Is there a new sleeveless shirt top you’d really love to buy but are hesitant to? Are you looking for clothes to help keep you cool in the summertime, but are specifically avoiding spaghetti straps, tube tops, and other sleeveless options?
Is it because of the annoying lump of fat that spills out beneath your armpits?
Armpit fat is a cause of concern for many, partly because of possible health risks, but mainly for aesthetic reasons. Strangely enough, you don’t even have to be fat to have it!
If you’re insecure about your underarm fat and are looking for ways to reduce or totally get rid of it, then you’ve come to the right place.
Causes of Armpit Fat
Before we talk about how to get rid of your armpit fat, we first need to know what causes it. And there are quite a number of causes, ranging from trivial to quite serious. Let’s briefly discuss them one by one.
Illnesses and other conditions can cause fat deposits not just in your armpits but all around your body.
One of them is called a lipoma. It is not technically an illness, rather a growing lump of fat. Lipomas are mostly found between the skin and muscle of the upper body, arms, or thighs of middle-aged men and women.
Lipomas feel rather doughy, will move easily when you touch them, but are not cancerous. They don’t usually hurt either, unless they hit a nerve.
Other illnesses like Madelung’s disease—lipid metabolism disorder—and Proteus Syndrome—an overgrowth of skin, bones, muscles, fatty tissues, and blood and lymphatic vessels—are rare and more sinister.
Listen to your body and consult a doctor if you suspect anything strange going on.
Sadly, genetics do play a part in the presence of armpit fat as well. Your genetics will determine where most of your fat gets stored. It could be in your belly, your thighs, your arms, or your hips… even your back. It’s different for everyone, which means skinny people can get armpit fat as well.
If you notice that some or the majority of your relatives have fatty underarms, then you’re likely to develop the same sooner or later, especially if you’re not careful.
Fatty underarms are about two times more common in women than in men, because of their breasts. The breast fat can sometimes grow outside of the breast area and in the armpit, masquerading as armpit fat. These excess fats are called axillary breasts.
If your genetics is the problem, you might not be able to remove it through exercise and diet alone and might have to resort to other procedures.
Don’t feel bad though as even celebrities have armpit fat. It’s natural and nothing to be ashamed of.
This one is pretty obvious and self-explanatory. Fat is spread out across your body depending on your genetics, so if you’re gaining weight and starting to deposit fat everywhere, your armpits will not be spared.
If you notice that your armpit fat is more pronounced after putting on a bit of weight, then it’s likely to be a weight problem in your case.
These are the most common ways to determine if you’re overweight or not.
- BMI or Body Mass Index. This measures your weight in relation to your height. There are BMI calculators all over the internet nowadays. Try calculating your BMI here https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/english_bmi_calculator/bmi_calculator.html
- The next way is to measure the ratio between your waist and height. The waist-to-height ratio is said to be more accurate than the BMI in measuring obesity. You may calculate your ratio through this site https://www.health-calc.com/body-composition/waist-to-height-ratio
Lastly, if instead of gaining weight you’ve actually lost weight recently, then the folds under your arms might not even be fat at all. It could be loose or excess skin. Again, please consult your doctor if you’re unsure.
For the women reading this, you might be surprised—and a tad relieved—to hear that this can all be fixed by simply changing your bra size!
Bras that are too tight for you will compress your breasts and cause the fats around that area to clump up and spill out. When you go shopping for bras, don’t be afraid to ask for advice from the ladies working there as they are usually trained to measure and help you find the right size.
Varying levels of insulin, estrogen, and testosterone, or an imbalance of these and other hormones can affect where and how your fats are stored.
Insulin stimulates the conversion of glucose into fat, that’s why it’s used to manage the symptoms of people with diabetes. So if you’ve been injecting yourself with insulin recently, then that could be the source of the extra fat under your armpits.
If that is the case—please do not stop taking your insulin all for the sake of looking good. It is not an even trade in the slightest.
When it comes to estrogen in women, one form of it known as estradiol is produced less during menopause. As estradiol helps in the regulation of your metabolism and body weight, the loss of it will lead to some weight gain.
That said, if you’re suffering from menopause, ask your doctor what can be done to minimize the symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy, for one, is a viable option.
For men, the less testosterone you have, the more likely you are to put on some weight as testosterone aids in burning fat more efficiently. Again, please consult your doctor if you think you have this problem.
Lastly, fatty armpits are more common in adults than in children. This is mainly because the older you get, the less tight your skin becomes, causing sagginess. This won’t just affect your armpits, but the rest of your body as well.
As mentioned earlier, age also affects your hormone production and regulation, which in turn can affect the way your food is digested, processed, and stored.
You’ll notice that as you age, more and more problems will start cropping up. That’s why you should start taking care of yourself as early as possible, instead of waiting for things to get bad before you take action. If something can be prevented, do it.
