Do you have armpit fat you want to get rid of? Armpit fat can be really embarrassing, making you feel insecure and self-conscious about your arms and the fat around them.
You may have heard that losing fat on a specific spot isn’t possible, but there’s still a way to slim down this stubborn spot of fat under your armpit.
Like sideboob fat, armpit fat can be one of the most challenging areas of the body to tone and sculpt. Unfortunately, many people struggle with this area, no matter how much they diet or exercise.
If you are one of those people, don’t worry – we have the ultimate guide to getting rid of armpit fat. There is a way to reduce armpit fat from being so prominent, especially when wearing a strapless top.
In this blog post, we will discuss what causes armpit fat and provide tips on how to get rid of it and tighten up this stubborn area so you can show off this area in a strapless or tube top.
What Causes Underarm Fat?
Armpit fat is a common problem for a lot of people. When you have too much fat in this area, it can make your arms look bigger and bulkier. Some have described it as looking like they have a second pair of “tiny boobs.”
But it’s most likely not breast tissue since some women have armpit fat even before their breasts grew in. However, it might be a wise idea to check the fitting of your bra. If your bra is too tight, it’ll push breast fat tissue to the side, making it appear like you have armpit fat.
Hormones can also factor in for a reason why you have armpit fat. Many women during pregnancy and post-pregnancy can develop fat in their breast tissue for breastfeeding (1). Higher levels of estrogen cause breast growth during and after pregnancy which could contribute to fat to the sides of your bra (2).
Your genetics can also play a significant factor in these little bulges between your arms and chest. Stubborn body parts are generally due to where your genetics prefer to store excess fat (3).
For some, their genetics store fat in other stubborn places like their love handles, belly, hips, thighs, and in your case, underneath your armpits. Your body prefers to store excess fat on the body due to a survival instinct (4).
Back in our caveman ancestor days, food wasn’t so readily available. So the human body had to adapt to store excess calories for future use; otherwise, it might not survive a food famine.
But nowadays, this causes you to have stubborn fat that doesn’t want to go away no matter how hard you diet or exercise. The good news is that there are ways to reduce armpit fat, even if you have a slow metabolism or tend to store fat in this area.
You Can Be Skinny and Still Have Armpit Fat
Many women can still suffer from stubborn armpit fat even though they’re skinny. They can be otherwise thin, but they seem to have discernible fat under their armpits.
This is due to your genetics preferring to store fat in the area along with your body fat percentage. Many who appear skinny can actually have a higher body composition, meaning they have too much fat on their body and not enough muscle despite being low weight. The common term for this is “skinny fat” also known as “thin fat obesity.” (5)
This is why just dieting and doing more exercise won’t necessarily mean you’ll get rid of the armpit fat. You could continue to lose weight, but the total fat on your body won’t change at all. Crazy enough, your fat to muscle ratio can even go up as your body weight goes down, making your armpit fat look even worse.
How to Get Rid of Armpit Fat (Without Surgery)
Now it’s true you can’t really target areas to lose weight. But you can lower the overall body fat percentage and then do exercises to encourage toning of the area.
It would be a good idea to have your body fat percentage checked by a certified personal trainer. Or you could also purchase a smart scale that will give you a measurement of your body composition.
For women trying to get rid of stubborn fat, try to lower your body composition to below 25% (preferably >20%). Women tend to naturally have higher fat levels on their bodies than men, so more work will be required (6).
Keep in mind it’s always going to be a stubborn fat area for you. So anytime you gain extra weight or fat, it’ll most likely want to store there. But with the more progress you make, the easier it’ll be to keep it off for good.
The fat under your upper arm is so hard to lose because the subcutaneous layer of tissue (the layer of tissue below the skin) is very thick. In addition, women tend to have more alpha-2 receptors in their subcutaneous fat regions making it even more difficult (7). That’s because these alpha-2 receptors inhibit fat burning (8).
It’s no easy task converting these alpha-2 receptors into beta-2 receptors that encourage fat burning in the region. However, one of the best ways is with short, intense exercise.
Best Exercises for Underarm Fat
The best training you can do to reduce fat under your upper arms is short, intense workouts. This will produce the greatest fat burning while improving your fat to muscle ratio.
The trick is to combine these short intense workouts with specific exercises that target your armpit fat area. This way you’ll burn fat, build lean muscle, and tone up this stubborn area.
An example would be something like this:
- Jumping Jacks x30
- Triangle Push-ups x10
- Band Chest Flyes x20
The Jumping Jacks will get your heart rate pumping. Next, go immediately into Push-Ups that’ll work your chest muscles. Then the Band Chest Flyes will specifically target your armpit fat.
After the Flyes rest for up to one minute before repeating that circuit for 3-5 sets. This will also encourage blood flow to the area under your armpits, will help with fat burning.
Usually, areas that hang onto stubborn fat have poor blood flow. Without enough blood flow, these areas can get enough fat-burning hormones called catecholamines. This can further prevent that stubborn fat from burning off (9).
The above workout is just a tiny sample of what you should be doing in your workouts to get rid of fat in your armpit. It’ll help to add in moderate exercise to keep the fat flowing out of your body and not into your armpits.
Lose Armpit Fat Without Weights
Now it’ll be a lot harder to lose fat below your upper arms without weights or working out. But you can still lose some stubborn fat without weight by using a healthy diet.
Keeping your insulin levels low is one of the best ways to inhibit alpha-2 receptors in your stubborn fat regions (10). So cutting out the sugars, starches, and bad carbs from your diet will be critical if you want to get rid of your armpit fat.
You don’t have to go completely keto, but eliminating excess carbs from your diet will play a major role in getting the results you want. In addition, insulin and high blood sugars play an essential role in weight loss and fat loss (11). It’ll be tough to get rid of that stubborn fat if your insulin and blood sugars are too high.
Intermittent fasting is also proven to lower insulin levels and encourage fat loss in stubborn areas (12). Ideally, fast for a window of 16 to 20 hours per day to lower insulin levels.
You’ll get even better results with intermittent fasting when combined with a low-carb diet. Also, try adding in some C8-MCTs to your morning coffee to encourage fat burning of stubborn areas. I prefer to use Keto Elevate uses only the highest quality C8-MCT’s in powder form and tastes delicious in your morning coffee.
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The Last Word
The human body is an interesting puzzle when it comes to understanding how to lose armpit fat. However, as we have shown in this blog post, there are various ways you can get rid of stubborn underarm fat by working out using dieting methods.
Your stubborn fat under your arms is primarily due to genetics, too much fat, and hormones. Some have back fat, flabby arms, or hip dips, but you have armpit fat. You can eliminate this stubborn fat by using the right techniques.
Just cutting calories and walking more will most likely not produce the results you’re looking for. This is why even skinny women can still have armpit fat despite being rail-thin.
Instead, to slim down this area that seems to be lagging in dreaded extra armpit fat, you’ll have to:
- lower your body composition
- target tone the area
- improve your fat-burning hormones
If you don’t factor in all of the above, it’ll be nearly impossible to get rid of it. These bulges of fat will hang on even if you lose weight or have a low BMI.
So use the above strategies to lose the little bulges between your arms and chest finally. Then you’ll feel proud to show off that wedding dress, strapless top, and tube top.
Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and he’s a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) by American Council on Exercise. He’s worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the high school and college levels. He has over 15 years of experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. He is also the author of The Flat Belly Formula. He strives to bring inspiration and results for people to live healthier lives through smart diet and exercise.