Getting rid of stubborn upper body fat?

jennAugust 7, 2005

Since I've been in my 40s, upper body fat hangs on for dear life. I've never been a dieter, instead prefering just eating healthier and regular exercise. But now I'm considering bringing out the big guns, whatever they are! I'm considering trying South Beach just for a short time, or at least siginificantly reducing carbs (not totally eliminating for even 2 weeks) to see if that makes a difference.

Does anyone have any suggestions from experience?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I know what you mean. I hate limiting my food choices, I never liked dieting at all. Like you, I prefer exercising and do it daily. Problem is, over the past two or three years I've noticed the pounds slowly inching up year by year. I'm a few months shy of 40. I suppose age is affecting the metabolism and what I used to do just doesn't work anymore. I've tried adding additional exercise, but that just helped me maintain the newly added weight.

I'm not "overweight" but just not at a size where I'm comfortable. My latest strategy is lowering carbs but I don't think I can handle the extreme reduction of Atkins. I tried it for two weeks and suffered from headaches and dizziness for the first week then it got better. All that and I only lost 2 lbs of the 10 I wanted to lose. For me, it was a little too drastic for the limited results. I admit, I'm a carb addict which was why I suspected that a low carb diet would help me. I hear that not everyone has these extreme symptoms, so perhaps it might work for you.

Only problem is that once you do low-carb, they say it's a lifestyle change meaning that you'll have to watch your carbs for the rest of eternity. Sometimes I just gotta have that bowl of ice cream and fries!

Good luck with whatever you try, and by all means, let us know if it works!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2005 at 3:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In terms of diet, Weight Watchers has helped me, primarily because I did the "at work" program and had friends who were also participating. They kept me honest. Many people here on the Diet forum like Somersizing. I haven't done the program, but I have the books because the recipes are terrific.

I personally find that watching my intake alone doesn't do it for me. I have to exercise, both cardio and weights. Once you get into the swing of things, it's not too bad. I started doing stuff at home, and have now bought way too many videos, as I don't have the time to go to the gym all the time (I work FT and commute to the city, plus have a family).

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 10:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I didn't have to think much about my weight until I hit 40. It was like I immediately had a tummy! All my fat went to my middle. I joined Weightwatchers online and it taught me about portion control and exercise. There is no magic pill - you have to watch how much you eat AND you have to exercise! Both are incredibly important!


    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 1:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

FYI... I went to this Website: and found everything I needed to not only lose weight and inches, but found experienced and trained people, who can help you with any questions or problems that you may have. If you have any questions please feel free to send an email to

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 8:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jenn~~ South Beach is a wonderful diet plan. It is heart and body healthy. It's based upon a low fat, healthy fats, and healthy carbs. This is not a low-carb plan like Atkins. You should not go in to ketosis. As a cardiac nurse, I believe that South Beach is even healthier than the Am. Heart Assoc diet. Another choice might be the Sonoma Diet, which is very similer to So. Beach but it includes more grains and is based upon the Mediterrean way of eating. Check out and look under South Beach and Sonoma for tons of info on each of these plans.

Brandy~~FYI, advertising is not allowed on this forum.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 10:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks gg_gal. I may try South Beach, or at least cut WAY back on my refined carbs. I don't overeat, but when I do eat my meals contain too many carbs. I enjoy a large sweet muffin for breakfast every morning too. I have cut back in other ways, but it's not enough. Exercise would help too if only I could find a time slot for it.

Thanks again,

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 12:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There's a theory that the reason middle-age women gain weight in their trunk is to store hormonal reserves for menopause. Maybe that's the reason it seems harder to get rid of (because you may need it down the road?) Just a possibility :)
Mrs H

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 3:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Have you tried pilates? I found these exercises very good for the mid section. They work the smaller muscles that you don't even know are there. They aren't overly difficult in the beginning levels. Rowing or kayaking also works the mid section well. I've never found a shape solution in food. Bodies change shape as we age. It's just how it goes. I'm also pushing 40. I haven't changed my weight in over a decade, but my shape has redistributed itself as I've moved through my 30's. I read somewhere once that a flat stomach is a totally unnatural thing for a woman. I can't remember where I saw that, but it stuck in my head.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 9:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Saturated fat DOES NOT cause CVD fools


