Ughhh! Flabby arms, bat wings and the jiggle that keeps on waving long after you’ve said your goodbye’s. Underarm fat can be embarrassing and tough to tame for many women.
Fortunately, we’ve got the steps to help you beat unsightly arm jiggle, for good. Follow them and soon you’ll be stepping out in sleeveless tops with confidence without starving yourself or cranking out thousands of useless arm exercises.
#1. Spot-reduction doesn’t work!
If there’s one message to take away from this article, this is it. Spot reducing – targeting an area with specific toning or fat burning exercises – is futile. Is it better than doing nothing at all? Sure, but it’s a woefully ineffective way of losing weight.
Why? It’s not how the body burns fat. Physiology dictates that when we lose fat we do so from all-over, not from the trouble-spots on your arms, or anywhere else for that matter (think muffin top & love handles).
Common arm exercises like triceps kickbacks and bicep curls are fine and you can use them, but for fast fat loss results base your workouts around movements which use large muscle groups – think squats, lunges, chest presses, dips, shoulder presses and dumbbell rows. You’ll turbocharge your results, including from your arms in half the time, guaranteed.
Try this! Here’s a great little workout you can do from home which uses full body moves, plus arm exercises to strengthen and burn fat.
Remember: You cannot tone a muscle. A muscle may only get smaller or larger. The illusion of definition comes from decreasing body fat and/or increasing muscle size. This applies to all muscles, including those found in the arm!
#2. ‘HIIT’ arm fat where it hurts!
It’s not just weight training that can trim the fat off your arms. Cardio is great, too. After all, you oxidize and breathe-out most of the fat you lose!
Any exercise which gets your blood pumping is great, but for quick results, look to add some high intensity interval training (HIIT) to your routine. It’s been proven to accelerate fat burn both during and after your workouts, and in much less time too.
Next time you go for a jog, intersperse some fast tempo running. Something like 1 min jog, 15 seconds fast run, and repeat. This slow-fast training style can be made to suit any fitness level by altering your work:rest ratio. Naturally, your own fitness level will dictate your starting point. The bottom line is don’t be afraid to break up your steady-state exercise to work up a sweat, even if its just for a short time!
It’s not just about interval training, either. Any exercise is good exercise. The more you move, the more calories you’ll burn and while this doesn’t give you free-reign to splurge, it does give you to the freedom to be able to enjoy the foods you love more often, guilt free.
3. Arm your diet with fat-fighting foods!
If you think getting trim, toned arms is all about noshing on just salads and celery sticks, you’re not going to get far. The only thing you’ll lose by filling your plate with greens is your motivation. You need some protein, too!
Thanks to it’s thermogenic and metabolism-boosting effects, you can trim fat and build muscle without even trying just by adding fat burning foods like tuna, ham, salmon, turkey, cheese, eggs and goats cheese to salads and veggies. Add more power with fiber-rich foods like carrots, blueberries, capsicum, cucumber and mushrooms.
As for carbs, there’s a good reason why donuts are shaped like a zero, their nutritional value sucks. These refined carbohydrates – think bagels, white bread/rice, pastries, pancakes and muffins – are broken down quickly, spiking insulin levels, before being converted to glucose and stored as fat. The same goes for processed foods high in sugar and the liquid calories in alcohol and fizzy drinks.
At each meal aim to fill a third of your plate with lean protein, and the remaining two-thirds with low-GI carbs (most fruit and veggies). Also, don’t be afraid of healthy fats like avocado, nuts, eggs, cheese and olive oil. Add in a few healthy snacks (nut bars, cheese & crackers, tuna tins, yogurts, frozen veggies + hummus) and you’re good to go!
#5. Balance your hormones!
Fat on the back of your upper arms can be a sign that you aren’t producing enough testosterone. It’s not just a male hormone, women produce it too, albeit in smaller amounts. It’s what gives us muscle strength and libido.
However, after menopause a woman can experience up to a 50% decrease in testosterone between her 20’s and 40’s, which can lead to fatigue and low sex-drive. Follow these 3 easy steps for an easy fix:
Boost omega 3: You’ve probably heard of the power of healthy fats, but did you know they’re needed for healthy testosterone production? You can find them in abundance in oily fish like sardines, tuna, salmon and mackerel. Aim to eat them at least once a week, along with some white fish varieties twice a week.
Ditch the sugar: Maintain healthy testosterone levels by cutting back on sugar and refined carbohydrates. High blood sugar decreases testosterone production, so swap things like white bread and pasta for their wholemeal/grain alternatives. Things like quinoa, spelt are great as are sweet potatoes.
Pump some iron: We covered this one above, but it bears repeating. Placing your bones and muscles under stress, causes the muscles to signal cells for more energy and testosterone. Get active with weights or your own body-weight for 30 minutes 3 times a week.