Do you want to know the truth about spot reduction and what it takes to lose stubborn body fat from those hard to reach places? Read on to discover the truth about spot reduction and how it actually works.
You’ve probably said it before and you’ve most certainly heard it from others and it usually goes something like this…
“I want to lose weight from my legs/stomach/arms”
The body part doesn’t matter but the sentiment is always the same.
There’s a particular body part that is a problem area, and you just want it gone.
Well if that’s you, if you have an area that you want to lose fat from or there’s a part of your body that you want to fix, you’re in luck, because in this article, I am going to tell you the truth about spot reduction and what it means to focus your fat loss efforts onto one part of your body at a time.
What is Spot Reduction?
Spot reduction is the idea of losing fat from selected areas of your body at a time.
Say you’re a woman and you carry more weight around your stomach but you like how your bust looks, you might want to lose the weight from your stomach but keep your bust.
The idea is to do targeted exercises to help flatten your stomach but keep everything else the same.
Or perhaps you’re a guy that wants to lose fat from your chest but not negatively affect the arms, spot reduction can help again as you perform targeted exercises to do just that.
Trouble is, it isn’t a real thing and the idea of spot reduction is simply a myth.
I mean come on, admit it, it sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
I know what you’re going to say, you read a magazine or saw an article or there was that piece from the celebrity who did 200 crunches a day to get abs or that trainer that revealed their ‘one weird trick’ to *insert lofty goal*.
Truth is, people want it so badly to be true that clever marketers began, well, marketing their product as being able to do just that, and whilst there is some twisted logic to their claims, because doing 200 ab exercises a day will actually strengthening the abdominal muscles, the idea that this alone would actually make the fat disappear is inaccurate.
There are too many factors that contribute to losing body fat or changing your shape and it always includes more than simply completing a specific exercise.
Losing Weight and Rubber Ducks
Unfortunately, when losing weight, you don’t quite have the control that you might want and you will often find that where the fat goes from is usually random and it cant be predicted.
Think of it as a bathtub, full of water but to make bath time more enjoyable, you’ve also added a few rubber ducks to the tub.
If you wanted to empty the water out of the bottom end of the bath, to further admire your rubber duck, well you obviously couldn’t, because that’s not how baths work.
You’d pull the plug and the water would drain from the whole tub until you eventually saw what you wanted.
Your body works the same way.
Except the bathtub is your body, the water is your body fat and the duck is your muscle.
Underneath the fat, you have muscle, but until the fat has been removed, you cannot see it and just like the bathtub, you have to pull the plug and burn fat from the whole body before you can see what’s underneath.
As much as you may want to lose fat from your midsection or your arms or legs or wherever it may be, your only focus should be on actually losing fat, as you have no control over where the fat will go from.
If Spot Reduction Isn’t Real What Does Work When it Comes to Losing Fat?
First and foremost your goal should be to lose fat, and everything you are doing should revolve around that. Ensure you have control over your diet and you’re eating in a calorie deficit whilst regularly exercising and actively doing the things you should be to lose fat.
You then need to remember that your body is unique when it comes to fat loss and each person is different. Some may lose it from their face first whereas others will lose it from their legs, but that shouldn’t be your concern, the key thing here is that you are in fact losing fat.
Your diet will take care of that and whilst exercise will help to increase your calorie expenditure there is also another reason why you should be working out, to retain muscle mass.
Although you cannot specify which body part or muscle group loses fat or changes shape, you can work on and build the muscle to try and retain as much muscle mass and shape as possible.
It goes back to the water in the bathtub and our explanation that everyone has underlying muscle, under their layers of fat.
By trying to build the muscle, as you lose the fat, you are putting yourself in a much better position to actually strengthen and change the muscle, so that once it is revealed, you will like what you see.
By strengthening and building the abdominal muscles you will ensure you have a stronger frame underneath when the fat is finally removed and you will start to finally see the results you’ve been craving.
It’s worth remembering that muscle is more compact and takes up much less space than fat, it also helps you to look better, healthier, more aesthetically pleasing and have a better body shape than fat does.
Losing weight, burning fat and getting the body you want has unfortunately become more complicated and difficult due to mountains of misinformation and incorrect training programs being more readily available online but the truth is you cannot spot reduce your problem areas and no matter what you’ve been told, there is no way around that.
The only way to truly impact those areas is to focus on losing fat across your body and strength training at the same time.
Losing fat and changing your shape can take time and it does take patience and in many examples, it’s also worth remembering that if you have mistreated your body for decades and decades, you aren’t going to be able to undo the damage in a matter of days or weeks.
When it comes to losing fat, building muscle and improving your health there is no quick fix, other than hard work, persistence, and patience.
By understanding this and following a well-constructed plan you will be able to get the results you want, but it does take time and effort.
As with most things in life, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is and losing fat, building muscle and changing your body for good, is no exception to this rule.