How to Burn Upper Abdomen Fat

Excess upper abdominal fat may occur from years of poor diet, lack of exercise and stress. Age and genetic factors also play a role in where your body accumulates belly fat. Upper abdominal fat tends to be visceral fat -- the kind of fat that lies between your abdominal wall and your organs. Burning off this type of body fat requires a lifestyle change.

Stoke Your Metabolism with Exercise

Step 1
Exercise daily to stoke your metabolism and get the fat burning. Schedule at least five 30- to 60-minute moderate-intensity aerobic workouts and two strength-training workouts into your schedule each week. According to Harvard Health Publications, walking or jogging 12 miles per week keeps your weight stable and prevents further gain of visceral fat. But walking or jogging 20 miles per week results in visceral fat loss, along with loss of subcutaneous fat that lies between your skin and abdominal wall.

Step 2
Begin your exercise program at a comfortable pace and increase the duration and frequency of workouts as soon as you can do so without pain or undue stiffness and soreness. Even 10-minute bouts of exercise have benefits.

Step 3
Perform strength-training exercises to work all the major muscle groups: abdomen, thighs, glutes, back, shoulders, chest and arms. Exercises such as lunges, squats, pushups and planks work several large muscle groups at one time.

Step 4
Do stretches at the end of each exercise session, both aerobic and strength-training. Stretches help rid your muscles of lactic acid buildup and aid the cool-down process to prevent soreness and fluid pooling in your extremities.

Eat Your Way Thin

Step 1
Eat frequently, but consume small meals and snacks. Jump-start your metabolism in the morning by eating breakfast and keep your metabolism high by eating every two to three hours throughout the day. A quality meal balances lean protein with complex carbohydrates. For instance, cottage cheese with blueberries and sunflower seeds makes a good meal choice.

Step 2
Replace high-calorie, low-nutrient foods with more nutrient-dense foods that help fuel and energize your body. Instead of eating chips, cookies, fast-food meals, processed foods and full-fat dairy, fill your diet with low-fat dairy, whole grains, lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Step 3
Drink water. Reach for a cup of water instead of an energy drink, fruit drink, soda, coffee or other sugary drink. Water helps flush toxins from your body while keeping your body hydrated. “Many doctors recommend drinking eight glasses of water each day, but you can better gauge your hydration by drinking enough water to keep your urine a light yellow to clear in color,” says Dr. David Caruso.

Step 4
Consume fewer calories each day than your body needs to function. Fat loss occurs when you force your body to burn fat stores for energy by consuming fewer calories. Keeping a food diary can help you determine the number of calories you consume each day.

Develop Coping Skills

Step 1
Learn to deal with stress, which often leads to overeating and fat accumulation in the upper abdominal region, according to a report by the New York Times in "Stress and Anxiety." Cravings for salt, fat and sugar can be stress-induced. In response to stress, the brain releases cortisol, which triggers cravings, and the gain is on.

Step 2
Set aside time for yourself. Take relaxing baths, go to the spa, have your nails done, play golf, work at your favorite hobby or take a nap. Do whatever helps you feel calm and relaxed. By giving your body a break from stress, your hormonal system can stabilize and stop the survival tactics, which include putting on weight and protecting your vital organs.

Step 3
Sleep until you are rested. A sleep deficit increases stress, which increases cravings, which leads to weight gain, especially in the upper abdomen. Don't overlook this basic lifestyle element in your efforts to lose abdominal fat.