Fight flab

Fighting 40s Flab

Fight flab

From the WebMD Archives

It ranks right up there with “the check is in the mail,” “the dog ate my homework,” and “I will never lie to the American people.” Of course, we're talking about “It isn't me, it's my metabolism.”

Well, if you're over age 40, the oldest cop-out in the book may have some truth to it after all. Yes Virginia, you really can blame it on your metabolism.

But only a little.

Even if you're sitting or lying down while reading this article, your body is still burning calories; the rate at which it does so is called your resting metabolic rate. As you age, your metabolism tends to decelerate by about 5% for every decade of life past age 40, so that if your resting metabolic rate is, say, 1,200 calories per day at age 40, it will be around 1,140 at age 50.

“At age 40 to maintain your weight, that is to not gain weight, you're going to have to eat 100 calories less a day, and that has nothing to do with anything other than the natural course of aging.

That means your resting metabolic rate,” Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Weight Management Center and associate director of the UPMC Nutrition Center in Pittsburgh, tells WebMD.

But metabolism is really only a small part of the story. Age and life tend to conspire against us in the battle to lose weight over 40, Fernstrom says.

“As we age, our lives become more complicated, whether it's with children, with work, with aging parents, and so we have less time really to be more physically active and pay attention to what we're eating. Food is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in large portions that are relatively economical and so food is always around, and we tend to have more mindless eating and cut down on activities,” she says.

When it comes to pinning blame on changes in metabolism there are handful of prime suspects, says Pamela Peeke, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, who specializes in nutrition and stress, particularly among adults on the far side of 40.

“Metabolism is based upon three different factors,” Peeke tells WebMD. “The first factor is genetics. We're good, but we can't fudge with that yet — give us time, however.

“Number two is thyroid function, and interestingly enough, here's where we get gender specificity. Women have much greater thyroid issues than men, by a at least 10 to 1, and it's quite gradual, so women may find that they're losing some of that metabolic edge during their 40s also because thyroid issues begin to spring up.”

The third factor affecting metabolism, Peeke says, is muscle mass. In the 40s and beyond, “lifestyle changes rather dramatically and it's sort of a keen grasp of the obvious that everyone's sitting on their butts. So what's happening is if you don't use it, you lose it, and in your 40s you don't just lose it, it melts.”

Recent research suggests that women on average will lose muscle mass twice as fast as men the same age, and that can make a huge difference in their ability to lose or at least maintain weight, Peeke says. Muscle is far more “metabolically active” than fat, meaning that lean, more muscular people have an easier time burning calories at rest than to people with higher proportions of body fat.

“Let's say I've worked out at the gym and I have a new pound on board, or, for that matter, I take an old muscle mass on me that's untrained and now I train it and preserve that pound. That muscle mass may now burn between 35 to 50 calories extra a day, versus the same pound of fat, which would burn anywhere from 5-10 calories a day.

“So it's extremely important to know that muscle is very metabolically active and that you don't want to lose it.

That being said, a typical can man can lose over the course of the age of 30 through the age of 50 anywhere between 5 and 10 pounds of muscle mass.

A woman could definitely lose that — that's a given because she, through repeated dieting and decreased physical activity, will lose that,” Peeke says.

Of course, if you wait long enough, say about 25 years, the weight gains that started to accelerate may begin to reverse themselves, says a researcher who studies metabolism in people in their 70s, 80s, and beyond.

“People tend to gain weight steadily, on average — not everybody — and get more fat and tend to lose lean mass up to about age 65, and then what happens is that there's a downward trend: Now people start to kind of slowly lose weight — again, not everybody, but the trend is that as you get older — the general population I see is in the 70s and 80s — they tend to lose weight,” says Michi Yukawa, MD, MPH, acting instructor in the department of medicine and the division of gerontology and geriatric medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle.

“Why they lose that is the topic of my research. It may be various hormonal changes, metabolic changes, and the fact that they just don't eat as much as they used to. They lose their appetite, which can be due to a variety of factors, such as stress, loss of spouses and friends, money issues, or many other things.”

But you don't have to wait for age to take its course, Fernstrom says.

