How to Lose Back Fat

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If back fat is bothering you, there are a few things you can do.  Luckily, fat on your back is unlike fat in some other areas of your body because there are several different ways to solve the problem.  But before you decide on the best way for you to lose back fat, first decide which area of your back to target.

Where Is Your Back Fat?

Back fat can attack in a few different areas. Most men and women experience fat in one of these three areas:

  • Bra line fat.  If you get excess fat that spills over the back of your bra strap, then you've got upper back fat.
  • Waistline back fat. If your fat folds near the back of your waist, then you've got mid-back fat.
  • Muffin top fat. If, like many women, you get a pocket of fat that spills over the top of your jeans in the back, then you've got lower back fat.

3 Ways to Lose Back Fat

No matter where your back fat settles, diet and exercise will help. But you should target your program to address the problem area.

1.  Diet. A calorie-controlled diet will help you to lose fat all over your body. Unfortunately, you can't decide exactly where the fat loss will occur first.  But you can eat a diet that includes plenty of lean protein to promote muscle growth. Strong back muscles help improve posture and a taller appearance makes you look instantly thinner.  And you can also reshape your back by building the muscles along your spine and torso.

2.  Exercise. High-intensity cardiovascular exercise will help you to burn fat and calories. Then, depending on where you hold the most back fat, you can tone muscles in the surrounding areas to give your back a leaner appearance.

  • Shoulder strengthening exercises.  If you build strong, tight shoulders, the area of your back beneath the shoulders (especially near your bra line) starts to look smaller. Lateral raises with dumbbells or an overhead press exercise will help you to build strong shoulders.
  • Mid-back exercises. The wing-shaped muscles in the middle of your back are called the ​latisimus dorsi. If you can make these two muscles tighter and stronger, they give your waist the appearance of being smaller. The lat-pull down is a good exercise to strengthen the lats and create a toned, triangular shape.
  • Waist exercises. If you want to whittle the back of your waist, try doing exercises that strengthen the oblique abdominal muscles and also the erector spinae, the muscles that run along the spine. These muscles help contour the sides of your body and help it bend from side to side. A side bend exercise with or without added weight will help to taper and strengthen the sides of your body.  You can also do oblique crunches on the floor to target the oblique abdominals .
  • Lower back exercises. Slouching makes back fat more noticeable. To stand taller and promote better posture, do lower back exercises to strengthen the core, including the erector spinae.  A back extension exercise will help to target these trouble spots.

    3. Medical Procedures.  If you've tried diet and exercise and still can't lose back fat, there are several surgical and non-surgical methods to target your trouble spots. These include liposuction, smart liposuction (also called laser lipolysis), Coolsculpting, and the new FDA-approved, painless treatment called Ultrashape.

    Of course, many medical procedures have side effects and some require that you take time away from strenuous activities after having them performed. There is also cost to consider. Surgical and non-surgical treatments can run into the thousands of dollars for each area that you target. 

    These are good reasons to try to lose back fat with traditional methods like diet and exercise first. Then if you have remaining pockets of fat on your back, talk to a board certified plastic surgeon or a board certified dermatologist to see which method would work best for you.

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