    Bookmark   June 9, 2006 at 9:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

truthfully...for those of you who have no real weight problems as in grossly obese etc....and especially those who are already eathing in a healthy manner, my suggestion would be to just cut back on the carbs and not go on any plan per se....You know what the big carbs are so eat the foods that you love and curb those big carbs....basically I started out doing weight watchers but now though it is still ww' is my own version. I try to focus on eating the right carbs and lower fat things....I'm lucky in that I like most any foods and veggies so it isn't hard for me to pick sweet potato over rice or regular potato...

    Bookmark   June 9, 2006 at 10:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

enjoyed everyones input. about to turn 30 and i have noticed that my once flat stomach all of sudden has a slight pudge to it. ooh sh*t were my exact words, i thought to myself, i guess i must embrace my new era of womanhood. everyone's words were very encouraging though.
things that have always helped maintain my rock hard stomach:
1) no white foods - bread, pasta, sugar
2) no processed foods - no hamburger helper, microwave meals no!
3) water
4) no soda or fruit juice with more than 20 grams of sugar per serving

of course no one is perfect - we all have our moments where we must eat the above, but i have noticed when i restrict these above, my abs are flat and hard. - of course with my running, weight training going with it. but majority i contribute to my diet. since even when i eat like crap and workout, my stomach is never as hard nor defined until i eat right.

enjoy your food - try to use all your senses
when you make your own food-
example -
tom yum soup (malasian spicy soup)
it has cilantro, lime, lemon-grass, the tom yum paste, chicken

smell the soup - strong aromas from all the flavors in the soup

taste the soup - very spicy and flavorful

chicken - hearty feel you up feeling

all the water in the soup - will make you feel like you at a lot when in actuality you didn't.

when i use the most of my senses - i feel the most satisfied.
i notice that i do not enjoy my meals nor feel like i had a good meal when i did not use all my senses - please try it once and you will see what i am talking about.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 8:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

micielo, I agree with what you say. I recently heard that the reason the French aren't as heavy as we are, isn't because of the wine and food they eat, but it's because they sit and enjoy their foods. We are always rushing and just shove foods, and bad foods at that, down our throats. Last year, I started working on eliminating a lot of junk foods, i.e., foods with preservatives, artificial flavorings and coloring, and definitely see a big difference in my body. I still need to work on eliminating 'white' foods.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 9:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm only 18 years old, but I'm bald on top of my head with just a fringe of hair on the sides and the back of my head.

Also, I'm super morbidly obese, about 6 ft 4 inches tall and I weighed 850 pounds about two years ago before I decided to lose some weight.

I have a massive amount of upper body fat, yet I have a small butt and skinny legs. This really sucks!

Two years ago, I measured 30 inches around my upper arms, 82 inches around my chest, a whopping 128 inches around my belly, but only 58 inches around my hips with 36 inch thighs.

Then, I went on a diet to lose some weight because I wanted to get rid of all this dangerous upper body fat that was slowly killing me.

Yeah! I lost weight alright! About bout 120 pounds. My hips have slimmed down to about 46 inches around and my legs have trimmed down to about 24 inches around, but I did not lose any fat from my upper body, and then, my legs were smaller around than my upper arms! I still had 30 inch arms while having 24 inch thighs.

My upper body stayed the same, while my hips and butt became smaller, and my legs became thinner. It looked really gross, having a huge massive upper body with a small butt and skinny legs.

So, I went off my diet, to gain back the 120 pounds that I had lost, in the hopes that my hips and butt would get back to their original size again, so the I would not look so ridicules.

Yes, I gained the weight back, but guess what! I gained it on my upper body only, while my hips stayed at 46 inches, and my thighs stayed at 24 inches around.

My upper arms increased from 30 to 36 inches, my chest increased from 82 to 96 inches, and my belly increased from 128 to 152 inches.