“Even if we do have a small, let's say, biological sabotage built in, it does not mean everyone is destined to gain weight as they grow older. It's sort of an old wives' tale that you'll gain 30 or 40 pounds as you continue through middle age — it can easily happen, but it's very easy to offset the change in metabolic rate,” she tells WebMD.

“For most people that's going to be 100 calories a day approximately, and, you know, you look at 100 calories, if you are overconsuming just that 100 calories, you can gain 10 pounds in a year if you are sync 100 calories a day. So you don't have to have a lot of extra calories to have what I call weight creep.”

Regular exercise is also key to getting metabolism back on your side, Peeke adds.

“The kind of physical activity that people are choosing to do in their 40s is nowhere near as intense as it's supposed to be.

So to get over that metabolic speed bump we ask for an increase in intensity on the part of these happy campers. What does that mean? Instead of walking on the flat, throw in some hills.

Ramp up the resistance on your resistance training, or for that matter the resistance on a cross-trainer. It's all the same.”

SOURCES: Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, director of the University of PittsburghMedical Center Weight Management Center and associate director of the UPMCNutrition Center in Pittsburgh.

Pamela Peeke, MD, assistant clinical professorof medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.

Michi Yukawa, MD, MPH, acting instructor, department of medicine, division ofgerontology and geriatric medicine at the University of Washington inSeattle.

© 2006 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.


Weight loss tips: 20 ways to fight belly flab

Fight flab

Sign up for our newsletter


Belly Flab Fighter #1: Eat Good Fat

Believe it or not, following a low-fat diet is not the best way to reduce belly flab. “People who have a big middle do not respond well to a low-fat diet,” says Mehmet Oz, M.D., Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University and host of The Dr. Oz Show. To reduce belly flab, Dr.

Oz advises avoiding refined carbohydrates that are low in fat ( white rice) and can have a yo-yo effect on blood sugar. Instead, add “good fat” foods, olive oil, avocado and sea bass. Dr.

Oz recommends toasting Ezekiel bread (or another sprouted 100-percent whole grain bread) and topping it with avocado, olive oil, lemon and chili flakes for a belly fat-fighting meal or snack.

Belly Flab Fighter #2: Eat Your Binge Food Every

Yes, you read that right, eating the food you crave the most, even if it’s high-fat, could help you finally beat your belly-busting cravings for good.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who were served their favorite mac-n-cheese meal every day for five days, five weeks in a row, ate less and less of it, and actually consumed about 100 calories less than those who only ate it twice, one week apart (those women actually ate more of it the second time it was served). Consuming formerly off-limits foods may help lessen their appeal, curb cravings (and major diet binges) to slim down your belly permanently. Try eating a small amount of your ‘trigger’ food daily. Knowing that you can eat it again the next day could help you eat less. Chocolate anyone?

Belly Flab Fighter #3: Diet Every Other Day

A recent study led by Krista Varady, Ph.D.

, an assistant professor of kinesiology and nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago, found that people eating 25 percent fewer calories every other day lost up to 30 pounds in only eight weeks.

Make it work for you by taking in 1,200 to 1,500 calories one day, and then eating as you normally do the next. Don’t overdo it on your “off days” and sabotage yourself, though. And keep up your weekly exercise routine.

Belly Flab Fighter #4: Stop Doing Crunches

No matter how many crunches you do, it won’t help reduce the fat around your belly. That’s why Yegyan, a holistic health practitioner and physique conditioning specialist in Tualatin, Ore., recommends exercising only the large muscle groups of your body.

“Your abs are a very small amount of muscle, while your legs, back, chest and shoulders are all larger muscle complexes and burn many times more calories in the same amount of time that you spend on an abs workout.

” Instead of crunching, stand up and do multi-muscle group moves such as overhead presses, squats, planks and push-ups to burn more calories during your strength workouts to reduce belly fat more efficiently.

Belly Flab Fighter #5: Crank Up the Cardio

While strength training certainly has its benefits, when it comes to reducing belly fat, your best bet is aerobic exercise, say researchers from Duke University.

A recent study found that resistance training alone had little effect on eliminating belly flab, while aerobic exercise burned 67 percent more calories for study participants and significantly reduced their abdominal fat. Study participants ran an equivalent of 12 miles per week to achieve these results.

