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Why Do Women Have Extra Fat on Their Backs & Under Their Armpits?

by
author image Van Thompson
Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.
Why Do Women Have Extra Fat on Their Backs & Under Their Armpits?
A woman is doing yoga on the beach. Photo Credit sitriel/iStock/Getty Images

Extra fat under your arms and on your back can make your clothes fit strangely, cause your bra to dig into your skin and make wearing sleeveless clothing look just plain bad. The right combination of diet and exercise can help reduce fat, but you won't be able to spot reduce excess fat with targeted exercises.

How You Develop Fat

When your body has excess energy in the form of calories, it converts these calories into fat. While everyone has their trouble spots where they tend to accumulate more fat, you never just accumulate fat in one area. Consequently, fat in your armpits and on your back is the result of excess fat throughout your body.

Excess Breast Tissue

Some women have a condition called polymastia that causes them to develop breast tissue in their armpits and the area immediately surrounding the breasts. Large breasts can also contribute to fat in surrounding areas. Your breast tissue may push up or down, causing fat to crease and become more noticeable. For example, a woman with large breasts may see her breasts push against fat around her arms, resulting in a fattier appearance.

Burning Fat

If you want to get rid of fat tissue surrounding your breasts, the recipe is the same as reducing fat anywhere else around your body. You need to burn more calories than you consume. And doing high calorie-burning aerobic exercise, such as running or swimming, is a great way to help you reach that calorie deficit, especially when combined with a healthy diet. Targeted workouts such as pushups or weightlifting can help tone your back and arms, but they won't burn fat. When you do burn the fat, however, you will be able to reap the benefits of being able to see your toned arms.

Reducing Calories

Weight loss requires that you burn more calories than you take in, so you can improve your chances of losing weight by consuming fewer calories. To reach the needed calorie deficit, count the calories of the food you eat to find out how many calories you are taking in relative to how many you are burning. If you need to consume less, try cutting back on empty calories, such as sugary drinks, and snacks, such as potato chips and cookies. Instead, eat smaller, more frequent meals so you can feel fuller. Also, focus on consuming plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins such as fish.

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