home / Fitness
How To Reduce Arm Fat: Most Effective Diets, Exercises & Lifestyle Changes

How To Reduce Arm Fat: Most Effective Diets, Exercises & Lifestyle Changes

It is definitely a virtue to constantly work on improving oneself. Whether it has to do with your skills, lifestyle or fitness, you can always work on some aspect of your life. When it comes to figuring out how to adult better, we look for the creative ways that can help us achieve our goals.

We don’t encourage any beauty magazine’s idea of a perfect body for women because the standard that they have set is an illusion. But if you feel uncomfortable with your body, then you should look for healthy ways to change it. Whether it is to reduce face fat or work on the love handles, there is always a healthier way to do it! In this article, we are discussing one of the common things that we have been asked – how to reduce arm fat.

Let’s reiterate that it is completely normal to have arm fat and there is nothing wrong with it. But if you really want to reduce arm fat, then ahead, you will find all the ways you can tone your arms healthily.

What Is Arm Fat 
Healthy Diet 
Lifestyle Changes For It 
Cautions About Easier Way 

What Is Arm Fat?


The upper arm area of women tends to store more fat than the rest. You can distinguish arm fat in the way that when you stretch out your arms, there is a section of skin dangling on the upper side. There can be many reasons for this including the following.

Weight Gain

Since people gain weight differently based on their body shape, some people have that extra weight go into their arms. There are pockets of fat cells that can accumulate on your arms and result in this change of appearance.

                                                                  Also Read: How to Loose Thigh Fat

Improper Diet

Exceeding your calorie needs is one of the easiest ways to accumulate fat. An excess of sugar-rich and refined grains diet like candy, baked goods, white bread, white pasta and soda can cause your body to store calories as fat, rather than using it for energy. And if your body type tends to store fat in arms, you will gain weight there.

Hormonal Reasons

Factors like stress, bad diet, unhealthy lifestyle and lack of sleep can create testosterone imbalance in your body. Although testosterone is a male sex hormone, women maintain a certain level of it. The testosterone is largely responsible for building muscle in both men and women. If you suffer a lack of it, your body may replace muscle development with fat storage. This can target your arms to make and make them less toned than the rest of your body.


Ageing is one of the biggest reasons that contribute to arm fat in women. As you get older, your muscles can atrophy, causing your back of your arms to get swollen.

Things To Know Before You Start Working On Your Arms
Just like any other weight loss regimes, losing weight in targeted areas involves a collection of steps to be taken on a regular basis. It involves a combination of well thought out exercises, fixing your diet and making changes to your overall lifestyle choices. In order to properly get this job done, we have broken down the exercise in three different aspects. So, grab a notepad and start with these!

How A Healthy Diet Helps


Monitor Your Water Intake

Drinking eight or more glasses of filtered water every day is an absolute must. Spread this out in between meals to control your appetite, improve metabolism and burn fat. Make sure to not overdo it either since drinking a lot of water during meals can dilute stomach acid and affect your digestion adversely. Being properly hydrated through the day will also help balance your stress hormones, which can increase even if you are just mildly dehydrated. Avoid sugary substitutes to water like sodas, coffee and sports drinks.

Create A Calorie Count Discrepancy

The earliest step you need to take to reduce arm fat is that you need to start watching the number of calories you ingest. Research has shown that one needs to burn about 3,500 calories to burn a pound of fat. This might seem like too much right now, but there is an easy trick to counter it. Try cutting down about 500 calories from your daily diet and over a week, you would be able to burn 3,500 calories.

Also Read How To Do Dips Exercise

Note down everything you eat and the calorie content of it, in a notebook and create a table to calculate how much you have eaten and how much you are going to burn. As soon as you are burning more calories than consuming, you will hit your target weight loss.

Keep Your Breakfast Lean And Regular

It’s not just an old wives tale that breakfast is the most important meal of your day. Research shows that people who eat a good and balanced breakfast of clean, lean protein, high-fiber carbs and healthy fat lose more weight and are able to maintain it. A protein bar or an apple does not count as a good breakfast. Be sure to make time in the morning to eat a full meal that will give you the energy to get through your day.

Increase Your Protein Intake

Adding some lean proteins to your diet will help to supplement your workout routine. Research conducted at the University of Texas found that pumping more protein in your diet increased muscle synthesis by as much as 25%. This means that you build stronger muscles faster, whether you are hitting the gym or doing it yourself at home.