If your goal is to shed your muffin top quickly, first focus on adding aerobic exercise (four or five days a week) to burn more calories, and then add in resistance training on alternate days to help add definition and shape to your body.

A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.

“,”author”:null,”date_published”:null,”lead_image_url”:””,”dek”:null,”next_page_url”:null,”url”:”″,”domain”:””,”excerpt”:”Belly Flab Fighter #1: Eat Good FatBelieve it or not, following a low-fat diet is not the best way to reduce belly flab. “People who have a big middle do not respond well to a low-fat diet,” says…”,”word_count”:613,”direction”:”ltr”,”total_pages”:1,”rendered_pages”:1}


Fighting the flab

Fight flab
Jun 3rd 2010

Hamilton Heights, Harlem

ALBERT and Derick, sixth-graders, happily scoffed their salads during a recent Harlem lunchtime. Ignoring the fork, Albert used his fingers to eat green pepper wedges.

Derick didn't much his veggie burger—“too much ketchup”, which he carefully wiped off with a napkin. He then swigged a tiny carton of low-fat milk.

Chanel, though, turned up her nose at the healthy lunch, preferring instead to eat the lunch she brought to school in a bag, a packet of crisps and some biscuits.

Feeding schoolchildren is big business; the federally funded National School Lunch Programme provides free or reduced-cost lunches to 30m children across America each day. But the recession means that a growing number of children are eligible for subsidised meals; and healthy food, alas, can cost more than the salt-, fat- and sugar-laden variety.

So in March the Senate Agriculture Committee unveiled the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, a bipartisan-backed bill that provides $4.5 billion for children's nutrition, including more money for school lunches, over the next ten years.

This legislation will allow more poor children to enrol in the lunch programme and will make the lunches healthier—less pizza and more salads. The new bill, it is hoped, will help meet Barack Obama's pledge to end childhood hunger by 2015.

This $4.5 billion, though the largest investment in federal child nutrition ever, falls short of Mr Obama's proposal to spend $10 billion over ten years. The bill allows for an increase of only six cents per meal; not enough, according to Kirsten Gillibrand, New York's junior senator. She wants a 70-cent increase and $4 billion each year.

The funding is badly needed. One in three American children is overweight or obese. Obesity is even affecting national security: a recent report estimates that 27% of Americans of recruitment age are “too fat to fight”.

The new bill would mean more fresh fruit and vegetable purchases, a boost for Michelle Obama's “Let's Move” campaign against obesity.

The White House is determined to wipe out childhood obesity within a generation, and Mr Obama set up his own task-force as part of “Let's Move”.

It released a 124-page report on May 11th with 70 recommendations, including better federal nutrition standards and more funding for school meals.

Its battle against fat begins before birth: it advises women to watch their weight during pregnancy and encourages them to breastfeed.

The task-force is calling on the private sector to do its part too. On May 17th Mrs Obama announced that the members of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation—food firms including Kellogg's, Mars and PepsiCo—have pledged to cut 1.

5 trillion calories from their products by the end of 2015. It will be an uphill struggle.

During lunchtime at one Harlem school's cafeteria The Economist spotted a fizzy drink being passed around a table—covered in brown paper so the teachers wouldn't see.

This article appeared in the United States section of the print edition under the headline “Fighting the flab”

Reuse this contentThe Trust Project


5 Fruits to Fight Flab

Fight flab

Mother Nature's candy is by far the most conflicting food when it comes to losing weight. For one thing, American adults don't eat the recommended daily amount of fruit (about two servings), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

However, healthy women trying to lose body fat sometimes eat too much, says Melina Jampolis, MD, author of The No-Time-to-Lose Diet: The Busy Person's Guide to Permanent Weight Loss (Thomas Nelson, 2008). “Eating too much of anything, including fruit, will either cause weight gain or prevent weight loss,” says Jampolis.

So should you keep your fruit bowl full or empty?

Thanks for watching!

Fruit and Fat Loss

The amount of fruit sugar (fructose) varies from fruit to fruit and may have some adverse metabolic effects, such as a decrease in fat burning, explains Jampolis.

“However, the benefits of fruit (low calories, high fiber, water and nutrient content) outweigh the adverse effects in most people.

