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Spot reduction or targeted fat loss is the process of doing an exercise, hoping to target fat loss in an area.
Certain areas in your body have higher fat deposits, and spot reduction is believed to target those areas.
Based on your genetics and gender, your body will favor certain areas to store fat. For men, it's their midsection, and for women, it's mainly thighs, butt, and arms. These can vary, but in most cases, it is like this.
It takes a lot of effort and discipline to burn fat. But with spot reduction, you can target a specific area in your body.
We can't blame anyone, but still, there are a lot of fitness products and programs( fat targeting exercises) that claim targeted fat loss.
So let's look more into targeted fat loss, and whether it's possible (based on the latest research). Some research shows that it's possible to some extent.
What is spot reduction
Spot reduction is the use of exercise in certain body parts, hoping to burn or lose fat from the targeted areas of the body.
For example, If you want to lose fat from your belly, you start doing crunches and leg raises to target belly fat.
Can you spot reduce fat?
Answer: No, you can't spot-reduce fat.
Why is spot reduction or targeted fat loss not possible?
When you are on a calorie surplus diet (you take in more calories than you need ), your body will store the surplus calorie as fat in the fat cells. So fat is trapped energy in your body. These days people are getting fatty due to the change in lifestyle.
So to burn fat, you need to be in a calorie deficit state. You have to burn more calories or intake fewer calories. In either way, you can achieve a calorie deficit.
In a calorie deficit state, your body starts to use your stored energy( glycogen, fatty acids, and even muscles).
If you are on a balanced diet and lifting weights, then you can preserve your muscles.
Why can't you spot reduce fat?
When your body uses your fatty acids, it will cause your fat cells to become less dense and cause it to shrink( Just like a balloon that leaks air). This causes you to lose inches off your waist, arms, or thighs.
Each person varies in the order of fat loss from the body. For men, the stubborn area(challenging to lose fat.) is their midsection. For women, it's their thighs and butt.
What parts of the body lose fat first?
The fat loss will follow a reverse pattern of fat gain. You will start to lose fat in those areas that gain fat recently.
Where do you start losing weight first?
You can't measure the fat loss with weight loss. Weight loss can be due to either fat loss or muscle loss. Muscle loss is common during a calorie deficit crash diet. So don't measure your fat loss with weight loss. Try measuring your body fat using calipers or BIA. Keep track of everything in a journal.
Research - Can you target fat loss in certain areas
Let's see what various studies on spot fat reduction have found out.
Research - Is there a way to target fat loss (target weight loss)?
We have seen some of the research showing that targeted fat loss is a myth and is not possible. But we can't conclude without showing you a few studies that show spot reduction is possible.
These studies are conducted in small groups. We need more reviews before concluding.
We can use the methods they have implemented in the study.
Let's see some ways we can increase the fat loss rate
Increase the intensity of exercise
You can increase the intensity of the exercise to increase blood flow and lipolysis in that area. You can choose the intensity of 7RM and above. It helps to add some muscles, as high-intensity exercise gives the right stimulus for muscle hypertrophy.
Combine cardio workouts with resistance training
After doing resistance training, throw a 20 - 30 min of cardio (running, jogging, rowing).
Keep your body in a calorie deficit state
To spot reduction or spot weight loss to happen, you have to burn your fat. It occurs in a calorie deficit state.
Some tips to stay in a calorie deficit state
Let's spot reduce the article
Everyone wants to lose fat fast. Spot reduction is seen as a more natural way to achieve that.
Instead of going behind spot reduction, shift yourself to a healthy lifestyle.
Follow the above tips, and you can have an overall fat loss. In the process, your target spot will also lose the layers of fat.
Start lifting, and stay healthy.