The American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that the number of women who had arm lifts to reduce excessive sagging and fat pockets increased by nearly 5,000% between 2000 and 2016. An upward trend number of referrals shows that arm fat (or, the body fat that’s around your arms) is a concern for some women in the United States, but what is it? reallywhy do women do the procedure the most and how do you lose arm fat?
“In general, men have more lean body mass, so they tend to have less body fat overall,” says Shana Maleeff, MA, RD. And while genetic makeup and disposition determine how much fat you have and where you store it, men tend to store fat in their stomachs, while women often store fat in multiple places, including on your stomach. their arms.
There is also a strong hormonal component to fat deposits, which is why more women may have arm fat. “Your biological sex characteristics will have a lot to say about where your body stores fat, and the arms are an area where fat is more common in women than men,” says Caroline Grainger, ISSA-certified personal trainer at FitnessTrainer Online Personal Trainers. .
Since women tend to have lower testosterone levels than men, building muscle can also be a more extensive process. “Pair this with stress, poor diet, lack of sleep, weight fluctuations due to pregnancy and/or menopause and genetics – these things are a recipe for fat to settle in the arms” , says Megan Johnson McCullough, Ed.D , certified physical trainer.
How long does it take to lose arm fat?
First, fat is an essential nutrient that our body needs. “Every cell in your body is made up of at least some part of it, and it’s essential for things like healthy metabolism, regulating temperature, and protecting your organs from damage,” says Grainger. Additionally, having too little body fat could be a health issue because enough body fat keeps the body warm, protects vital organs and helps lower cholesterol levels and heart function, Maleeff adds.
Maintaining a healthy weight can help your body function better and protect you against various diseases, and you can do this by finding the right balance between your diet and your caloric needs. How long it takes to lose excess fat depends on consistency, diligence in a healthy lifestyle, genetics, weight loss, and the amount and type of exercise.
“The typical person can lose fat in 4-6 weeks after specific training and diet,” says McCullough. “More calories produced than taken in over that time will lead to results.”
So what’s the best way to lose arm fat?
Many experts believe that the best approach to losing arm fat is an overall weight loss strategy that includes a balanced diet, resistance training, and healthy lifestyle choices. “The body will choose where it stores fat and loses weight,” says Maleeff. “These factors cannot be controlled.” Nor is there any exercise or diet that burns fat from one area over others.. However, you can make healthier lifestyle choices to reduce overall body fat and increase muscle mass.
“Healthy weight loss is distributed evenly throughout the body and occurs at a rate of about a half pound to two pounds per week,” says Maleeff. If your goal is to shed arm fat, you should aim for your overall body weight and fat percentage, adds Grainger.
Even if you don’t like working out, there are several ways to slim down and tone your arms.
1. Try a low-calorie diet
To lose weight, you will need to eat and drink less than you burn. The calories – or units of energy – you burn in a day are used to keep your body functioning at rest (resting energy expenditure), digesting and metabolizing food (thermal food effect), and helping you move ( activity energy expenditure). If you’re providing your body with fewer calories than it needs to support these three functions, you’re putting your body into a calorie deficit, which can lead to weight loss. Speak with your doctor or RDN to determine exactly how many calories you should consume and burn per day.
2. Cut down on refined sugars
Although sugary drinks and cookies are so tasty, a diet high in refined sugar can contribute to prolonged increases in blood sugar and insulin resistance, which are linked to weight gain and overweight. of body fat.
“Avoiding high-fat foods, processed foods, refined sugars, and excessive consumption of nutrient-deficient carbohydrates can boost metabolism for arm fat loss,” McCullough says. Instead, include lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains in your daily menu. “A good rule of thumb is to aim for your plate to be 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat,” adds Maleeff.
3. Fill up on fiber
Adding more fiber to your diet helps you stay full longer, which helps you cut back on snacking throughout the day. Fibrous foods can help with weight loss because they slow digestion and help stabilize your blood sugar, Maleeff says. Broccoli, beans, berries, avocado, apples, and whole grains are all high in fiber, so you should definitely consider adding them to your daily menu. (Plus, they’re delicious!)
4. Try lifting weights
“The best way to lose arm fat is to replace it with muscle tissue,” says celebrity fitness trainer Ramona Braganza. Building muscle will allow the body to become more efficient at keeping fat storage low, as the energy provided by fat fuels muscle tissue even while the body sleeps.
Braganza recommends strength training to reduce arm fat and build muscle. “While bodyweight exercise also has benefits, I find it less effective at building muscle tissue. To build muscle, muscle fibers have to tear and repair themselves, which usually requires lifting more heavy,” she said.
You’ll want to target the arm muscles, including the biceps, triceps, and deltoid (shoulder) muscles. Push-ups, pull-ups, chest presses, bicep curls, tricep extensions, and lateral raises help tone arm muscles.
5. Do cardio
Cardiovascular exercise is another way to lose weight. Long walks, running, cycling, swimming, and rowing are great choices. Although the amount of calories each person burns in any given day varies, Daniel jumpscertified personal trainer and founder of Train with Dannysay that while walking can burn up to 300-500 calories in an hour, and running can burn the same amount in about half the time.
You can also look for small opportunities throughout the day to take more steps, such as parking further from the grocery store, standing while you work, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. “It will make a huge difference in the number of calories you burn,” he says.
6. Drink more water
Hydration is one of the most overlooked factors when it comes to weight loss, Maleeff says. “Being dehydrated can slow down your metabolism,” she explains. “Drinking enough water is very important for keeping your metabolism running efficiently, in addition to helping control cravings when we confuse hunger with the need for water.”
Even as little as 3 percent dehydration can wreak havoc on delicate systems trying to operate at peak performance, like regulating our metabolism and digestions, Braganza says. In general, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine suggest that women receive a total of about 2.7 liters of fluid and men about 3.7 liters per day. And it doesn’t have to include just water. Whole, nutritious foods and beverages count towards your fluid intake. Try a motivating water bottle for better hydration!
7. Sleep better
Even sleeping more can help with weight loss. “Too little sleep triggers a spike in cortisol, which signals your body to conserve energy instead of releasing it,” Braganza explains. Sleep deprivation can also reduce the amount of fat that is burned at night.
A study Posted in BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine found that people who slept less than 7 hours a night had an increased risk of developing obesity (the study also looked at BMI, which is a problematic health measure, but found an important hormonal link to loss weight). Lack of adequate sleep has led to increased levels of ghrelin (a gut hormone that triggers the hunger response), salt retention and inflammatory markers, as well as decreased levels of leptin (a hormone that inhibits hunger) and insulin sensitivity.
Sleep deprivation can also increase food cravings. “When we’re sleep deprived, we tend to make food choices that aren’t healthy, craving foods high in salt and sugar,” Maleeff says.
The bottom line
Overall, weight loss in all its forms comes down to eating a balanced diet, maintaining an adequate amount of exercise, and living a healthy lifestyle. Having fat in your arms is normal. If you want to learn more about weight loss, consult a health care professional for the proper routine that’s right for your body type, age, gender, lifestyle, and goals.
Currently Associate Editor at Prevention.com, Nicol is a Manhattan-based journalist specializing in health, wellness, beauty, fashion, business and lifestyle. Her work has been published in Women’s Health, Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day, Houston Chronicle, Business Insider, INSIDER, Everyday Health, and more. When Nicol isn’t writing, she loves trying new workout classes, testing the latest face mask, and traveling. Follow her on Instagram for the latest health, wellness and lifestyle news.
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