How to Lose Arm Fat – Diet and Workout for Women

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Saggy arm fat. No one wants it.

Trying to hide unsightly arms can be a major headache.

But here’s the greater problem. No matter how many arm workout sessions you put in, or how many diets you try, nothing seems to help. You are failing at spot reduction, and frustrated. You have no idea how to lose arm fat.

With good reason.

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I’ve trained a lot of women over the years. 10 minutes into our first meet and greet, It’s typical to hear something like this:

I really want to make this arm fat go away. what exercises can I do?

The assumption here is that exercise helps to spot reduce fat. The idea is that is we perform enough crunches our belly fat will go away. If we perform enough squats that thigh flab will go away. If we perform enough arm exercises then our arm fat will go away.

It doesn’t work like that. Spot reduction of fat is basically a myth. Sure, there is evidence that shows that “warmed” areas will mobile fat easier (Frayne 1998,1999) , but this trivial difference won’t help you much is you aren’t already at 12 percent body fat. It’s like trying to walk a mile backwards in an ice storm.

It’s not an efficient method, by any stretch of the imagination. So with that said, I want to present you with a method of attack to actually make yours arms look their best.

Let’s Talk About Body Composition and Arm Appearance

There are two mechanisms that will make your arms look better:

  1. Reduction of fat
  2. Addition of muscle

Herein lies the problem. Reduction of fat only helps out so much. Without arm tone, or the addition of some arm muscle, your arms will be skinnier but still flabby.

The good news is this…

When you reduce body fat percentage while also increasing arm muscle tone, your arms will look amazing. The addition of muscle makes any arm look better, even if it carries unwanted extra fat. The point here is simple: muscle tone is a near-miracle cure.

No matter what state your arms are in, muscle always makes them look better. This goes not only for your arms, but for your entire body as a general rule.

Let’s consider an example of two women. Lisa and Joan. Both weigh 150 pounds, and have 40 pounds of body fat.

Lisa decides to lose 15 pounds of fat, with the hope that it will help her arms look better. She eats a lot of salads, and performs enough cardio to fatigue an Olympic athlete. She now weighs 135 pounds and carries 25 pounds of fat.

Joan tries another route. She not only improves her diet while adding a reasonable amount of cardio, but Joan also attacks her body with resistance training. the goal is to build muscle tone, and carve out a fit and fantastic physique.

Joan loses 10 pounds of fat while building 5 pounds of muscle. She now weighs 145 pounds and carries 30 pounds of fat.

While Joan is still carrying around more fat, she looks much better than Lisa. Why? Because of the arm muscle tone she’s built. A body with muscle tone always looks more sleek, athletic, and sexy, even when you have unwanted body fat.

The take home point is this… (and it’s an important one)

If you have two women at 25% body fat, the woman who has better muscle tone will have more shapely arms nine times out of ten. With that that said we will focus not only on diet for fat loss, but also provide an arm workout to help your tone.

Diet to Help You Lose Arm Fat

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To lose arm fat you’ll need a proper fat loss diet. As mentioned, spot reduction doesn’t work (efficiently). Our goal here is to trim off unwanted body fat, changing our bodies from unsightly, unhealthy, and (potentially) obese to healthy and a more reasonable weight.

We will approach eating with two major goals:

  1. Slow, Steady Weight Loss – To restrict calories slightly each day so we can lose weight at a reasonable pace. Rapid weight loss usually results in an unwanted decrease in muscle tone. You lose muscle AND fat. We don’t want this at all. The goal here is to lose about two pounds of fat per week. This will help you to retain as much existing muscle mass as possible.
  2. Improved Protein Intake – Most women undereat protein. Protein helps with muscle recovery, repair, and to assist you with building the arm muscle tone you are after.

This plan will involve two flexible meals and three snacks. They can be eaten at any time during the day. Try to wait at least 90 minutes between two feedings.

For the flexible meals, you are given only a calorie intake goal. Eat no more, and no less – if possible. Get as close to this goal as you can. For each snack, you are provided three options. Go with whichever one appeals to you most.

Run this diet no more than several months. The goal here is to lose 10 to 25 pounds of unwanted fat, which will help provide better arm shape and appearance.

Flexible Meals

  • Meal 1 – 400 calories and at least 15 grams of protein. Eat during the day at some point prior to your workout, or before 3 pm in the afternoon. Eat whatever you want here as long as your protein and calorie levels are on target.
  • Meal 2 – 400 calories and at least 15 grams of protein. Eat during the day at some point following your workout, or after 5 pm. Eat whatever you want here as long as your protein and calorie levels are on target.
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Snack #1 (~200 Calories, 20+ grams of protein)

  • Option #1 – 1 scoop of whey protein in water, apple or orange.
  • Option #2 – Rice cake, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt
  • Option #3 – Quest protein bar, medium strawberries (if needed) to help you reach 200 calories. Medium to large strawberries have 4 to 6 calories each.

Snack #2 (~200 Calories, 20+ grams of protein)

  • Option #1 – 3 ounces of chicken breast, 2 ounces of cooked rice, 4 ounces of steam broccoli.
  • Option #2 – Starkist Tuna Creation (2.6 ounce pouch), 4 ounces of carrots, 2 ounces of cooked quinoa.
  • Option #3 – 3 pieces Sargento Light String Cheese Naturals (or equivalent of 150 calories of string cheese), 3 ounces of steamed cauliflower, 2 ounces of blueberries.

Snack #3 (~200 Calories, 20+ grams of protein)

  • Option #1 – Boiled egg, 4 ounces of low-fat cottage cheese, 8 to 10 cherry tomatoes.
  • Option #2 – 2 ounces of black beans, 2 ounces of fresh salsa, 2 ounces shredded cheddar cheese. 0.5 ounces sliced black olives.
  • Option #3 – 3 ounces 93% lean ground turkey over 3 ounces of fresh spinach, 3 ounces of fat-free sour cream.

Complete Arm Workout

You will be performing two arm workouts per week. Leave at two complete days of rest between each.

Here is a sample schedule:

  • Monday – Chest and Arms (Arm Workout A)
  • Tuesday – Legs
  • Thursday – Back and Arms (Arm Workout B)
  • Friday, Shoulders, Traps, Calves, and Abs

Make sure to push yourself on each of these exercises and add weight when possible. progressive overload, or the addition of weight to exercises over time, is a critical factor in building muscle tone.

Workout a
Arm Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
 Reverse Grip Lat Pull Down  3  15
 EZ Bar Skullcrushers  3  12
 Superset: EZ Bar Preacher Curls  + 2 Arm Seated Overhead Dumbbell Extensions  3  10+10
Workout b
Arm Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
 Cable Triceps Extensions  3  15
 Seated Dumbbell Curls  3  12
 Superset: Barbell Curls + French Press  3  10+10
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Name: Steve Shaw

Bio: I don’t believe in magic training systems or rep ranges. My philosophy is simple: remain consistent, use the best possible exercises, focus upon progression and enter the gym looking to maximize each set. When you maximize each set, you maximize progress. Easy, obvious, insanely effective.