Is Spot reduction a Truth or Myth?

Updated at: Jan 17, 2013
Is Spot reduction a Truth or Myth?

Sports and Fitness - Spot Reduction is a myth and not a truth. There is no such thing as spot reduction because during exercise the body uses fat as fuel from all the parts and not from a specific area only.

Jesse James Besa
Weight ManagementWritten by: Jesse James BesaPublished at: Jan 17, 2013

woman doing execrise

Can we really reduce fat from specific area?

The most common request from a client who joins a gym is to reduce weight only from their problem areas.  Most men want to reduce fat on the midsection while women want to get rid of the excess fat from their waist, thighs and arms. That is why most gym goers spend most of their time doing endless abdominal exercises, hoping to slim down their waist and to see those six little muscles!


[Read: Nutritional Therapy for Weight Loss]


The truth is there’s no way you can reduce fat on a certain spot, and there is no such thing as Spot Reduction. Our body loses weight or fat from the entire body at the same time, because when we exercise our body uses fat as a fuel from the entire body. There are several areas in our body with high fat deposits. For men most of the fat deposits can be found in the belly and for women it can be found in the buttocks, hips, and arms. These are also the last part of the body to get lean. Some called it their 'stubborn areas'.


The most common exercise that can help you burn fat and lose weight is Aerobic Training. This type of exercise can easily reach a certain heart rate that is helpful in reducing weight. Examples of aerobic exercises are running, jogging, walking up-hill, and circuit training. Running is the best way to burn calories, thus making it the best way to lose weight. However, running does not amount to spot reduction. In running we use our leg muscles but running does not make our legs lean every time we run. It makes us lose weight from all over the body. Have you seen any marathon runner with flabby abs and very lean legs?


[Read: How Fat Affects your Body]


In order to utilise fats as a fuel during exercise, we need to maintain a certain heart rate. The Fat Burning Zone is 60% to 70% of your maximum heart rate. You can stay on this zone during the period of your training, whether you it is cardio training or weight training. Aerobic exercises are the main exercises that can burn fats, because it can maintain 60%-70% of your maximum heart rate for an extended period of time (more than 20 mins).


So, stop spending your time focusing on one body part because it will not work. Just combine your routines with good cardio training, weight training and proper nutrition and you will see positive results.

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