How To Lose Hand Fat: Best Ways To Reduce Hand Fat In 2024

Madison Wilferd, MSc, BS, LMT
Jocelyn Chen, BME
Knowing how to lose hand fat and get slimmer fingers in 2024 isn’t so straightforward, because it’s difficult to spot-treat fat loss.
how to lose hand fat
Some people naturally carry more hand fat than others. Photo: Ba Le Ho

There isn’t a magic trick to or pinpointed solution as to how to lose hand fat. Everyone’s body stores fat in different places. Much of it comes down to genetics, it’s just how we’re made! The reality is that targeted fat loss, or spot treatment, is not so straightforward.

A holistic approach involving overall body fat reduction is the best way to lose fat in the hands. If you’re wondering how to get rid of hand fat or how to get skinny fingers, this is best achieved through a blend of strength training, cardiovascular exercises, a balanced diet, and positive lifestyle shifts. These are surefire ways to lead to overall fat loss and will also improve overall health.

How To Get Rid Of Hand Fat

The best ways to get rid of hand fat are:

  1. Do hand exercises to improve grip strength and tone the small muscles of the hands and fingers. 
  2. High-intensity interval training is an excellent way to burn calories and gain muscle for full-body fat loss. 
  3. Playing a musical instrument is a creative way to maintain dexterity and slim hands. 
  4. Many upper body exercises also train hand and grip strength by default. 
  5. If regular exercise isn’t achievable, focusing on a healthy diet low in sodium and alcohol can be a method of reducing hand fat and/or swelling.

Best Ways To Reduce Hand Fat

how to lose hand fat
There are a few exercises to target the hands. Photo: Starstuff/Shutterstock

As mentioned, there is no foolproof way to spot-treat fat loss. Nevertheless, there are some hand exercises that may be beneficial to tone the tiny muscles and ligaments in the hands. 

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Hand Exercises 

Grip exercises may help strengthen hand muscles, aiding in a slimmer appearance. It can also help those who lift weights grab onto the dumbbells and other weights more tightly. 

Of course, doing these exercises alone will not lead to reduced hand fat, but they may help tone the underlying structures, enhancing the structure shown once the overall body fat is decreased. 

There are some specialized equipments that you can use:

  1. Grip tool: A grip tool is a small and portable apparatus that can be found in some gyms, but is also easily available for purchase online and in stores. 
  2. Resistance bands: Just like any resistance bands, smaller ones for the extremities exist for hand exercises. These are small, portable, and pretty easy to use to strengthen the hands, fingers, and wrists. 

Additionally, with regular gym equipment such as kettlebells, dumbbells, or weight plates, you can try the farmer’s walk. During a farmer’s walk, you’ll have two equal weights in each hand with your arms hanging by your side. Walk a certain distance making sure to really grip the weights rather than using your arm muscles to bring them up higher. Kettlebells may be easier whereas weight plates may be more challenging to grip. 

High-Intensity Interval Training

High-intensity interval training,[1] or HITT, is an excellent method to reduce body fat and gain muscle simultaneously. It combines quick-moving cardiovascular exercise with strength training for an efficient workout for the busy individual looking to get fit fast. 

There are different ways to structure a class. Some examples of HIIT are Tabata, kettlebell HIIT, full-body hit, EMOM (every minute on the minute), and more. This form of exercise is effective, but it can be quite challenging for beginners or those who dislike high-impact and high-intensity workouts.  

Play A Musical Instrument 

A fun way to keep the hands and fingers active and lean is to play a musical instrument like the guitar or piano. Skills like key manipulation demand consistent and precise finger movements. 

Over time, these repetitive motions work the small muscles in the hands and fingers, much like what a workout does for larger muscle groups. Regularly playing an instrument can lead to increased strength and dexterity in the hands and may be attributed to losing weight in fingers and hands. 

Upper Body Exercises 

Chances are if you’re looking to lose hand fat, you may also be looking to reduce arm fat elsewhere. Most exercises that work the hands will also help you lose arm fat and tone the arms as well. Here are some upper body exercises that can be beneficial:

  1. Push-ups: Push-ups while holding dumbbells will train both grip strength and arm muscles. For another version, they can be done on the edge of a chair or bench to work a different part of the hands. 
  2. Dumbbell exercises: Any weight-lifting exercise like bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, reverse flies, lat raises, etc., will tone the upper body as well as improve grip strength and build strong and lean hands. 

To build muscle and reduce arm fat and hand fat, try and incorporate these exercises into at least two days per week. Before doing an upper body workout, remember to do a light warm up with stretching and active movements like arm circles. 

Focus On Diet 

To lose weight, one must focus on consuming fewer calories than are burned. This is a matter of creating a calorie deficit. There are online calculators and apps to calculate your caloric needs based on factors like activity level, goals, age, and gender. 

Try incorporating more fiber and protein into meals to decrease appetite and maintain a lower amount of daily calories consumed. Eat fiber-rich foods like oats, whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fresh fruits. Additionally, lean protein sources like fish, poultry, tofu, and eggs help build muscle and promote fullness.  

