Girls tend to carry extra weight in the hips and thighs, but no matter where your trouble area is, you can’t target it directly for weight loss. General weight loss, however, will result in a slimmed-down frame that proportionally reduces your whole body, even thick arms and a broad chest. Healthy food choices and exercise promote weight loss. The more weight you do lose, the more likely you’ll notice your upper body shrink. Follow safe and sound weight-loss strategies and consult a dietitian or doctor to help you create an appropriate weight-loss plan for you.
Spot Reduction on Upper Body Isn’t Possible
You can pull up, push up and curl at every workout, but these arm and back exercises won’t spot-reduce fat in your upper body. Strength-training exercises are important for building muscle, but they don’t actually burn the fat covering specific muscles. Fat doesn’t melt or get worn away. You lose fat as a process of creating energy. When you work hard, your body uses stored fat as one of its fuel sources. Exercises that use a lot of energy, such as cardiovascular, work like running or dancing, are more likely to burn fat and result in weight loss.
Aim to be active at least 1 full hour per day. Try brisk walking, playing sports or riding your bike. If exercise is new to you, ease into it and choose something fun so you’re likely to stick with it. Join a dance class, walk your dog or go on a hike with your family. Although cardio doesn’t necessarily target the upper body, as you use more energy and lose fat, you will notice some of that loss come off your arms and torso.
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Girls Can Build Some Muscle
Even though specific strength-training exercises don’t burn off your upper body fat directly, you will still benefit from performing them along with other resistance exercises that train the major muscle groups. Lunges, squats, gymnastics and yoga help you to strengthen muscles — creating a body that’s more efficient at burning calories and that looks firmer and leaner.
Strength-training your upper body also contributes to good posture. Tall posture, as oppose to a slouch, makes you appear fitter, healthier and more proportional. Include muscle-strengthening types of activities as your 60 minutes of activity three times a week.
Choose Healthy Foods to Lose Weight
Extreme calorie reduction, weight-loss supplements and fad diets can endanger your health, especially since you’re still growing. Girls should avoid cutting calories below about 1,600 calories per day. You risk not getting all the nutrients or supplying your body with energy.
One of the simplest ways to lose weight is to make healthier dietary choices. Save excess calories by skipping sugary soft drinks, candy, snack crackers, chips, cookies and cupcakes. Choose water to drink, and carry fruit, whole grain crackers with string cheese or nuts for snacks. At meals, avoid fried foods, such as chicken patties and french fries, or food with a lot of white flour, such as pizza or hot dog buns. Instead, choose grilled chicken breast, lean beef burgers on whole-wheat buns or plain roasted meat or fish. Vegetables, such as a green salad or steamed broccoli, make a fiber-rich side dish that helps fill you up with plenty of nutrients. Avoid white pasta and white rice when you can; ask your family to buy whole-grain noodles or brown rice.
Curb Junk Foods and Emotional Eating
Where you store fat is a matter of your genetics, but what and when you eat is up to you. If you find yourself snacking on junk food, ask yourself why. Staying up too late can cause you to reach for too many high-calorie snacks after dinner. It can also shorten your sleep and make you hungrier the next day — you’ll be reaching for sugary foods to boost your energy.
Eating can also be a symptom of boredom or loneliness. Take up extracurricular activities, call a friend, or ask your parent to join you for a walk instead of reaching for a bag of chips. Curbing mindless eating helps you keep your calorie intake under control without cutting out important nutrients at mealtimes.