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Dude Asks Latest Articles

How To Lose Upper Body Fat?

Written by:
Reviewed by: Sara Madsen
How To Lose Upper Body Fat?

Are you tired of struggling to get rid of stubborn upper body fat? You’re not alone. Many people find it difficult to lose fat in the upper body, especially around the arms, back, and chest. But fret not, there are several effective strategies to help you shed that unwanted fat and get a toned upper body. In this article, we’ll discuss some easy tips and tricks to help you achieve your fitness goals and lose that upper body fat for good. So, let’s dive in!

1. Understanding the Physiology of Upper Body Fat: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Lose Upper Body Fat? A Comprehensive Guide

An Introduction to Physiology of Upper Body Fat

If you’re trying to lose upper body fat, you must understand how body fat is accumulated and stored in the first place. Our bodies store fat in two ways – subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. The former is located just beneath the skin while the latter is stored deep within abdominal and chest cavities, surrounding important organs. Visceral fat presents health risks similar to smoking and high blood pressure, while subcutaneous fat is the one that’s visible.

Upper body fat is the accumulation of subcutaneous fat that tends to be stored in various parts of your upper torso. While this fat is largely aesthetic, in rare cases, it can interfere with day-to-day living. In women, it’s crucial to maintain healthy body fat levels as it is linked to breast cancer. Genetics, an unhealthy lifestyle, and hormonal changes are some of the reasons that contribute to the accumulation of upper body fat.

The Science of Upper Body Fat Loss

If you want to lose upper body fat, you need to have a negative energy balance. It means you need to consume fewer calories than what your body needs to maintain its weight. You should burn at least 500 to 1000 calories more than what you consume every day to lose 1-2 pounds of weight per week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC). Dietary changes and physical activity both contribute to losing upper body fat. For a sustainable weight loss journey, it’s essential to create a calorie deficit through a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.

When you consume fewer calories, the body turns to fat reserves to provide energy. It stimulates the release of stored fat (triglycerides) from your fat cells into your bloodstream. The fat then gets transported to the liver where it’s converted to energy for your bodily functions. To lose upper body fat, you should create a calorie deficit, which prompts your body to access the stored fat for energy, therefore shrinking the size of the fat cells. Over time, you’ll be able to visibly see the reduction of upper body fat.

Now that you understand the physiology of upper body fat, it’s time to take action. In the rest of the article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to losing upper body fat sustainably, covering everything from the ultimate upper body fat burning workout plan to the roles of cardio and strength training in fat loss.

2. The Ultimate Upper Body Fat Burning Workout Plan

Now that you understand the importance of losing upper body fat, it’s time to put it into action with the ultimate workout plan. This workout plan will target all the muscles in your upper body, helping you burn fat and tone your muscles at the same time.


Before starting any workout, it’s important to warm up your muscles. A proper warm-up will prepare your body for the intense workout to come and reduce the risk of injury.

Start with five minutes of light cardio, such as jogging or jumping jacks. Then, perform some dynamic stretching exercises, such as arm circles and shoulder rolls, to loosen up your upper body muscles.

Upper Body Circuit

Perform the following exercises in a circuit, completing each exercise one after the other. Rest for 30 seconds between each exercise. Repeat the circuit three times.

1. Push-ups – 12 reps – This exercise targets your chest, shoulders, and triceps.

2. Rows – 12 reps – This exercise targets your back muscles.

3. Dumbbell Chest Fly – 12 reps – This exercise targets your chest muscles.

4. Shoulder Press – 12 reps – This exercise targets your shoulders.

HIIT Cardio

To burn more calories and fat, incorporate high-intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio into your workout plan. Perform 20-30 seconds of all-out effort, followed by 1-2 minutes of rest. Repeat for 10 rounds.

Some examples of HIIT cardio exercises include jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and burpees.

Remember to cool down and stretch your muscles after your workout to reduce soreness and prevent injury. Keep consistent with this workout plan, and you’ll start seeing results in no time.

3. The Top 10 Foods to Eat and Avoid for Losing Upper Body Fat

Eating a proper diet is one of the most important factors in losing upper body fat. In this section, we will look at the top 10 foods you should eat and avoid to achieve your goal.

Foods to Eat

1. Lean Protein – Eating lean protein is essential for building muscle and losing fat. Foods such as chicken, turkey, tofu, and fish are great sources of lean protein.

2. Complex Carbohydrates – Complex carbohydrates provide energy to your body and help you stay full for a longer period of time. Some examples include sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, and whole-wheat bread.

3. Vegetables – Vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber, making them a great option for weight loss. Aim to include a variety of colorful vegetables in your diet, such as broccoli, spinach, kale, and bell peppers.

