Spot reduction during weight loss: Is it a myth or fact?

Training a specific body part helps you gain muscle there and not lose weight. So if you are looking for spot reduction, you should rethink. 
how to burn fat
You can reduce fat with a combination of food and exercise. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
Sanjiti Bansal Published: 9 Jul 2022, 15:30 pm IST
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People who have just started working out or those who are looking for an easy way to lose fat tend to believe a lot of myths about weight loss. It’s all thanks to the overwhelming amount of information floating around on weight loss and fitness. One such myth is certainly spot reduction. Do you also believe that spot reduction is possible and doing KapalBhati will help you lose your stomach fat? Well, let’s tell you that you lose fat equally throughout the body when you workout.

What is spot reduction?

The term spot reducing refers to burning fat from a specific area of the body, for instance, abs, hips or arms. In reaction to a combination of too many calories and insufficient exercise, the body accumulates fat. The only question is, will the body aid in getting rid of your problem areas or does it burn fat from wherever it chooses?

Spot reduction is a myth, really!. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

So, is spot reduction a myth or fact?

Health Shots spoke to renowned nutritionist Kavita Devgan to find out. She explains, “No specific exercise will help in weight loss unless the required calorie deficit and overhaul of the macronutrients (higher protein, lower carbohydrates) is maintained.”

According to her, spot reduction doesn’t work because it often targets tiny muscles with workouts that don’t add much to overall fitness, strength, or energy expenditure—regardless of how much you “feel the burn” when working them out.

Also, read: Ditch those paraben rich products and try 3 natural ingredients for spot reduction

In a research study, professional tennis players’ arm circumferences and fat deposits were compared. The researchers determined that if spot reduction were to be effective, a tennis player’s playing arm should have much less fat than their inactive arm. However, this assumption was incorrect. Skinfold thickness measurements showed no change in fat deposition between the two arms, despite the athletes’ playing arms having larger circumferences due to better developed muscles.

Why can’t you lose body fat from a specific area?

weight loss
Your body has its own way of losing weight. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Although fat is gained or shed across the entire body, it seems that an individual develops fat first in the parts that take the longest to become thin. The most challenging place to trim is often the abdomen region in most males (and some women), whereas for most women, the difficult regions are typically the hips, buttocks, and thighs. 

The key takeaway from this is that extra body fat can only be eliminated by a combination of regular exercise (both aerobic and strength training) and a healthy diet. If you persevere, you’ll soon be on your way to feeling and looking fantastic.

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