Lots of people work hard to get rid of fat around their gut, thighs, and arms. These are all great goals, but there’s another problem area you should consider: your back. It’s easy to ignore back fat because you probably don’t see your own back very often. There are some simple steps you can take to tone your muscles and eliminate back fat.
Step 1: Change Your Eating Habits
The two leading causes of back fat are a poor diet and lack of exercise. So, to eliminate your back fat, you should start by evaluating your nutrition habits.
Eat the Right Foods
You can lose fat quickly just by eating the right foods. Western diets tend to be full of processed foods and excess sugar. If you want to lose fat, you must cut these out (or at least cut back) right away. One easy fix is to drink water instead of sodas. Another is ditch deserts like cakes, and sweets and then be wary of consuming too many “bad” carbohydrates such as white bread, breakfast cereals, and french fries. You should avoid fried foods altogether and instead use healthier methods of cooking, such as baking. Finally, to consume less sugar, you should eat carbohydrates that are low on the glycemic index.
Increase Your Fiber Intake
Fiber is the indigestible part of fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods. When combined with water in your digestive system, fiber acts like a sponge. Eating enough fiber will cleanse your intestines and helps food move through your body more quickly and efficiently.
Good Examples of Fiber-Rich Foods Include:
- Legumes (lentils, dry beans, and peas)
- Brown rice
- Whole grains (wheat, oats, and barley)
Note: Adding additional fiber to your diet will likely help you lose weight gradually and improve your health. Rapidly increasing the amount of fiber you consume may result in gas or diarrhea.
Also, be sure to drink plenty of fluids as you’re adding more fiber to your diet. While fiber helps your digestive system typically, without adequate fluids, it can cause constipation instead of helping eliminate it.
Eat the Right Fiber
Add More Low-Fat Protein to Your Diet
Protein helps build, maintain, and repair your muscle tissues. Healthy muscles are essential for fat-burning since it helps increase your body’s metabolism. A faster metabolism helps you burn more calories and lose fat. You can also increase your metabolism and minimize fat storage by eating 5-6 small meals spaced throughout the day.
To ensure that you stay on track, clean out all the unhealthy food from your cupboards, and replace it with healthy alternatives. Replace all the fatty and sugary foods with more healthy substitutions like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other high-fiber foods.
Step 2: Get Your Heart Pumping
A healthy diet is essential for fat loss, but it’s only one part of the equation. To lose back fat, you also need to exercise.
Walk Off Your Back Fat
Walking can be one of the best forms of exercise. You will raise your oxygen intake, causing your body to burn stored fat. Walking also strengthens your muscles, helping tone, and shape your body. This increased muscle mass also boosts your metabolism, so you can burn calories long after you stop moving.
Additionally, you can break your walking up throughout your day. You don’t have to get going for one long walk, actually doing a few short walks will better raise your metabolism throughout your day. Although, there is also a benefit of a long walk if you get your heart rate up into the fat burning zone during your walk.
How You Can Optimize Your Walks
While any form of walking burns calories and improves your muscle definition, here are some tips to get the most from your walk. Concentrate on these main tips while planning your walk:
- Choose long distance over speed. You will find it’s better to walk at a steady pace rather than to walk too quickly and have to quit early. Once your fitness level improves, you should gradually increase your speed to continue to challenge yourself.
- Head for the hills. To help build your muscles, alternate your inclines. Try walking up stairs, bleachers, or hills.
- Warm up slowly. Start your walks at a slow, comfortable pace to get your body warmed up. If you start too briskly, you risk burning only the immediate sugar supply in your body rather than the stored fat that you want to lose.
The Life-Changing Benefits of Cardio
You can gain a lot of amazing benefits from walking or implementing other regular cardio (aerobic) exercise. Cardio can help you:
- Strengthen your muscles that are involved in respiration, helping facilitate the flow of air in and out of your lungs
- Increase the total number of red blood cells in your body, which improves the flow of oxygen throughout your body
- Strengthen and enlarge your heart muscle, improving its pumping efficiency and lowering your resting heart rate
- Lower your blood pressure
- Increase blood flow through your muscles with the neovascularization of the muscle sarcomeres
- Improve your balance
- Tone muscles throughout your body
- Increase your endurance by optimizing the storage of energy molecules such as fats and carbohydrates within your muscles
- Increase the speed at which aerobic metabolism is activated within your muscles, allowing you to generate more energy aerobically for intense exercise
- Improve your muscles’ ability to use fats during exercise, preserving intramuscular glycogen
- Speed up your recovery from high-intensity exercise
- Reduce your stress levels
- Increase your energy levels
- Reduce your risk for many diseases, including but not limited to:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- High Cholesterol
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Heart Disease
As an additional bonus, you can stay younger. According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, you can delay your biological aging by up to twelve years if you maintain your aerobic fitness!