But if you are having trouble losing weight and can't figure out why, limiting your fruit intake may help.”

Firstly, it's important to differentiate between naturally occurring sugar and added sugar. Most experts recommend a minimum of 130 grams of total carbs per day, including fruits and whole grains.

“In general, no more than 10 percent of your calories should come from added sugars found in products sweetened beverages, sauces and dressings,” says Jampolis. While fruit does not contain added sugars, if you are trying to lose weight, limiting your sugar intake is key, and this means no more than two servings of fruit per day.

That's a medium banana and a half cup of berries. But if you're active and do not have excess belly fat, you can go up to three or four servings a day, says Jampolis.

Thanks for watching!Thanks for watching!

Besides sugar, the total number of calories also counts. Fruit contains almost three times the calories per serving as most nonstarchy vegetables, so don't consider fruit a “free food” (where the calories don't matter), as you may unknowingly consume up to 250 extra calories per day.

“This may prevent you from losing one pound of fat every two weeks,” explains Jampolis. Avoid dried fruit, fruit cups and fruit juice, since they're higher in calories and typically lower in fiber than fresh or frozen fruit. For effective weight loss, stick with fresh or frozen fruit only.

And remember, while natural sugar is healthier than refined sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, it still contains the same number of calories per serving (four per gram).

Slim Pickings

Some fruit pack hidden, weight-loss and fat-burning potential. Add these to salads, stir into yogurt, whirl into a smoothie or eat hand.

  1. Apples contain pectin, a great source of dietary fiber, which keeps you full longer and helps in weight loss. DAILY RX: Dip a few slices in natural peanut butter for a mid-morning snack.
  2. Cranberries have antimicrobial properties that render E. coli bacteria harmless, warding off kidney and urinary tract infections. DAILY RX: Mix a few into your morning oatmeal with chopped walnuts. Add 1/2 of raw honey to tame the tartness, if desired.
  3. Berries contain soluble fiber, which slows digestion and helps to reduce body fat buildup. DAILY RX: Toss a handful into a protein shake or mix into a Greek yogurt parfait.
  4. Grapefruit contains nootkatone, a naturally-occurring energy booster, which may help increase fat burning. DAILY RX: Garnish a warm chicken breast salad with several slices.
  5. Persimmons contain six grams of fiber per fruit, twice the amount as apples. DAILY RX: Eat one per day, and try it with the skin intact.


Those who diet with a friend are more ly to maintain their loss

Fight flab

  • Nearly half the women polled (over 40%) give up on a diet after 7 days
  • 71% said they were more ly to lose weight when joining with friends
  • With weight loss over 10lbs, 15% more achieved it dieting with others
  • Inspiration from a friend's loss and not wanting to let them down cited as reasons for dieting success

By Katy Winter

Published: 14:35 BST, 4 December 2013 | Updated: 14:49 BST, 4 December 2013

The majority of women said they were more ly to diet successfully with others

Friends who slim together have more chance of staying thin for longer, according to a new report yesterday.

A survey in the UK, backed up by research in the US, has revealed that women who diet alone have only a one in five chance of keeping the pounds off for a month or more.

However, those slimming with friends have at least a one in three chance of continuing to stick to a diet and keeping the weight off for four weeks or longer.

A nationwide survey found that just over 40 per cent of female dieters said when they attempted to lose weight alone, they gave up on average after 7 days. A further 22 per cent said they lasted a fortnight before succumbing to temptation.

But 71 per cent of those questioned said they were more ly to lose weight and stick to a healthy eating programme for longer when joining with friends, rather than dieting alone.

The survey of 2,000 UK women who have dieted with friends also found that people lose more pounds by slimming with pals than on their own. When looking at a weight loss of over 10lbs, 15 per cent more people said they achieved this when dieting with friends, than when dieting by themselves.

Half of all women (50 per cent) polled also said that they didn't want to let their friend down, so were less ly to give in or cheat than when they're dieting on their own. Just under half (44 per cent) also said they found the support of weighing in together helpful in achieving their weight loss goal.

Almost seven in 10 women who had dieted both with friends and alone said a plan was easier to stick to if they could discuss aspects of it with a weightloss buddy.

