Does wearing a sleeveless top make you anxious? Perhaps you would rather hide the sagging skin on your arms with a sweater no matter how hot you are. Bat wings, as they are commonly called, are nothing more than an excess of fat on the back of the arms. The frustrating thing about this fat is that it can be insanely stubborn. However, there are a few things that you can do to regain beautiful muscle tone and abolish your bat wings while getting healthy. You just have to be dedicated and patient.
Why do I have bat wings?
Before we dig into tactics to reduce the fat on the back of your arms, let’s talk a bit about how the wings got there in the first place. Basically, any time we consume more calories than we burn, extra fat develops and settles in someplace. Your caloric needs vary widely and depend on age, gender, activity levels, and current weight. It takes 3,500 extra calories to gain one pound of fat. For instance, if you eat an extra one hundred calories a day, you will hit this target in one month. Fat on the arms can creep up, and it is not until we get ready to put on our favorite tank top and forgo the sweater that we may notice it. Additionally, bat wings tend to develop easily as we age because the quality of the skin is compromised. When we are younger, our skin is tight and has good elasticity. As we age, it becomes thinner and stretches. This excess skin “wiggles in the wind,” so to speak. Hence the name bat wings.
Fix #1 Move in the morning
Perhaps the thought of exercising in the morning does not sound appealing to you. However, the truth is, exercising in the morning will help you sleep better. And better sleep means more weight loss. So, if you want to get rid of your arm flab quickly – exercising in the morning is a must.
Fix #2 Resistance train
Yes, a brisk walk, bike ride, or other cardio workout is great for overall health and wellbeing, but resistance training is where it’s at for weight loss and toning. Resistance training involves working against a force to build muscle mass while increasing strength. The more lean body mass you build, the faster your metabolism will be. Resistance training in the morning will increase the number of calories burned throughout the rest of the day. Bicep curls, overhead presses, upright rows, and tricep extensions are all examples of exercises that can help tone your arms while building muscle mass.
Another great way to train resistance is to use your own body weight. Bodyweight exercises are equally as effective as lifting weights and a more convenient way for many people to resistance train anywhere without the need of a gym or weights. Here are some great bodyweight exercises designed for working your arms and upper body.
Modified planks –Begin in a standard plank position, supporting your elongated body with your elbows. Keeping your abdominal muscles taut, switch to supporting your body with your hands instead of your elbows. Slowly move back down until your elbows are again on the floor. Repeat five to ten times, working your way up to more repetitions as you gain strength.
Push-up arm circles – Move into this exercise as if you were about to do a traditional push-up. Instead, lift one hand off the floor and slowly move your arm in clockwise circles, switching to counterclockwise after about 20 seconds. Lower your hand and repeat on the other side. Repeat five times per side, working up to more repetitions as you feel comfortable. If you begin to slide out of the pushup position, take a break and try again later.
Fix #3 Watch your diet
What does your diet look like? Adding a few more servings of fiber can help get your fat-burning furnaces going. Because fiber runs slowly through the digestive system, it helps to keep you feeling fuller longer. In one study, it was found that each gram of dietary fiber participants consumed resulted in.025% less body fat and 0.5 pounds less body weight over 20 months. Another review found that a daily fiber intake of 14 grams for 4 months resulted in a 10% reduction in total calorie intake and 4.2 pounds of weight loss. This was without any other changes. Some great additions include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains.
Adding additional protein is a great way to keep your appetite regulated and help keep body fat in check. One study found that 20 young female participants who ate high-protein breakfast had reduced hunger and decreased levels of the hormone ghrelin that stimulates hunger. Consuming more quality protein with meals was directly associated with less body fat, which seems to suggest that a high-protein diet may accelerate fat and improve fat loss. Great choices are seafood, eggs, grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, lentils, chickpeas, oats, and chia seeds.
Fix #4 Sleep well
Losing weight and battling your bat wings is only possible when you get enough sleep. Make sure that you are getting plenty of quality zzz’s each night. One study found that men who had just one night of sleep deprivation had great feelings of hunger and elevated levels of ghrelin, the appetite-stimulating hormone.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure a great night’s sleep:
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time each night
- Sleep in a cool and dark room
- Practice deep breathing, gentle stretching, and meditation before bed
- Have a protein-rich snack before bedtime
- Have a warm bath with lavender and Epsom salts before bedtime
- Don’t bring your computer and/or cellphone to bed with you
Fix # 5 Stay hydrated
Drinking more water daily is another important tool to have in your batwing reduction program. According to research, drinking water with meals can promote feelings of fullness, resulting in fewer calories consumed. Water also has a positive impact on metabolism. One study found that drinking 16.9 ounces of water increased metabolic rate by 30% for up to 40 minutes. Beware of sugar-laden drinks, as they can cause you to retain fat. Stick with simple and pure water for best results.
Takeaway: Although there is no such thing as spot reduction – no one specific magic formula for eliminating bat wings – there are many things that you can do to improve your health. The small changes will result in toned arms and an increase in overall health and wellbeing. Stick with it, give your body time to respond, and you will be amazed at the results. Hello, summer and sleeveless tops!