Foods You Should Eat To Reduce Arm Fat

  • Capsicum: This power vegetable is known to work towards burning large amounts of body fat. The nutrients in raw capsicum, colored or green, help boost metabolism. This crunchy veggie contains anti-inflammatory properties and helps in treating irritable bowel syndrome. This, in turn, helps you achieve a healthy and happy gut. Eat one capsicum daily and you will notice a difference in an appearance sooner than expected.
  • Avocados: Avocados hold a major misconception in the minds of foodies that it contains a high-calorie content. But actually, the calories present in avocados are the healthy ones which are very useful for building muscle. It watches the growth of hormones that collect body fats. It also gives you regular bowel movements, which is essential to losing weight.
  • Dark Chocolate: Apart from being totally delicious, dark chocolates help in burning body fat and are great in boosting metabolism. Filled with antioxidants, dark chocolate kills your appetite and keeps you feeling full, so that you don’t indulge in junk food.
  • Soups: Soups are also great in replacing big meals, which makes you feel full and you end up consuming fewer calories. For instance, if you consume chicken soup before a meal, it helps in cutting down your total calorie intake as your tummy is already half full.
  • Green Tea: This beverage is refreshing for your mood and also helps burn fat from the belly and arm area. Having no more than three cups of green tea every day will get you to the weight loss goal.
  • Almonds: Having a handful of almonds every morning gives you the heathy way out of snacking and also helps burn fat. For instance, if you keep almonds with you as a backup snack, you won’t feel the need to replace it with chips and cookies. Make sure to have unsalted almonds in order to keep your blood pressure under control.
  • Beans And Legumes: These vegetables come packed with fibre and protein which helps in toning up and weight loss, especially your arms. Go for a wrap or the baked variety to really stock up on the good kind of protein.
  • Green Vegetables: Green leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach are packed with fibre and contain low calories. Grab a salad instead of that rice bowl in order to aid in your weight loss goals.

Heard About That Grapefruit Juice?

The issue with arm fat isn’t the lack of exercise; it is instead the accumulation of too much fat.  If you are someone who would grab an energy or electrolyte drink after an intense workout, quit it. Instead, grab a medium glass of grapefruit juice to go. Research at Vanderbilt University found that overweight study subjects who had half a cup serving of grapefruit juice before meals significantly reduced their weight and BMI as compared to those who drank water instead. When you lose fat, it is evenly dispersed all over your body. That is why, grabbing a grapefruit juice, without any added sugar, will help keep any coagulation at bay.

                                                       Also read: How to remove skin tags

Best Exercises To Reduce Arm Fat


Once you have your diet under control, it is time to get sweating to curb that arm fat. There are a few moves you can do to help get rid of that arm fat. The good news is, working on your arms is extremely easy and can be done in the comfort of your home. Here’s are some of the best exercises you can do to tone up those arms!

Tricep Dips


Tricep dips, whether you are doing one arm or both, help to burn the collected fat in the triceps and the back portion of the arms. Many women are prone to collecting fat in this area. Doing dips will not only melt the excess fat in the triceps but also tone up and give a sculpted look to your arms. A powerful arm toning exercise, you do not need any equipment to do it and can directly get on on the floor, a bench or a low wall to do it.

How to do it:

  • Sit on a chair, grip the edge of the seat with your hands and stretch your legs out in front of you.
  • Slide your body forward, lay your feet flat and bend your arms behind you so that you can hold yourself up. Make sure that your body is extended above the ground.
    Slowly rise and fall with your body using your triceps.
  • You can aim to do three sets of 15 after you get used to it.



Folded and lateral planks are not just about your core – they also affect your upper arms. They help dissolve the fat in your arms by inciting an intense hold, tone them up part with elongation and build muscle using your own body weight. This is equally helpful in achieving a flat tummy or even washboard abs if you decide to take it a step further!

How to do it:

  • Position your body horizontal to the ground, rest your upper body weight on your forearm and hold the position for at least 30 seconds.
  • To make sure you have the right posture, keep your feet close and pique on your toes. Hold your stomach in!
  • In a mirror, watch and make sure your wrists are resting directly under your shoulders and your back is forming a straight line. 

Push Ups


If you have ever tried to do more than ten push-ups in a row, you know how invigorating they can be! They target your pectoral and triceps brachii muscle and are excellent to tone your upper arm by burning the fat in that area. Push-ups belong to the resistance exercise genre, which means you can do it right in the comfort of your home without any types of equipment. Just by using your own body weight, you can work towards toning those arms.

