Is Bra Fat (Armpit Fat/axillary fat) caused by tight bras?

Amaris B.

Archive Date:

September 23, 2021

Contrary to popular belief, this bulge can happen to any woman, even those with small or average breast size and those who are slim and fit.

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Blog last updated on:

October 4, 2022

According to Independent UK, "worries about armpits were particularly popular among young people, with one in 10 of the more youthful among the 2,000 women surveyed saying they avoided spending time with their partner or friends because of underarm inhibitions.

The research also found six in 10 women have felt "judged by others", purely based on the appearance of their underarms. In addition, 34 percent claimed their lack of confidence in displaying their underarms has proved an impediment to their career. 'Armpit fat' is also establishing sensitive issues among women."

Bra fat and its other infamous names

Bra fat is also known as armpit fat or axillary fat. Axillary basically refers to our anatomy relating to the armpit or a corresponding part. These fat pockets are called by these names as they occur on the axillary area, which is the armpit.

The relationship between ill-fitting bras and armpit fat (axillary fat)

Armpit fat is the fat bulge that appears between your breasts and upper arm when you don fitted tops or a bra (loose or tight). If you have excessive back fat or armpit fat, chances are your bra and tops do not fit properly. The fat pockets may spill over your bra straps, and the back fat bulges may show through your tops. The sleeveless outfit may not be a feasible option anymore.

However, bra fat is not as the name implies. That fat pocket is not JUST caused by your poorly fitted or tight bras. And it may also not mean that you are overweight either.

Contrary to popular belief, this bulge can happen to any woman, even those with small or average breast size and those who are slim and fit. Depending on our DNA, each unique one of us has trouble spots in different areas where we accumulate more fat in specific body parts than others. For example, some people have more excess fat in their outer thighs, while some have more excess fat in their abdomen.

The bra bulge can occur due to tight bras. But it is also common for bra fat to happen when you are wearing a loose fitted one. These fat deposits are not only stubborn, but the meaty appearance can peek out of your well-fitted top.

Getting rid of Bra Fat (armpit fat/axillary fat) with exercise

Spot reduction is generally accepted as a myth. An effective fat loss program usually entails a full body workout and losing fat this way is a more highly-encouraged method. Nonetheless, specific exercises such as toning the upper arms including the area around the armpits does strengthen the muscles in those areas but it may not do much when it comes to eliminating underarm fat.

A study on the efficacy of a resistance training program focusing on the arms revealed that although there is increased overall fat loss but it is not as effective in specific areas.  A comprehensive approach would be to incorporate strength and cardiovascular training, and attention has to also be given to diet.

Work on your food intake

Balance is akin to perfection. This could be said to hold true, especially when it comes to appearance and general wellbeing. After all, isn't it more appealing to stand out or be well as a whole and not just in parts?

So when it comes to food, a balanced diet will go a long way in helping an individual look and feel great. Knowing how much fuel (calories) your body needs to function daily may be a chore for some to count. But knowing where these calories come from is an easier task, and the list includes:

How much you need depends on how much you expend

The amount of calories you need is dependent on the amount you expand according to your needs. The numbers vary with the demands of the individual, for example, people who exercise regularly would need more than those who don't. Additionally, men also need more calories than women. An average person requires about 2000 kcal to maintain their needs depending on their age, gender and level of physical activity.

In Singapore, the dietary guidelines for adults aged 18 to 65 years are:

  • Dietary Guidelines for Adults 18-65 years of age (2003)
  • Base your diet on the Healthy Diet Pyramid Recommendations
  • Aim to achieve and maintain a healthy BMI
  • Eat sufficient amounts of grains, especially whole grains
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables every day
  • Choose and prepare food with less fat, especially saturated fat
  • Choose and prepare food with less salt and sauces
  • Choose beverages and food with less sugar

In the USA, the current dietary (caloric) guidelines for the different types of individuals are as follows:

  • Active females: 14 to 30 years (2, 400 kcal)
  • Sedentary females: 14 to 30 years (1800 to 2000 kcal)
  • Active males: 14 to 30 years (2, 800 to 3200 kcal)
  • Sedentary males: 14 to 30 years (2, 000 to 2600 kcal)
  • Active people: 30 years and over (2000 to 3000 kcal)
  • Sedentary people: 30 years and above (1600 to 2400 kcal)

Like any other stubborn fat pouches like the saddlebags or muffin top, armpit fat is resilient to a healthy diet and regular workout.

Bra Fat  (armpit fat/axillary fat)  removal with VASER Lipo & MDC-Sculpt® Lipo technique

Most of our patients opt for VASER liposuction to permanently remove the fat pockets on their backs and under the armpits.

This is because VASER Lipo not only removes the armpit fat safely while sculpts the body part smoothly, but it also stimulates the production of collagen, allowing skin retraction after liposuction. This provides for the best possible skin retraction, improving skin's overall contouring and smoothness.

MDC-Sculpt® Lipo technique, the Award winning liposuction technique in Singapore

Dr Ivan Puah's proprietary liposuction technique, called MDC-Sculpt® Lipo technique, is a body sculpting method he combines when performing body sculpting surgical treatments with vibration amplification of sound energy at resonance (VASER).

This technique allows thorough fat removal on the area, constituting a more desirable cosmetic outcome as the scarring is reduced to the bare minimum. This approach, coupled with the technological advancement of VASER, yields not just permanent fat removal, but also a sculpted physique for the patient, per the patient's unique body shape.

Over the years, Dr. Puah's "30% science and 70% art" approach to body sculpting has earned Amaris B. Clinic multiple accolades. VASER Lipo With MDC-sculpt® Lipo Technique has earned Amaris B. Clinic recognition from Daily Vanity's Love Local Awards 2021 Editor's Choice for Best Innovative Treatments. An MOH-licensed liposuction doctor in Singapore and a VASER-certified physician, Dr. Ivan Puah has more than 15 years of experience.

He is also the only doctor in Singapore to receive dedicated surgical training in performing gynecomastia surgery in San Francisco.

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