How To Lose Body Fat: Effective Ways You Should Know In 2024

how to lose body fat

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how to lose body fat
Losing body fat is challenging for many people. Photo: Phuong Thanh

Losing body fat is a common goal for many people, but it can be challenging to know where to start. With so many fad diets and conflicting advice, it can be difficult to determine the most effective strategies for losing body weight. In this article, we’ll explore evidence-based ways to lose body fat that can help you achieve your goals.

What Is Body Fat And Tips To Lose Body Fat?

Body fat[1] is a type of adipose (fatty) tissue that serves several important functions in the body, including energy storage and insulation. However, excess body fat can have negative health consequences[2], including an increased risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. And then the way to reduce body fat:

  • Try limiting carbs rather than fats
  • Begin strength training
  • Get more sleep
  • Lift weights
  • Drink healthier beverages

How To Lose Body Fat Fast?

how to lose body fat
There are some evidence-based ways to body fat. Photo: Kotin/Shutterstock

To lose fat mass, we need to create a calorie deficit. This can be achieved through a combination of diet and exercise. Here are some evidence-based ways to body fat:

Try Limiting Carbs Rather Than Fats

While a low-fat diet was once popular for weight loss, research suggests that low-carbohydrate diets[3] may be more effective for promoting fat loss. This is because low-carbohydrate diets can help lower insulin levels[4], which in turn can boost burn fat. Keep in mind, that the ratio of carbohydrates in each person’s diet is very individual and based on age, sex, weight, and current exercise level. For the average, sedentary person the amount of carbohydrates might be less compared to an amateur athlete who works out 3-5x a week. 

Begin Strength Training

Strength training exercises can help to increase muscle mass, which can help to promote fat burning and improve body composition[5]. Additionally, strength training can help to increase bone density[6] and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Get More Sleep

Research suggests that getting enough sleep[7] is important for regulating appetite and promoting fat loss. One study found that participants who slept less than 7 hours per night had an increased risk of obesity and weight gain compared to those who slept 7-9 hours per night. In general, lack of sleep causes fatigue during the day, decreased energy levels, and increased hunger as the body tries to maintain stable blood sugars for energy. A common tendency is that people often overeat when they’re tired. 

Lift Weights

In addition to strength training exercises, lifting weights can also help to promote fat loss and improve body composition[8]. This is because weight lifting can help to maintain muscle mass and boost metabolism[9], which can in turn help to promote fat burning. Contrary to popular belief, lifting weights doesn’t make a person “bulky” but instead changes muscle shape as a person gradually body fat loss.

Drink Healthier Beverages

Choosing healthier beverages such as water, tea, and coffee instead of sugary drinks can help reduce caloric intake[10] and promote fat loss. Sugary beverages such as alcohol, carbonated drinks, and juices can contribute to weight gain and an increase in body fat because of their calorie content. Unfortunately, many of these beverages contain a lot of sugar, which most people forget when calculating their calorie consumption. In addition, drinking water before meals[11] can help curb appetite and promote a feeling of fullness.

Why Is It So Hard To Reduce Body Fat?

Losing body fat can be challenging for several reasons because the body is designed to store energy in the form of trans fats. For one, the body is designed to maintain a stable weight, so it can be resistant to changes in body fat levels[12]. Additionally, many factors can influence body fat levels, including genetics, hormones, and lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise.

What Is A Healthy Body Fat Percentage?

how to lose body fat
Each person’s healthy body fat percentage is different. Photo: 9dream studio/Shutterstock

A healthy body fat percentage[13] varies depending on age, sex, and overall health. Generally, a body fat percentage of 10-22% for men and 20-32% for women is considered healthy. However, athletes may have lower body fat percentages due to their energy output, training regiment, and diet.

Losing Body Fat Vs. Losing Weight

It’s important to note that losing body fat is not the same as losing weight. To lose weight can involve losing fat, muscle, and water weight, which can have negative health consequences. Losing body fat, on the other hand, involves maintaining or increasing muscle mass while losing fat. This approach is more beneficial for overall health and can improve body composition.


Losing body fat can be challenging, but with the right combination of diet and exercise, it’s achievable. It’s important to maintain a healthy body fat percentage to reduce the risk of health problems related to cardiovascular disease and obesity. Incorporating strategies such as limiting carbs, strength training, getting more sleep, lifting weights, and drinking healthier beverages can help you achieve your body fat loss goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I lose body fat fast?

While it’s possible to body fat loss quickly, it’s not always sustainable or healthy. Rapid weight loss can lead to muscle loss and can impact metabolism. Aim for a gradual and steady weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week.

Is cardio or strength training better for losing body fat?

Both cardio and strength training can be effective for losing body fat. Cardio helps burn calories, while strength training can increase muscle mass, boost metabolism, and aid in fat loss. Incorporating both into your exercise routine can provide optimal results.

What is the best diet for losing body fat?

There is no one-size-fits-all diet for losing body fat. However, reducing calorie intake and limiting carbohydrates can be effective for weight loss. Focus on consuming whole, nutrient-dense foods and avoiding processed and sugary foods.

Can stress impact body fat percentage?

Yes, stress can impact body fat percentage by increasing cortisol levels, which can lead to weight gain and increased belly fat. Incorporating stress-management techniques such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can help reduce stress levels.

Is it possible to “spot reduce” body fat in specific areas?

Unfortunately, spot reduction of body fat is not possible. To reduce body fat in specific areas, you need to reduce overall body fat percentage through a combination of diet and exercise.

Can alcohol consumption impact body fat percentage?

Yes, alcohol consumption can impact body fat percentage by increasing calorie intake and inhibiting fat burning. Limiting alcohol consumption or avoiding it altogether can help achieve optimal body fat loss results.

How long does it take to see results in body fat loss?

Results can vary depending on individual factors such as age, gender, and activity level. However, consistent effort in following a healthy diet and exercise routine can yield results in as little as four to six weeks.

Can supplements help with body fat loss?

While some supplements may aid in body fat loss, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements. A healthy diet and exercise routine should be the primary focus for achieving body fat loss goals.

+ 13 Sources

Tnhealth has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  1. APA PsycNet. Accessed June 10, 2023.
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