Are you ready to say goodbye to that muffin top once and for all? Muffins are deliciously moist and fluffy, but they’re made to be eaten not worn around our waist! Like any other area of your body you try to spot target, the most efficient approach to burning fat (and keeping it off) requires consistent and strategic exercise programming along with healthy lifestyle habits. Let’s get into them!
1. Train your posterior chain at least three times per week. When you think of back fat, you might only be visualizing the space behind your hips. But really, your entire backside from the back of the neck, to shoulders, to lats, to glutes all help to give your back its structure and shape. The more frequently you incorporate exercises designed to strengthen these areas, the faster you will burn fat and sculpt a lean back. Be sure to diversify your training program with a variety of back exercises that work pulling motions in all directions. Some of my favorites are single and double arm rows, pull-ups, deadlifts, and farmer carries.
2. Prioritize your sleep routine to regulate hormones. What most people don’t realize is just how powerful the role sleep and recovery play in our ability to burn fat and maintain a healthy metabolism. Whereas most people assume we’re burning the most fat during our workouts, our bodies actually maximize fat burn capacity at night when we’re asleep! Sleep is our body’s time to reset, recover, and repair. So the more quality and quantity sleep our bodies get, the more benefits we reap from regular exercise and a healthy diet. When we consistently don’t get the rest we need, our bodies live in an elevated state of higher stress, driving hormones like cortisol through the roof, causing our bodies to hold onto fat as it attempt to protect itself from perceived danger. The survival-mode hinders the natural process of fat burning to happen. You can begin optimizing your sleep routine with simple steps such as setting a regular bedtime and wake up time, winding down away from technology and blue light an hour before bed, and adding a few minutes of meditation into your day to actively diffuse daily stress.
3. Decrease processed & inflammatory foods from diet. Foods that come in packages, boxes, or that are factory-produced in mass amounts do more harm to the body than the instantly gratifying salty sweet taste they provide when we’re in the snacking mood. Processed foods are filled with empty calories, meaning high calorie with little to no nutritional value. Because processed foods are made for convenience and ease, they’re packed with cheap, mechanical ingredients that are essentially designed to get you to overeat, leading to more fat and weight gain. Everything from chips, cookies, granola bars, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages also contain ingredients that tend to inflame the body and distress the gut. Gluten, dairy, hydrogenated oils (such as canola, soybean, vegetable oil), and soy are the star ingredients of processed foods. When eaten, the body reads these ingredients as dangerous invaders and turns on defense mood, causing a highly stressed state of inflammation. This makes losing fat in any area of the body much more difficult. Start by replacing some of your most commonly consumed processed foods with a healthier, whole foods-based alternative. For example, swap cereal for oatmeal, choose real fruit instead of fruit snacks, or eat potatoes instead of sliced bread.
Now, you’re better prepared to tackled that stubborn back fat with a triple threat! You know how to target your training, enhance your self-care routine, and tweak your diet so that you can transform back rolls into chiseled cuts! Which of these three tips surprised you the most? Comment below!