More specifically, the extra flab that’s unflatteringly known as “chicken fat,” “chicken arms,” or, sometimes, “bingo wing arms” (so-named for its tendency to ‘flap’ like a chicken wing) is many women’s nemesis.
About 80 percent of women said they have worn some type of cover-up, such as a shawl, to hide their upper arms while about 25 percent have gone so far as to stop waving or moving their arms too much in public, all because of “chicken fat” arms …[i]
If you are one of these women, please remind yourself that your worth is not tied to your arms, or any body part, for that matter, and you should feel proud to wave, dance and bare your arms no matter what.
That being said, if you’re looking to tone up, there are many ‘tricks’ you can use, many of which will have the added ‘side effect’ of helping you shed fat elsewhere on your body too, which can lead to major improvements for your health.
5. Cut Back on Sugar
If you have extra flab on your arms, you probably have extra fat elsewhere on your body too. Unfortunately, you can’t tell your body where you want to lose fat first, so in order to slim down your arms you’ve got to burn fat all over your body.
Cutting back on sugar (and refined carbs like bread and pastries) is one of the most efficient ways to do this. According to Richard J. Johnson, a professor of medicine and head of the division of Renal Diseases and Hypertension at the University of Colorado-Denver, excess sugar consumption can turn on the so-called ‘fat switch’ in your cells’ mitochondria, prompting you to eat more, move less and convert food into fat. He explained:[ii]
“Fat is the fuel, but sugar, and in particular, fructose, is the fire … Foods rich in fructose can activate the fat switch — resulting in loss of appetite control and a reduction in energy.”
4. Try High-Intensity Exercise
High-intensity interval training (HIIT), in which you alternate short bursts of very high intensity activity with slower recovery periods, is one of the most efficient forms of exercise for fat burning. According to one study, seven sessions of HIIT over a two-week period may significantly increase your capacity for fat burning during exercise.[iii] Perhaps better still, due to their intensity HIIT workouts are much shorter than traditional workouts (for one of the best, which is done in just four minutes, try The NO Excuse Workout).
3. Do Regular Strength Training
Strength training is important because it will help you gain muscle, which is one of the best ways to help your body burn more calories, and ultimately fat, even while you’re at rest. You should devote time to training all of your muscle groups, including both your lower and upper body.
2. Work Your Arms
Once you’ve addressed your diet (less sugar and refined carbs) and exercise (adding in HIIT and strength training), you can begin to get focused on toning up your arms directly. Here are some of the best exercises to target chicken fat arms:
With your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent, lead forward about to a 45-degree angle. Keep your arms tucked in tightly at your sides, bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle and, holding free weights, extend your arms back behind you until your arms are straight. Hold for a couple of seconds with your arms extended, then return to the starting position and repeat for 10 reps.
While in a standard push-up position, move your hands closer together so they are less than shoulder-width apart and near your sides. Perform a push-up until your arms are fully extended, then repeat.
Overhead Triceps Press
Stand up and hold a dumbbell behind your head. Your elbows should be over your shoulders and lined up with your ears. Extend your arms over your head, so your arms are extended straight up toward the ceiling. Hold for two seconds, then slowly lower to starting position and repeat.
Standing V Raise
Stand straight up holding a dumbbell in each hand, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise your arms straight out to shoulder height, so they form a “v” (your arms should be parallel to the floor). Hold for one second, return to starting position and repeat for up to 15 reps.[iv]
Hold a pair of dumbbells with your elbows bent, hands at your shoulders. Press the weights upward until your arms are straight overhead. Hold for one second, then slowly lower back to your shoulders. Repeat for up to 8 reps.[v]
1. Eat More Chromium
This is crucial for fighting chicken-fat arms, as getting in control of your sugar intake will kickstart the fat-burning process.
You can take chromium in supplement form or focus on adding more chromium-rich foods, like broccoli, grass-fed beef, eggs, onions and tomatoes, to your diet. It’s often difficult to get enough chromium from diet alone, however, as food processing methods often cause this mineral to become depleted in common food sources.
One of the best sources of chromium is ThinMist, which is an all-natural blend of DHEA, essential amino acids and 500 mcg of chromium to curb your sugar cravings.
ThinMist has the added bonus of boosting your body’s natural production of human growth hormone (HGH), which speeds metabolism and weight loss further. Combined with the dietary and exercise strategies above, ThinMist is the secret weapon every woman needs to fight back against chicken-fat arms … and win.