The most important areas for discussion were; how they're feeling, how to increase exercise, meal planning, how to avoid temptation and what they'll do when they lose the weight.

Some 15 per cent more people said they achieved a weight loss of over 10lbs when dieting with friends

Women also admitted to experiencing a touch of the green eyed monster when a friend loses weight; almost 40 per cent of those questioned confessed to feeling envious about a friend's weight loss.

This envy can also prove to be motivating though, as over 64 per cent claimed to have been inspired to lose weight after a friend had done so.

When asked why a friend's success at shedding the pounds was inspirational, two thirds (60 per cent) said that seeing a mate lose weight made them realise that they could do it too, while almost half said it was because they feared being seen as the 'fat friend'.

Angharad Massie a spokeswoman for Weight Watchers, who conducted the survey, said: 'We think it is quite significant that this research indicates that losing weight with friends or family will help you to make a long-term lifestyle change — 72 per cent of women feel that healthy eating is more ly to become a way of life if their friends are doing it too.

'This demonstrates the power of group support where you can talk about experiences and share ideas to stay motivated. This latest research reinforces the fact that you lose significantly more weight than people who try to lose weight on their own. This really does show that when it comes to losing weight, doing it together is better.'

Read more:

  • Read more stories this…


More Fight The Flab!

Fight flab

How To Lose the Useless Items that Weigh Down Your Day (Part 2)

I promised that this second installment would deal with cellphone calls. Cellphones are useful, but they can also be extremely distracting. You don’t want to stop genuinely useful calls reaching you. You do want to exclude calls that will waste your time.

It’s important to bear this central principle in mind: accept what you cannot change (your boss calling you, for example), but never do anything that will make the problem worse. That means three things:

  • Filtering as many calls as possible, so you get to choose which ones you answer immediately.
  • Working to “train” ly callers to leave messages. This means always calling back. No one will leave a message they think you’ll simply ignore. It also helps to include something in your answering message to let them know when your return call will come. If you make a practice of returning all calls before the end of the business day, say so.
  • Trying not to waste time when you either take a call or return one from earlier. Be prepared before you call and stick to the topic.

The single most important way to save time with cellphones is to organize to receive calls on your schedule as much as possible. When people call you, they expect an immediate response, so you have to try to prevent them reaching you directly whenever you can.

  • Filter all calls, exactly as you should with any other telephone. Because a cellphone suggests urgency by its nature, even people who rigorously filter their land-line calls will answer anyone who calls their cellphone. This is a bad mistake. It’s just another phone, people. Treat it as such.
  • Keep your cellphone switched off as much as possible, sending calls to that answering service. Check it regularly (always on your schedule) and prioritize returning calls in the same way as e-mails.
  • If the phone is on, try to get a service that includes Caller ID. Look to see who’s calling and don’t answer if you don’t have to. If you’re anxious about what the message might be, check with the answering service immediately. If it isn’t urgent (and at least 95% won’t be), leave it alone and get on with what you are doing.
  • If you have to answer, listen carefully to the request and decide if it’s urgent enough to interrupt what you’re doing. If it isn’t, say you’re tied up right now and will get back to the caller later. You can give a time, if you . “I’m tied up now, but I’ll call you back around 2:30 p.m.”
  • If the caller says it will only take a moment, don’t give in. Repeat that you’re busy and will call back. Never give in to someone else’s impatience without an overwhelming reason.
  • Never give your cellphone number on your main phone answering message, even if you say it’s for emergencies only. Make sure you restrict knowledge of your cellphone number as much as you can, preferably just to those people who might genuinely need to have it for an emergency, and don’t give it to anyone else. Make them wait.

It’s going to feel hard at first. People will complain. They’re used to the immediate gratification of getting you to stop what you’re doing to attend to their needs. But, in time, they’ll get the message. Remember that 95% or more of what they want can wait, with no harm done.

One final point. If you want people to take your attempts to deal professionally with cellphone communication, always practice what you preach. Don’t interrupt others unless it’s essential. Leave clear, helpful messages. And don’t use your business cellphone for the subject that fills most of our airwaves: gossip.

