Monday, March 02, 2009

How To Speed Up Saddlebag or Muffin Top Fat Loss

Well, I've gotten quite a few questions posted here on the blog and the community over at over the last few days so, I guess I best got on and answer them.

I'll be picking one or 2 questions a day, so if you have any of your own, don't forget to add them ok?

Here's Question 1 from Kelly

"I know I can't target a particular spot on my body and shape it without doing total body workouts to burn fat, but what is the best exercise for 'saddle bags'? (As in the excess fat women carry on top of their butt at the back of their hips)

Thanks for all of your hints and tips - I love that I have such a reliable source of information. I've been checking out your website and blogs for the last year, but only this year when I did your ED did I really get a handle on how bad I was eating. My progress has now sped up considerably and I've lost 9kg and 10cms of my waist since sorting out my diet. So a million times thank-you for your support and great reality checks!!!"

First off, thanks for you kind words Kelly, I really appreciate hearing about the great results you've been getting from The Elimination Diet, Keep up the great work!

Now, to your question...

It's a very common question that I receive from both readers and clients and, perhaps surprisingly, it's a very easy question to answer.

The site you're talking about is a common fat storage site in both men and women who notice first a 'thickening' of the area and then a 'fleshing out' and finally the growing of 'love handles' or 'muffin tops' as some people call them. No matter what you call them, they're fat and, as such, they respond (almost) like all fat.

Meaning that you CAN burn them off and expose the firm, muscular abdominals, obliques and lower back muscles again. Regardless of how long you've had them.

Now, the reason I say 'almost' is because, whilst this type is the same as abdominal fat, the reason for it being laid down is different. Whilst all fat has its roots in over-consumption of calories, the sites that fat is deposited tell us a lot about the hormonal balances of the body as the time it was laid down.

For example, whilst belly fat is closely related to cortisol (the stress hormone), the area of the back and hips (including the lower back/love handle area) is related to over production of insulin relative to other hormones.

Knowing this, we can approach fat loss more strategically.

For a start, insulin over-production is directly related to over-consumption of carbohydrates. Sugars. I don't just mean table sugar (but DEFINITELY includes this) but all simple carbs.

Go for low GI (Glycemic index) carbs and reduce the overall carbohydrate intake and make sure that those consumed are spread throughout the day to avoid insulin 'spikes' that will command your body to store fat. Maintain a steady protein and fat intake and be sure to supplement your diet with a high quality fish oil too.

Regarding training, shorter, more intense workouts utilising resistance training carried out twice a day seem to work out best for this area. I've found that 2 x 15-20 minute sessions are more effective at mobilising fat in general (and this area specifically) due to increased insulin resistance over time.

Circuit-style training, supersets and shorter, high intensity workouts such as Turbulence Training or Warp Speed Fatloss work excellently for this... as long as an Elimination Diet protocol is followed.

Also, try training more often, like daily, rather than 3 times a week. Just as 2 mini workouts a day is more powerful at mobilising this seemingly stubborn fat, so too are daily sessions better than less frequent ones.

Hope this helps!

Dax Moy
The UK's Leading Personal Trainer
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April's Fitness Journey said...

So wait Dax are you saying it is OK to workout twice in the same day with weights?
Like 2 15 min sessions?

DaxMoy said...


Not only is it ok, it's preferable : )

DaxMoy said...


Not only is it ok, it's preferable : )

DaxMoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FitterFaster said...

Very interesting and exactly what I have also found.
It is very reassuring to find that what I have experimented with and have found to work, is backed up by someone with your knowledge.
Thanks again Dax for your insight and sharing of your wisdom.
Jo Butler

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dax!! This is what I've been doing all along and am pleased that I'm going about it all the right way. I think my problem is that I need to be patient with my results! I started out needing to lose 55kgs, I've lost 20kgs so far, but still have a long way to go... which is incredibly frustrating!!! Thanks again for the advice, and for providing such an awesome forum for likeminded people who wan to achieve their goals.. I can always rely on your site to make me feel better when I'm struggling.