Bat wings, flabby arms, bingo wings – whatever silly names people use to euphemize the dangly flesh chunk, arm fat is what it is. And although the current world is more accepting than ever with the unique shapes and sizes of bodies, it still gives many the feeling of perturbation in exposing skin, especially when coupled with stylish clothing.
Before we go further, it’s best to know why it’s there in the first place. Knowing its cause and triggers will help us prevent further occurrence of arm fat and ease our way into improving what’s already there.
In reality, reasons could differ between people. Popular belief says that arm fat is the result of the general accumulation of fats due to lifestyle, diet, and physical activity or inactivity – which is partly true. Nonetheless, it’s important to consider that individual bodies may tend to store fat in specific areas, such as arms, which may differ from another.
It’s best to identify first the specific trigger for your bingo wings before you beat yourself up with unnecessary push-ups or dangerously cut down on important calories.
Nonetheless, here are 10 lifestyle techniques that you can try for yourself, and experiment with to identify which techniques work best for your body type.
1. Protein Plate
While cutting down on food intake is the most instinctive thing to do, it’s not the easiest. Some make an effort to slash off some portions of the plate, while some would go harder by actually forgoing important meals.
Studies show drastically skipping meals does more harm than good. And regarding the progress of arm fat improvement, it could prove to be counterproductive.
One technique is to trick your body into being full while still eating the necessities. A protein-heavy diet – which may consist of meat, nuts, soy, dairy, poultry, and seafood – is shown to regulate hunger hormones like Ghrelin and help manage eating habits.
Moreover, good proteins in the body are conducive to muscle growth which, when coupled with quality exercise, improves the fat burning process.
2. Hunger for fiber
You can supplement your protein-heavy diet by adding fiber-rich foods. The presence of fiber in the body also slows down digestion, prolonging the full sensation. Some examples of high-fiber fruits are strawberries, avocados, apples, and bananas – whereas examples of high-fiber veggies include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and beats.
Consuming legumes or almonds, which are rich in both protein and fiber, is like hitting two birds with one stone.
If you think you deserve a small break, fiber-packed dark chocolates are the choice dessert.
3. Do better with water
“Drink more water…
Your skin, your hair, your mind, and your body will thank you.”
Drinking water has to be the simplest solution to losing weight and improving your arm fat, but in no way is it the least effective. Drinking plenty of water helps with your goal in 3 ways:
1) Decreased appetite. – Drinking this before and in-between meals will calibrate your hunger levels;
2) Reduced calorie intake. – Since water has zero calories, drinking water in place of calorie meals and calorie-sodas will reduce the risk of your body storing excess calories as fat;
3) Increased metabolism. – According to studies, drinking water is shown to elevate Resting Energy Expenditure (REE). This effect is enhanced if you’re drinking cold water as the body needs to pump extra energy to heat you back up to normal.
4. Goodbye sugar
Sometimes, the reality is in front of us the whole time, but we just choose to ignore it. This is especially true when reality tells us to skip on our favorite cakes, sodas, ice cream, and bubble teas.
Unfortunately, you can’t argue with science. Sugar makes us fat in different and often synergizing ways.
- It’s jampacked full of empty calories that give you energy but with little to no nutritional value at all;
- It stimulates your brain for cravings and sugar-addiction, which makes you consume more, and
- It makes your pancreas erratic, producing more insulin, leaving you wanting more sugar.
5. The most important meal of the day
Breakfast is considered the optimal time to have a heavy meal. It’s the last meal you should consider skipping if you want to effectively lose weight.
Having a heavy nutritious breakfast not only gives your body substantial energy gain to jumpstart your day. It also helps calibrate your hunger throughout the day.
Consuming calories early in the day ensures that they will be fully utilized by the multiple activities you do. Skipping breakfast and loading up during lunch, or worse during dinner puts you at risk to store those calories as fats.
6. Go for cardio
Quality and consistent cardio routines are effective measures you can incorporate into your lifestyle. A study recommends around 2.5 to 5 hours of cardio a week is optimal, as some studies have shown that excessive cardio may indirectly lead to unfavorable outcomes.
Jogging or using mechanized jogging equipment are the most common forms of cardio. However, you can choose to adopt hobbies such as biking, swimming, and dancing, as well.
7. See the bigger picture
After you’re comfortable with cardio, it’s best to supplement heart-pumping physical activity with resistance training (also called strength or weight training).
People with fat concentrated on specific parts of their body such as the arms, stomach, or waist, believe that localized training (also called spot reduction) is the solution.
A trial experiment debunked the idea of spot reduction. This implies that it’s more efficient to engage with the full routine for resistance training and following through with spot reduction exercises on the side.
8. Mind your sleep
The examples above show active measures such as diet control and physical activity, but passive measures such as getting quality sleep are just as important.
Having a few all-nighters aren’t so bad. But consistent sleep deprivation is a serious conversation. Being short on the snoozes may either compel you to get some sugary sweets to make up for the uneasy feeling, or worse may mess with your vital hormones such as Cortisol and Insulin, which are relevant to your goal.
9. Be on the clock
Once you’ve figured out which techniques work for you, then you should set your mind to stick with it. It’s imperative to make achievable and time-bound commitments to ensure consistency of results. Self-initiatives such as jogging every other morning; applying Meatless Mondays and Cheat Day Fridays; and getting to bed before 10 are practical schemes that will help you progress to more advanced and more effective courses.
10. Do everything at a comfortable pace
The most important thing is to proceed at your own pace and be consistent with it. Everybody wants to improve but only a few ever realize that improvement is a journey. And for those that think that losing arm fat can be achieved through an overnight quick fix, they risk falling out of disappointment, or resort to dangerous and counterproductive maneuvers.
If you’re just starting, do the simplest ones first like drinking plenty of water and getting quality sleep. With a regularly refreshed mind and body, you can warm up to physical exercises and stringent dieting.