Fact checkedFact Checked

This article is reviewed by a team of registered dietitians and medical doctors with extensive, practical clinical and public health experience.

 

How To Get Rid of Upper Belly Fat? 10 Tips & At-Home Exercises in 2022

Updated on - Written by

How to Lose Upper Belly Fat

A bulging upper stomach can be difficult to live with and can trigger various health ailments. When you need a strategy to lose upper belly fat -employ a fat burner, exercises that target your abdomen, and eat healthy foods

Because multiple factors could contribute to a prominent gut, it’s important to understand body fat and optimize fat loss. Improve your metabolism, reduce upper belly fat, and create a leaner, toned figure that is strong and healthy.

How To Lose Upper Belly Fat?

To reduce health ailments triggered by an unbalanced gut and lose upper belly fat, follow a realistic plan for weight loss.

  1. Lose upper belly fat by regularly practicing exercises that target specific muscles in your body. 
  2. Make lifestyle changes to boost your metabolism, reduce stress levels, and flatten your tummy. Exercise alone or simply changing your diet is not enough to burn fat. 
  3. Utilize multiple solutions to lose belly fat, reduce health ailments triggered by a gut, and feel great.

The following exercises are excellent for targeting upper belly fat.

  1. Side Planks
  2. Upward Planks
  3. Boat Pose
  4. Bicycle Crunches
  5. Vertical Leg Crunches
  6. Side Bends
  7. Scissor Kicks
  8. Lunge with Twist
  9. Russian Twists
  10. Medicine Ball Burpees

What Causes Adipose Tissue?

The human body naturally likes to hold onto fat around the abdomen. The struggle to lose weight is not only due to poor diet, binge drinking, or a lack of exercise. There are plenty of reasons why adipose tissue is accumulating and creating an unsightly gut. Adipose tissue is body fat that helps regulate certain bodily functions, insulates organs, and stores energy.

The following factors can contribute to belly fat and weight gain.

  • Genetics
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Poor diet
  • Binge drinking
  • Smoking
  • Overeating
  • Stress
  • Aging
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Eating too many processed foods, junk food, and fast food
  • An unbalanced gut microbiome
  • Living a sedentary lifestyle
  • Not eating enough protein
  • Not enough fiber in the diet
  • Menopause

It’s critical to make positive changes to reduce body fat and attain a healthy weight. By using a combination of exercises, nutrition changes, and various lifestyle practices, you can blast away upper body fat.

A healthy amount of fat is needed for insulation, to protect the organs, provide essential fatty acids, and regulate certain enzymes and hormones.  Not all fats are the same, as different types have specific influences on the body and functions.

Fat serves as an available source of stored energy to fuel the body. However, saturated and trans fats[1] are the most harmful types of fats. An excess of saturated fat can increase bad cholesterol levels, leading to cardiovascular disease and the risk of a stroke. 

How Exercises & Nutrition Improve Fat Loss?

The best way to lose weight is by using a combination of regular exercise and nutrition. These two practices will transform your body into a fat-burning machine and easily reduce upper belly fat. 

Making an effort to execute movements that target upper belly fat and performing occasional high-intensity training helps burn calories and lose fat. 

Filling up on healthy foods that provide nutrition that encourages metabolic activity, reduces cravings for sugar and fat, and leaves you sated longer. 

Add foods that are high in fiber, protein or include probiotics for optimal results. A body that has more developed muscle will burn more calories than fat. A combination of weight resistance training, aerobics, and cardio activity will help support fat loss and boost metabolic activity. 

Practice exercises for belly fat regularly, stay hydrated by increasing your water intake and feed your muscles and gut microbiome with healthy, supportive foods.

10 Exercises To Blast Away Unwanted Fat

Muscle burns more calories than fat so add exercises like planks or belly crunches to lose upper belly fat fast. Here are ten excellent activities worth practicing four times a week to encourage fat loss, boost metabolism, and tone your tummy.

