How To Lose Back Fat: 6 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Back Fat Fast In 2024

Dr. Susan Adeosun
Chelsea Rae Bourgeois, MS, RDN, LD
Are you wondering how to lose back fat? You are not alone. Dive in for six detailed ways to lose back fat easily — from diet to exercise.
how to lose back fat
Back fat affects your posture and weight, so it should be balanced. Photo: Shutterstock

Are you struggling with your weight? Often, weight loss is centered around losing tummy, arm, or thigh fat to be toned. However, there are cases when we gain weight in unlikely areas. For example, back fat accumulates body fat in our back region. If you experience this, you may wonder how to lose back fat.

First and foremost, you are not alone. Many people search for how to get rid of back fat, which is often associated with posture issues, diabetes, low back pain, and more. Here, we will see some effective methods of how to lose back fat fast, including workouts, diet, and other lifestyle changes.

6 Ways To Get Rid Of Back Fat Safely

Here are six effective ways to get rid of back fat safely:

  1. Reduce your calorie intake.
  2. Revamp your diet.
  3. Incorporate cardiovascular exercises.
  4. Add strength training.
  5. Incorporate core exercises.
  6. Stay hydrated.

6 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Back Fat

A higher body fat percentage can increase the fat in your tummy and back. Unfortunately, there is no way to spot-reduce fat. Getting rid of back fat requires a combination of targeted exercises, a healthy diet, and consistent effort. Here are six tested and trusted ways to get rid of back fat:

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Reduce Calories

Calories are the bedrock of weight gain. The more calories you eat without using, the more fat your body stores. And it is not in the back; when you consume more calories than your body needs, the body stores fat throughout. So, diet is one of the determining factors for losing weight in the back.

Creating a calorie deficit is essential to losing back fat. You do this by consuming fewer calories than you use daily. This deficit forces your body to tap into the stored fat for energy, eventually leading to weight loss.

Start by calculating your daily calorie needs and aim for a moderate deficit to ensure healthy weight loss. A common weight loss guideline is to aim for a deficit of 500-750 calories daily[1] to lose 1 pound to 1.5 pounds per week. However, it’s important to remember that nutrition needs are very individualized. Consider meeting with a registered dietitian nutritionist to determine a recommended daily calorie intake.

Practical steps for cutting back your calorie intake include:

  • Control your portion sizes.
  • Opt for a balanced diet rich in nutrient-dense foods like lean proteins, carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Be mindful of your eating habits.
  • Reduce sugary and processed foods.
  • Stay hydrated.

A nutritious diet goes a long way. Consider tracking your progress while reducing calories, and work with a qualified healthcare professional. Remember that sustainable, gradual changes in your diet tend to yield longer-lasting and healthier results than drastic calorie restrictions.

Revamp Diet

how to lose back fat
Revamping your diet helps you lose back weight. Photo: Shutterstock

As previously stated, cutting back on calories helps with losing back weight. However, the quality of your diet matters just as much as the quantity of calories you consume. To effectively revamp your diet for back fat reduction, consider these strategies:

  • Focus on balanced nutrition[2]: Prioritize a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Opt for lean protein sources like chicken, fish, tofu, and beans to support muscle development and metabolism. Add whole grains, such as brown rice and quinoa, for sustained energy and healthy fruits for essential vitamins.
  • Try a detox diet: Detox diets often involve severe restrictions on food intake, typically focusing on a few specific foods or drinks. Some popular detox methods include juice cleanses, fasting, and specific diets like the lemon detox diet or the master cleanse. These diets typically promise rapid weight loss and improved health, but the research is lacking.
  • Include healthy fats: Include sources of healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, in your diet. These fats are satisfying, support overall health, and help control cravings.
  • Limit processed foods: Minimize your intake of highly processed and sugary foods. These can lead to weight gain and make it harder to lose back fat. Instead, opt for whole, unprocessed foods as often as possible.
  • Control sugar and salt intake: Be mindful of added sugars[3] and excessive salt in your diet. High sugar intake can increase fat storage while overindulging salty foods can cause water retention and bloating.

