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Exercise and Fitness

How do I get rid of all the fat?

03/18/2008

Question:

I have alot of fat in my back, I`ve never had a big back. I`m 55 years old and have gained alot of weight, I hate my back, my shirt`s/blouses won`t fit right (too tight), plus I have ALOT of fat under my arms, and at the top of my arms, can you tell me how to get rid of all this fat. I don`t eat fatty foods, I try to eat right, but I think I need some exercises for these problems?

Answer:

Your question is two fold: As you age your body loses lean muscle tissue which at some point reduces your metabolic rate. (Metabolic rate is the rate that your body converts energy stores into working energy. It is controlled by muscle mass, caloric intake, exercise and type of food ingested.) Therefore, in order to lose weight you have to restrict calories (eat less) and exercise at a calorie deficit. In order to accomplish these goals you must realize this requires you to make lifestyle changes. Change requires that you:

a) Have a plan

b) Organize and prepare yourself to implement your plan

c) Evaluate how well your plan is working and make necessary adaptations to your plan.

Here are a few tips for getting started:

Diet: There are approximately 3500 calories in a pound of stored body fat. So, if you create a 3500-calorie deficit in a week through diet, exercise or a combination of both, you should be able to lose one pound of body weight. A calorie deficit can be achieved either by calorie-restriction, or by a combination of fewer calories-in (diet) and more calories-out (exercise). This combination of diet and exercise is best for lasting weight loss. Sustained weight loss can be difficult without regular exercise.

Enlisting guidance from a registered dietitian can help you reach your weight loss goals. You may want to check with your doctor to inquire on whether services provided by a registered dietitian would be covered under your health insurance. 

In addition, you may also consider joining a Weight Watchers weight management program in your community.

Exercise: One of the hardest parts of getting into shape can be taking the first step. Here are some suggestions to help you begin your journey. Remember if you try to do too much, too soon, it can cause you to feel soreness, fatigue and/or worse experience a possible injury. Work at your own pace, start out gradually and increase duration and level of difficulty (intensity) as your body progresses. You can't become fit overnight, it's a lifestyle commitment. Don't expect immediate dramatic changes in your body shape or weight loss. Although changes are happening internally, most external benefits won't become visible for the first four to six weeks. Try to remain focused on your lifestyle choices and take time to celebrate the internal benefits you're experiencing such as increased energy, less stress and anxiety, higher self-esteem, better sleep and an increased feeling of well-being. 

I hope you have found this information helpful. Thank you for your question. Wishing you all the best in your pursuit to improve your health!

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Response by:

David   Carroll David Carroll
Fitness Instructor
Fitness Center at CARE\Crawley
University of Cincinnati