Got arm pit fat? Back fat? Bat wings? Or even a little jiggle around the tummy?
‘Tis the season for strapless dresses and bathing suits. A lot of us want to cover up because we aren’t comfortable with certain parts of our bodies due to this fat stuff.
I can totally relate. I mentioned to you before about my obsessive focus on my thighs and stomach. As women we tend to notice certain body parts at different times in our lives and even for each season.
I remember the first time I noticed the arm pit fat (the fat between your boob and arm) at my brother-in-law’s wedding a few years ago.
At the time, I was training for a triathlon, feeling strong and lean, but whoa, where the heck did this armpit p_ _ _ _ come from? (You can fill in the blanks…this phrase is courtesy of my friend, Laura Belgray).
I’m asked all the time about how to lose fat especially in those tricky spots.
“What should I eat to get rid of fat? “
“What exercises should I do?”
“Is there any hope?”
The first thing to note is that spot reduction is extremely hard to do. The best advice I can give is to realize that losing fat has to happen everywhere on your body. You can target certain areas, but according to many fitness experts and trainers, you need to lose fat EVERYWHERE first.
Here are 3 ways to do that:
1. Cardio…and weights. Interval training is best. I recommend moving your cute tushy at least 4-5 times a week with 45 minutes – 1 hour of running, eliptical, swimming, or biking. Take up a boot camp where you can combine cardio with strength training, too.
If the armpit fat is your target area, check out my girl, Liz DiAlto’s video where she demonstrates the top 4 exercises you need to do for this area. Think pushups.
Watch the exercise vid: Armpit Fat Be Gone!
And my fitness friend, Nichole Kellerman, has a great workout video targeting the “bat wings.”
Watch the exercise vid: Get Rid of Arm Wings
2. Fuel body every 3 hours and eat clean. Sometimes we think if we don’t eat, we’ll lose fat. Nope! Your body goes into panic mode so it will hold onto every ounce of fat to protect you. Your body is very primitive; back in the old days you might need your body to protect you from wild animals or go for days without food.
When your cortisol levels rise because you have to fit into a bathing suit for your beach getaway, your body thinks you are being attacked and wants to hold onto fat for protection. It doesn’t know that you are just worried about how you will look in a bikini or if your arms are wiggly.
I’ll go more into what to eat next week, but for starters, begin by eating every 3 hours to keep your metabolism boosted. That way you can burn more fat.
Here are some snack ideas:
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Oatmeal with blueberries, walnuts, flax, almond milk and cinnamon. Your body burns twice as many calories breaking down whole foods (especially those rich in fiber such as oatmeal and brown rice) than processed foods. Also, cinnamon is rated one of the top fat burning spices due to helping your body metabolize sugar. So sprinkle that magic on your oatmeal, smoothies, even in tea.
I continue to be obsessed with my GF Banana Oat Muffins. Make these in addition to the oatmeal.
- Apple slices with nut butter. Apples are high in pectin, which binds with water and limits the amount of fat your cells can absorb. And the nut butter (I’m an almond butter freak) provides a good protein for after workouts.
3. Let go.
Sometimes when you don’t focus constantly on something, the issue goes away. This is a work in progress for me as I was used to picking apart each body part so now I’m practicing just doing what makes me feel strong and sexy and letting go of the rest.
Remember the stress and focus (worry) can raise your cortisol levels and actually prevent you from losing fat.
The practice of “letting go” happens each day for me. There have been times lately that I postponed wearing tank tops at the gym or putting on my favorite Athleta strapless dress because I got caught up with obsessing. That’s no fun and really not very sexy. So reminding myself that I’m absolutely awesome and letting go puts things back into perspective. And I get to feel great in that dress, too!
What do you enjoy doing to keep in shape? Any pointers for those “trouble spots” are welcomed.
PS. For Part II of this blog series, I’ll share my top fat burning foods and some quick recipes next week. Woo hoo!