Cardiovascular Exercises

A well-rounded diet combined with exercises can go a long way in helping you shed excess fat and improve your overall health and well-being. Cardiovascular exercises, also known as aerobic exercises, can include activities like running, swimming, cycling, dancing, or brisk walking. These exercises aim to increase your heart rate and energy, and they can be great methods of how to lose upper back fat in particular.

Regular cardiovascular exercise can support a healthy metabolism, helping you burn more calories even at rest. As health guidelines[4] recommend, aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week.

Resistance Training

We have discussed general ways to lose fat. In your quest to reduce back fat, resistance training[5] is a highly effective way to target and tone the specific muscles in your back and surrounding areas.

Here are some resistance training exercises you can incorporate into your workout routine:

  • Pull-ups and chin-ups: For how to lose back fat in men, these bodyweight exercises are excellent for losing upper body fat. Pull-ups involve an overhand grip, while chin-ups involve an underhand grip.  
  • Lat pulldowns: If you cannot do pull-ups or chin-ups, lat pulldowns using a cable machine or resistance band can effectively target your back muscles. Pull down on the cable machine and build muscle at the same time.
  • Rows: Bent-over rows, cable rows, or T-bar rows work the upper and middle back muscles, including the rhomboids and trapezius muscles. Use free weights or machines to perform these exercises.
  • Lateral raises: This exercise works for how to lose back fat in women. The simple exercise involves lifting dumbbells with both arms, working the shoulder and the entire upper back.
  • Superman: Not the superhero, but the Superman exercise targets your entire back. Simply lie face-down on the floor and slowly raise your arms and legs simultaneously while contracting your lower back muscles. Hold for a few seconds and release. This exercise helps strengthen the muscles along your spine.

These exercises have been tested and trusted to shed back fat quite effectively. However, if you are a beginner, you should go easy and increase over time. Also, allow time for recovery between workouts, as muscles need time to repair and grow. If you have questions, consult with a certified personal trainer.

Core Exercises

The core is a group of muscles that comprise the body’s central part. These muscles work together to provide stability and support for various movements and activities. Strengthening your core is essential to reducing back fat because it improves your overall posture, supports your spine, and gives you great abs. 

Want to know how to lose back fat in a week at most? Here are some ways:

  • Planks: Planks are a fantastic exercise for engaging your core. They are a great method for how to lose lower back fat. To perform a plank, get into a push-up position with your elbows directly beneath your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to heels. Hold this position for as long as you can while maintaining proper form.
  • Bridges: Bridges primarily target the lower back and glutes. Lie on your back in your starting position with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the ground, keeping your feet and shoulders on the floor, and squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.
  • Russian Twists: Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat. Lean back slightly and lift your feet off the ground. Hold a weight or a medicine ball and twist your torso to one side, then to the other, tapping the weight on the ground next to your hip.
  • Leg Raises: Leg raises work the lower abdominals and the lower back. Lie on your back with your legs straight. Lift your legs off the ground while keeping them straight, and lower them back down without letting them touch the floor.

Stay Hydrated

how to lose back fat
Hydration helps you cool down after working out. Photo: Shutterstock

After that workout, your body generates heat, and sweating is one of the ways it cools down. Adequate hydration helps regulate your body temperature and prevents overheating during exercise.

Water is essential for various metabolic processes in the body, including those related to fat metabolism. Proper hydration ensures these processes run smoothly and helps with back fat loss. Ensure you drink water throughout the day, not just during workouts. Many healthcare professionals recommend[6] at least 6-8 glasses of water daily, while other sources[7] advise 11-15 cups.

However, hydration needs are individualized and depend on sex, caloric needs, activity, body temperature, and metabolism. 

What Causes Back Fat?

Like fat in other body areas, back fat accumulation is primarily caused by an imbalance between calorie intake and use. When you consume more calories than your body needs for energy, the excess calories are stored as fat.

Leading a sedentary lifestyle with minimal exercise can also contribute to back fat. Think of it this way — if you’re not burning calories through physical activity, your body is more likely to store them as fat, which can show up on your back.

Genetics also plays a role. Some people are genetically predisposed to store fat in certain areas, and the back might be one of them. Hormonal changes, like those during menopause or due to conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome, can influence where your body tends to store fat.

Aging can also impact fat distribution. Your metabolism tends to slow down as you age, and you may lose muscle mass. A decrease in lean muscle can lead to more fat storage, including in the back. Additionally, stress and lack of sleep can disrupt hormones and lead to weight gain and changes in fat distribution.

