Can you spot reduce fat?

We all have a ‘bit’ that we don’t like; hips, thighs, bum, tummy, upper arms etc. We have also all heard the various promises about various products saying that we can change all that by targeting those problem areas with exercise.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but unfortunately spot fat reduction is just not possible. Fat is lost from all over the body in a pattern that depends on your genetic make-up, sex (hormones), and age.

Total body fat must be reduced to lose fat in any particular area. Even though fat is lost or gained from the whole body, it seems the last area to show an improvement, or indeed the first area to get fat, is the torso (in men and some women) and hips and thighs (in women more often than men). The exercise you do will only exercise the muscles under the fat.

For example if your are doing sit-ups, you will feel that your abdominals are getting harder but the fat layer will remain unless you attempt to lose weight through aerobic exercise and dieting. You will certainly be toning and strengthening that muscle, but the results of your hard work will not be revealed until you lose the fat.

For maximum fat loss through exercise you need to perform cardiovascular exercise and strength training. That will increase your resting metabolic rate (the amount of calories your body needs just to keep functioning every day) and your physical activity-related energy expenditure (the amount of calories you burn by being active).

Since the only real way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you eat, this will help maximise fat loss.

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