Face it--even skinny Minnies get love handles! Even if you have the perfect six-pack, you're probably familiar with those pinchable fat rolls tucked around your waist line. If you're frustrated with the handles, take heart--there actually is a way to get rid of them, no matter what the naysayers say.
It's a twofold approach. All you need to do is burn body fat and build muscle. Of course, you can't magically make the fat around your stomach melt away, but toning the muscles in your midsection will make you firmer all around. In general, love handles start to disappear on women's bodies when they reach 20 percent body fat (for men, it's 12). Combining cardiovascular activities (done four to six times a week) with a health diet will help rid you of that unwanted spare tire.
You are exactly right about the need to reduce body fat and increase muscle to reduce love handles. Although you state that women's 'love handles' begin to disappear at about the 20% body fat marker, you need to realize that each indivdual's body fat is dispersed in a unique manner based on many factors, including genetics. So although that is a good generalization, it won't be true for everyone. We have seen some 'low body fat women' (i.e. 18%) who still sport some 'love handles'. Keep in mind that you'll need to expend about 3500 calories in order to lose 1 pound of body fat. That equals about a 30-35 minute moderate intensity cardio workout for 10-12 days... Consistency with your workouts (cardio & strength), coupled with a healthy, well-balanced, moderately caloric daily meal plan is the winning ticket.