P.S. Our survey over on Slow Leadership is still open. Please give us your thoughts, if you haven’t done so already. Here’s the link. If we can get a large enough sample, we’ll be able to persuade the wider media to take notice of the movement to make work more civilized. Thanks.

Adrian Savage is an Englishman and a retired business executive who lives in Tucson, Arizona. You can read his serious thoughts most days at Slow Leadership, the site for anyone who wants to bring back the taste, zest and satisfaction to leadership; and his crazier ones at The Coyote Within.


Follow these 5 motivating tips to fight the flab this World Anti-Obesity Day

Fight flab

Having followed the run-of-the-mill ideas for shedding weight, today on World Anti-Obesity Day, we thought of speaking with a nutritionist who could give us a rather realistic way of fighting obesity. Ritika Samaddar, Nutritionist, New Delhi gives you a low-down on how you could lose weight or fight obesity starting today.

It is a familiar story for all of us: we pledge to join a gym and stop eating all that is unhealthy and count every last calorie. But very soon, we end up eating cupcakes at that newly-opened bakery nearby or we are gobbling down pizzas and pastas and grabbing happy-hour mojitos, thinking that our diet is over.

Also read: New study: Why a high-fat diet is bad for your heart

Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is important not just for the overall health but also to help prevent and control many diseases and conditions.

If a person is overweight or obese, he is at a higher risk of developing serious health conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, stones, breathing problems, and certain types of cancers.

Hence, it is important to maintain a healthy weight, as it not only helps lower your risk for developing such problems, but also helps you feel good about yourself, and gives you more energy to enjoy life. It is important for people to understand why an improved lifestyle is as important as changing one's diet plan.

This World Anti-Obesity Day, we bring to you five tips that are at the top of our list as being the most effective on your journey to reshaping yourself.

Create a successful environment: It is important for a person to realize that in order to be successful in any nutrition program, one needs to create an environment with little or no temptations to sway.

For example: when it comes to your favourite deserts or dishes – if it is in your house, you are going to eat it. Period.

One needs to remove such “cheat/reward” foods from the house, workplace, secret stashes and should only be allowed to consume these on their “cheat/reward/break” day.

Also read: From fat to fit: Bhumi Pednekar gained, and then lost, 30kg

Start moving: Movement of any kind will help you along your journey.

Get moving during the breaks of your favorite TV shows, dance on a medley of your favourite songs, go on walk dates, all this can be done if exercising the normal way is not your thing – anything that gets your heart rate up and makes you feel somewhat breathless will do the trick. Walking alone, however, has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to optimise fat-burning. Your Goal should be 10,000 steps each day.

Maintain a munch-book: Practice portion controlling by writing down or maintaining a log of what you have eaten and how much you have eaten. One can also start with simple modifications such as including nuts almonds, for between-meals snacking, in their routine.

Almonds are rich in protein, vitamin E, fibre, riboflavin and many other essential nutrients that contribute to a wholesome and healthy life. In fact, these nuts are considered to be a satiating food item for weight watchers as they are high in fiber and protein.

Infact, an interesting study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that study participants consuming 43 grams of dry-roasted, lightly salted almonds every day experienced reduced hunger and improved dietary vitamin E and monounsaturated (good) fat intake without increasing body weight.

Also read: Slimming down with a low-fat diet? Forget it

Keep yourself hydrated: Water may be the easiest, yet the most overlooked weight-loss tool.

While everyone knows drinking water is essential for survival, what they do not know is only slightly less important is consistently drinking the right amount of water, through the day, every day.

Water is essential for our wellness and weight-loss success. By keeping hydrated, you also boost your metabolism rate, which in-turn triggers weight-loss.

Eat a hearty breakfast: Eating a healthy breakfast speeds up your metabolism and makes it work harder. The foods you eat at breakfast are very important for weight loss.

The right kind such as: eggs, fruits, whole grain toast or cereal, or oats can keep you satiated and energised for the whole morning, and make it less ly that you will splurge on treats later on.

The wrong kinds such as sugary cereals, juice and others can leave you feeling hungry sooner, or high fat meals bacon, fried eggs, etc. add unnecessary fat to your diet.


