First, let’s first look at what causes arm fat to accumulate. Unfortunately for women, one of the many things we have to look forward to as we age is a metabolic rate and testosterone decrease which can result in the storage of unwanted fat, especially if you aren’t physically active.
Here are some of the things you can do to help rid yourself of that excess…
Up your fibre & protein intake:
Fibre takes a lot longer to be digested than other food, which means it also increases the length of time that you feel full. The same goes for protein; including more protein in your diet will also make you feel fuller for longer and limits the amount of ghrelin in your body (the hunger hormone); protein will also help you to build more muscle and to improve your metabolism. Try eating more high protein foods such as beans, lean meat, green veggies and nuts.
Cut down on carbs:
Carbohydrates aren’t the worst thing for us but eating only refined carbs, won’t help us with our weight loss goals. In fact, they are likely to increase our chances of whole body weight gain. Once the carbs are processed, the end product pretty much leaves us with refined carbohydrates lacking in all of the good vitamins our body craves. The carbs can cause a spike in blood sugar which can also make us hungrier, so it’s best to try and avoid refined carbs altogether including white bread and pasta, which might sound hard, but will help with weight gain in the long run.
Cut down on sugar:
I think it’s universally understood that sugar isn’t exactly the best thing for us. Food high in sugar content will definitely make it harder for us to shed the extra fat on our arms, so the best thing you could do is ditch the sugary drinks (soft drinks, sugary juices), the baked goods (pastries, cakes) and various cereals and replace them with home-made drinks and snacks with a much lower sugar content. For example, try making your own juices from real fruit at home, or ditch the cereal in favour of a bowl of porridge with some berries on top, because we all know a healthy diet is they key to successful weight loss.
We quite literally need to make sure we are getting our beauty sleep! Sleep deprivation directly correlates to higher levels of ghrelin, which means you’re far more likely to snack throughout the day. To prevent this, it’s recommended that we try to get between 8-9 hours sleep a day and that we try to adopt a regular sleeping pattern by going to bed at the same time every night.
Counting calories can be very beneficial in helping to keep you on track to your weight loss goals. To save your extra calories from storing as fat, it might be a good idea to eat less calories than you need which will make them far easier for you to burn. The recommended amount of calories to burn each week is 3,500 which sounds like a lot, but if you are keeping track of your calorie intake, is definitely achievable.
Drink plenty of water:
Water is awesome! Not only will it quench our thirst and stop us from drinking sugary beverages like soft drinks & juice but will also make you feel full if eaten with food, thus replacing unwanted and unnecessary calories.
Increase your cardio:
It might not feel like it, but a good cardio workout is your friend! Fitting more cardio into your workout routine will elevate your heart rate which as a result, will burn more of your calories. Spot weight loss does exist, but research has proven that whole body weight loss will be far more beneficial and successful, rather than focusing on burning arm fat alone. It’s also been suggested that incorporating between 20 – 40 minutes of cardio a day, will improve your chances of fat loss. It doesn’t just have to be running either, you can even try rowing, biking or skipping!
Pick up the weights:
There are plenty of simple exercises you can do which will help you with your problem area. Hiit training is a great way to up the heart rate, build lean muscle and target full body fat, otherwise there are a few great exercises you can do to improve muscle tone and target flabby arms.
Just some of the best exercises to help you build muscle and lose arm fat include:
- Tricep dips
- Pull ups
- Push ups using your own bodyweight
- Strength training with weights, resistance bands, dumbbells & kettle bells
Outside of cardio, we should definitely be working on toning our arm muscles! Health & fitness blogger Chloe Ting has her own variation of arm workouts which will definitely target that pesky arm flab and will help to mould your arms to your ideal shape and size. The best thing about Chloe’s workout is that there’s no need to have a full on professional gym in your own home, because the entire workout is done with no equipment!
If you do have the equipment available, feel free to pick up some light dumbbells and add them to the workout to challenge yourself and to increase the likelihood of gaining muscle.
Chloe makes a point of emphasising that these arm workouts, although great for toning upper arms and building upper body strength altogether, will not on their own, successfully help you to shed arm fat or build muscle mass and are best combined with other weight loss workouts from her YouTube catalogue. For some great fat burning workouts, follow the link through to Chloe’s Youtube channel!