Published On By Rachel Nall

How To Lose Upper Belly Fat

Upper belly fat is a common cause of frustration for many people. Genetics, age, gender, poor dietary habits, and a lack of physical activity are some of the factors that could worsen this situation.

You may have upper belly fat due to excessive smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, and outrageous calorie consumption. It may also be due to an imbalance in your hormone levels, poor sleep quality, or excessive stress.

This article highlights some of the best ways to reduce your upper belly fat with proper steps and guidance. These easy steps could help you better manage your upper abdominal fat.

Importance of Losing Upper Belly Fat

Losing upper belly fat could improve health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease, elevated blood pressure problems, and diabetes.

Importance of Losing Upper Belly Fat
Might reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure
Alleviates back pain and improves posture
Boosts self-confidence
Enhances overall health and well-being
Promotes a healthy lifestyle

Best Ways To Lose Upper Belly Fat

  1. Exercise

    As per Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity weekly exercise and at least two days of muscle-strengthening exercises should be done to stay healthy and active. Increasing your physical activity could help you burn more calories and help in reducing upper belly fat.

    However, you cannot target the specific area, and losing overall weight could be beneficial. You can also try increasing your overall physical activity level by adding these strategies to your daily routine:

    • Take stairs instead of elevators
    • Park your vehicle further from the destination
    • Use a Standing work desk
    • Take regular stretching breaks
  2. Control Eating Habits

    Eating habits could help prevent excess fat accumulation. Focusing on how much food you eat can benefit your weight loss journey.

    Instead of consuming saturated fats, choose healthier fats in olives, avocados, nuts, and seeds. These fats could benefit your body more and help minimize fat storage.

    Include fruits, vegetables, free-range eggs, lean poultry, whole grains, legumes, and beans in your diet. These foods naturally contain fewer calories and might help prevent excessive weight gain.

    Preparing meals at home could also be an effective way to control your eating habits. It would help you avoid processed and high-calorie foods that might contribute to weight gain.

  3. Proper Hydration

    Hydration helps your body eliminate excess water weight and reduces bloating around the upper belly. Drinking at least 7-8 cups (64 ounces) of water every day could be an essential step in reducing upper belly fat.

  4. Create a High-Calorie Deficit Routine

    Creating and maintaining a high-calorie deficit routine could burn excess fat in the upper belly region.

    Monitor your daily calorie intake and ensure it is lower than the number of calories you burn. This could be done by keeping a food diary or using a calorie-tracking app.

    Engage in regular exercise and try a combination of aerobic exercises and resistance training. Aerobic exercises like running, swimming, or cycling may burn calories and boost metabolism.

    Incorporate high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by a slight recovery period. It may help burn calories and reduce body fat, including upper belly fat.

  5. Strengthen Core Muscles

    Here are some practical exercises to help you strengthen your core muscles:

    Exercise Instructions
    Russian twists Sit on a yoga mat with knees slightly bent and heels resting on a flat surface. 2. Lean backward to engage your core muscles. 3. Hold a medicine ball or dumbbell with both hands. 4. Gently twist your torso to touch the weight on the floor beside you.
    Boat pose: Position yourself on a yoga mat with your legs extended and your back straight. 2. Lean back while lifting your legs off the ground, stretching your arms forward to create a V shape. 3. Engage your abdomen and hold this position for around 10 seconds.
    Plank Start in a push-up position. 2. Lower your forearms to the ground while flexing your elbows at angles. 3. Keep your body aligned by contracting your abs, glutes, and core muscles throughout this exercise. 4. Aim to hold this position for 10 seconds.
    Crunches Lie flat on your back with knees and feet firmly planted on the floor. 2. Place hands behind your head. 3. Engage your core as you lift your head upward, maintaining tension in the abs throughout each repetition.
  6. Maintain Healthy Gut

    Add fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts to your meals, which may help increase your fiber intake.

    Avoid or limit the intake of highly processed foods, fast food, sugary drinks, sweets, pastries, and pre-packaged meals. These foods are high in saturated fats, sugar, and additives that might disrupt the balance of gut bacteria.

    Including probiotic-rich foods in your diet might help maintain a healthy gut bacteria balance and may also support digestion.

  7. Limit Sodium Intake

    The daily suggested amount of salt for adults is 2,300 milligrams or about one teaspoon. To manage your salt intake effectively, you should also limit the consumption of fast food, deli meats, frozen meals, and canned goods.

  8. Manage Stress

    Stress may trigger emotional eating, leading to increased calorie intake and the accumulation of upper belly fat.

    Including meditation, yoga, and deep breathing into your lifestyle might help reduce stress and contribute to your weight loss journey.