4. Healthy Fats – Eating healthy fats is important for overall health and can also aid in weight loss. Some examples include avocado, nuts and seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish such as salmon.

5. Water – Drinking plenty of water helps flush out toxins and keeps you hydrated, which can aid in weight loss. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water each day.

Foods to Avoid

1. Processed Foods – Processed foods are often high in calories and unhealthy additives. They can also cause inflammation, which can make it harder to lose weight.

2. Sugary Drinks – Sugary drinks such as soda and juice are high in calories and can contribute to weight gain. Stick to water, herbal tea, or unsweetened beverages.

3. Fried Foods – Fried foods are high in calories and unhealthy fats, making them a poor choice for weight loss. Choose grilled, baked, or roasted foods instead.

4. Sweets and Desserts – Sweets and desserts are often high in calories and sugar, making them a poor choice for weight loss. Try to limit your intake or opt for healthier options such as fruit or dark chocolate.

5. Alcohol – Alcohol is high in calories and can also lead to poor food choices. Limit your intake to 1-2 drinks per week or opt for lower-calorie options such as wine or light beer.

By incorporating these top 10 foods into your diet and avoiding the unhealthy options, you can achieve your goal of losing upper body fat. Remember to also focus on portion control and overall calorie intake for optimal results.

4. How to Stay Motivated and Overcome Plateaus in Your Upper Body Fat Loss Journey

Losing upper body fat can be a long and challenging journey. It’s easy to start feeling demotivated and stuck when you hit a plateau or when progress seems slow. In this section, we’ll be discussing ways to stay motivated and overcome plateaus in your upper body fat loss journey.

Set Realistic Goals

One of the most important things you can do to stay motivated during your journey is to set realistic goals. It’s much easier to stay motivated when you have specific, achievable goals in mind, rather than vague ideas of what you want to achieve. Set goals that are challenging but also realistic and measurable. For example, setting a goal to lose 1-2 pounds of upper body fat a week or to do 10 more push-ups than your current max.

Track Your Progress

Keeping a record of your progress is another excellent way to stay motivated and overcome plateaus. Track your body weight, body fat percentage, and measurements regularly, and take progress photos to visually track your progress. Seeing progress on paper and visually can motivate you to keep pushing forward and can help you see where you need to make changes to continue progressing.

Vary Your Workouts

Doing the same workouts over and over can get dull and lead to a plateau. Varying your workouts can help you break through a weight loss plateau. Try switching up your exercises, increasing your weights, doing more repetitions, or even trying a new workout program. Adding variety will keep your body challenged and will help you avoid stagnation.

Don’t Give Up

Remember, weight loss and body fat loss are not linear processes. You will always encounter plateaus, but it’s essential not to give up. Plateaus are a natural part of the journey, and they don’t last forever. Instead of getting discouraged, try to push through by making changes in your exercise, nutrition, or lifestyle habits. Celebrate small wins along the way, and remember that every step you take is one step closer to your goal. Stay motivated, stay consistent, and don’t give up on yourself.

5. The Role of Cardio and Strength Training in Losing Upper Body Fat

Cardio and strength training are two essential components of any weight loss journey, and losing upper body fat is no different. Cardio exercises like running, cycling, and swimming are incredibly effective at burning calories and reducing body fat. You can incorporate cardio sessions into your routine by performing them at moderate to high intensity for at least 30 minutes, three to five times per week.

Strength training, on the other hand, builds muscle and increases your metabolic rate, which makes your body burn more calories even when you’re at rest. It’s important to note that you can’t spot-reduce fat in specific areas of your body; instead, you’ll need to focus on full-body strength training to create a caloric deficit. You can use free weights or bodyweight exercises to target your upper body muscles, including your chest, back, arms, and shoulders.

Incorporating both cardio and strength training into your routine can help you reach your upper body fat loss goals quicker. You can alternate between cardio and strength training days or combine the two types of workouts by performing circuit training, which involves doing a series of exercises that target multiple muscle groups while keeping your heart rate up. Remember to give your body enough rest and recovery time between workouts to prevent injury and maximize your results.

6. Expert Tips and Tricks for Ensuring Sustainable Upper Body Fat Loss

After gaining a thorough understanding of the physiology of upper body fat, and developing a comprehensive workout plan along with making smart dietary choices, it is important to ensure that the weight loss journey is sustainable in the long run. Here are some expert tips and tricks to make sure that you are always on track towards achieving your desired goals and maintaining a healthy upper body for years to come.

