Burning Arm Fat: What to Know Before Hitting the Gym

Dr, Donna Restivo

Posted on July 31 2017

Arm fat can leave you feeling self-conscious about your body. You may be hesitant to wear swimsuits and short-sleeved shirts, even if you’re headed to the beach on a hot summer day. There’s plenty of information available about burning arm fat. Many of the suggestions revolve around exercise and strength training. But before you hit the gym, you should know a few things about how we lose weight.

 

You Lose Fat Proportionally

Don’t worry. You can still get rid of your arm fat, but most studies suggest that targeting specific areas to reduce fat, or “spot reduction,” doesn’t work. When you burn fat, you lose it proportionally all over your body. The shape of your body won’t necessarily change, but the size of your body will.

For example, if you have excess fat on your arms, your thighs, and around your midsection, you’ll burn fat in all those places simultaneously as you continue to lose weight. The muscle cells in your arms cannot use nearby fat cells as a direct fuel source. The energy stored in your fat cells must first be broken down before it enters the blood stream and is used.

At our Mahopac NY weight loss clinic, we know that eating a healthy diet and getting some physical activity is still the best way to lose fat all over your body, whether it’s on your arms or elsewhere.

 

Lifting Hand Weights Isn’t Enough

Keeping muscle on your body can help you maintain your metabolism. While doing a little strength training in your arms is a great idea, lifting a few dumbbells won’t help much with burning arm fat if you aren’t eating healthier and exercising your whole body.

If you’re interested in strength training, exercise all of your major muscle groups, not just your arms. Building more muscle all over your body will allow you to lose weight more effectively. Give yourself two days to recover after strength workouts, and don’t forget to go for a walk or go for a light jog to get some cardio. You don’t have to do excessive amounts of exercise to lose weight, but exercise is important for maintaining your heart and circulatory health.

 

Diet Plays a Bigger Role than Dumbbells

Eating a healthy diet is still the best way to lose weight, wherever it is on your body. Many people get frustrated with their arms because the fat seems to remain while the rest of them get slimmer. Don’t let this deter you from eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

Where fat gets stored and the rate at which is diminishes depends largely on your genetics, your body shape, and even your sex. Men typically store more fat around their mid-sections while women store fat in their thighs, arms, and hips. These factors also determine how your fat is reduced as you maintain healthy lifestyle choices.

Just because your arms are still hanging on to fat while the rest of you is slimming down, doesn’t mean they will continue to do so forever. We keep our Mahopac NY weight loss clients eating nutrient-rich, low-fat meals and encourage them to stick to their exercise routines, and we’ve seen their bellies, thighs, and arms shrink very quickly.

 

Arms Change as You Age

Keep in mind that, as you get older, your muscles will atrophy and add to the skin hanging down from your arms. This natural process can’t be reversed, but eating healthy foods and exercising your body can help to maintain some firmness in your arms and legs.


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