Belly Fat – Can you lose it by ‘spot training’

by | May 30, 2019

Belly Fat – Can you lose it by ‘spot training’

Ahhh... Spot training belly fat!

You’ve probably heard the claims that you can change your body weight and composition overnight with this brand new gadget or exercise program.

You know the ones ...

“Lose the belly fat"

“Banish your trouble zones”

“Drop stubborn fat off your thighs by drinking this special shake”

There are so many gadgets, supplements, nutritional products and exercise programs on the market these days telling us we can lose the fat off our thighs, arms and belly. It’s no wonder we’re more confused than ever!

To be honest - these ads, gadgets and 'influencers' drive me CRAZY! This is the side of the 'fitness industry' that just makes me SUPER frustrated and is part of the reason I created Real Girls.

Ok - before I get up on my soapbox (I could be there a while!) - here's the deal..

 

Can you really lose fat from specific places - and not others?

A recent study looked compared the results of women who focused on diet changes only, and those who made dietary changes but also did abdominal strengthening exercises.

Researchers wanted to see if the addition of abdominal exercises had any bearing on belly fat loss. [1]

And, the results? Both the abdominal exercising group AND the non abdominal exercising group saw almost identical results!

All of the participants lost overall body fat, reduced their BMI and lost belly fat. The women who added abdominal exercises were no further ahead at reducing belly fat (or overall body fat) than their non-exercising counterparts.

And, the takeaway? You can’t pick and choose where you want your body to lose fat.

Our bodies are each unique and they store fat differently based on our individual situations.

When we lose weight, our bodies decide where it’s going to keep fat and where it’s going to release it.

Factors such as our age, gender, hormones and genetics all play a role in how and where our bodies store fat.

But, can you “spot tone”?

So, if you can’t spot reduce certain areas of your body, can you “spot tone” them? Well, sort of.

If you want to achieve that 6-pack look, you can start working on your core training regime. Over time you will gain strength and build muscle. However, if you’re still carrying a substantial layer of body fat over your abdominals, you won’t be able to see this hard-earned definition.

Furthermore, only training one or two specific muscle groups on your body is not the most “functional” way to train. All the muscles in our body work together to move us safely and efficiently every single day.

Our exercise regime should be no different!

So, what actually works to shed body fat and tone “trouble areas”?

Chris McGrath, ACE Fitness Consultant says, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. If you want to burn more fat and ‘sculpt’ more muscle, increase your fitness level.” [2]

He advocates for full-body resistance training exercises and focusing on larger muscle groups with [simple bodyweight] exercises such as:

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Pull-ups
  • Push-ups

McGrath also adds, “These movements incorporate large and small muscles, giving you far more bang for the buck. Work them in a circuit fashion that promotes non-stop movement and you can improve your fitness even more.”

If you'd like an effective - do-anywhere workout that doesn't take much time - grab my FREE 10 minute workout below.

 

Nutrition is the magic bullet!

The one thing that both groups in the previously mentioned study had in common was a change in dietary habits.

I know - shocker!

The bottom line is really that the food we consume (or don’t consume) has more effect on your bottom line.

A balance of proteins, healthy fats, fruits and veggies will give you a strong advantage in reducing your overall body fat.

Sorry if this wasn’t the “magic bullet” you were seeking, but nutrition really does play a huge part in (re)shaping our bodies.

If you'd like to know what constitutes a 'perfect' meal to reshape your body - grab my FREE perfect meal guide.

 

Book your FREE Lifestyle Planning Session TODAY!

 

References

[1] https://www.jmptonline.org/article/S0161-4754%2814%2900274-7/fulltext

[2] https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/3629/myths-and-misconceptions-spot-reduction-and-feeling-the-burn

 

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