To lose fat, you don’t necessarily need fat-burning supplements, but incorporating thermogenic compounds in your diet may be helpful for weight loss. Thermogenics[2] act like internal heaters to create heat and burn calories. Examples of thermogenic foods and drinks are coffee, green tea, and pepper extracts.

What Causes Fat Hands?

Overweight and obesity are also the most likely culprits. However, chubby-looking hands may be swelling attributed to fluid retention rather than fat. Fluid retention is caused by diet, lifestyle, medication, or underlying medical conditions. Warm weather and hot water can also make hands swell. 

Swollen hands can be caused by eating too much salt, which leads to water retention. Our bodies maintain a delicate balance of electrolytes, including salt, and water follows salt in the body. When we consume too much salt, the kidneys don’t have a chance to filter fluids out and this fluid can get stored in places like the hands. 

Lifestyle Changes To Lose Hand Fat Quickly

how to lose hand fat
Staying active is important to lose body fat anywhere. Photo: Auttapol Sangsub/Shutterstock

Dietary Changes

When striving for weight loss, it is important to drink water. While it may seem counterintuitive that managing excess fluid requires more water, it actually helps maintain fluid balance in your body. This is especially beneficial if you consume a lot of salt. 

Try to avoid eating foods high in salt like deli meats, packaged foods, pickles, and fast food. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans,[3] the recommended amount of daily sodium is limited to less than 2,300mg. 

Limiting alcohol intake is another weight loss strategy that may help reduce any swelling in the hands. Alcohol isn’t great for weight loss in general, because it is high in calories with very little nutritional benefits. As we know, if you consume more calories than you burn, fat accumulates. Alcohol is also rather dehydrating, which contributes to swollen body parts. 

Physical Activity 

A solid combination of cardio and resistance training[4] is consistently deemed the best way to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. 

If you want to mix up your routine a bit or struggle with joint pain, try water fitness or swimming. Aquatic fitness is a low-impact form of physical activity that also stimulates blood flow more than land-based activities due to the water’s buoyancy and hydrostatic pressure.

The most important thing is not what type of exercise you do but that you do it consistently. Healthy habits and routines are what are most likely to lead to long-term sustainable weight loss. 

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Stress Reduction 

Yoga and massage will not only deal with stress reduction but also encourage blood flow and promote better circulation to combat any potential swelling. Stress activates the “fight or flight” response, which triggers the release of cortisol. Cortisol is a steroid hormone released by the adrenal gland that has been linked to weight gain.[5]

This may not be your first assumption regarding losing hand fat, but maintaining stress levels will make it easier to lose fat and maintain a healthy weight in addition to improved diet and physical activity 

While reading this, you may be thinking about how chronic stress may be sabotaging your weight loss goals. There are several things to try to calm your stress level like meditation, mindfulness, and yoga, but these are just a few of many stress management techniques. 


Achieving toned hands and slender fingers isn’t merely about focusing on the hands; it requires a balanced blend of diet, exercise, and positive lifestyle changes. It’s evident that while spot-reducing fat isn’t feasible, an overall approach to good health can indirectly impact the appearance of our hands.

Incorporating hand exercises, engaging in full-body workouts that combine cardiovascular and strength training, paying attention to nutrition, and practicing stress-reducing techniques are all crucial strategies in this journey. Additionally, understanding the reasons behind hand swelling or chubby fingers, such as fluid retention or genetic predispositions, can offer clarity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it hard to lose hand fat?

It is difficult to lose fat in any specific body part. Although fat loss may be complicated, creating a calorie deficit will lead to weight loss and building muscle will also aid in fat loss.

Why are my fingers fat but I’m skinny?

Everyone is unique when it comes to where we store fat. Babies are born with fat deposits where they are.

How can I lose hand fat fast without exercise?

Without focusing on exercise, you’ll need to place a certain emphasis on diet to lose hand fat. This means eating foods low in sodium to minimize fluid retention, staying hydrated, reducing alcohol consumption, and eating a balanced diet.


  1. Gabriel Nasri Marzuca‐Nassr, Macarena Artigas-Arias, María Angélica Olea, SanMartín-Calísto, Y., Huard, N., Durán-Vejar, F., Beltrán-Fuentes, F., Aris Muñoz-Fernández, Alegría-Molina, A., J Sapunar and Salazar, L.A. (2020). High-intensity interval training on body composition, functional capacity and biochemical markers in healthy young versus older people. Experimental Gerontology, [online] 141, pp.111096–111096. doi:
  2. Prather, J., Florez, C.M., Vargas, A., Soto, B., Harrison, A., Willoughby, D., Tinsley, G.M. and Taylor, L. (2023). The effects of a thermogenic supplement on metabolic and hemodynamic variables and subjective mood states. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, [online] 20(1). doi:
  3. Center (2022). Sodium in Your Diet. [online] U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Available at:,recommended%20limits%20are%20even%20lower.
  4. Falcone, P.H., Tai, C.-Y., Carson, L.R., Joy, J.M., Mosman, M.M., McCann, T.R., Crona, K.P., Kim, M.P. and Moon, J.R. (2015). Caloric Expenditure of Aerobic, Resistance, or Combined High-Intensity Interval Training Using a Hydraulic Resistance System in Healthy Men. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, [online] 29(3), pp.779–785. doi:
  5. 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:

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