Do You know Where Your Love Handles Come From? You May Be Surprised

Nobody that I know loves their love handles. They are one of those things that are on your list to get rid of each New Year but most of the time seem to stick around. Being a health nut wannabe I never could figure out exactly why those pesky love handles would not just leave and go love someone else. I ran across this brilliant article by Kim Klaver a business woman extraordinaire and health nut herself and decided to share it with you. I think you will be as surprised as I was to discover the truth behind those rude love handles.

Kim was filming a university nutrition class taught by the professor Dr. Heidi Dulay when she got this question:
What foods should they recommend to their clients seeking nutritional help? And how to decide these things, anyway? (The students are health practitioners in-the-making.)
This Master's program nutrition course is about different dietary approaches.

And I mean a few that are REALLY different - like the raw milk diet, the coconut diet, the Inuit beast and blubber diet (meat, fish and fat which Dulay is personally testing for two weeks), along with the more well-known approaches such as Paleo, Mediterranean, and Atkins, among others.)
OK, good question, says Dr. Heidi. Here's a way to look at choosing foods for yourself and your nutrition clients...
A normally functioning body uses what you eat (specifically, uses the biochemicals in the foods you eat), in three ways:
Function (hormones, enzymes, make antibodies, etc.),
Structure (bones/muscles/teeth; Cells/cell membranes, hair/skin/nails)
Storage (fuel and excess fat)

(okay, sounds simple to most of you but news to me)
Then came the surprise.

Guess what kinds of foods the body uses for these three things?
FUNCTION: Protein and Fat.
STRUCTURE: Protein and Fat. All except for connective tissue, which uses protein and sugar)

And then the bomb:
STORAGE BINS: Carbs, sugars (sweets) and fat. (Not the good fat you eat in say, butter. Stored fat is the sort the body makes from the excess carbs and sweets we feed it).
Yikes. Have you checked your storage bins lately? The love handles, the paunches, bulges and other lumpy places?
It's 4pm. About to have a quick snack fix? Are you considering...
Carbs, sugars or sweets: bread, rice, pasta, chips and crackers, cookies, cereal like corn flakes, corn, muffins, pizza crust, and all sweets, especially the big sweet caffeine drinks. (I love, love caffeine drinks-some things just are not fair).
Maybe a better choice would be organic cheese or nuts.

For the nutritionally and technically interested, here's Dr. Schwarzbein's table. The Schwarzbein Principle II.2002 p.17.

[P=Protein; F=Fat, S= Sugar]

Antibodies (P)
Cellular products (P & F)
Enzymes (P)
Hormones (P & F)
Neurotransmitters (P)

Bones/Muscles/Teeth (P)
Cells/Cell membranes (P & F)
Connective tissue (P & S)
Glands.organs (P)
Hair/skin/nails (P)

Glycogen (S) (good reserve fuel in the liver = KK)
Triglycerides (F) (fat molecules from fat and carbs = KK)

I found this to be a fascinating article if not a bit over my head with Dr. Schwarzbein's table (sorry but I am still a health nut wannabe and tables were never my thing in school-I was more concerned with who was dating who,wearing what, etc-you know all the important things that get you so far in life). The basic idea is that you really need to watch what you snack on and eat overall if you want to get rid of those love handles. To read more by Kim Klaver go here.

This ties in to the The Most Asked Questions About Carbohydrates post that Christopher Warden, a New York City fitness professional and my online personal trainer recently guest posted on my blog . He is going to be doing another guest post in the next week or two to follow up with part two of the carbohydrate questions and answers so you will want to keep your eyes open for that. I am finding more and more that nutrition (it only took me 39 years) is a big part of how my body is shaped and looks. Information is the key because if we have that we can make the changes we need for the body we want!!


  1. Giving up my sweet caffeine drinks might be too much. Lol i love starbucks fraps and other coffee shop sweet drinks but don't drink them too often.

  2. Wow. You say you're not good with tables and yet you pulled off this post. Very impressive.

    A little depressing though was that my love for Coke is what's making those sweet little love handles grow. (Not that I ever thought it was as healthy as water).

    Thanks for a mind-blowing post that continues to get me thinking as well as challenges me to stay accountable for what I eat and drink...

  3. Hi Heidi!

    I just wanted to thank you for your constant drops and being one of my Top Droppers!

    Have a great day!

  4. Hi Heidi,
    I really enjoy your posts. i can learn more about healthy life.

  5. ABC BBloglearner says...

    Hi there! Very good article here... I never j\knew what the purpose of the nutrients really are fotr the body and your pics are indeed very fit and healthy. What a wonderful mom... and a good model for a child.

    take care and best regards,
    ABC BBloglearner

  6. Revealing stuff, Heidi. Answered a lot of my unanswered questions about love handles--had I been smart enough to ask.

  7. Heidi, you know I love your posts, but you are KILLING me!! I am an absolute carboholic! But I am actually going to get fit day! And you will be the first person I contact!

  8. P.S. Forgot to tell you how much I LOVED and LAUGHED at your visual. Some days I feel just like that Panda.

  9. Haha! Panda love-handles... cute!

  10. Heidi,

    It's great to see the resources you're finding as you pursue enhanced health and fitness! What a great outline to illustrate the importance of protein and fat for structure and function in our body. . . now you know why I'm always insisting that you get enough of these nutrients! :)
    Great post!!

  11. Gotta love the Panda!

    Great post...for years my favorite saying is... all I have to do is look at "Carbs, sugars or sweets: bread, rice, pasta, chips and crackers, cookies, cereal like corn flakes, corn, muffins, pizza crust, and all sweets" and I gain I know why...


  12. Great post Heidi. I am aware that carbohydrates and sugars are the biggest contributors to excess fat. However, it's figuring out the right balance of carbohydrates that I find the toughest.

  13. It's no wonder Americans have become so obese with government subsidies to farmers to grow corn, the institution of the lobbyist inspired food pyramid with a ton of carbs recommended, and the equally inspired public school lunch program. Ever since these things were put into place (combined with sit on your butt technology) people have gotten fatter and fatter over the past few decades. Yes, it is a conspiracy theory complete with big business pharmaceuticals and insurance companies gobbling up record profits from an influx of obese people needing their services. I don't know how it is elsewhere in the world, but that's how things have fallen into place here.

    With carbs being the least necessary part of a diet (except for veggies and fruit, of course) it's just a matter of seeing how low you can go with your ratio. I suppose 40/30/30 (carbs/ protein/ fat) is a good starting point. I personally try to shoot for anything below 50% for my daily carb intake as I tend to be a carboholic myself!

  14. Oh great Heidi, I got answers for the my questions for which I was browsing the internet for last few months, But here, in your post, I got the great answers, I am really happy with it, thousands of thanks to you...great work....I wanna read your other posts and I am your fan now, Thanks again Heidi....


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