Blog Weight Loss Lower-Back Fat: 6 Lifestyle Changes That Make a Difference

Lower-Back Fat: 6 Lifestyle Changes That Make a Difference

Love handles, muffin tops, or that annoying extra padding – whatever you call them, we all know they’re a pesky problem. As well as being an unwelcome addition to your silhouette, they can lead to discomfort and even health issues down the line.

So getting rid of lower-back fat is more than just a vanity project. In addition to looking and feeling better, lowering your body fat percentage can significantly improve your overall health. Research has shown that people who maintain a healthy body weight have fewer health risks (7).

But what exactly should you do to get rid of lower-back fat? Should you go on a strict diet, hit the gym every day, or perhaps start chugging lemon juice? Certainly not. We never recommend extreme measures as they are neither sustainable nor healthy.

Read on to discover 6 simple, sustainable lifestyle changes that can make a world of difference.

What Causes Lower-Back Fat?

Lower-back fat has the same cause as fat on any other part of the body – consuming more calories than you burn. When you eat too many calories than your body requires, your body will store them as fat after an excess intake over an amount of time (1). 

This accumulated fat leads to weight gain and can result in excess back fat. However, genetics can also play a role in determining where your body tends to store fat.

So, let’s say your body has a predisposition to storing fat in the lower-back area, you’ll notice that your love handles seem to stick around no matter what you do.

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For someone else, the excess fat may be stored in their arms, thighs, or belly. But don’t worry – while genetics do play a role, there are still plenty of lifestyle changes you can make to target lower-back fat and improve your overall body composition.

Now, let’s look at some solutions. If lower-back fat is caused by consuming more calories than you burn, the obvious solution is to create a calorie deficit. This can be done through a combination of diet and exercise.

In theory, tracking your calorie intake and burning more calories through exercise should lead to weight loss, including in the lower-back area. However, it’s not always that simple.

Life sometimes gets in the way, and we may not always be able to stick to a strict calorie limit or exercise routine. This is where these 6 lifestyle changes come in – they’re practical, sustainable and can make all the difference when it comes to reducing lower-back fat.

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6 Lifestyle Changes for Reducing Lower-Back Fat

In dealing with lower-back fat, we’re emphasizing the need for lifestyle changes instead of quick fixes. This is because weight loss and body composition are long-term goals that require consistent effort.

Here are 6 lifestyle changes you can implement to reduce lower-back fat:

1. Always Choose Whole Over Processed Foods

Whole foods are those that are minimally processed and closest to their natural form, such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. These types of foods are rich in nutrients and tend to be lower in calories than processed foods such as chips, cookies, and other highly processed snacks (15).

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Eating whole foods can help you stay within your daily calorie limit while providing your body with the necessary nutrients for proper functioning.

This can also help reduce cravings and prevent overeating, leading to a lower overall calorie intake.

Here’s a more specific example, taking Jane and Sarah as an example. They both have a daily calorie limit of 1,500 calories that they can either spend on whole foods or ultra-processed foods.

Jane chooses to have a 150-calorie cookie as her snack, while Sarah opts for a piece of fruit with the same calorie count. Apart from calories, Jane’s snack provides zero nutritional value compared to the fiber and vitamins in Sarah’s fruit, which also keeps her feeling full for longer.

Extrapolating this example to all meals and snacks, you can see how choosing whole over processed foods can make a big difference in reducing lower-back fat.

lower back fat  

2. Incorporate Strength Training Into Your Workout Routine

While any form of exercise is beneficial for overall health, strength training has been proven to be particularly effective in reducing body fat (10), including lower-back fat.

This type of exercise helps build lean muscle mass, which leads to an increase in metabolism and greater calorie burn, even when you’re at rest (5).

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A common misconception for weight loss is that you need to target a specific area with exercises for lower-back fat. However, spot reduction is a myth, and fat loss occurs throughout the body, not just in one area. However, when it comes to strength training for muscle development, it’s important to work all the muscle groups.

However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include exercises for lower-back fat and love handles in your routine. In fact, strengthening and toning the muscles in that area can help improve your overall body composition.

Incorporating exercises such as back extensions, supermans, burpees, and push-ups into your lower-back fat workout routine can help build muscle in the lower-back area and contribute to reducing overall body fat. (13).

So instead of solely focusing on cardio workouts for weight loss, make sure you incorporate strength training into your routine for maximum fat-burning results.

Read more: The Simplest Lower Back Calisthenics Guide for Beginners

3. Taking Advantage of HIIT Workouts for Time-Efficient Fat Burning

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has gained popularity in recent years due to its efficiency and effectiveness. This type of workout involves alternating between short bursts of high-intensity exercises and brief rest periods.

Research has shown that HIIT workouts can help burn more fat than traditional steady-state cardio exercises such as running or cycling (2).

This makes HIIT a great option for those who have limited time and still want to see results in reducing lower-back fat.

It should be noted that HIIT is more about the how than the what, which means you can choose any exercises you like for this type of workout. As long as you alternate between high-intensity and rest periods, you’ll see results.

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 4. Practice Mindful Eating

Mindful eating involves placing more emphasis on your body’s hunger and fullness cues, as well as paying attention to the taste, smell, and texture of your food. This can help prevent mindless snacking and overeating (6), which can contribute to lower-back fat.

By taking the time to truly savor and enjoy your meals, you may find you feel more satisfied with smaller portions. This can lead to a lower overall calorie intake, which makes it easier to create a calorie deficit for weight loss.