  9. Quality Sleep

    Studies show that more than 30% of adults do not get enough sleep at night, which could make them overeat while staying awake during the night. It may also play a critical role in metabolism.

    When you don’t get enough sleep, your body is more likely to gain weight and accumulate visceral fat in the upper abdominal area.

    It is important to prioritize quality sleep and aim for at least seven hours every night to allow your body to rest.

  10. Maintain A Consistent Approach

    Make realistic lifestyle changes and avoid quick fixes. Set achievable goals and celebrate small victories for motivation. Seek guidance from certified fitness coaches or dietitians for personalized advice.

  11. Limit Alcohol Intake

    Alcohol is toxic and could disrupt the metabolism of essential nutrients, leading to excess weight and potential health issues. Limiting alcohol intake may help speed up the metabolism and reduce upper belly fat.

Best Exercises To Reduce Upper Belly Fat

  1. Resistance Training

    Exercises that involve multiple joints and work for different muscle groups may help reduce upper belly fat. Resistance training could also help diversify workout routines and prevent plateaus in fitness progress.

    If you are a beginner strength trainee, you may try lunges, overhead presses, and barbell rows with minimal weight and work your way up as your strength develops.

  2. Yoga and Pilates

    Specific exercises like boat pose and cobra stretch could target and strengthen the abdominal region. Yoga and Pilates may help ton the entire body, build lean muscle mass, and boost metabolism.

    Both incorporate stretches and movements that may promote flexibility, elongate and strengthen muscles, and improve alignment and posture.

  3. Aerobic Exercises

    Try aerobic exercises like jogging, cycling, skipping rope, jumping jacks, or swimming. These exercises could increase heart rate and burn calories, including those stored in the upper belly area.

    You could also try adding high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to your routine to reduce upper belly fat and support your overall physical performance.

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Causes Of Upper Belly Fat

  • Poor Diet Choices
  • Age Factor
  • Hormonal Changes
  • Slower metabolism
  • Stress
  • Genetics
  • Poor Sleep Quality
  • Excessive Salt Intake

Foods To Eat That Help To Lose Upper Belly Fat

Here are some healthy food options for weight loss:

  • Leafy greens like spinach
  • Mixed berries
  • Avocados
  • Broccoli and asparagus
  • Bell peppers
  • Green shallots and raw garlic
  • Yellow bananas
  • Whole eggs and grilled chicken breast
  • Fatty fish like ocean-harvested salmon
  • Pineapples

Why Is It Tough To Lose Upper Belly Fat?

Cortisol may trigger fat accumulation, particularly in the abdominal area, causing stubborn upper belly fat resistant to traditional weight loss methods.

Genetic makeup could be critical in deciding where your body stores fat. According to a study, the inheritance of abdominal adiposity could be possible due to genetic factors, which may also cause the development of other cardiovascular and health diseases.

Recommended: 7 Best Ways To Lose Breast Size

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What Are Some Common Causes of Upper Belly Fat?
    Some common causes of upper belly fat include poor diet choices, stress, old age, a sedentary lifestyle, and excessive calorie intake.
  2. How Does Stress Contribute to the Accumulation of Upper Belly Fat?
    Stress contributes to the accumulation of upper belly fat by releasing the hormone cortisol, which causes increased fat storage in the abdominal area.
  3. Does Age Play a Role in the Difficulty of Losing Upper Belly Fat?
    As we age, our metabolism slows down, and our body composition changes, making losing fat in specific areas harder. However, with a consistent exercise routine and a healthy diet, it is still possible to achieve weight loss goals.
  4. What Are Some Effective Exercises to Target and Reduce Upper Belly Fat?
    Practical exercises that could target and reduce upper belly fat include Russian twists, boat poses, and planks.
  5. Are There Specific Foods That Can Help in Losing Upper Belly Fat?
    A diet with high fiber, whole grains, and low-calorie foods can aid in reducing excessive energy intake. Avoiding excessive salt intake and healthier fats can help achieve a leaner midsection.


Having a consistent approach may help you reduce upper belly fat, including engaging in physical activities like yoga, Pilates, and aerobic exercises.

Understanding the challenges associated with losing upper belly fat and adapting strategies based on your body type and needs is crucial.

Stay realistic about how you wish to lose weight. Stay mindful of your eating habits and remember that having some amount of fat may not necessarily mean unhealthy.

You could also make healthy food choices, manage stress, and adopt a healthier lifestyle to lose upper belly fat and achieve your weight loss goals.

  • The information in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
  • It is not recommended to disregard/delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment because of what you read or accessed through this review.
  • The results may vary from individual to individual.
  • It is recommended to consult your doctor for any underlying medical conditions or if you are on any prescribed medicines before trying any tips or methods.

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