  1. Side Planks
  2. Upward Planks
  3. Boat Pose
  4. Bicycle Crunches
  5. Vertical Leg Crunches
  6. Side Bends
  7. Scissor Kicks
  8. Lunge with Twist
  9. Russian Twists
  10. Medicine Ball Burpees

Side Planks

Use this exercise to strengthen the abdominal muscles, burn belly fat, and challenge yourself. You will want to start lying flat on the floor on your side with an arm extended outward. Using your lower body while contracting your abs,push yourself up off of the floor so you are at a 45-degree angle. Try to perform 10 to 12 reps for each set.

Upward Planks

Reduce belly fat with the power of a yoga move, known as Purvottanasana. Instead of a traditional plank position facing downward, face upward and push up on your arms until you reach a 45-degree angle, all while contracting the abdominal muscles.

Boat Pose

Burn belly fat using this yoga pose, also known as Navassana. You’ll start out sitting on a yoga mat with your legs in front of you. Slowly lift your legs together until you position your body into a V-shape, with a 45-degree bend. Your arms should extend toward your knees. Hold this position for at least 45 seconds and perform 10 to 12 reps per set.

Bicycle Crunches

Target upper and lower belly fat simultaneously, using an alternate movement between the upper and lower body. Laying down on a yoga mat, lift your head with your arms bent, with interlaced hands at the back of your head. 

Lift and bend your legs, alternating between the right knee to the left elbow while twisting your body. For best results, repeat the cycle of alternating 20 times for each leg.

Vertical Leg Crunches

Reduce extra fat around your upper and lower belly and tone your tummy with this move. This exercise directly works your core and boosts metabolism levels. 

Laying on the floor with your legs in the air, make a crunch forward toward your knees.

Side Bends

With feet shoulder-width apart and dumbells in your hands, bend from side to side slowly until you feel your muscles burn. Add some free weights to help further increase the burn of belly fat with this standing exercise. 

Hold the position for 30 seconds on each side.

Scissor Kicks

While laying on the floor with arms at your side, lift your legs and part them slightly into a V-shape. Keeping your legs straight, bring the right over the left, open wide, and alternate while your lower back pushes into the floor.

Lunge with Twist

Make reducing upper belly fat interesting by adding a weighted ball. You’ll start standing and then alternate lunging with your left and right legs, so it’s as if you are seated in a chair.

Russian Twists

This move gives your abdominal muscles a workout and targets upper belly fat. Sit on the floor with your legs crossed in a v-shape, and lean back slightly. Keeping your balance, twist from side to side while keeping your legs from moving.

Medicine Ball Burpees

Grab a medicine ball and get down on the floor in a push-up position. Bringing your knees toward your chest, jump upward while lifting the medicine ball into the air above your head, and then jump back down for an intense workout for your whole body.

10 Foods To Eat To Lose Upper Belly Fat

Step away from high-fat, processed foods laden with sugar, simple carbs, and salt. Reach for healthier foods that naturally help you shed  belly fat and support a healthy weight and fat loss. 

For example, filling your plate with fiber-rich foods makes it easy to burn belly fat and boost metabolism. The following foods are the best choices for your diet when you want to lose upper belly fat.

  1. Raspberries
  2. Beans
  3. Eggs
  4. Chili Peppers
  5. Dark Green & Leafy Veggies
  6. Nuts
  7. Whole Grains
  8. Fermented Foods
  9. Chia Seeds
  10. Dark Chocolate

Raspberries

Eat more raspberries to rev up your metabolism and burn away belly fat. Eating this fruit provides a rich source of fiber. Studies on mice[2] showed that raspberries might contribute to the breakdown of deep belly fat and improve metabolic activity.

Beans

Eat more beans to blast excess fat on the abdomen. Beans are not only a great source of fiber, but they can reduce the accumulation of belly fat[3] as well as  inflammation.

