How To Lose Arm Fat 2024: Exercises & Diet Tips To Help You

Reviewed by Dr. Drew Sutton, MD

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Losing arm fat can be achieved with strength training exercises. Photo: Nghi Tran

Having flabby arms looks embarrassing, especially when you wear sleeveless. To make it worse, it tends to jiggle whenever you wave at people. Defiance best describes the fat that accumulates under the arms. Even if you maintain a healthy diet and limit your intake of sweets, the extra weight in your arms refuses to budge. So how to lose arm fat to feel more confident?

According to the most recent data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average price of an arm lift is $4,861. The price mentioned above does not account for the additional costs of anesthesia, the use of a surgical facility, or anything else that might arise during the procedure. Your plastic surgeon’s clinic is the best place to ask about the total cost.

Why spend such a hefty amount on plastic surgery when you can get the same results through exercise and diet? Remember that arm fat isn’t bad, but when it becomes excess fat, it’s best to do something about it sooner rather than later.

In this article, we’ll show you the best exercises and foods to help you lose that stubborn arm fat that just won’t go away.

How To Get Rid Of Arm Fat: 5 Best Tips

  1. Watch Your Weight
  2. Improve Your Diet By Adding Healthy Foods
  3. Incorporate Cardio Exercises
  4. Strength Training
  5. Do Some Interval Training To Lose Arm Fat

How To Lose Arm Fat: 5 Diet & Exercise Tips

It is impossible to target fat loss to specific body parts. Spot reduction is a strategy for losing fat that does not function unless the fat loss is in your whole body. If you want to look thinner in a specific place, you need to slim down everywhere. 

Targeted exercises and strength training can tighten and improve the look of muscle groups. This means that the switch will have less of an effect on the lower part of the arm. However, you shouldn’t expect a drastic change in how much you weigh due to this.

Watch Your Weight

Having the sense that one’s efforts are truly making a difference is a rarity. A daily weight log is a great way to see how far you’ve come since you last checked in with yourself. 

Finding out how you intend to reduce body fat is helpful. Weight fluctuations throughout time may cause you to lose sight of your progress. 

If you want to lose fat, the best thing to do is to go on the scale on the right day.

If you weigh yourself every day, you’ll be able to tell if your body is losing fat. An ideal time to check your overall body weight is in the morning, just after waking up.

Sleep Well

Sleep Well
Enough sleep can help you reduce arm fat. Photo: Shutterstock

It is possible to lose weight even as you sleep. Still, you shouldn’t eat right before bed because it could lead to weight gain. The human body is an intricate system, and sleep influences metabolism. 

Our energy expenditure can speed up or slow down depending on our diet, exercise, and sleep. So it’s best to combine all three to reduce arm fat.

Improve Your Diet By Adding Healthy Foods

You can reduce excess body fat by keeping track of your calorie intake. Incorporating more healthful foods into your balanced diet is a simple and speedy way to improve your overall health and well-being. 

When most of us think about eating healthy, we imagine eating boring, bland foods and getting rid of all fun foods. One way to make eating healthy fun is to incorporate it into your regular diet. At this point, the focus should be on including many more nutritious options.

If you’re willing to engage in high-intensity interval training, however, you’re free to consume extra calories. To be safe, eat healthy foods like vegetables like legumes, carrots, and some proteins like fish and eggs to achieve toned arms.

Incorporate Cardio Exercises

Losing weight solely through dietary changes is ineffective. Not much happens in these specific situations. You cannot tone flabby arms without consuming fat; the best way to burn fat is through cardio exercises. 

Cardiovascular exercise is the most effective method for weight loss and for losing arm fat. Doing cardio exercises regularly can also help burn calories and improve strength training. 

Depending on how hard you work out, the best amount of cardio to do each week is between 150 and 75 minutes. Sure, there’s more you’re capable of.  It is best to do cardio workouts that increase your pulse rate, like jogging, swimming, basketball, and many others.

Strength Training

Whole-body exercises are essential for helping you lose body fat percentage, which will help you get toned arms. 

Sometimes exercise may not help with arm fat burning, but those intense arm toning exercises cause little tears in the arm muscles. After your tears have healed, strength training exercises help you increase muscle mass. These muscle-toning exercises should be done regularly for the best results.

Arm fat is not increased by weight training, but muscle tone is enhanced. The sagging skin on the arms may indicate muscle weakness. 

When it comes to resistance training, lifting weights is the gold standard. The bench press isn’t something you have to practice. They help you maintain stability and command, reducing the risk of injury.

You can start by doing bicep curls and tricep extensions. Exercise using free weights, rather than machines, is often more time and energy-efficient. Rather than relying on the machine to do the work for you, you’ll need to expend some effort to keep the load steady and under control.

Do Some Interval Training To Lose Arm Fat

Do Some Interval Training To Lose Arm Fat
High-intensity interval training helps you burn more fat. Photo: Shutterstock

Interval training[1] could be a good option if you need to lose arm fat fast. The concept is straightforward, performing both high-intensity and low-impact exercises. 

Extra exercise can increase the rate at which you burn fat. You can adjust the intensity depending on how challenging the exercise is.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) speeds up your metabolism for several hours after your workout. This helps you burn more fat throughout the day.

What Is Arm Fat?

Excess body fat in the arms can simply be “arm fat.” The word describes any excess fat found in the arms and does not refer to a specific type of fat. The two most common forms of body fat are subcutaneous and visceral fat.[2]

You can’t see visceral fat deep within your abdominal organs. The lining protects the stomach, liver, intestines, and other vital organs. 