So now I have a smaller butt and hips, thinner legs, but I have fatter arms, a bigger chest, and an even bigger belly.

I now have a much bigger upper body and a smaller lower body. This really sucks.

I now weigh 930 pounds! Every time T try to lose weight, I only lose it off of my lower body, my hips and thighs, but when I gain weight, I don't gain it only lower body, I only gain it on my upper body.

I can only lose weight from my lower body, but I can't lose weight from my upper body.

Before I went on my diet, I did not have diabetes. It was only after I had lost weight from my lower body, while my upper body stayed the same, that I became and insulin dependent type 2 diabetic, and my blood pressure went up, and my cholesterol and triglycerides went up after losing fat, only from my lower body while my upper body stayed the same.

The when I gained the weight back, plus more on my upper body only, my blood pressure went up even higher along with my cholesterol, and I now require twice as much insulin.

I hate my ridicules that and only lose fat from the lower body while gaining only on my upper body.

My chest is about twice as big around as my hips, and my belly is about three times as big around as my hips, and my arms are 12 inches bigger around than my thighs.

With my huge belly, fat arms, small butt, narrow hips, and skinny legs, I look like an apple on a stick.

I hate my body, I hate myself, and I hate my life!

My life really sucks!!!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 11:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ufs, go on the website that jolui provided. I do not have a weight problem, but I had to respond to your post. First, change your web name to something positive! Then, stop making excuses as to why you gained weight again, i.e., it does not make sense to gain weight back just because you lost weight on your lower half but not your upper half. A person gets big over time, so losing the weight will also take time. I know it is easier said than done, but please do your best to stick with a diet. Start by eliminating foods that are NOT 'real' foods, i.e., foods with artificial coloring and flavoring, and preservatives.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 11:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

eloise, I call myself uglyfatslob, because that is exactly what I am. I'm disgusted with myself. Being fat wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that I have such a huge upper body that must be carried around on two skinny legs.

My older brother is also fat, not as fat as I am, about 5 ft 7 in and 580 pounds, but he looks younger than I do, although he is 10 years older, because he has a nice bushy head of hair, and his weight is more evenly distributed so he has a big fat butt, and short fat legs, big round hips, and his upper body is not quite as big as his lower body. He's more pear shaped.

His health is better. He does not have type 2 diabetes as I do, and his blood pressure is normal, and his cholesterol is not too high, so his health is still good, but he says that he would like to lose some weight anyway.

Compared to me, he is a lot better looking. In fact, he has a girl friend who is beautiful, and they plan to get married. She refers to my brother as a BHM, Big Handsome Man, or a BBM Big Beautiful Man, she's what you would call an FA, or Fat Admirer.

Of course, even though he would like to lose some weight, he does seem to be a lot happier with himself, than I am with myself, and I'm thankful that he does not put me down because of my looks. He does not like it when I call myself ugly and disgusting. But the truth is, I am!

He looks good in clothes. He does complain that he has to pay so damn much for a pair of pants, but he can wear his super large pants up around his waist, and his pants cover his big butt, and he can tuck in his shirts. So, although he's very fat, he can look really good in decent cloths.

But for me, I can't wear anything worth a damn. I can't tuck my shirt in. My shirts won't cover my bellybutton, and I can't keep my pant up. My pant keep sliding half way down on my small butt, so I walk around exposing my bellybutton and butt crack. I look awful in clothes.

My skinny legs are real hairy, I probably have more hair on my legs than I have on my head.

My belly hang down over my lower groin, and I sweat a lot down there. I smell bad. Down below I give of a heavy, kind of sweet, musky body odor. PU!!!

My love handles hang down over my narrow hips, and the fat on my lower beck goes out further than my small butt. I think I look ridicules with my arms being so much fatter than my skinny hairy legs.

The only good thing that has happened to me, is that because of my head being bald on top, I look much older, so I can go into any liquor store to buy beer, and they don't ask me to show any ID because I do look old enough to buy beer, even though I'm only 18. I look older than 21 because of my bald head.