Eggs

Eat more eggs to support healthy weight loss, as it is a low-calorie food and an excellent source of protein. Studies[4] show a possible correlation between increased satiety and improved metabolism from eating eggs.

Chili Peppers

Add some spice to your life and improve your metabolism by tossing some chili pepper into your next meal to encourage your body to burn off excess fat. 

One of the most active ingredients in chili peppers is called capsaicin, and is a potent antioxidant. Capsaicin[5] has also been studied for speeding up fat loss particularly in the upper belly region. Capsaicin is the ingredient in peppers that makes it spicy and it increases metabolic activity.

Dark Green & Leafy Veggies

Fill up on vegetables like asparagus and artichokes, prebiotic foods with surefire fat-burning potential. Eat more iron-rich foods like broccoli, bok choy, spinach, and kale to slay upper belly fat, stay fueled, and increase metabolism[6].

Nuts

It might seem hard to believe, but eating nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, and pistachios help burn off abdominal fat. Eating nuts provides a source of healthy fats and protein and improves insulin metabolism[7].

Whole Grains

Ditch the refined grains and reach for a bowl of whole oats, farro, or quinoa for fiber instead. These whole grains will keep you feeling satiated longer and will aid in burning off belly fat. 

Various studies[8] conducted have shown a correlation between eating more whole grains and reduced belly fat.

Fermented Foods

Regularly consuming fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir introduce good bacteria to the gut microbiome, contributing to fat loss. Eating foods rich in probiotics reduces inflammation[9] and improves digestion.

Fermented foods also help you feel fuller longer, assisting with blasting away unwanted belly fat.

Chia Seeds

Simply adding two tablespoons of chia seeds to your diet can add an additional 10 grams of fiber. If you follow a low-calorie diet, eating chia seeds helps you feel fuller longer and promotes weight loss[10].

Chia seeds are also a good source of iron, protein, antioxidants, and the fatty acid omega-3. 

Dark Chocolate

If you’re a chocolate lover, you’re in luck with this one. Dark chocolate in particular contains polyphenols[11] that help inhibit fat cell development and encourage fat cell breakdown.

When your next sweet craving arises, reach for a small piece of dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cacao, which can support upper belly fat loss.

It’s important to not overindulge in this sweet treat, as consuming an excess of dark chocolate can exceed your daily calorie needs.

Helpful Tips To Lose Weight

Here are additional tips to take your strategy to lose upper belly fat a step further.. Choose from the following to improve your health, reduce symptoms of belly fat-related ailments, and boost metabolism.

  1. Practice intermittent fasting to give the digestive system a break, and burn off excess belly fat.
  2. Perform high-intensity workouts to burn calories and boost metabolism.
  3. Take supplements like Conjugated Linoleic Acid[12] to boost metabolism and burn calories.
  4. Get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep throws off hormones and encourages stored fat and weight gain.
  5. Reduce stress levels because stress makes you hold onto visceral fat.
  6. Stay Hydrated. Increasing your water intake helps burn stored fat and improves metabolism.
  7. Support gut health by consuming probiotics, prebiotics and introducing more fiber to your diet. An imbalanced gut microbiome contributes to obesity and stored visceral fat.
  8. Avoid overeating and binge drinking sugary beverages and alcohol.
  9. Add coconut oil to your diet to boost metabolic activity, as the medium-chain triglycerides do not quickly turn into stored fat.

The above suggestions may improve metabolism and increase belly fat loss, alongside exercises targeting the upper belly and eating foods that nourish the gut microbiome.

Precautions

Before making any significant changes to your diet or exercise regimen, consult with your physician or a registered dietitian for personalized advice. Reducing upper belly fat and maintaining a healthy weight via exercise and nutrition improves your energy levels, tones your muscles, and enhances metabolic activity. 

Practicing healthy lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, drinking more water, and take supplements to lose upper belly fat.If excess belly fat is reduced, it can optimize well-being and prevent health problems down the line. 