How to do it:

  • Join your feet together, toes pointed down and hands shoulder-width apart. Position your body in a way that it runs parallel to the ground. Keep your hips and back flat in a straight line, no hunching!
  • Maintaining the first position, slowly bend your elbows and lower your body to within an inch or so of the floor. Slowly rise up, while maintaining the alignment. Train your breath to be in sync with this movement so that you can enhance your performance without injury.
  • Start with three sets of five. Later, you can go up as much as your body can take.

Wrist Rotations

One of the easiest exercises to perform, wrist rotations can be done in order to help work out those sedentary joints. You can either grab weights to do this or replace it with two 1 liter bottles in each hand. This exercise has to be done regularly in order to see any results.

How to do it:

  • Stand up with your back straight and holding weights in each hand.
    Put your hand out to either side, rotate your palms clockwise first and then anti-clockwise.
  • Perform sets of one minute each.
  • Bring your hand back down and relax. You can also do this exercise with your arms stretched straight in front of you.



We are in the big leagues now! One of the most effective exercises to reduce arm fat, lifting weights makes your arms stronger and firmer each day. Even if you aren’t involved in weight training exercises for your whole body, lifting small weights can make your arms leaner. This exercise will also add strength to your biceps, making it easier to maintain muscle.

How to do it:

  • Purchase weights upto 3 kgs or just pick heavy items in your house like water bottles.
    You can either sit down or stay standing to do this exercise. Hold the weights in each hand and slowly list it straight above your head.
  • Now lower the weights by taking it behind your back, as low as you can.
  • Bring the weight back to its original position slowly. Repeat this motion as slowly as possible to get more effective results. Keep your neck and back straight while doing this exercise.
  • Perform three sets of 20 repetitions of this exercise daily to make the most of it!

Arm Circles

how-to-reduce-arm-fat-am rotations

If you have ever danced for more than a couple of minutes, you will know how insanely tiring it is to flail your arms. Arm circles target your triceps, biceps, and shoulders. Once you start doing it, you will feel the burn in your shoulders. They also give an added advantage if you keep your abdominal muscles sucked in and tight. This will work out your core and help you do more rotations.

How to do it:

  • Stand straight on the floor and extend your arms to the side. In slow motions at first, start moving your arm in circles, all while keeping your breath steady.
  • Do as many rotations as you can and reverse the direction once you start feeling the burn. This workout occurs in complementary motions so that your whole arm can be worked on.
  • Take breaks in between and repeat.

Inverted Row


As much as you might hope for, inverted rows are best done in the gym, where there is proper equipment. This exercise targets your biceps. Lying flat on the seat, the action of you pulling yourself up is what gets your blood flowing and fat burning. You can try doing a milder version of this at work using a desk, but make sure that stapler is kept away from the edge!

How to do it:

  • While gripping the edge of the bar, table or chair, pull your upper body up off the ground, hold for a few seconds and lower yourself back down.
  • Keep your back straight, tushi pulled in and feet together to maintain balance in between the movements.
  • Since it is much easier to do than any of the other exercises mentioned on this list, you can push yourself to do as many as you can.

Pull Ups


Possibly the most complex one on the list, pull-ups offer many benefits for your body sculpting needs. They are a great move for strengthening the muscles in your arms, chest, shoulders, and sides of the back. Since pull ups require lifting the entire body weight on your arms, you might need a friend/ trainer to help you out while doing the move. But once you master it…  bye bye chubby arms!

How to do it:

  • The proper posture to perform pull ups correctly is to place your hands shoulder width apart on the pull-up bar.
  • Avoiding any jerky movements, pull yourself up until your chin reaches just above the bar.
  • Slowly bring your body back down and repeat as for as many times as you can.

Downward Dog


Yoga in its entirety is excellent for toning your body. The one exercise that can really amp up the toning is the downward dog. During this surya namaskar pose, your body forms a reverse V-shape with your heels pressed down or close to the floor and your hands flat on the floor. Your spine needs to shoot straight outside your back and your butt should be pressed in tightly. Beginners may need to bend their knees to keep the body in the reverse V-shape.

How to do it:

  • Use your arms to push your weight back toward your heels and extend it to the ground to form a reverse ‘V’.  
  • Hold the position as long as you can keeping your feet apart. Sync up your breathing and drop your head towards the ground to really feel the stretch.