So, when I'm feeling depressed, I just go into a liquor store to buy beer. I tried going into a bar to drink, but everybody there complained about my body odor and I was asked to leave.

Yes, I am an ugly disgusting fat slob, and I hate myself.

I wish I could be more like my older brother, even though is is also very fat, I would love to be like him because he is so much better looking, and in better health, and he does not smell bad like me!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 9:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Try getting some excercise.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 12:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Eat less and/or excercise more. Worked for me. I started eating more fibrous foods also.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 12:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, I give up. I have been on a low carbohydrate diet for almost three months, and I have still gained another 250 pounds on my upper body, while my legs are still skinny.

I can't lose weight, and I can't stop gaining!

I now weigh more the 1,200 pounds. My upper arms have increased from 36 to 42 inches, my chest increased from 96 to 104 inches, and my belly increased from 152 to 187 inches.

My upper belly not only hangs down over my groin, but now it also hangs down over my skinny thighs about half-way to my knobby knees.

My love handles hang down lower than my narrow hips, and the big roll of fat on my lower back now hangs down over my little butt. You can't see my butt anymore.

All you can see now is a big blob of fat on top two skinny little toothpick legs.

Now I look more ridicules than ever.

I can't put on a pair of pants anymore, and I can't find shirts big enough to cover my upper body.

I can't wipe my own butt anymore, so now, I just sit around the house in the nude, naked as the day I was born.

I have my living room couch covered with plastic sheets and plastic sheets on the floor, so I just sit on my couch, eating, drinking, urinating and defecating, and then I stand up just long enough for someone to change the plastic sheets on my couch ad the floor so I can sit down again.

When I sit down on the couch, my loved handles and my lower back meet the couch before my butt does.

So, I just sit on my couch all the time, and I sleep sitting up on my couch. I can't lay down to sleep anymore because I might stop breathing, so I sleep sitting up, and I still snore. In fact, I even snore when I'm awake.

I have a lot of fat around my neck, and my neck is bigger around than my hips, and my face is so fat I can't even open my eyes anymore.

So, I'm not the one who is posting me message here. The parson who lives with me, and takes care of me, he is the one typing this. I say what I want him to type, and he types the words as I say them.

Anyway, my life really sucks right now, so, I'm actually glad I won't be living too much longer.

I'll be glad when it's over.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 3:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have heard trunk weight or fat generally increases with age. In general, muscle also tends to decrease or waste with age and is often replaced with fat. That is why excercise is much more important with the passage of time if you are fit enough and have your doctor's permission. Besides that, there are many causes of weight gain and/or fat conversion. Metabolic diseases for instance including disorders such as diabetes and thyroid malfunctioning. B12 deficiency, estrogen replacement use, and other causes are possible. If you are significantly overweight, ask your doctor what to do or if there is a medical pathology that might be causing a weight problem. No one wants to feel as if it's tiring to be active. Think how much better you will feel to have a more normal weight situation. Don't give up. Do you need to go to the department store and look in the mirror as you try on clothes? This generally works wonders. It's like looking at yourself as you never have. Where did all that weight come from? How did you get this way? Look how dimply and unatrractive you are. How did this happen? And finally the best sentiment - you must do something about it. And remember, it's easy to forget how much fat you have. Go to the free dressing room every day if there is a need to motivate yourself to exercise (with your doctor's permission) or eat less. It's very hard at first and even harder to stick to - many things rise over the importance of taking care of yourself. Love yourself to thin -ness . Spend whatever time it takes to meditate, prepare, or however you can self inspire. Probably in the beginning it will take a lot of time but it will lessen eventually. How do you like to diet? There are so many ways. Can you get accustomed to food without sugar? If you don't like the taste of water, add some flavor. Small steps are good. It means you are working on it, one of the most important things in your life - your weight. What do you really look like? It's hard to tell at home. The bathroom mirror is seductive. Perhaps you do not have a high quality mirror or the light is not starkly bright enough. Get out of the house and examine yourself. Look at your knees. And yes, the thighs are rubbing. What size is your clothing? Do you notice how expanded the "slab" of your shoulder has become? Hold your arm out and look at the upper portion in a good mirror. How does it appear? Finally turn around and look at the back of your upper arms. Have they lost their appeal? Remember when you were a kid and you had real arms? Arms with nice curves? This is just one day. You need to think about these things every day probably in order to achieve the difficult goal of weight loss and regular exercise. I repeat - do not give up on yourself. You are beautiful and one day everyone will know it.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 1:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I dunno. I was greatly suspicious about UFS's posts, but this last one I just can't keep quiet any longer. 1200 pounds and "toothpick legs"??? Do people even realize how heavy 1200 pounds is??? At first, I took UFS's posts about his *skinny* bottom portion as a euphemism, but there are several comments in his posts that just belie believability.

