Monday, December 06, 2010

Fast Fitness Q & A: Back Fat and the Plateau

It has been a long time since I have done a Fitness Q&A and I want to thank everyone for their great emails. Keep them coming!

And without further ado...

Q: I have "Back Fat". What can I do to target that area?

A: Unfortunately you cannot “spot reduce”. When you exercise, your body with burn the fat from the area where it is most readily available.

By adding some type of cardiovascular exercise to your routine (such as running, dancing and group fitness classes) to tap into fat stores AND some strength training exercises (including some for your back and abdominals) to tone and build muscle, you will rev up your metabolism and lose overall fat (including that area on your back!).

Diet is also a very important in overall health so consult a dietitian if you need help with your meals planning.

Q: I have bee
n exercising regularly for many years. I usually do a combination of cycling and weight training at my local gym. I have noticed that my body hasn't really been changing over the last few months and I was wondering why. Is there anything you can suggest?

A: First, let me congratulate you on maintaining an exercise program and staying active. It sounds like you have hit an exercise plateau. What does this mean? If you keep doing the same routine from month to month, your body will get used to these demands and no longer respond by changing. You will simply maintain the same level.

If you want to see changes in your body, you need make some changes to your routine. A few of my previous post have some ideas about what to do when you hit a plateau adding intensity and mixing up your workouts.

Got more questions? I am all ears!

Stay Healthy,


  1. Dear Tracy,

    I recently started walking my two dogs every other day for a half hour each. I get about a 4 mile walk out of it on average.

    I've lost 7 INCHES in the last 4 weeks, on my hips, waist, bust and legs, but I HAVEN'T LOST A SINGLE POUND!!!

    This is SO frustrating! What can I do to make the scale move too??

  2. Congratulations on getting active and losing 7 inches! I know it can be frustrating, but your body IS changing. It sounds like you are losing fat and gaining muscle. Hence, the number on the scale is not moving...yet. It will, these things take time. Try increasing the intensity or the time of your walks and add some strength training in the mix. Send me a quick email if you need more info and good luck!



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