1. Focus on Building Muscle Mass

While many people make the mistake of believing that high-intensity cardio is the key to shedding upper body fat, the reality is that strength training and building muscle mass is equally important. This is because muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue and burns more calories at rest, thereby keeping your metabolism elevated throughout the day. Incorporate strength training exercises that target your upper body, such as push-ups, bicep curls, and lateral pull-downs, into your workout routine a few times a week.

2. Monitor Your Caloric Intake and Macronutrient Balance

Sustainable weight loss requires you to create a calorie deficit, but it is important to do it in a sustainable manner. Drastically reducing your caloric intake can lead to nutritional deficiencies and damage your metabolism, ultimately making it harder for you to lose weight in the long run. Instead, focus on creating a modest deficit of 500-750 calories per day and ensure that you are consuming enough protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Make sure to monitor your macronutrient intake and adjust your diet accordingly to stay on track.

3. Stay Active Throughout the Day

In addition to your exercise routine, make sure that you are staying active throughout the day by taking short walks, standing up and stretching regularly, and performing household chores. This helps to keep your metabolism elevated and burns extra calories that would otherwise be stored as fat. Use a pedometer or fitness tracker to ensure that you are hitting a minimum of 10,000 steps per day, which is the recommended daily goal for most adults.

By focusing on building muscle mass, monitoring your caloric intake and macronutrient balance, and staying active throughout the day, you can ensure that your upper body fat loss journey is sustainable and effective. Remember to be patient and consistent with your efforts, and you will reap the benefits of a lean and healthy upper body in no time!

7. Common Mistakes to Avoid When Trying to Lose Upper Body Fat

When it comes to losing upper body fat, many people make common mistakes that hinder their progress. In this section, we’ll discuss some of these mistakes to avoid for effective and sustainable fat loss.

1. Relying Only on Cardio

Cardiovascular exercise is great for burning calories and facilitating weight loss, but it shouldn’t be the only type of exercise you rely on. Strength training is equally important, as it helps build muscle and boost your metabolism. By incorporating a mix of both cardio and strength training into your workout routine, you can achieve lean and toned upper body muscles, and prevent the loss of muscle mass that can occur with cardio alone.

2. Not Prioritizing Good Nutrition

It’s essential to focus on both exercise and nutrition when trying to lose upper body fat. Many people make the mistake of solely relying on exercise to lose weight and neglecting their diet. To lose weight, you must create a calorie deficit by burning more calories than you consume. By incorporating healthy foods in your diet and reducing your calorie intake, you can help speed up the weight loss process. Be sure to avoid high-calorie foods such as processed snacks, sugary drinks, and fast food.

3. Over-Exercising and Under-Recovering

While it’s important to exercise consistently to lose upper body fat, excessive exercise can lead to burnout and injury, and it can be counterproductive for weight loss goals. Make sure to rest and recover properly following each workout to prevent injury and maintain health. When planning your workouts, be sure to include rest days to allow your muscles to recover, repair and grow. Additionally, be sure to get adequate sleep, Hydrate sufficiently, and Incorporate a balanced diet into your lifestyle.

By addressing these common mistakes, you can avoid unnecessary setbacks in your upper body fat loss journey and progress consistently towards your goals.

People Also Ask

1. What exercises can I do to lose upper body fat?

Some effective exercises that you can do to lose upper body fat include push-ups, pull-ups, dumbbell press, chest flyes, rows, and planks.

2. Is cardio good for losing upper body fat?

Yes, cardio exercises like running, swimming, cycling, and jumping rope are helpful in burning calories and reducing upper body fat.

3. How important is diet in losing upper body fat?

A healthy and balanced diet is crucial in losing upper body fat. It’s important to eat fewer calories than you burn and to consume more protein, fiber, and healthy fats.

4. Can strength training reduce upper body fat?

Yes, strength training can help reduce upper body fat by building lean muscle and boosting metabolism.

5. How long does it take to lose upper body fat?

The time it takes to lose upper body fat depends on various factors such as age, sex, eating habits, and activity level. It can take several weeks to several months to see significant results.


Losing upper body fat requires both exercise and a healthy diet. Cardio and strength training are effective in burning calories, building lean muscle, and reducing fat. Additionally, focusing on eating more protein, fiber, and healthy fats and less processed and sugary foods is essential in achieving long-lasting results. Be consistent and patient with your efforts, and you’ll see the benefits over time.

Michelle McCoy

Michelle McCoy

I'm Michelle McCoy, a passionate copywriter who has found her niche in crafting compelling narratives, here at Dude Asks. My work harmonizes with my love for storytelling, enabling me to bring brands to life through the magic of words. When I'm not busy weaving tales, you can find me lost in a good book, exploring the beauty of Michigan, or nurturing my garden. My journey as a copywriter is a testament to my belief in the power of stories to connect and inspire.

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