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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown
Nutritionist

Janet Aylott
Nutritionist

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant

Q.

How do I rid myself of this back fat hanging over my jeans?

Hey, I've always had the problem of having my back fat hanging over my jeans and its driving me mental! last year I lost a bit of weight and got down to 9st but it was still quite prominant and I was just wondering the best way of getting rid of it for good? thankyou :) flic

A.

Our expert says...

 

Hi Flic,
 
To reduce the amount of body fat stored around the middle, there are three key areas to address:
 
1) Fat burning activities
 
 It is essential that you include activities which are going to promote a reduction in body fat.  Cardiovascular training is an effective method for burning calories and training your body to use body fat as fuel.  Cardiovascular training can include walking, running, swimming, cycling, rowing, dancing, pretty much anything that is going to elevate the heart and breathing rate and get the muscles working! 
 
Resistance training is the key to optimising the reduction in body fat so it is important you include this kind of training too.  The development of muscle tone that results from resistance training increases your metabolic rate meaning you burn more body fat, more of the time.   To ensure you get the desired physical changes you are after you need to be working with high repetitions and minimum rest periods.  To do this, set up a circuit with exercises that utilise a combination of major muscle groups (squats, lunges, press ups, rows).  Perform 20 repetitions of each exercise, moving from one to the next quickly and repeat the circuit 2-3 times.  You don't have to be a member of a gym to enable you to perform an effective resistance session - stick to body weight exercises (such as lunges and press ups) if you don't have access to gym equipment.     
 
2) Specific core work
 
An abdominal circuit done up to every other day is an effective start and can be done in 15minutes! Below is an example of such a circuit:
 
Floor crunches: simply have the feet flat on the floor, draw the tummy muscles in and lift the upper body up towards the ceiling, hold for 1 second and then lower under control. Do up to 20 repetitions, although you are looking to fatigue before then so concentrate on slow, quality movements. At the top of each crunch movement, (which wouldn't be a big movement and would not involve your lower back leaving the floor) pause and hold for 1 second while trying to consciously squeeze your abdominal muscles. The most important thing about this exercise is not the repetitions but that you REALLY feel the muscles waking up, working and tiring out!
 
Oblique crunches: same as above but as you lift the body upwards (with hands at ears) take one elbow towards the opposite knee. This will provide a small twist motion. Alternate sides and again look to do a maximum of 20 repetitions.
 
Bicycle crunches: feet off the floor with this one. The elbow comes across the body while the opposite knee comes in to meet in the middle, so you are essentially crunching across the body. Then slowly control on the way down and bring the other elbow and opposing knee into the middle.  Aim NOT to let your legs drift out away from the body too much as it can encourage the lower back to get involved and help out.
 
See if you can manage the 3 exercises above in a circuit-type fashion, so done with minimal (if any) rest between them.
 
3) Nutrition
 
As always nutrition plays a big part in losing weight.  So eat healthily, eat less, move more and be patient as your body starts to utilise the different fat stores around the body.
 
 
Hope this helps,
 
Kelly

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