QUESTION: Dear Fun and Fit: Yikes! What do I do for the ole’ lady back???? I have love handles in the back area. I know I need to lose a few pounds but this is a big problem area for me!! Thanks, Terry in Santa Barbara
K: Not loving back fat and love handles eh? Trying to get a handle on them, eh? Wanting to get back at your back fat after all these years eh? Think I’m stalling, hoping a good answer will come to me, eh? Well, for a low low price apparently you can buy green tea which will solve all fat problems. I saw it on the internet so it must be true. I think you rub stinky leaves on yourself and food runs away from you. The skinny on back fat is that it’s fat like all other fat. And like all stored fat, you cannot nuke it or spot reduce. You must reduce overall body fat through cardio and resistance training. Where you hold extra insulation is genetically predisposed. So it could be that you are thin-looking everywhere else with your mom and dad having set you up for life with back fat as the preferred storage area.
Now if you want to get a rebate on those green tea leaves, for a medium to high price I will create advice that trains your back fat to move around to the front and enhance your cleavage. Or we can hire someone to stand behind you and shove any back fat forward and up. So Double Delightful eh?
A: Time for some higher math to create lower fat. One pound of body fat equals 3,500 kcals (calories). To lose one pound of fat, you will have to burn 3,500 kcals. You can do this by eating less and/or moving more. Or you could just drive those extra pounds to a deserted country road and toss them out of the car. Sadly, they have a way of finding their way home! Back to math class–A realistic, sustainable way to get rid of that bad-girl back-fat is to create a 500-kcal deficit per day. 500 kcals X 7 days in a week = 1 pound of fat forever left in the country. That may sound slow, especially if you have more than one pound to lose, but it is still a lot quicker than it took you to put it on, am I right?
K: As you move to caloric deficit and therefore overall fat reduction, spend some dedicated time strength training your upper and middle back muscles. Not only will you develop lean, defined back muscles that will show through once the overall fat is lowered, but also you will no doubt enhance your posture. Good posture always drops a few visual pounds. Key word there was “visual.”
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... I have to confess that this is a problem area for me. I remember when my mom gained weight she also had fat in this area, but when she lost weight, she lost all of it and she was in her 60's... so I guess all is not lost. It's up to me to put in the work...