Bat wings, bingo wings—we’ve heard them all! Those less than flattering terms for the loose skin under the arms that annoyingly jiggles as you wave goodbye or give a high five.
If flabby arms give you grief, we totally understand! In fact, many women are genetically predisposed to this trouble area and are left wondering how to lose arm fat. But just because you take after your Great Grandma Lydia doesn’t mean you have to live your life hiding behind cardigans and jackets. And why should you?!
The great news is you still have plenty of time to tone up and earn those tank-top worthy, Jessica Biel arms you’ll LOVE to flaunt for summer. Here we’ll show you how to lose arm fat once and for all.
Get ready to shed the layers and bust out those beach-ready biceps! But first, let’s learn more about what causes arm fat and how to lose weight in your arms.
What Causes Stubborn Arm Fat?
Everyone has that one problem spot they poke and prod in the mirror and try to tone to no avail, but stubborn arm fat can be one of the most frustrating since our arms are exposed more often than any other…I’m looking at you, stomach and thighs!
Though it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact cause of fat accumulation in the arms, it’s likely due to a combo of these factors: gender, age, and genetics
- Gender—You’re not going to like what I’m about to say…but stubborn arm fat is a much bigger problem for women vs men. This is because female genes and estrogen levels make it more likely for us to store fat in our hips, thighs, and arms. *Add this to the list of reasons your S.O. is in the dog house*
- Age—If you notice that your once perfectly toned arms are slowly sagging and losing muscle mass, increasing age and decreasing metabolism may be guilty as charged, enabling fat to accumulate in places it never has before.
- Genetics—As I mentioned above, genetics is another large factor that predetermines what your problem spots will be (shout out to GG Lydia). We’re all born with preferred places our body wants to store fat, and when we burn fat, it doesn’t necessarily come from those areas first. In fact, your problem areas are commonly your body’s last resort in terms of fat burn. If you’re struggling with how to lose arm fat, your arms could very well be one of your genetically predisposed problem areas.
Spot Reduction—Fact or Fiction?
Spot reduction—or targeting fat from one body part through exercise—has been promoted in the health and beauty world for some time, however, multiple studies have disproved the theory. Targeted resistance training increases OVERALL fat loss but has little effect on the SPECIFIC area being targeted. (1)
In other words…even if you’re exercising your arms, you’re not necessarily burning fat from them. The fat that’s burned and used as fuel can come from anywhere in the body, not specifically from the area that’s exercised.
Another study of 40 overweight and obese women found that resistance training specific to the abdominals had no effect on belly fat loss compared to dietary changes alone. (2)
So what DOES work for problem areas like the arms? The key is to…1. Implement a diet and exercise routine for overall weight loss (this will naturally burn excess fat from your arms) and 2. Use strength training exercises to target specific muscle groups you’d like to tone.
How To Lose Weight In Your Arms
It’s true that exercise is far less important than nutrition when it comes to slimming down. You can be the best at hitting the gym, but if you’re not getting intentional with your diet you’ll still be left wondering how to lose weight in your arms. The below will help you shed that excess weight and in turn help with losing arm fat!
1. Reduce your portions
Portion control is vital. Many times we’re so focused on all of the other million things we have going on in the day, we don’t take the time to think about HOW MUCH we’re consuming. This is particularly a problem with large portion sizes when eating out. Depending on your current eating habits, it may be very possible to shed excess weight simply by measuring out your food or skipping that second helping. Being mindful of your portion control can help minimize overeating and help you lose weight.
2. Limit processed foods
Ditching processed foods is a must for weight loss and a healthier you overall. Temptations like cookies, candy, chips, fast food, and sugary drinks can spike your insulin, increase cravings, and fill you up with empty calories. Try these healthy food swaps to help reduce excess calories that contribute to unwanted weight gain.
3. Add a collagen supplement
Collagen is all the rave recently, and for good reason. It’s essentially the glue that holds our body together. As we age and our collagen production decreases, our skin sags, our hair, skin, and nails become brittle, and our ligaments and joints weaken—to name a few! A collagen supplement that contains all 5 types of collagen, like SkinnyFit Super Youth, can help counteract these signs of aging, firm and tighten sagging arm skin, and even promote a healthy weight…yes, please!
How To Lose Arm Fat With Exercise
Now that we know how to lose arm fat through diet, let’s talk exercise. While you can’t choose where your body burns fat from, you can decide which muscles you’d like to tone and define. For best results, combine targeted muscle-specific exercises (see below!) with daily cardio. Even 20-40 minutes of walking, jogging, or biking a day can make a BIG difference and aid overall weight loss that will lead to the arm definition of your dreams!
Pair this quick and easy resistance training circuit with the exercise and diet tips above to reveal your own set of Michelle Obama arms in no time! Do it at home, at the gym, at the park—the only equipment you’ll need is your own body (check!) and a chair, bench, or low coffee table for the bodyweight dips.
- Complete 2 rounds with a 3-minute rest between rounds.