May 2021
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Fatty Bits

Most of us have a tendency to put on weight in one particular place. Whether we have fat thighs, flabby arms or a potbelly, it’s important to tackle these problem areas – not just to look better but, more importantly, to avoid the health risks associated with them.


Chunky ankles are often the result of water retention before your period. Check by pressing your thumb against your ankle – if the skin springs back when you remove your thumb, it’s fat; if you can see a dent, it’s fluid. Persistently swollen ankles can be a sign of heart disease, liver problems, kidney failure or thrombosis.

Get rid of it by drinking dandelion tea twice a day to ease water retention. If it’s fat, try heel-raising exercises. Put your feet flat on the floor, lift up your heels so you’re on tiptoe, then return your heels to the floor. Repeat for 10 to 15 minutes a day.


Even if you’re a size six with no rolls anywhere (lucky thing), you may still be fat on the inside. Visceral fat, caused by a lack of exercise and eating too many fatty, sugary foods, can wrap around your organs, and leads to diabetes and heart disease.

Get rid of it by cutting out as many saturated fats (in butter, pastry, biscuits and cakes) as you can and instead having unsaturated fats (found in margarine, olive oil and oily fish).

Hips, Bum and Thighs

If you have a desk job, you’re more likely to be fat in these areas because your lymphatic system, which flushes out fatty toxins, slows down if you’re often sitting down.

Get rid of it by going for a walk during your lunch break. Wandering around the shops will do the trick as well. Also try body-brushing, working your way from the ankles and up the legs in the direction of the heart. It improves circulation, which helps the lymphatic system do its job.


Even if you’re in good shape, you can get flabby skin under the arms. This is partly caused by genes and partly a result of the fact that there are very few exercises that tackle this area. It can also suggest a diet imbalance.

Get rid of it by making sure you’re not missing out on good fats in your diet, as these help fight the bad fats. This is a common mistake made by people who are dieting. Opt for foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fresh tuna and salmon. Also, try working out your triceps (the muscles at the back of your upper arms) with simple weight exercises using one-litre bottles of water.


Women are genetically predisposed to storing fat around their stomachs. Oestrogen activates fat-storing enzymes, which means women on the combined Pill are even more likely to put on weight in this area. It can also be a sign that your blood-sugar levels are very inconsistent.

Get rid of it by stabilizing blood-sugar levels – eat breakfast and have healthy snacks (such as seeds) during the day. Cutting down on booze helps too. If nothing seems to work, go to a doctor for a checkup. Persistent fat on the stomach can be an early sign of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even dementia.


Finally, fat where we want it. But don’t get too excited. Unless it’s just water retention before a period, chances are it’s the result of a heavy drinking or smoking habit. The fat will look a bit like cellulite, which is a sign the liver is being blocked by toxins.

Get rid of it by drinking and smoking less, of course. The stronger the alcohol you consume, the more it slows down metabolism. So choose booze with a low alcohol content.

Sandra Prior PhotoAbout Author
Sandra Prior runs her own bodybuilding website at

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