Horrified over batwing arms? Fight the flab – Health –

Fight flab

What can you do to firm up flabby arms and slim down fat feet? How do you know if you’re injured — or just really sore? Smart Fitness answers your workout queries.

Have an exercise question? To e-mail us, click here . We’ll post select answers in future columns.

Q: How can I shape up my unsightly batwing arms?

A: The flab that’s hanging from your upper arms is ly the combined result of excess body fat and poor muscle tone, says Diane Vives, a personal trainer in Austin, Texas, and spokesperson for the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

So to make those bat wings fly away, your fitness regimen should focus on both cardiovascular exercise and strength-training.

While you can’t exercise to lose weight in just your arms, cardio will help you burn fat all over — including the arms. How much cardio you need for weight loss is highly dependent on how much food you eat, so take a hard look at your diet, advises Vives.

“You can work out one to two hours a day, sleep eight hours, and 14 hours put junk in the body – it’s just not going to help,” she says.

To lose a pound of fat, you need to create a deficit of 3,500 calories through diet and exercise.

How much exercise? The new physical activity guidelines from the federal government note that many people wanting to lose significant amounts of weight will need to get more than 300 minutes of moderate physical activity a week.

Vives believes that most people wanting to lose weight will need 45 to 60 minutes a day of activity, ideally vigorous activity (if you’re sedentary, though, start slowly and build up).

As for strength-training, you’ll need to shape up both your triceps and biceps, says Vives. Push-ups are a good exercise that target both and can be done either on the ground or against a wall or countertop (for beginners), she notes.

Other exercises she recommends adding to the mix include standing cable presses, biceps curls and the overhead shoulder press.

Aim to strength-train two or three days a week, says Vives, and with each exercise do two to three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.

Q: What exercise is recommended for fat ankles and feet?

A: The same exercise that’s recommended for fat arms, fat thighs and fat bellies: fat-burning cardio.

If you’ve got fat feet, we’re assuming you’re overweight pretty much all over (if that’s not the case, or your feet are actually swollen rather than fat, be sure to consult your doctor).

So just as you can’t spot reduce your backside, for instance, you can’t spot reduce your feet either, says Vives. You need an overall weight-loss plan that includes a healthful diet and aerobic activity.

Q: How do I know if I'm just sore or really injured? I have been exercising six days a week for three months now. I've lost 40 pounds so far. However, lately, I am experiencing EXTREME pain in my quads.

At one point, about two weeks ago, I trained with a trainer who had me do several squats with weights. I've done squats before, but not to this extreme. I was in a lot of pain afterward but figured it was because it was a tough workout.

I seemed to have healed until recently, when I did a normal amount of squats and am experiencing that same extreme pain I did weeks ago — but from a fraction of the workout.

I've tried soaking, moist heat pads, muscle-relaxers, anti-inflammatories, yet I can't seem to make it better. It's now hindering my workouts — please help!

A: It’s not unusual to feel a little sore after a strength workout, particularly if you’re trying a new activity or one you haven’t done in awhile, but it’s not normal to feel “extreme” pain, says Dr. Christopher D. Harner, medical director of the Center for Sports Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

So get yourself to a sports-medicine specialist for an evaluation. It’s possible you could have a stress fracture, severe muscle strain or another problem, says Harner.

“Red flags for any active person to remember are both the duration and degree of pain, anywhere in the body,” he says. When pain persists for more than a week and does not go away, even when resting, consult a doctor to find out why.

“,”author”:”Jacqueline Stenson”,”date_published”:”2008-10-30T22:41:04.000Z”,”lead_image_url”:””,”dek”:null,”next_page_url”:null,”url”:””,”domain”:””,”excerpt”:”What can you do to firm up flabby arms and slim down fat feet? How do you know if you’re injured — or just really sore? Smart Fitness answers your workout queries.”,”word_count”:744,”direction”:”ltr”,”total_pages”:1,”rendered_pages”:1}


The 4 different types of obesity… and how to best combat them to lose weight

Fight flab

PEOPLE don't all gain weight for the same reason.

In fact, scientists now believe that obesity can be split into four distinct categories, why people gain weight and which treatments might work best for them.

Not all obesity is the sameCredit: Getty – Contributor

They looked at the success of weight loss surgery among 2,400 obese people in the states and found that the results indicate four main types of obesity.

