Dear Fun and Fit: Yikes! What do I do for the ole’ lady back? I have love handles in the back area. I know I need to lose a few pounds, but this is a big problem area for me.
— Terry in Santa Barbara
Kymberly: Not loving back fat and love handles, eh? Trying to get a handle on them, eh? Wanting to get back at your back fat after all these years, eh? Think I’m stalling, hoping a good answer will come to me, eh? Well, for a low, low price, apparently you can buy green tea, which will solve all fat problems. I saw it on the Internet, so it must be true. I think you rub stinky leaves on yourself and food runs away from you.
The skinny on back fat is that it’s fat like all other fat. And like all stored fat, you can’t nuke it or spot reduce. You must reduce overall body fat through cardio and resistance training. Where you hold extra insulation is genetically predisposed. So it could be that you’re thin-looking everywhere else with your mom and dad having set you up for life with back fat as the preferred storage area.
Now, if you want to get a rebate on those green tea leaves, for a medium to high price I will create advice that trains your back fat to move around to the front and enhance your cleavage. Or we can hire someone to stand behind you and shove any back fat forward and up. So Double D-elightful, eh?
Alexandra: Time for some higher math to create lower fat. One pound of body fat equals 3,500 kcals (calories). To lose one pound of fat, you will have to burn 3,500 kcals. You can do this by eating less and/or moving more. Or you could just drive those extra pounds to a deserted country road and toss them out of the car. Sadly, they have a way of finding their way home!
Back to math class. A realistic, sustainable way to get rid of that bad-girl back fat is to create a 500-kcal deficit per day. 500 kcals x 7 days in a week = 1 pound of fat forever left in the country. That may sound slow, especially if you have more than one pound to lose, but it’s still a lot quicker than it took you to put it on, am I right?
K: As you move to caloric deficit and therefore overall fat reduction, spend some dedicated time strength training your upper and middle back muscles. Not only will you develop lean, defined back muscles that will show through once the overall fat is lowered, but you will no doubt enhance your posture. Good posture always drops a few visual pounds. Keyword there was “visual.”
By the way, you can save yourself that lonely country drive Alexandra mentions if you simply give the back fat you found back to the ole’ lady. We’ll back you up that you’re too young for old lady fat.
Readers: What is your secret source of fat frustration? Where is the first place you find fat and the last place you lose it?
— Identical twins and fitness pros Kymberly Williams-Evans and Alexandra Williams have been in the fitness industry since the first aerobics studio opened on the European continent. They teach, write, edit, emcee and present their programs worldwide on land, sea and airwaves. They co-write Fun and Fit: Q and A with K and A. You can currently find them in action leading classes in Santa Barbara and Goleta. Kymberly is the former faculty minor adviser at UCSB for its fitness instruction degree offered through the Department of Exercise & Sport Studies; Alexandra serves as an instructor and master teacher for the program. Fun and Fit answers real questions from real people, so please send your comments and questions to email@example.com.