles:

  • High intensity intervals are best (sprints, boxing classes, kickboxing, etc.)
  • Base it on your fitness level
  • A good starting place is 20 seconds high intensity exercise, 1-1:30 minutes of recovery
  • That burns through sugar and oxygen and allows for full bursts of action in between recovery periods

When it comes to exercises to shrink/eliminate love handles, Owens said it’s all about proper form.

Ensuring you’re working the obliques the way they’re intended, maximizing the work on the muscle and making it stronger, while minimizing the risk of injury.

Key exercises to start or stop to get rid of love handles:

  • Side bends — STOP

“One of the most common mistakes is the side bend,” she continued. “So a side bend, what he’s doing is making his waist smaller, so you notice when he comes off to the side, he’s making his waist shorter, which means, it’s getting wider. When you’re trying to get rid of those love handles, when you’re trying to bring in that waist, do not do those side bends!”

  • Sit ups — STOP

“Another thing I see people do all the time, and they say ‘I’m trying to get rid of my love handles, I do tons of sit ups’,” she said.

“I want you to notice the mistake he’s purposefully making (reference above video). He’s lifting up his legs, which is pulling in his hips, he’s straining his neck, which is creating more problems for his shoulders, and just like we talked about with the obliques, he’s making his abs shorter,” she said. “Which means he’s pushing the body fat out, and he’s not achieving the goal he set out to achieve by doing these sit ups.”

“You’re not going to sit up, and you’re not going to crunch those love handles away,” she warned.

  • Russian Twist — START (but do them properly)

“Another one that we see people do incorrectly is the Russian Twist, this is not a bad movement,” she tells us. “What you’re going to want to do is go one side at a time so you can 100 percent control the movement. So if you’ll just show them what it looks like, do two on one side, two on the other.”

  • Planks — START

“You can do them two ways. This is a bridge way. A bridge is kind of a step one if you will, there is pressure still being placed on the abdominals,” she added. “You’re still fighting gravity, and your core is engaged.”

“Once you’ve mastered this, then you can come up on your hands, you see we have a greater distance from the floor, you’re having to fight gravity even more,” she said. “Plus you’re engaging other muscle groups, so the abdominals and core, have to learn how to play well and talk well with others.”