Shedding stubborn body fat can be tricky, especially when it’s concentrated in a specific area of your body.
The arms are often considered a problem area, leaving many people seeking out ways to lose extra arm fat.
Fortunately, there are several methods you can use to slim down and tone your arms.
Here are a few ways to decrease arm fat and promote overall weight loss.
1. Focus on Overall Weight Loss
Spot reduction is a technique that focuses on burning fat in a specific part of your body, such as the arms.
Though spot reduction is popular in the fitness industry, most studies have found it to be ineffective.
One study in 104 people showed that completing a 12-week resistance training program using only the non-dominant arm increased overall fat loss but had little impact on the specific area being exercised.
Another small 12-week study found that resistance training focussing on one leg was effective at decreasing overall body fat but did not reduce body fat in the leg being trained.
Therefore, it’s best to focus on overall weight loss and use exercise for muscle toning rather than fat loss.
Multiple studies show that spot reduction is ineffective. Instead, try using specific exercises for muscle toning and focus on overall weight loss.
2. Start Lifting Weights
Resistance training is a type of exercise that involves working against a force to build muscle mass and increase strength.
Lifting weights is a common example. While it may not cause fat loss in your arms specifically, it can help increase overall fat loss and tone your arms to help them look slimmer.
For example, one 12-week study in 28 women with type 2 diabetes showed that performing low-intensity resistance training promoted total fat loss while increasing muscle mass and strength.
Another study in 109 people observed that resistance training alone or combined with aerobic exercise was more effective at increasing lean body mass than aerobic exercise alone.
Building lean body mass can help boost metabolism and increase the number of calories burned at rest throughout the day.
Bicep curls, overhead tricep extensions, overhead presses, and upright rows are a few examples of exercises that can help tone your arms and boost muscle mass.
Lifting weights can help decrease body fat, increase muscle mass, and tone your arms to help them appear slimmer.
3. Increase Your Fiber Intake
Adding a few additional servings of fiber to your diet can jumpstart weight loss and help you lose excess body fat.
Fiber moves slowly through your digestive system, which increases the amount of time it takes to empty your stomach and helps you feel fuller for longer.
According to one study in 252 women, each gram of dietary fiber consumed was associated with 0.25% less body fat and 0.5 pounds (0.25 kg) less body weight over 20 months.
In another review, increasing daily fiber intake by 14 grams for 4 months was linked to a 10% reduction in total calorie intake and 4.2 pounds (1.9 kg) of weight loss — without making any other changes.
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes are some examples of nutritious, high-fiber foods that you can enjoy as part of a healthy diet.
Eating more fiber can enhance feelings of fullness to reduce hunger and increase overall weight loss.
4. Add Protein to Your Diet
Increasing your intake of protein is another simple way to curb cravings and keep your appetite under control. This, in turn, may support weight management and help you reduce excess body fat.
A study in 20 young women found that eating a high-protein breakfast reduced hunger, increased fullness, and decreased levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates hunger.
Another small study showed that consuming more quality protein at meals was associated with less belly fat. This suggests that a high-protein diet could help improve body composition and increase fat loss.
Meat, poultry, seafood, legumes, eggs, and dairy products are all high-protein ingredients that can help you lose arm fat fast.
Protein can help decrease hunger and increase fullness. Higher protein intake may aid both weight and fat loss.
5. Do More Cardio
Cardio is a type of exercise that focuses on elevating your heart rate to burn calories.
When trying to lose arm fat, including cardio in your daily routine is essential.
Studies show that cardio can be an effective strategy for weight loss and can increase lean body mass.
For example, one study in 141 people showed that pairing 40 minutes of cardio 3 times per week with a weight management program resulted in a 9% decrease in body weight in just 6 months.
It’s typically recommended to do at least 20–40 minutes of cardio per day, or between 150–300 minutes each week.
Jogging, biking, rowing, swimming, jumping rope, and dancing are all activities that can help you meet your daily cardio goals.
Cardio can help increase weight loss and fat burning to help you lose arm fat over time.