Prevention is always better than cure.
Getting Rid of Armpit Fat
So, how do we get rid of that pesky armpit fat? If getting the right bra size doesn’t help you, here are a few other tips that might.
I bet you saw this one coming. After all, healthcare professionals have been advocating for exercise as a means to improve people’s health for decades now.
The question is—is there a specific exercise you can do to get rid of just your armpit fat? The answer is no, there isn’t. Studies have shown that there’s no way to spot reduce fat.
Spot reduction is the myth that you can reduce the fat of just one part of your body without affecting everything else.
Fats are where you store your reserved energy, so this reserved energy is what you’re aiming to expend when you exercise. That’s why they say you burn fat while exercising.
Cardio For Weight Loss
The best way to burn fat is to do cardiovascular exercises or cardio for short. These are exercises that will get your heart and lungs pumping. The calories are burned and expended as the gases exiting your lungs.
There are two types of cardio exercises—the Continuous Exercises and the High Interval Intensity Training, or HIIT for short.
- Some common examples of continuous cardio exercises are running, swimming, cycling, dancing, and jogging. Do just one of these for at least 30 minutes everyday for better results.
- HIIT are done by alternating short periods of intense workouts with slightly longer periods of rest. A simple HIIT exercise that doesn’t require any machinery is sprinting. Sprint or run at full speed for 30 seconds, then jog or brisk walk for a minute. Repeat everything until you reach 10 minutes.
I know, I know. Nobody likes this word, but if you’re looking to shed off some extra weight, then dieting, coupled with exercises, is a sure way to achieve it. Even if you don’t exercise, you can slim down by simply watching what you eat.
There are apps you can download that will help you keep track of this, such as MyFitnessPal and MyPlate. They will tell you how many calories you can consume in a day, based on your age, height, weight, and lifestyle.
Try to consume 200 to 300 less than your daily quota.
If you want to go a step further, you can try more specific diets such as the keto diet and intermittent fasting.
- The ketogenic diet involves cutting carbohydrates, which are stored as fat in your body at the end of digestion, out of your diet in order to force your body to use your own body fat for fuel in a process called ketosis.
- Intermittent fasting is when you eat and fast in intervals either in the course of a day, or a week. An example would be to eat only between ten o’clock in the morning and six o’clock in the evening, and to not eat anything the rest of the day.
There are many types of diets available out there. I suggest you try them out one by one for a period of time to see which one works best for you. You may also consult with a dietician and other related professionals.
Lastly, we have the medical procedures. While it’s true that these are easy and often can produce immediate results, they are also more expensive and come with their own risks. I recommend thoroughly researching about them, or consulting with a doctor first.
The nonsurgical procedures you can try are cryolipolysis, injection lipolysis, radiofrequency lipolysis, and laser lipolysis.
They’re quite a mouthful, but don’t be discouraged because here they are in a nutshell.
- Cryolipolysis or CoolSculpting is the process of reducing fat deposits by freezing them. Literally fat freezing. It has been shown to reduce fat by up to 24%.
- As the name suggests, injection lipolysis is the process of reducing fat by injecting a substance into it. It is not recommended for the elderly or anyone with loose skin.
- Radiofrequency lipolysis is the application of controlled heat on a fat deposit. The instrument is kept about a centimeter away from your skin to avoid burns as it is meant to literally melt the targeted fat.
- Laser lipolysis is similar to the previous technique in that it also involves melting away fat, but with the use of lasers instead of radio frequency.
The last procedure I’m going to talk about is something I’m sure you’re familiar with—liposuction. It is a surgical procedure that involves a suction literally sucking the fat out of certain areas of your body. It is the most invasive and the most expensive procedure on this list.
Frequently Asked Questions About Getting Rid of Armpit Fat
How do you reduce armpit fat without exercise?
You may reduce armpit fat without exercise through watching what you eat, and by undergoing certain procedures designed to remove fat deposits. These procedures can be surgical or nonsurgical, and can be quite costly.
Why do I have armpit fat if I’m skinny?
You can have armpit despite being skinny because of your genetics, which determine how and where your fat is stored. It could also be caused by abnormal growths, like a lipoma or axillary breast.
Why do I have more fat under one armpit?
The fattier armpit might not be fat at all but a swollen lymph node or an abnormal growth. This is irregular, but not impossible. However, if the difference is too great, I recommend having yourself checked out.
A Final Word From Energetic Lifestyle
Fatty armpits are really nothing to worry about, as apart from some potential discomfort, they don’t pose any serious threats.
However, if you’re adamant about getting rid of them, then the best thing to do would be to diet and exercise in order to achieve cheaper and more sustainable results. Consider doing the other procedures only as a last resort, if all else fails.
If you suspect anything more serious, or if the fat feels less like fat and more like a lump, please consult a doctor and have yourself checked as early as possible.