Every regular guy and gal out there have a problematic pocket of fat at a certain body area. Some folks would point belly fat as their biggest source of frustration, while others struggle the most with back fat and muffin tops. Belly fat has been the star of many fat loss articles so far, which is why we’ll focus on back fat in this one. Since spot reduction is a big, fat myth, what can be done to get rid of these stubborn layers of excessive fat?
Well, the answer to that question is fairly obvious – you have to train hard, eat less and decrease your overall body fat percentage in order to reveal the muscles that are buried underneath the fat tissue. There simply isn’t a way around this and anyone who tells people about a miraculous new tool, routine or drink that allows spot reduction or whatever is trying to cash in on their ignorance.
However, creating a smart and efficient training & dieting strategy instead of hoping that the fat will go away if you starve yourself as often as possible will help you achieve your goals a lot faster. And there is a way to achieve results that are pretty close to spot reduction – read the rest of this article to learn all about getting rid of your back fat!
Muscle Atrophy & Poor Nutrition
You probably think that back fat is mostly caused by, well, the piling of body fat in this area, and you are right. But an important contributing factor to the development of this unappealing physical attribute is the atrophy of the muscles of the back. When muscles atrophy they lose their strength and tone, and this is caused by lack of targeted exercise or any type of physical exercise for that matter. When you don’t use your muscles, they get weaker, so having an excessively sedentary lifestyle is one the most common reason for muscle atrophy.
Now, if you couple sitting at a desk for many hours every day and eating a surplus of calories from unhealthy sources such as junk fast food and similar over-processed food items, the natural result is excess body fat. It’s a big, fat fact that no matter how hard you train, you can’t burn enough fat if you don’t get your nutrition in check. You might grow some seriously strong muscles, but they’ll be still covered in layers of fat.
Together, poor nutrition and a lack of exercise lead to excess accumulation of fat tissue around the waist and upper and lower back, which often creates an appearance of a “muffin top”. But there’s a reason that we’re not suggesting that you should simply focus on eating less food and replacing the burgers and sodas with lettuce and broccoli in order to improve the shape of your torso. That’s far from enough and we’re pretty sure you already know that. You need a real plan.
Without further ado, here’s what you could do to lose back fat and uncover a healthy, strong and athletic back!
Steps for Shedding Back Fat
Shaking off fat tissues that you’ve been carrying around for a long time can be very, very hard. And it’s just as hard for everyone. Keep this in mind and know that burning fat demands patience and dedication. It won’t happen overnight, so better get used to constant sacrifice and step away from the bathroom scale. Hide or destroy it if you have to, just don’t allow it to make you anxious because stress is one of the biggest enemies of weight loss.
Simply focus on training regularly (no excuses for skipping workouts!) and eating as clean as possible. Besides strengthening your atrophied muscles, training is also very important for improving your posture and body shape. In other words, it will help you stand taller and build a more balanced body composition. Then, one day, you will walk past a mirror and suddenly realize how much your body has transformed and that you look kind of amazing. And it will feel great.
Here’s how to start your back fat loss journey:
No.1: Resistance Training for the Back
Your back is made up of four main muscles – rhomboids, traps, lattissimus dorsi and erector spinae. As we mentioned above, spot reducing is impossible, but that doesn’t mean that you should stay away from targeting your back muscles with the help of resistance training. In addition to your cardio sessions, focus on training the muscles that comprise your back as well as those which surround it with multi-joint compound movements, and throw in a couple of extensive core workouts in your weekly back routine. A sturdy core will improve your performance and balance on all upper body exercises and improve your posture.
No.2: Do Cardio
If you’re not doing it yet, it’s time to introduce it into your schedule. If you’re doing it already, increase the intensity and frequency. Instead of a few hours of steady state cardio per week, perform 30-45 minutes of high-intensity cardio on a daily basis, preferably in the morning. You can find tons of great cardio workouts that will make your heart jump out of your chest with a quick online search. Regardless of what anyone says, cardio is a great fat burner and you should make the most of it.
No.3: Plan a Healthy Diet
You don’t have to spend weeks online trying to figure out which diet would work the best for you. Start small and simple with a common sense approach and create your own version of a healthy diet. Cut down your consumption of refined sugars and processed foods and replace those with fresh veggies and fruits, complex carb sources and foods that provide healthy fats and good quality protein. Eliminate fried foods and store-bought meals and try to always prepare your meals at home. For the big meals, think lean meats, fatty fish and a small but adequate dose of dairy products. Between meals, snack on fruits, nuts and seeds instead of potato chips. Remember that making dramatic cuts can easily backfire, so aim to reduce your calorie intake by 20-25% at the beginning. Take it slow but make sure you don’t cheat.
No.4: Get Enough Sleep
Your body needs time to rest and repair the tissues you’ve damaged during training. Also, not getting enough sleep can make you irritated and less inclined to stick to your diet and training plan – we all know the link between moodiness and overeating and the importance of mental fortitude. A lack of sleep is also very closely related to stress levels, and chronic stress can make it nearly impossible for you to lose the desired amount of fat. A good 6-8 hours of sleep per night is a must for anyone looking to stay stress-free and maintain a healthy weight.
No.5: Drink Water
Water is the source of life and a very important contributor to weight loss. First of all, more often than not, we fail to understand that our bodies are dehydrated because we’re not used to drinking adequate amounts of water every day – we tend to interpret thirst as hunger and proceed to stuff ourselves with the first food item in sight. Drinking more water can help you feel fuller and eat less, and it will also help your body recover faster after exercising and flush out all waste and toxins. In other words, frequent water consumption can cleanse and invigorate your body and make sure it stays that way.
No.6: Less Alcohol
One or two glasses of wine can easily turn into 3-4 when you’re in a good mood, and there’s usually nothing wrong with that – except that alcoholic beverages tend to pack a lot more calories than you can imagine, so if you’re really serious about losing fat, you really need to limit your alcohol consumption. If you drink more than one glass of wine every day, we can guarantee that has a lot to do with your excess body fat. Calories add up easily when you don’t pay attention. Awareness and self-discipline are the key to sustainable weight loss.
No.7: Be Hard on Yourself
By recommending you to be ‘hard on yourself’ we don’t mean to say that constantly and excessively criticizing yourself for your mistakes is a positive thing. That’s called self-flagellation and it can actually make you lose your motivation and become depressed instead of help you become stronger. We’re talking about doing your best to prevent cheating.
A lot of “experts” will tell you that if you want to reach your fat loss goals, you need to give yourself a break from time to time and give yourself a pat on the back for all of your hard work. This is all fine as long as you know where and when to stop, because being too easy on yourself is a very common trap that stops many people from realizing their dreams. If you’ve made the decision to burn your back fat and build a strong body, you are the only person responsible for making that come true. And that means that you’ll have to learn to be patient, disciplined and strong in the face of every opportunity to cheat on your diet or skip a gym session. And there will be plenty of those.
You will never get the body you want by being too easy on yourself. Remember – this is all about abandoning old habits and installing new, healthy ones in their place, and that takes a lot of effort and fortitude. Nobody else can do it for you, so you have to really push yourself out and beyond your comfort zone.
As you can see, these tips can be extremely useful for anyone looking to shed fat as fast as possible, not only the guys who struggle with excess back fat. If you follow them closely and rigorously, you can drop your overall body fat percentage a lot lower than you’d think in just a few months. So why not start today? The sooner you begin, the sooner you’ll get the chance to enjoy and love a new healthier, stronger and sexier version of you. Good luck!