And that's lead to them to conclude that there “isn't one magic bullet for obesity”, with a greater need for better, personalised solutions.

The Brown University experts, who published the study in the journal Obesity, haven't yet named the four groups, but they've found certain characteristics for each one.

Group one was defined by the fact that most people had high levels of sugar in their blood and low levels of “good” cholesterol; the vast majority were diabetic.

The vast majority in the first group, which was characterised by high blood glucose levels, had diabetesCredit: Getty – Contributor

Group two were united in their unhealthy eating habits, with nearly 40 per cent suffering from a binge eating disorder.

The third group, surprisingly, had very few negative eating habits despite their vast weight.

Just seven per cent of them reported eating when they were not hungry, compared to 37 per cent in the first group, 92 per cent in the second and 29 in the fourth. Nothing else really defined them.

The last set was made up of people who had been obese since they were kids.

People who were obese as kids had the highest BMIs of allCredit: Alamy

That group was not only the heaviest by the time they were 18, with an average BMI of 32 (30 is the obesity threshold), but also the highest pre-surgery BMI, averaging at 58 compared to the other groups' 45.

“A child who becomes very obese by age five is going to be very different from someone who gradually gains weight over time and at age 65 is obese,” said lead author and epidemiologist Alison Field.

Obesity is a collection of problems, not one homogenous condition

This research confirms the fact that we can't treat everyone who is overweight the same – because they haven't gained weight for the same reasons.

Field went on: “There probably isn't one magic bullet for obesity – if there is a magic bullet, it's going to be different for different groups of people.

“We need to recognise this diversity, as it may help us to develop more personalised approaches to treating obesity.”

Brown University have identified four main types of obesity:

Group one: Diabetes

  • low levels of “good” cholesterol
  • high levels of blood sugar
  • 98 per cent of people in this group had diabetes

Group two: Disordered eating

  • people have problems binge eating disorder
  • 60 per cent said they couldn't control what they ate
  • 92 per cent reported eating when they weren't hungry

Group three: Mixed

  • low levels of disordered eating (only 7 per cent said they ate when not hungry)
  • no other distinguishing factors

Group four: Early onset

  • obese since childhood
  • had the highest BMI (average of 32) by the age of 18
  • highest pre-surgery BMI of 58 (25 is healthy, 30 is obese)

How to treat different forms of obesity

Two groups – the disordered eating set and the mixed set – benefited most from having weight loss surgery, the study found.

Those with unhealthy eating habits lost the most amount of weight, with an average of 28.5 per cent for men and 33.3 per cent for women.

Some of the patients analysed had a gastric bypass, which involves using surgical staples to create a small pouch at the top of the stomach which then makes the person feel fuller and absorb fewer calories.

Others had a gastric band, which involves the insertion of a silicone ring to create a small pouch.

Field said she hoped the findings would help professionals to identify the patients who would most benefit from weight-loss surgery.

“One of the reasons why we haven't had stronger findings in the field of obesity research is that we're classifying all of these people as the same.

“It may very well be there are some incredibly effective strategies out there for preventing or treating obesity.

Obesity and coronavirus: is obesity a risk factor for Covid-19?Age and weight are 'biggest risk factors for severe coronavirus'Being obese ‘increases your risk of deadly coronavirus’, docs warnAround half of Brits eat meals THREE times the size of healthy portionsWe have an obesity epidemic — stigma is a useful tool in the fight against itMum of 18st teen says she ‘didn’t realise’ he was obese until his hip collapsedIt's too easy to blame 'those horrible Tories' for life expectancy fallingMPs call for supermarkets to put sweets on top shelf to tackle childhood obesityBen & Jerry's maker to stop advertising ice cream to kids to tackle obesityDon’t eat after 6pm – it increases your risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes

“But when you mix patients of different groups together, it dilutes the effect.”

She suggested that knowing which type of obesity someone was living with would help also to prescribe specific coping mechanisms.

Someone who becomes overstimulated by the sight or smell of food might benefit from learning mindfulness…but that probably won't work for those who tend to eat when they're not actually hungry.

We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at or call 0207 782 4368. You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours