7 Ways To Get Rid of Back Fat, According to Experts
While many individuals strive to make healthier tweaks in the kitchen and at the gym to melt their love handles or stubborn hanging belly fat, another common problem area is the back. If you're searching for how to get rid of back fat, we spoke with the experts who offer their best exercises, foods, and lifestyle changes to help you fight the flab and slim down for good. Because we all know "bra rolls" or excess back fat that shows through more form-fitting attire can be downright frustrating.
Now, unfortunately, you can't spot reduce or target a specific area of your body to lose fat. But what you can do is develop healthy lifestyle habits that help melt fat all over your body, which in turn will help you address the problem area—which, in this scenario, is your back. For instance, performing muscle-strengthening activities can burn calories, shrink fat, and tone your body, and eating nutrient-rich foods can help you lose weight. Following and sticking to just the right habits can truly make all the difference in the world, and it's always helpful to have a solid sense of direction provided by experts.
Keep reading to learn how to get rid of back fat by making some necessary adjustments to your daily routine. And when you're finished, don't miss the 5 Best Strength Exercises for Women To Banish Back Fat.
Establish a healthy eating "plan" rather than a diet.
If you want to boost overall fat loss and enhance your body composition, Lisa Young, Ph.D., RDN, the author of Finally Full, Finally Slim, a nutritionist in private practice, and a member of our Medical Expert Board, suggests establishing a healthy eating "plan" rather than a diet. Altering your mindset to feeding your body with healthy, nutrient-packed foods so it's able to function to the best of its ability can be so much more sustainable than sticking to a strict diet.
"Reframing how you think about food, and choosing nutrient-dense foods to incorporate into your diet will be the best way to lose weight and keep the weight off," Young explains. "A general guide would be sticking to more whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, lean proteins, and healthy fats. A nutritious diet will give your body carbohydrates, fats, proteins as well as fiber. Choosing these foods over ultra-processed foods can be your best tip when it comes to losing weight."
Read your food labels.
Reading food labels may sound intimidating if you've never done it before, but Young confirms there are plenty of useful resources that show you how to successfully read nutrition labels. "This is important for individuals who are trying to lose overall fat because it's important to understand the kinds of foods and ingredients you are eating to ensure they fit into a healthy diet," she says. "Moreover, a lot of processed packaged foods have sneaky additives that may hinder weight loss efforts. Skip foods high in added sugars and other sweeteners as well as artificial ingredients."
Make sure your eating habits are well-rounded.
You've likely heard this saying time and time again, but it will forever ring true: You are what you eat! Following well-balanced nutrition in your daily life—even when you go out on the town with friends or enjoy date night—it's important to make healthy choices.
"A well-rounded diet rich in lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help manage your weight and support fat loss," Young explains. "Consider reducing your intake of processed foods and added sugars, as these can contribute to weight gain. Hydration is also critical for overall health and weight management, so ensure you are drinking enough water daily."
Find active hobbies you really enjoy.
Whether it's hiking, mountain biking, jogging, yoga, kayaking, taking a dance-cardio class, or snow-shoeing, find active hobbies and types of exercise you genuinely enjoy. "Being physically active promotes fat burning and comes with health benefits such as weight management, reducing your risk of heart diseases, helping to manage your blood and insulin levels, improving mental health and so much more," Young tells us.
Speaking of muscle-strengthening activities, strength training is something both Young and Tyler Read, the founder of PTPioneer.com and a personal trainer who's been involved in the health and fitness world for the past 15 years, agree on.
"Strength training exercises can help tone the muscles in your back and other parts of your body, and muscle mass can boost your metabolism, assisting in weight loss," Read explains. "Exercises like rows, push-ups, pull-ups, and lat pull-downs can specifically target the muscles in your back. Aim for two or more days of strength training per week." By giving your metabolism a nice little boost, Young says you'll torch more calories during the rest of the day.
Kick up your cardio.
Of course, you can't forget about cardio. Whether you head out for a brisk walk, do some laps at the pool, or head to the trails with your pup, losing weight calls for a healthy balance of aerobic and strength exercise.
"Regular aerobic exercise is key to burning calories and losing fat," Read confirms. "This could be activities like running, walking, cycling, or swimming. Try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week."
Get consistent sleep, and manage your stress.
Don't sweat the small stuff. Although sometimes that's much easier said than done, managing your stress can go a long way when it comes to staying in good health. The same goes for getting sufficient sleep on a daily basis. "Lack of sleep and high stress can interfere with your body's metabolism and fat loss," Read explains. "Aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night, and consider stress-management techniques like meditation, yoga, or other relaxation exercises."