+ 12 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. The Nutrition Source. (2012). Shining the Spotlight on Trans Fats. [online] Available at: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/types-of-fat/transfats/
  2. ‌Zou, T., Kang, Y., Wang, B., de Avila, J.M., You, J., Zhu, M.-J. and Du, M. (2019). Raspberry supplementation reduces lipid accumulation and improves insulin sensitivity in skeletal muscle of mice fed a high-fat diet. Journal of Functional Foods, [online] 63, p.103572. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1756464619304967
  3. ‌Thompson, H., McGinley, J., Neil, E. and Brick, M. (2017). Beneficial Effects of Common Bean on Adiposity and Lipid Metabolism. Nutrients, [online] 9(9), p.998. Available at: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/9/9/998
  4. ‌The nutritional properties and health benefits of eggs | Emerald Insight. (2013). Nutrition & Food Science. [online] Available at: https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/00346651011043961/full/html
  5. ‌Saito, M. (2015). Capsaicin and Related Food Ingredients Reducing Body Fat Through the Activation of TRP and Brown Fat Thermogenesis. Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, [online] pp.1–28. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1043452615000546
  6. ‌Adak, K. (2020). Indian Vegetables boost Immunity and Truncate obesity: A Review. International Research Journal on Advanced Science Hub, [online] 2(Special Issue ICAET 11S), pp.48–52. Available at: https://www.rspsciencehub.com/article_4740_11e97e848c9663997489337ade6119df.pdf
  7. ‌Salas-Salvadó, J., Guasch-Ferré, M., Bulló, M. and Sabaté, J. (2014). Nuts in the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, [online] 100(suppl_1), pp.399S407S. Available at: https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/100/suppl_1/399S/4576528?login=true
  8. ‌Karl, J.P. and Saltzman, E. (2012). The Role of Whole Grains in Body Weight Regulation. Advances in Nutrition, [online] 3(5), pp.697–707. Available at: https://academic.oup.com/advances/article/3/5/697/4591574?login=true
  9. ‌Isolauri, E., Kirjavainen, P.V. and Salminen, S. (2002). Probiotics: a role in the treatment of intestinal infection and inflammation? Gut, [online] 50(Supplement 3), pp.iii54–iii59. Available at: https://gut.bmj.com/content/50/suppl_3/iii54.short
  10. ‌Delpino, F.M., Figueiredo, L.M. and da Silva, B.G.C. (2021). Effects of omega-3 supplementation on body weight and body fat mass: A systematic review. Clinical Nutrition ESPEN, [online] 44, pp.122–129. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2405457721001650
  11. ‌Tian, W.-X. (2006). Inhibition of Fatty Acid Synthase by Polyphenols. Current Medicinal Chemistry, [online] 13(8), pp.967–977. Available at: https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ben/cmc/2006/00000013/00000008/art00008
  12. ‌Lehnen, T.E., da Silva, M.R., Camacho, A., Marcadenti, A. and Lehnen, A.M. (2015). A review on effects of conjugated linoleic fatty acid (CLA) upon body composition and energetic metabolism. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, [online] 12(1). Available at: https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-015-0097-4?source=organic

Medically reviewed by:

Alex Smith is a NY-based content writer who enjoys covering natural health, supporting wellness, personal finance, history, and outdoor living. When he is not behind a keyboard living the wordsmith life, he enjoys visiting landmark destinations and bookstores.

Medically reviewed by:

Harvard Health Publishing

Database from Health Information and Medical Information

Harvard Medical School
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database From Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Go to source

Trusted Source

Database From U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Governmental Authority
Go to source

WHO

Database from World Health Organization

Go to source

Neurology Journals

American Academy of Neurology Journals

American Academy of Neurology
Go to source

MDPI

United Nations Global Compact
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database From National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database from U.S. National Library of Medicine

U.S. Federal Government
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database From Department of Health and Human Services

Governmental Authority
Go to source

PubMed Central

Database From National Institute Of Health

U.S National Library of Medicine
Go to source