Step 3: Manage Your Stress
Reducing your stress is not just right for your mental health; it’s also good for your physique. Stress is counterproductive to your weight loss goals because it can shut down your digestive system. You’re also more likely to overeat when you’re stressed. Stress can make you crave fattening foods such as pasta, bread, and potatoes. Many starchy foods stimulate the production of serotonin, a chemical that makes you feel good. Instead of reaching for donuts, go for lean turkey or bananas, which can also raise your serotonin levels.
Step 4: Add “Iron” to Your Diet
Iron supplements are great and can benefit your health, but there’s another type of “iron” you can add to your diet: weight lifting. Increasing your muscle mass raises your metabolic rate, so you can burn more calories even while you sleep.
You can slim down by focusing on your back through resistance training. A well-developed upper back gives you the coveted V-shape that makes your waist and hips look slimmer. Also, strengthening your back can help you improve your posture. Your parents were right: when you stand up straight, you look 10 pounds lighter.
How to Get Rid of Back Fat Dumbbell Workouts
There are multiple exercises you can do in a gym or health club to tone your back. To follow the K.I.S.S. Principle (keep it simple and sexy), here are four simple exercises you can do in as little as 40 minutes. You can get amazing results by following this workout just once a week.
Two-Arm Dumbbell Rows
- Start with your knees slightly bent, feet shoulder-width apart, and your core tightened.
- Then, bend forward at your waist and keep your core engaged by lifting your chest. Let your arms hang fully extended, so the dumbbells are at shin level.
- While exhaling, pull your elbows (and the dumbbells) up as far as possible, without moving your chest or the bend at your waist. As you do lift, squeeze your middle back muscles like you are trying to crush a tennis ball between your shoulder blades.
- Lower the dumbbells to the down position and repeat 8-12 times. Perform 3 to 4 sets.
One-Arm Dumbbell Rows
- Start in a staggered stance and bend your knees.
- Bend forward at your waist, supporting your body with one hand on a bench or your knee. While keeping your core tight and position your back and head to be nearly parallel with the floor. Hold your dumbbell straight down.
- Lift your shoulder blade and your elbow to draw the weight up until your hand is parallel with your torso.
- Slowly lower the dumbbell.
- Repeat with one arm for 8-12 repetitions.
- Switch to your other hand and repeat the exercise for the same number of reps.
- Repeat for a total of 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions for each arm.
You should rest at least 30-second rest between sets. If you are doing the exercise correctly, you will feel this exercise primarily in your back, not your arms. Choose a weight heavy enough that you start to tire around the eighth repetition. Remember to stop if you feel pain, and pain is different from muscle fatigue.
- Hold the dumbbells with your arms at your side and your palms facing in toward your body.
- Now shrug your shoulders in an upward movement, contracting your traps and holding the move at the top. Do NOT roll your shoulders.
- Lower your shoulders and repeat for 10-12 repetitions. Aim for four sets, and stop if you feel pain.
Rear Deltoid Flies
- Sit on the edge of a bench. Hold light weights in each hand behind your knees and lean forward from your hips, keeping your back flat.
- Tuck your chin into your chest. Keep your back straight and your core tight.
- Raise your arms to the sides, gradually bending your elbows as they come up.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- Pause at the top of the extension and then slowly lower your arms back to the starting position.
Work up to 4 sets of 8-12 repetitions each. Try not to rest more than 20-30 seconds between sets.
So You Know How to Get Rid of Back Fat
Anyone who tells you they have a body area specific fat reduction plan, you should be a little weary. When your body burns fat it will burn fat everywhere. However, you can burn fat and build muscle that will reduce the appearance of fat in certain areas. You will need to do it all to really get the body you desire which includes: diet, cardio, weight training and also don’t stress about it. Once you start you will feel great and it will all become more and more fun.