Stubborn arm fat can be a source of frustration for a lot of people. Heck, even for those of us who already have an active lifestyle, it can be a problem.
Not only can it be discouraging to see progress elsewhere, while your arm fat decides it's going to stick around...
But it can also impact other parts of your life, like your confidence in how you look & feel or what you are comfortable wearing.
The truth is, any form of weight loss can be difficult and time-consuming.
It also looks different for everyone.
While it’s easy to get discouraged, know that I have the answer you're looking for...
So let’s talk about how you can lose arm fat and make the most of your fat loss efforts.
What Causes Arm Fat?
Before we get too far into what you should do to tone your arms, we need to discuss why arm fat exists in the first place.
I mean ... why does it?
Well, the number one cause of arm fat is physical inactivity. For a lot of us, any weight gain will typically show up in our limbs first (such as our arms).
There are also other causes of arm fat that go beyond exercising often. This can be factors such as poor diet, genetics, gender, low testosterone, and more.
While some of these factors could be having an impact on the weight you store in your arms ... the biggest culprit is, and always will be, diet and exercise.
If you were looking for another answer ... you won't find it.
The hard work and discipline is a requirement for any health or fitness goal you may have ... not just fat loss.
How To Lose Arm Fat
Before we get into exactly how you can shed some arm fat ... I want to make something very clear.
You CAN'T target body fat. What I mean by this is simple: no matter what you do, you can't pick where your body chooses to lose fat.
The only real way you can lose arm fat is by losing body fat as a whole. That still isn't to say that you'll lose all the fat you want in your arms at first.
Some people truly do hold on to fat in certain parts of their body more-so than others. I happen to hold a lot of my unwanted weight in my hips and midsection.
But even then, there's nothing stopping you from losing fat in your arms. It's going to take a good diet, exercise routine, and a few other important factors.
Don't worry ... I'll give you all the information and tools you need to succeed.
How to Lose Body Fat
Your number one priority when it comes to losing fat in your arms should be your diet.
You see, weight loss is just science ... and really, more-so math. If you want to lose weight, you have to be in a calorie deficit.
This just means you're eating less calories than you're burning on a daily/weekly basis. Notice how I said this is how you lose WEIGHT.
If you want to lose body fat, there are a few more factors for you to consider than just your calories...
1. Protein Intake
This may surprise you, but eating enough protein is essential for a successful fat loss journey. Without diving too deep into the science, here's why:
Your muscle tissue is made from proteins. This is important to know because your muscle tissue is the most metabolically active tissue in your body! That's just a fancy way to say your muscle tissue burns calories at rest.
In fact, every tissue in your body does. Muscle tissue just happens to burn the most. So really, preserving muscle tissue is super important for keeping your metabolism high.
When you're in a calorie deficit to lose weight though, your body needs to pull energy from somewhere. When your body isn't pulling from carb or fat stores ... it pulls from muscle tissue.
The best way to avoid this from happening is actually by eating enough protein. Getting enough protein from complete protein sources throughout the day can help preserve muscle tissue while in a calorie deficit.
This can keep your metabolism high, and even help your body burn more calories. You see, protein has a very high thermic effect.
I'm sure you're wondering: "Well, what the heck does that mean?" Good question! All foods you eat have to be digested and metabolized which is a process that requires energy. Through digestion and metabolization ... your body is burning calories. This is measured as the thermic effect of food (TEF).
Carbs and fats have a low thermic effect: 5-10% for carbs, and 0-3% for fats. The percentage represents roughly how much of the calories consumed are burned through digestion.
Protein has an incredible thermic effect of 20-30%! That means if you eat 100 calories in protein, about 20-30 of those calories are burned just by digesting it.
Last, but not least, protein is super filling. It's hard to eat a lot of protein, and if a lot of your calories come from protein ... it can make sticking to your diet a lot easier.
Can you lose body fat without exercise? Sure. But eventually, you'll hit a plateau point. I promise you, you will not see the results you're looking for without exercise.
In order to preserve lean muscle and get rid of that stubborn, unwanted body fat ... I'd recommend a healthy combination of both resistance training and cardiovascular exercise.
Each of them have a unique way of helping you burn more fat and calories.
Certain forms of cardio, for example, are super effective for burning fat and calories during the workout.
On the other hand, resistance training and high-intensity training can actually help your body burn calories during and after your workout.
Whatever you decide to do for your workouts, it's crucial that you are consistent.
Have you ever considered how your body gets rid of fat? Believe it or not, our bodies flush out stored fat through our urine, sweat, and even respiratory droplets.
Now, for this to be possible, you have to be drinking plenty of water.
If you've ever been to elementary school, or even just on this planet for more than 5 years ... chances are, you already know how important it is to drink enough water!
What you may not know is that water has been shown to increase thermogenesis, helping your body burn even more calories !
So, don't forget to drink at least 90-120oz of water every day. That alone can make a difference in whole-body fat loss ... and potentially, arm fat loss.
What Else Can You Do To Lose Arm Fat?
Now, I know all of these changes are a lot easier said than done. The truth is, if you want to lose arm fat and keep it off long-term ... you have to make the lifestyle change.
If you make these changes, lose the weight, then go back to your normal routine ... the weight is just going to come back!
You should be looking to make these changes permanently. That way, you'll continue to see results and keep yourself in great health.
Who doesn't want that?
Look, I know it can be hard. It wasn't an easy change for me to make either. But I can promise you, it's worth it.
I also want you to know that we're here to help. Anytime you need us ... don't hesitate to reach out. We have a full staff of NASM Certified Personal Trainers and Certified Nutrition Coaches who are happy to help for FREE.
You can also download the 1st Phorm App for an all-in-one resource. I'm being serious when I say it has all of the tools & info you need to earn real results.
Inside the app, you'll get access to 1-on-1 coaching with your own advisor, a full library of workout programs for your goals, nutrition tracking, progress tracking, and plenty of educational resources.
No matter what you choose to do from here, I hope you go out and reach your goals!
 Boschmann M, Steiniger J, Hille U, Tank J, Adams F, Sharma AM, Klaus S, Luft FC, Jordan J. Water-induced thermogenesis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Dec;88(12):6015-9. doi: 10.1210/jc.2003-030780. PMID: 14671205.