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Is Spot Reduction of Fat a Myth?

May 06, 2019

If you are reading this, chances are you want to lose some belly fat. Or maybe your undesirable fat is located elsewhere. Maybe you want to lose the fat for aesthetic reasons but you've probably heard that it can lead to health conditions like heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes. Therefore, losing belly fat is vital and offers a lot of health benefits which may help you live longer.

As a general rule, if your waist circumference is over 40 inches, you have too much belly fat. If this is you, follow some steps to reduce the excessive fat and take control of your health. (Gunnars, 2018). You only have one body; take care of it! 

You Can’t Target Fat Loss

It's important to understand that you can't target specific parts of your body to burn fat. No matter how many sit-ups you do, it won't make any difference to your belly fat. The reason is quite simple: strengthening that part of your body won't cause you to lose body fat in that same area. 

According to the author ofMind Over Head Chatter: The Psychology of Athletic Success,it's possible to build muscle in a certain body part but performing an exercise repeatedly won't make you lose fat in that certain body part. This approach may result in stronger muscles underneath your belly, thighs or wherever you're trying to lose fat. (Justice, 2014).

So, is there a solution? How can you create fat loss in your belly, love handles and other stubborn areas? People store fat in their bodies differently, therefore, you may not lose fat in your belly or wherever you are wanting, initially. Instead of trying to target your fat, modify your diet to lower your overall body fat, engage in regular cardio and resistance training weekly and attain a caloric deficit. (Kylstra, 2015).

What Is a Calorie Deficit?

A caloric deficit is when you consume fewer calories than you expend. Another term for the same state is energy deficit.Your body needs the energy to perform its day-to-day functions. If you don't eat enough calories, your body burns the stored fat to produce energy, which results in fat loss. Typically, most of the extra fat is stored in your belly, thighs, and hips.

How to Create a Calorie Deficit?

  • Eat less food. Reduce your portion size, avoid over indulging in snacks and opt for lower-calorie foods.
  • Get more active. Incorporate exercising in your daily routine.
  • Do both. For instance, you can reduce your caloric intake by 250 calories per day and do a one-hour brisk walk to lose another 250 calories. This way you can reduce 500 calories per day. This will help you tap into that fat storage and lose more quickly.

There are lots of different diet plans out there and many resources. It can be overwhelming to choose and often people feel discouraged by how costly some plans are. However, you can create your own calorie deficit for yourself by simply tracking your day to day calorie intake. If you choose to use a diet plan, It's important to keep in mind that not all methods work for every individual. Making small changes daily and over time can result in the goals that you want over the long term. (Frey, 2018).

References

Kylstra, C. (2015, January 06). Nope, You Can't Lose Weight In Specific Body Parts. Retrieved from https://www.buzzfeed.com/carolynkylstra/crunches-for-days

Gunnars, C. (2018, April 11). 6 Simple Ways to Lose Belly Fat, Based on Science. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-proven-ways-to-lose-belly-fat 

Frey, M. (2018, October 27). Creating a Calorie Deficit in Your Diet Is Important for Weight Loss. Retrieved from https://www.verywellfit.com/what-is-a-calorie-deficit-3495538