The fat directly under the skin is known as subcutaneous fat. It’s the sort that can be held in the palm of your hand and pinched. Subcutaneous fat builds up around the hips, buttocks, thighs, and stomach.

What Causes Arm Fat?

Excess skin and fat in the arms are usually hereditary traits. It’s common for women to carry extra weight around their bellies, hips, and occasionally their upper arms. These areas of the body are most prone to putting on weight.

Another possible cause is hormonal imbalances, which can cause you to hold on to water and look puffy around the stomach and arms.  

Lastly, people who don’t do much physical activity may have more unwanted arm fat than people who live a physically active lifestyle.

What Are Other Ways On How To Get Rid Of Arm Fat?

Adding more protein to your diet is another easy strategy for reducing hunger and maintaining a healthy weight. This, in turn, could aid in weight control and eliminating excess fat.

A small study[3] found that eating more high-quality protein at each meal was related to decreased belly fat. As a result, it appears that a higher protein intake may aid in enhancing body composition and help reduce stubborn body fat.

Foods heavy in protein, including meat, poultry, seafood, beans, eggs, and dairy products, can boost metabolism and aid in losing extra arm fat.

What Are Some Upper Arm Exercises To Target Arm Fat?

Upper arm exercises are aimed at toning the arms and reducing arm fat.

Tricep Dips

Tricep dips are easy to understand. Make a praying position by bending your right knee and placing your hands at your sides. Reach back as far as you can with your left arm without pain. Relax and do this multiple times. You can work the opposite arm by switching knees.

Bench Dips

You’ll want a chair that won’t tip over easily. It would be best if you reclined on the chair with your back to the wall, knees bent, and hands lying palms down on the seat. Step backward by bending your arms and lowering yourself to the floor. Then, return to the original position by straightening your arms once more.


This is the traditional, fundamental workout for lean body mass. Stay on your hands and toes while keeping your back and knees straight. Keep your palms facing down and your hands under your shoulders. Take a little step backward at a time while maintaining your back and legs straight and bending your elbows. Put in some effort to get back to square one.

How Often Should You Exercise To Tone Your Arms?

You should work out two to three times a week if you want to lose arm fat. Your regular exercise routine should consist of resistance training and cardio as well. 

Keep in mind that you still need to keep to a healthy diet.

How Long Does It Take To Lose Arm Fat?

How fast you lose arm fat varies from person to person. Your weight loss journey could take a few months or longer. You should be able to see major improvements in your workout routine within four to six weeks if you have lost a significant amount of weight.

If you’re currently at a healthy weight and want toned arms specifically, you should see progress in around two weeks.


Although studies have shown that spot reduction may not work, many methods are still available for reducing arm fat.

Changing your diet and sticking to an active, healthy lifestyle can help you control your weight and shape as much as any workout routine can.

By incorporating some of these adjustments into your daily routine, you can promote weight loss and speed up the process of reducing arm fat.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to lose arm fat?

You can start losing arm fat two weeks after dieting and exercising.

Without weights, what other methods can I use to lose arm fat?

Increase your calorie-burning routine by including additional cardiovascular exercise. Jogging or even just walking can assist.

How many calories do I need to burn to reduce arm fat?

A pound of fat requires 3500 calories, according to research. Cut 500 calories a day to burn 3500 calories in a week.

Why can’t I lose arm weight?

You’re not trying hard enough. Lunge split leaps, plank jumping jacks, and high-knee jogging yield the best benefits.

What reduces arm fat?

Tricep dips, squats, and pushups are ideal fat-loss workouts since they work for many muscle groups. Try total-body interval training three times a week.

What food fattens your arms?

Overeating processed meals and refined sugars might make it hard to convert them into energy. Instead, extra carbs are stored as fat, which can be deposited everywhere.

How do I lose arm fat without gaining muscles?

Eat more proteinous foods, and fiber, and sleep well.

Does sleep help to reduce arm fat?

Yes, sleep can help you reduce body fat.

+ 3 sources

MIDSS adheres to strict procurement guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutes, and medical associations. We work mainly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure the accuracy of the information. We avoid the use of tertiary references. You can read about how we ensure the accuracy and timeliness of our content in our editorial process.

  1. Gaesser, G.A. and Angadi, S.S. (2011). High-intensity interval training for health and fitness: Can less be more? [online] ResearchGate. Available at:
  2. Mittal, B. (2019). Subcutaneous adipose tissue & visceral adipose tissue. Indian Journal of Medical Research, [online] 149(5), pp.571–571. doi:
  3. Loenneke, J.P., Wilson, J.M., Manninen, A.H., Wray, M.E., Barnes, J.T. and Pujol, T.J. (2012). Quality protein intake is inversely related with abdominal fat. Nutrition & Metabolism, [online] 9(1), pp.5–5. doi:


Abigeal Olorunfemi, Health Writer
Expert Health Writer
My name is Abigeal, I am a native English speaker from the United States with seven years of professional health blogging experience. In that time, I've written hundreds of health and wellness blog posts that have gained social media attention. With 7+ years of health writing experience, I am ecstatic to help you learn more information about health.


Drew is a retired ENT doctor who now lives in the Southeastern US. He was a member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He has a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Psychology and an MD degree. He completed his internship in General Surgery and Residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and practiced for almost 30 years in all aspects of ENT, including a specialization in disorders of the ear and skull base. Drew is passionate about communicating his clinical experiences and making his knowledge more accessible to the general public by medical writing.

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