hip dips vs love handles

Hip Dips vs Love Handles: Are They The Same Thing?

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Hip dips and love handles are common fat areas that many individuals struggle to eliminate. Many people mistakenly believe that these two features refer to the same thing. They feel and look very different, but they are a bit similar in terms of their cause, what makes them challenging, and how to permanently get rid of them. In this article, we will talk about everything you need to know about hip dips and love handles.

What are Hip Dips?

Hip dips, also called violin hips or high hips, are indentations on the outer sides of the hips, just below the hip bone. These natural curves create a dip or concave appearance between the hip bone and the upper thigh. Hip dips are not a flaw or abnormality; they are simply a result of the underlying structure of your body. Hip dips are natural and do not require fixing or altering, but some people consider them unattractive.

hip dips

What Causes Hip Dips?

Genetics is the most common cause of hip dips. Your body type is determined by your genes. So, some people have hip dips while others do not. Hip dips are an entirely natural anatomical phenomenon. They develop when the hip bone is higher than the femur, causing muscle and fat to cave inward. A few factors influence the visibility of your hip dips. The skeletal structure of your pelvis, the width of your hips, and your general body fat and muscle distribution will all influence how visible your hip dips are when examined externally.

Anatomy Of Hip Dips

How to Get Rid of Hip Dips?

Hip dips cannot be completely eliminated from the body. However, there are a few solutions available for you if you want to minimize the appearance of hip dips.


Exercising and muscle building can improve hip dips and make them less apparent, but it will not make them disappear. You can practice a few exercises to reduce the appearance of hip dips.

  • Glute bridges
  • Bulgarian split squats
  • Lunges
  • Squats

Running and walking are also good exercises for toning and shaping the legs, and core workouts, particularly those that target the abdominals and obliques, are also beneficial. It will help to shape the waist. Running and walking are also excellent ways to shape the legs, along with core workouts, particularly those that target the abs and obliques. It will help in the shaping of the waist.


Body contouring surgery, also called fat grafting or fat transfer surgery uses liposuction to remove fat from one area of the body such as the stomach, buttocks, or thighs, and inject it into the hip dip area. The grafted fat requires time to adjust to its new place. You may lose 30 to 50 percent of the tissue during the first year. It's important to remember this when deciding how much fat to transfer, and your surgeon can give you recommendations tailored to your physique.

If you don't have enough fat to extract from other parts of the body, synthetic fillers or silicone implants can be used to surgically fill out the hip dip area.


The same fillers used for face rejuvenation and contouring can also be utilized to shape and volumize certain parts of the body. For hip dips, the filler can be used to, fill out the indentations for a smoother, more streamlined profile. Poly-L-Lactic Acid, a synthetic sugar, is used in these injections. The filler works by stimulating the formation of localized collagen in the desired area. It is a non-invasive procedure with the disadvantage of not providing immediate results. These hip dip injections are a complex treatment that requires multiple sessions over six months to achieve the desired results.

Non-Invasive Treatments

Non-invasive treatments like CoolSculpting, Vacuum Therapy, and Emsculpt can help enhance the appearance of hip dips.

  1. CoolSculpting, also known as cryolipolysis, uses controlled cooling to target and reduce excess fat in specific areas, including the hip dips.
  2. Vacuum therapy uses a suction device to stimulate blood flow and collagen production, to improve the skin's texture and contour around the hip region.
  3. Emsculpt uses electromagnetic energy to stimulate muscle contractions, leading to muscle toning and potentially enhancing the appearance of the hip dips.

While these treatments can provide visual improvements and can't change your bone structure. You will need to have follow-up sessions to maintain results. Additionally, it's crucial to have realistic expectations and understand that embracing your natural body shape is an essential part of self-acceptance.

What are Love Handles?

Love handles are excess fat accumulated around the waist and lower back area. They are also called muffin tops. Love handles are bumps or rolls of fat that extend beyond the waistline. They can become more noticeable due to tight clothing, although they are not caused only by tight clothes. Love handles are a sign of excess fat around the abdomen and hips.

What Causes Love Handles?

Love handles are caused by fat accumulation. The body stores fat cells when you consume too many calories or when you do not burn as many calories as you consume. These fat cells become visible over time as they accumulate in specific areas, such as around the waist and hips. Fat can store anywhere in the body, but several factors increase the possibility of fat retention in the areas like hips, abdomen, and lower back.