5. Get Enough Quality Sleep

Not getting enough quality sleep has been linked to weight gain and higher body mass. This is because a lack of sleep can disrupt the hormones that control appetite and metabolism, which makes it more difficult to lose weight (9).

In addition, being tired can lead to decreased motivation for exercise and unhealthy food choices. You should strive for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night for optimal health and a lower body fat percentage.

Sleep hygiene, as defined by professionals, involves creating a bedtime routine and environment that is conducive to quality sleep (12). This includes:

  • Turning off screens an hour before bedtime
  • Keeping your bedroom dark and cool
  • Avoiding caffeine and heavy meals close to bedtime
  • Using relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation to promote sleep
  • Establishing a consistent sleep schedule
  •  Avoiding alcohol and nicotine close to bedtime
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Whether you’re looking to simply pep up your fitness routine, jazz up your diet with mouth-watering low-calorie recipes or want to get your act together and significantly drop that number on your scale – BetterMe app has got you covered! Improve your body and revamp your life with us!

6. Practice Stress Management Techniques

Chronic stress can also have negative effects on weight, body composition, and overall health (4). It can lead to emotional eating and cravings for unhealthy foods.

It also causes an increase in cortisol levels, a hormone that has been linked to increased abdominal fat storage (11).

To combat stress:

  • Practice regular physical activity, which has been shown to reduce stress levels.
  • Incorporate relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing into your routine.
  • Prioritize self-care and find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as talking to a therapist or spending time doing activities you enjoy.

This guide with Upper-Back Stretches has a number of exercises you can do to help relieve tension in your upper back and de-stress.

Read more: 10 Exercises To Strengthen Lower Back and Core

lower back fat  


  • What causes fat on the lower back?

The main causes of lower-back fat include a combination of genetics, overall body fat percentage, and lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise. 

Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to store more fat in their lower-back area, while others may accumulate fat there due to an unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity.

  • How can I get rid of lower-back fat?

The best way to lose lower-back fat is to exercise regularly, eat a healthy and balanced diet, and adopt lifestyle changes such as getting enough quality sleep and managing stress levels (3).

Incorporating strength training exercises that target the entire body, including the lower-back area, can also help reduce total body fat and, in turn, fat in that region.

This Lower-Back Calisthenics Guide has provided various tips and techniques for reducing lower-back fat, including bodyweight exercises that you can do at home.

  • Is lower-back fat stubborn?

Lower-back fat can be stubborn, but it is not impossible to reduce. You may struggle to see results in that area if you don’t follow a consistent exercise routine and maintain a calorie deficit through diet.

Check the following areas to ensure you are on the right track:

  • Check that you’re actually in a calorie deficit – track your food intake using a calorie-tracking app.
  • Watch out for hidden calories in your diet, such as those that are found in sugary drinks and processed foods.
  • Re-evaluate your exercise routine – are you incorporating both cardio and strength training?
  • Make sure to give yourself enough time to see results – weight loss takes time and consistency.
  • Is it normal to have a little back fat?

Yes, it is completely normal to have a little back fat. Everyone’s body stores fat differently and some individuals may naturally carry more weight in their lower-back area. It’s important to focus on overall health and body composition, rather than striving for a specific appearance.

  • Can you lose back fat quickly?

It’s important to lose back fat in a healthy, sustainable way. Crash diets or extreme exercise regimens are not recommended as they can be harmful to your overall health and may result in weight gain in the long term.

We recommend incorporating a combination of HIIT workouts, mindful eating, and stress management techniques to achieve optimal and sustainable results.

  • How can males get rid of lower-back fat?

Getting rid of lower-back fat as a male follows the same principles as that for females. Focus on creating a calorie deficit through diet and regular exercise (14), particularly strength training exercises that target the whole body, including the lower-back area.

In addition, incorporating HIIT workouts can help with fat loss and muscle building (2), which can lead to a more toned appearance. Remember to also prioritize quality sleep and stress management techniques in order to see optimal results.

Check out this Calisthenics Back Workout for inspiration and ideas for exercises targeting the lower-back area.

The Bottom Line

To summarize, incorporating a combination of whole foods, strength training, HIIT workouts, mindful eating, quality sleep, and stress management techniques can help get rid of lower-back fat. 

By making small changes to your daily habits and staying dedicated to a healthy lifestyle, you’re more likely to see long-term results and improve your overall health and well-being.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Calories, Energy Balance, And Chronic Diseases (1992,
  2. High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss (2011,
  3. How to get rid of back fat: 6 best exercises, causes + diet tips (2023,
  4. Impact of stress on metabolism and energy balance (2016,
  5. Increasing muscle mass to improve metabolism (2013,
  6. Mindful Eating: The Art of Presence While You Eat (2017,
  7. Optimal body weight for health and longevity: bridging basic, clinical, and population research (2014,
  8. Pilot study: an acute bout of high intensity interval exercise increases 12.5 h GH secretion (2018,
  9. Sleep Deprivation: Effects on Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance (2022,
  10. Strength training: Get stronger, leaner, healthier (2023,
  11. Stress and Obesity: Are There More Susceptible Individuals? (2018,
  12. The Role of Sleep Hygiene in Promoting Public Health: A Review of Empirical Evidence (2014,
  13. These 16 Exercises Will Help You Blast Belly Fat (2023,
  14. Weight-Loss and Maintenance Strategies – Weight Management (2004,
  15. What are whole foods? (2023,
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