Handstands & Headstands (Pros Only)


We would recommend that you try this part much later in your workout routine. Handstands and headstands require plenty of upper-arm strength to keep your body upside-down and in proper alignment, thus burning the most amount of fat as compared to any other exercises.

How to do it:

  • To get in the proper position, crouch down in front of a wall (cleared of any furniture, hanging pictures, or other obstacles) and clasp your hands together with your elbows about shoulder-width apart.
  • Position your head in between your elbows. Lift your legs up one at a time and place them against the wall while finding your balance.
  • Keep the top of your head off the floor by stretching your arms out and putting pressure on your biceps, rise up as high as you can.
  • Carefully get out of this pose by taking one leg down at a time, followed by the other.

Lifestyle Changes To Help You Reduce Arm Fat


Your lifestyle plays a major role in maintaining a toned body. Try to start your day early so that you can really incorporate the diet and workout changes in your life. Also, try new and alternative workout routines, dance your heart out and go for morning runs. Building your health slowly will reap benefits in the long run.

You can even try and reverse the adverse effect of ageing and hormonal imbalance with yoga and meditation. Instead of working on short-term targeted areas, working towards a wholesome healthy body will be better, especially if you are starting young.

Just keeping up with fitness levels on a general and day-to-day basis can work wonders for all your problem areas. But that does require a lot of commitment and hard work on your part, which some people try to take a shortcut out of. Here’s why you should never take the easier way out!

Cautionary Tales About Taking the Easier Way Out

As you can see from above, it is not easy to maintain a toned body. That is why more and more women are taking the easier way out, with surgeries and diet pills replacing hard work and a healthy lifestyle. Talking about working on reducing your arm fat, we can’t help but drop these cautionary tales about taking the shortcut.

Steer Clear Of Medical Procedures

Procedures like arm lift surgeries and liposuction may give you quick results you are hoping for, we think you should consider there points before actually going for it. Take note of these pointers for the same:

  • There are visible scarring related to medical procedures like these. These will be seen along the insides of your arms, extending from the armpit to the elbow. While you can get corrective surgeries for the scarring, they are often expensive and take a long time to heal.
  • A big side effect of the surgery is swelling in the area operated on. This is often minimised by using supportive wraps after the surgery but can be very painful if you opt out of painkillers.
  • These kinds of penetrative surgeries need post-operative care to be given to the patients. There are risks of blood clots if you fail to move the arm around and often need assistance for the same.
  • Once you decide to get operated on, you have to take constant care of the area. This is a decision that cannot be reversed and we would suggest sticking to more natural ways of reducing arm fat!

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. I want to lose arm fat but not gain muscle. How do I do that?

Weightlifting is one of the sure shot ways of reducing arm fat but it comes with the worry that you might gain muscle. While women are not wrong in worrying about it, building muscle usually is a long process and requires many gym hours to make a noticeable difference. In case you are still worried, you can opt for exercises that do not use weights and go for movements like yoga and stretching. Tricep dips will also go a long way in toning up without bulking up.

2. How do I work towards a narrow shoulder and leaner upper arm?

Spot targeted weight loss is difficult, thus working just on your shoulder might be a tricky move. Losing weight all over your body is the only way you can hope to narrow down broad shoulders. Having said that, there some exercises you can do to feel good. Front raises: Stand with a dumbbell in each hand with your arms by your side. – Bend your elbows slightly, extend your arms and raise it to chest level – Hold for a few seconds, then lower your arms again.

3. How long before I see a noticeable difference in losing arm fat?

Losing weight varies largely from person to person. It also has to do with the intensity of your exercise regime, the amount of fat you have and on your metabolism. If you follow the dietary advice we have given above and exercise regularly, you should be able to see a difference in a few months.

4. Can I lose weight without training intensely?

Yes, you will just have to incorporate more of cardio into your regime in order to burn more calories. Take up walking or jogging regularly as they are pretty effective. Yoga, skipping ropes, dancing and other forms of workout including movement but not weight will help. If you like playing a sport is another great way to tone your arms. Besides being fun, games like badminton, and lawn tennis can really tone up those chubby arms.  Push-ups, arm rotation and tricep dips are all the exercises you can do without lifting weights.

5. What is the calorie ratio I need to maintain to lose arm fat?

Studies say that one needs to burn about 3,500 calories to burn a pound of fat. Calculate your calorie intake and measure how much physical activity you can do to counter that. Create a discrepancy in your intake and burn, and you will lose fat in no time!

This story was updated in January 2019.

03 Oct 2018

Read More

read more articles like this
good points logo

good points text