Some of the factors that cause love handles are as follows:

  • Hormones (particularly high levels of cortisol)
  • Age (belly fat buildup is increasingly common as you get older)
  • High-calorie foods, sweets, and a diet heavy in fats
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Insufficient sleep
  • Overlooked or untreated metabolic problems such as hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, which makes it harder to burn off additional calories

How to Get Rid of Love Handles?

There are multiple ways to lose fat and get rid of stubborn love handles like liposuction, exercise and diet, and advanced non-invasive treatments.


Liposuction tends to be the most effective surgical procedure for love handles. This treatment can eliminate excess fat that is resistant to regular workouts and a good diet, allowing you to successfully reshape your body. Individuals with less noticeable love handles may not require an invasive surgical treatment to attain the desired result.

Exercise and Diet

Getting rid of love handles involves a holistic approach that focuses on overall fat loss and a healthy lifestyle. To effectively target love handles, add a combination of cardiovascular exercises and strength training to your routine.

Cardio exercises, like running, cycling, or swimming, help burn calories and promote fat loss throughout the body. Additionally, engaging in strength training exercises that target the core and oblique muscles, such as bicycle crunches, Russian twists, and side plank dips, can help tone and tighten the waistline.

It's also critical to eat a nutritious diet and avoid consuming more calories than you burn. Combine exercise with a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to effectively reduce love handles and maintain the results.

Non-invasive Treatments

Ultrasonic Cavitation, Radio frequency (RF), and CoolSculpting treatments are effective non-invasive fat reduction procedures that target love handles and promote a slimmer waistline without the need for surgery or needles.

  1. Ultrasonic cavitation utilizes ultrasound waves to break and melt fat cells, leading to the gradual elimination of love handles.  
  2. Radiofrequency (RF) treatment emits focused waves of energy that penetrate the skin, destroying fat cells around the waist. The RF energy also helps tighten and firm the skin, preventing sagging after fat reduction.  
  3. CoolSculpting is a fat-freezing procedure that disrupts and breaks down fat deposits in love handles through advanced cooling technology, causing the fat cells to shrink and eliminate naturally over time.

These treatments don't require incisions, suction, or scars. Minimal downtime allows you to resume your regular activities right after the treatment. Results become visible within weeks as the body naturally eliminates the destroyed fat cells, revealing sleeker contours.

Hip Dips and Love Handles: What’s The Most Difference?

Hip dips are indentations that go down the sides of your hips toward your thighs. Whereas love handles are fat deposits on your torso's sides, beneath your ribs, and above your hips.


Is it normal to have hip dips?

It's a common misperception that having hip dips, or not, reflects how healthy you are. As we have mentioned before that hip dips are related to the structure of your bones, they have nothing to do with your health.

Is liposuction recommended for everyone struggling with love handles? 

While liposuction is an effective surgical procedure for fat removal, it is not suitable for everyone. It is essential to consult with a surgeon to determine whether liposuction is suitable for you. Usually, professionals recommend non-invasive treatments, exercises, and a balanced diet as initial approaches before considering surgical procedures.

Can love handles return?

Yes and no. Maintenance is the key to long-lasting or permanent results. Your lifestyle habits play an essential role. Following a healthy diet and regular exercise can help maintain the results.

Will losing weight through diet and exercise automatically eliminate love handles?

Losing weight through diet and exercise can contribute to reducing love handles, but it does not guarantee their complete elimination. Fat loss occurs throughout the body but certain stubborn fat pockets like love handles can be difficult to remove through diet and exercise.

Can non-invasive treatments completely remove love handles or hip dips?

Non-invasive treatments can help reduce the appearance of love handles, but they cannot completely remove them. Similarly, non-invasive treatments cannot change the natural structure of the pelvis to eliminate hip dips.

Final Thoughts

Hip dips are natural indentations along the sides of the hips, and are not flaws to be corrected but unique features determined by your bone structure. Love handles, on the other hand, are fatty deposits influenced by various factors. While exercises and a healthy diet are essential for overall health, they cannot eliminate hip dips or love handles. So, non-invasive treatments can help enhance the appearance of these features. However, always remember that embracing your individuality and celebrating your unique body shape can lead you toward a more compassionate and empowered relationship with your body, allowing you to thrive in confidence and embrace your natural beauty. Your body is a reflection of your uniqueness and deserves to be celebrated just the way it is.

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