Bothered by Back Fat

Dear Fun & Fit: 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!!

Santa Barbara, CA

Terry, you are not alone. Lots of women (and a few men, I imagine) have spent hours twisting around to look in the mirror, convinced that bit o’ fat (let’s call it bit o’ honey to be sweet) is ginormous and flopping around in public.

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 it’s all your parents’ fault, just like everything else that occurs in life that needs a home for the blame!

Here’s the magic math: 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! 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?

As you move to caloric deficit and therefore overall fat reduction, spend some 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 will also most assuredly enhance your posture. Good posture always drops a few visual pounds. Key word there was “visual.”

So…cardio (movement), strength training and fewer daily kcals, got it? And stand up straight, will ya?

Alexandra Williams

Alexandra Williams, MA (counseling) is one-half of humorous expert fitness advice columnists, Fun and Fit, which she writes with her identical twin sister, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA.

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