- Most people are bedridden (and I do mean *completely* bedridden) at around 600 pounds. How is it even possible, that at 1200 pounds, he is not only mobile, but his self-professed *toothpick* legs will support his getting up & down from the couch at will?

- How is it possible that UFS's couch will support that kind of weight? If an ambulance can't even support HALF that weight, I can't imagine how his couch could the ENTIRE weight.

- Where is all this food coming from? UFS is LONG past the point of being able to enter/exit a doorway (approx 700 lbs and ambulatory services will be cutting a nice new livingroom hole in the wall - and you can google that if you don't believe me), so how is he getting out to shop? Never mind again the believability of him being ambulatory at 1200 pounds! And being able to get to a liquor store (never mind he shouldn't be drinking), but c'mon....1200lbs and *walking* into a liquor store?

And this quote, "I have my living room couch covered with plastic sheets and plastic sheets on the floor, so I just sit on my couch, eating, drinking, urinating and defecating, and then I stand up just long enough for someone to change the plastic sheets on my couch ad the floor so I can sit down again."

This particular quote got me for the "you've gotta be kidding me" teenage grossness factor. There are just soooooo many things wrong with this entire scenario, including this last quote, that I better stop lest you guys think I'm cruel - because I'm not. Not at all. But at his purported weight, there is NO WAY his posts are factual.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 4:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think somebody is on here pulling somebodys leg. who has time to read all this @#$%?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 10:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

LOL, look what I started!

It's 2-1/2 years later and I'm happy to report that I've lost the extra, stubborn, upper-body fat. Turns out, it was just the last to go once I finally got down to the lower end of my ideal weight. Regular exercise and a healthy, nutrient-rich diet were key. It's now a lifestyle that I can live with for the rest of my life, and I haven't been sick for almost 2 years so I must be doing something right.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 1:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Apples, trust me if you eat apple slices throughout the day and cut down on the bad foods your metabolism will be racing all day long . Tomatoes also works well for your metobolism.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 12:47PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Total Gym, workouts for weight loss
Hi I am a 52 yr.old (overweight)male who has a total...
Do Ab Machines Shown on TV Really Work? - Report from ABC News
This was at ABC News' website... Friday December 14...
hello, looking for anti-aging products. Ideas?
Is riding a Bike really good excercise?
I know that riding a bike is good for your legs but...
A Physical Therapist Told Me
MY DH goes to a physical therapy gym several times...
Sponsored Products
Select Luxury E.C.O. Latex 2-inch Reversible Mattress Topper with Cover
Whitten Bronze Patina Three Light 52-Inch Ceiling Fan
$187.00 | Bellacor
Calphalon Classic Nonstick Bakeware 9 in. Springform Pan - 1826048
$21.99 | Hayneedle
Finesse Satin Nickel One-Light Wall Sconce
$69.00 | Bellacor
Studio Series New Bronze Four Light 52-Inch Ceiling Fan
$142.00 | Bellacor
Stamina AeroPilates Premier XP 299 Pilates Reformer - Refurbished Multicolor - 5
$160.01 | Hayneedle
Green Glass Table Lamp: Elaine 29 in. Green Glass Table Lamp 32319GRN
Home Depot
Titan Lighting Posts Lafayette 2-Light Outdoor Regal Bronze Post Light TN-8366
Home Depot
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™