“Bingo Wings”-What’s all the flap about?
Bingo wings are a term used to describe excess adipose tissue on the back of the upper arm. The term derives from when people raise their arms and shake during a bingo game and the excess tissue becomes apparent because it shakes too. This is obviously quite a mean term, but it makes an attention grabbing headline so here we are! From this point on let's refer to it more scientifically as upper arm adipose tissue.
Why do some people get it and others not?
Upper arm adipose tissue is typically experienced by females who are overweight or over the age of 30. Where we store fat (adipose tissue) is determined by how much of it we have plus genetic factors. As with anything genetic related the way forward thinking professionals are looking at it is that genetics loads the gun, but the environment is what pulls the trigger. What this means is that although we cannot control our genetic dispositions we can control the environment, which is usually the trigger for particular genes to express themselves. In other words if we weren't so overweight, had more muscle and didn't over indulge on high fat and high sugar foods it is less likely that we would have upper arm adipose tissue. OUCH.
What can I do about it?
If you are someone that does have the genetic predisposition to store adipose tissue on the upper arm then here is what you can do about it…
Genes are switched on by the environment so change your environment or rather the environment you are creating inside your body. We store fat when we have additional energy swimming around our bodies. The main culprits are carbohydrates and fats. So if you stop over eating these foods you should see a slow down in the rate at which the stores are growing. This is easier said than done since it is quite likely you are addicted to these foods and they are being crammed down our throats through offers, adverts and cultural norms!
If you have an environment of spare energy then your body is going to switch on all the genes it can that help store energy, we’ve evolved to treat energy as a very precious resource (read more about this here; https://www.pocketcoach.online/post/why-am-i-so-lazy.) If you follow step one and reduce the amount of spare energy from food then that will definitely help to some degree. Next is to also create an environment where you are using more energy. To do this you need to be more active day to day as well as increase the amount of muscle you have on your body and eat more calorie intensive foods such as protein and foods higher in fibre. What this will do is create an environment where all your energy is used so none is stored, and if you do enough then you will actually create an environment where there isn't enough energy and so your body has to raid the storage cupboards (aka the fatty deposits around your body!!)
This step is all about acceptance. Unfortunately we cannot pick the zones in our bodies where we lose weight. It happens gradually across its entirety and will most likely go from the place you hate the most LAST. If you can accept this then you will avoid the emotional rollercoaster that comes with trying to lose weight and stay on the path of consistency.
Step four is to become a sculptor. You have created an environment for fat burn. You know that consistently over the years the amount of fat stored on your body is going to drop. You have also started to increase your activity levels and are starting to build muscle. Now is the time to start sculpting that future shape. By selecting key areas on your body to target with specific muscle building movements you are able to create a more toned shape. So with the adipose tissue on your arms, although you cannot get that fat to go any faster than anywhere else on your body, you can tighten up that area through increasing muscle size. What this will do is stop the “flap” and lift the “droop” which will improve the aesthetic of your upper arm (by western standards).
To get those arms popping watch this video of me, 8 years full time Personal Trainer, providing some exercise prescriptions…
Thanks for reading.
Speak again next week!!