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Changes In Lifestyle To Back Fat And Body Fat

Making positive lifestyle changes is crucial for reducing back fat and overall body fat. You can try some healthy lifestyle habits in your daily routine to achieve weight loss:

  • Adequate sleep: Ensure you get 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. Lack of sleep[8] can disrupt hormonal balance, leading to weight gain and fat storage.
  • Stress management: Practice stress-reduction techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises, as cortisol has been linked to fat storage.[9] Chronic stress can trigger overeating and contribute to weight gain.
  • Limit alcohol: Reduce alcohol consumption, as it is calorie-dense and can lead to poor food choices when consumed excessively.
  • Meal planning: Plan your meals and snacks in advance to make healthier choices and avoid impulsive, less nutritious options.
  • Stay active: Incorporate physical activity into your daily life, such as taking the stairs, walking or biking to work, or engaging in active hobbies like gardening and dancing.

Remember that long-lasting changes take time, so be patient and persistent. These lifestyle changes help reduce back fat and improve your health. It’s about creating a sustainable, healthier lifestyle that you can maintain over the long term.

Conclusion

Back fat is nothing to be ashamed of. Losing back fat is not an isolated goal but part of a journey towards better health and fitness. Incorporating a combination of strategies into your lifestyle can help you shed unwanted back fat and achieve a toned and healthier physique.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you spot reduce back fat?

Spot reduction is generally impossible. You can’t choose where your body burns fat. To reduce back fat, focus on overall fat loss through diet and exercise.

How long does it take to lose back fat?

We cannot dictate how long it takes to lose back fat. It varies with each person. However, consistency with exercise and nutrition will improve the timeline.

Can stress cause back fat?

Stress is a causal factor for weight gain, especially in the back. Cortisone is a stress hormone that has been linked to weight gain.

Is back fat hard to lose?

Back fat is difficult to lose but not impossible.

Why am I skinny but have back rolls?

Aside from dietary intake, back rolls can be caused by genetics and overall body composition.

Resources

  1. Ju Young Kim (2021). Optimal Diet Strategies for Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance. Journal of obesity & metabolic syndrome, [online] 30(1), pp.20–31. doi:https://doi.org/10.7570/jomes20065.
  2. and, D. (2023). Some Myths about Nutrition & Physical Activity. [online] National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/myths-nutrition-physical-activity.
  3. Lee, A.K., Chowdhury, R. and Welsh, J.A. (2015). Sugars and adiposity: the long‐term effects of consuming added and naturally occurring sugars in foods and in beverages. Obesity science & practice, [online] 1(1), pp.41–49. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/osp4.7.
  4. NHLBI, NIH. (2022). Get Regular Physical Activity. [online] Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/heart-healthy-living/physical-activity#:~:text=The%20U.S.%20Department%20of%20Health%20and%20Human%20Services%E2%80%99,A%20combination%20of%20both%20moderate-intensity%20and%20vigorous-intensity%20activity.
  5. Hunter, G.R., Fisher, G., Neumeier, W.H., Carter, S.J. and Plaisance, E.P. (2015). Exercise Training and Energy Expenditure following Weight Loss. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, [online] 47(9), pp.1950–1957. doi:https://doi.org/10.1249/mss.0000000000000622.
  6. Gandy, J. (2015). Water intake: validity of population assessment and recommendations. European journal of nutrition, [online] 54(S2), pp.11–16. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-015-0944-8.
  7. Rosinger, A. and Herrick, K. (2009). Key findings. [online] Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db242.pdf.
  8. Evangelia Papatriantafyllou, Dimitris Efthymiou, Evangelos Zoumbaneas, Codruta Alina Popescu and Vassilopoulou, E. (2022). Sleep Deprivation: Effects on Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance. Nutrients, [online] 14(8), pp.1549–1549. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14081549.
  9. Hewagalamulage, S.D., Lee, K., Clarke, I.J. and Henry, B.A. (2016). Stress, cortisol, and obesity: a role for cortisol responsiveness in identifying individuals prone to obesity. Domestic Animal Endocrinology, [online] 56, pp.S112–S120. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.domaniend.2016.03.004.

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