How To Reduce Arm Fat

Have you been doing a double take lately when you walk past the mirror because you are starting to notice that you are toting around some additional arm fat?

Some of the most common questions I receive are what does it take to lose arm fat and what causes it in the first place.

Well, read on because we are here to help you lose that extra baggage!

What Causes Arm Fat

It is true that some body types, genetics, and hormone imbalances can cause some people to be overweight and therefore contribute to arm fat.

However, putting these body types aside, the main contributor to arm fat is simple: poor diet and lack of exercise.

Yes, a poor diet and a lack of exercise will promote arm fat.

If you are looking to lose arm fat and get toned arms, patience and consistency are required. This means there is no such thing as a “lose arm fat fast” program!

Yes, commitment and discipline will accelerate the process of reducing all of your body fat, but it will not happen overnight.

I know this sounds a little harsh and maybe isn’t what everyone wants to hear, however, the good news is that this means arm fat is in your control and you can do something about it.

Starting now!

Person flexing while another person pulls on their arm fat.

Research shows that the number of fat cells in your body stays relatively constant throughout your adult life, however, the cells either expand (gain weight) or contract (lose weight).

Again, I feel this is good news as all we are trying to do is control the size of our fat cells and that is an achievable goal!

Targeted Fat Loss

Some people believe in the concept of spot reduction or targeted fat loss. With this belief, one thinks they can do specific exercises that target a specific area, and by doing this, you will lose weight in this area.

However, to understand why this doesn’t work it is necessary to have a basic understanding of how fat loss works.

There are two different types of fat in the body. Visceral fat and subcutaneous fat.

Visceral fat is the fat you cannot see that is hidden throughout your body. Subcutaneous fat is the visible fat and where most fat is stored.

When fat is stored, it is stored throughout your body.

And when fat needs to be used for fuel or energy, such as during exercise, this fuel can come from anywhere in the body, not specifically from the area being targeted.

This is why taking a holistic and comprehensive approach to weight loss is really the only way to go.

So, let’s discuss the ways to lose arm fat.

Diet To Lose Arm Fat

Okay, as we have already said, we are not buying into the targeted fat loss concept.

However, what we are buying into is the concept that overall fat loss will occur with a healthy and balanced diet!

And I’m excited to let you in on one of the best-kept diet secrets.

The easiest and most important part of any diet and weight loss is this: DRINK MORE WATER!

What does water have to do with losing weight you ask?

Well, water is the absolute best flushing supplement for your body, and the more water you drink, the more your body is flushed of fats, cholesterol, and other impurities, leading to weight loss.

Besides drinking more water, you need to monitor your calorie intake and ensure the calories that you are consuming are the right calories.

Picture of healthy meal with chicken breast.

Small Eating Changes That Add Up

Examples That Make a Difference:

  • Reduce your portions. A good first step is to cut your portions by 5-10% which will allow your body to slowly become used to eating less. Besides drinking more water, I always recommend this as the first step for the first few weeks. By easing into proper eating, I believe this also sends the message that weight loss should be a process and is not a quick process. The quicker the weight loss process, the quicker the weight will be back on!
  • Eat plenty of foods that are rich in protein. Protein is by far the most filling food and actually reduces the ghrelin hormone, which is known as the hunger hormone.
  • Limit added sugars and processed foods. Foods such as potato chips, cupcakes, and candy bars are high in sugar as are soft drinks. These foods will derail the strictest of diets and make all of your hard work and effort for naught.
  • Chose foods that are high in fiber to complement your protein choices. This is the food group where you will find your fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and nuts. Fiber helps your body process the foods you consume and gets you ready for the next healthy meal!
  • Eat breakfast! I know it sounds weird to be told that you need to eat to lose weight, but this is one of the few exceptions where this is true. By eating a healthy and balanced breakfast in the morning, you will jump-start your metabolism and be ready for the day.
  • Over time, I always recommend spreading your calories out over 5 meals versus the traditional 3. Now, this does not mean you change your calorie intake but instead spread your calories out over more meals. Move from 3 meals to 4 meals and then 4 meals to 5 meals. This will keep your metabolism high throughout the day as your body will know there is another healthy meal coming soon and therefore burn the calories you have provided it. Again, this only works if you consume the proper calories and keep your caloric intake at the minimum range for your body weight.

Exercises To Lose Arm Fat

To really see results and reduce arm fat, you need to combine a balanced, caloric-conscious diet, with exercise.

Here are some great exercises to help reduce that arm fat and tone your arms, many of that can be done while watching your favorite television show:

Arm Circles: Stand up straight, using good posture, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift your arms straight out to your sides and start to do small circles with your arms. Continue in one direction (clockwise) for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then switch directions for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Rest for 15 seconds and then repeat, doing as many sets as you can. You can also rotate between small circles and large circles to target different arm muscles.

Arm Scissors: Stand up straight, using good posture, and lift your arms straight out from your sides. Keeping your arms straight, cross your arms in front of your body, rotating the arm you put on top when crossing your arms. Target 20-30 reps and set yourself a goal of doing 100 reps over time.

Wall Push-Ups: Stand with your feet hips width apart and just short of a full arm’s length away from a wall or other immovable object. Straighten both arms fully, keeping a 90-degree angle between your chest and arm. Place both palms on the wall and allow your weight to shift forward so your weight is now in your hands. Slowly start bending your elbows and allowing your weight to bring to towards the wall, stopping just before your nose hits the wall. Once you reach this position, slowly push against the wall until your arms are fully extended and you are back into your original position, exhaling as you push. Repeat as many times as you can.

Woman flexing very toned arm.

No Jump Jumping Jacks: Stand up straight, using good posture, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Without jumping, move your hands above your head, forming a wide X, like you would when doing a jumping jack.  Lower your hands back down to your sides and repeat. You can vary the speed of the exercise and also how much you flex your arms to target various muscles in the arms.

Chair Dips: Place a chair directly behind you. Reach behind you and with your palms facing forward, place your hands on the chair. Slowly walk your feet out until you can lower your rear end without scraping your back on the chair. Once in a comfortable position, lower your body down and then push back up, focusing on keeping your triceps tightened and engaged throughout the movement. Repeat for as many reps as you can, taking breaks as needed.

Arm Kickbacks: With your feet shoulder-width apart, lean forward to an angle of approximately 45 degrees. In this position, reach back as far as you can with your arms until they are straight out behind you. From this position, squeeze your triceps and then slowly bring your hands toward the front of your body, keeping your elbows exactly where they are and firm against your sides. When your arms are fully bent, slowly reach back behind you, flexing your triceps, until they are straight out behind you again. This is one rep. Continue for as many reps as you can, taking short breaks as needed.

The Bottom Line

Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick and easy way to lose arm fat (or any fat for that matter). So don’t fall for the “lose arm fat fast” scheme!

Spot fat targeting is not effective but that doesn’t mean you have to go through life without toned arms.

With a healthy diet and exercise, you will not only tone your arms but you will also tone the rest of your body.

Paying closer attention to your habits in the kitchen and the gym will provide you with enormous benefits over your lifetime.

And remember, your commitment to fitness does not need to be one where you are dripping sweat for hours at a time!

So, if you are looking to lose arm fat, maximize the short breaks life affords you and incorporate these basic exercises into your day.

You will be surprised, over the long haul, by the improvements that come your way!

Enjoy the journey!

TJ Daniels, Certified Personal Trainer
Latest posts by TJ Daniels, Certified Personal Trainer (see all)