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Can You “Spot Reduce” Fat from a Particular Area of the Body?

overweight manDo you have areas of your body that seem to hold onto fat more than others? Maybe you have excess fat on your thighs or upper arms. Maybe you have a problem with belly fat. Most of us have areas of our body that we’d love to just wave a magic wand over, and magically the fat would disappear. The process of reducing fat in certain areas is called “spot reducing”, and there’s a whole industry that is built around the concept that some products can help reduce fat in the areas we choose. Most of these products target belly fat because it’s what most people want to reduce, but there are some that target other areas of the body. Is there any truth to the claim that fat can be “spot reduced” and do any of these products work? 3363

 

Fat accumulates in different places in our bodies, and the amount and the order in which the fat accumulates is largely determined by genetics. It can also be influenced by some external factors like stress and lack of sleep, both of which cause cortisol levels to rise. Elevated cortisol levels can cause more belly fat to accumulate, but genetics play a larger role in where fat is deposited. There’s not much you can do about how your body stores fat, but can you influence how it gets rid of it? 3362

 

Just as you can’t control where fat deposits form in your body, you can’t control what areas lose fat first. There are no exercises that you can do to “spot reduce” fat, even though there are multiple gadgets and programs that claim you can. Exercising a certain body part will help the muscles in that area get stronger, but it won’t cause fat to be reduced in that area. Fat loss and muscle strengthening are two different things. Also, fat does not turn into muscle. You can decrease fat and increase muscle, but you can’t turn one into the other. 3361

 

There are a couple things you can do to lose fat, but you won’t be able to control where that fat is lost from. The only thing you can do is consistently lose body fat at a healthy rate by lowering your calories enough so that you burn more than you take in. This is called being in a calorie deficit. You will have to continue the process until you lose fat in the areas that you want. It may take a while, but it will happen if you stay in a calorie deficit long enough. The belly is normally the last place most people lose fat. You can help your body let go of belly fat by getting enough rest and keeping your stress levels low, lowering your cortisol levels, but there are no guarantees. 3289

Now that you know the truth about “spot reducing” fat, you are a more informed consumer and will be able to make better decisions regarding your health and fitness. Spend your money, time, and energy on proven methods of fat loss, and stop looking for short cuts. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 3360

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