I’d like to think that most people are aware that you cannot spot reduce fat. However, every day I see tons of people trying to do just that. Spot reducing fat and toning chunky areas is not possible. Women typically want to trim their “saddle bags” and butt and men want to rid themselves of their “love handles” and “beer bellies”. Unfortunately every health club potentiates this myth by stuffing their floors with has machines devoted to just that. There are the inner/outer thigh machines, a plethora of ab devices and usually one or two contraptions dedicated to the butt. These machines do not burn fat and may in fact promote imbalances and injury.
Our body is genetically programed to carry a certain amount of fat in particular areas. Furthermore it has a definite plan on where it will lose fat from first, and we have no control of it. Where your body chooses to decrease it’s fat is genetically pre-determined and cannot be changed. It varies from person to person and usually it does not come off from the places we want. You can add this to the list of things you blame your parents for. Potbellied men may lose body fat from their skinny arms and legs prior to losing fat in their waist. And women may lose lots of fat from their upper body before their body decides to decrease the flab around the hips. When I drop weight I will typically lose it from my face and arms before I my six pack emerges.
The most interesting phenomenon that happens while attempting to spot reduce is sometimes it has the opposite effect. Imagine you are a woman who wants to decrease the size of her buttocks. So you go the gym and do lots of “butt firming” exercises. Muscle responds to continuous stimulus and overload and thus increases in size. If you are not burning more energy then you are taking in, you won’t be losing fat and your butt will actually increase in size. The newly created muscle will push out the layer of fat giving you the appearance of bigger booty!
It is important to build muscle tissue with resistance training and maintain a proper diet in order to increase the body’s fat burning potential. This is the best way to rid your body of unwanted fat.
Doug Joachim is a Health and Fitness expert – Doug incorporated his in-home personal training & fitness workshop business in 2004 and has been successfully working with clients since 1996. Joachim’s Training is a limited liability corporation based out of NYC.