Have you ever wanted to lose weight in a specific area? Like, take away this belly fat, but for all that is good, leave my boobs and butt alone! We’ve all wished for slimmer midsections, thighs or arms, but is it even possible to lose weight in one specific area?
Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but no, there’s no solid scientific evidence to suggest that you can burn wobbly bits on specific areas of your body.
“It’s not possible to lose weight in one specific area, so doing 100 crunches will definitely not reduce belly fat. You have to work the entire body to reduce body fat and eating plays a major role in burning said fat,” says trainer and Women’s Health Next Fitness Star, Nomawothi Bafana. “If you do tricep dips, you will shape your triceps slightly, but it honestly will not make a major difference if your body fat is high.”
To understand why targeted fat loss — also called “spot reduction — isn’t possible, we have to understand how fat loss works.
How fat loss works
In a nutshell… it boils down to science.
The fat in our blood is found in the form of triglycerides. Whenever we consume food, our bodies store any calories that aren’t used into triglycerides. Later, hormones release triglycerides for energy between meals. These triglycerides are then broken down into fatty acids and glycerol, which then enter your blood cells.
When exercising, the fatty acids and glycerol from anywhere in your body are used as fuel, not just the body part you’re working on. So, while you can target certain muscle groups, targeting fat loss in a certain area is not realistic.
So, how do I lose fat then?
Since no amount of crunches and sit-ups would burn through just your belly fat, how exactly do you lose weight? The best way to do this is a combination of healthy eating and exercise. Yep, no short cuts or magic formula, just good ol’ hard work.
So instead of doing just 100 crunches a day, aim to do 150 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise a week and mix in some strength training to help with muscle composition.
When it comes to eating, try to find a good balance. There are plenty of weight-loss methods, from intermittent fasting, keto and paleo (the list goes on), so find what works for you. Whatever eating plan you choose, just remember it’s important to give your body adequate calories and nutrients. Good ‘fat-burning’ foods to add to your shopping basket are:
- Nut butters. These are packed with healthy fat, fibre, and protein, which is a great combo to keep you energised and satisfied.
- Eggs. Another great source of protein (six grams) and healthy fats (five grams).
- Avocados. They’re an excellent source of potassium, which helps reduce water retention and bloat.
- Grapefruit. They’re low in calories and make an excellent snack.
- Quinoa. Not only will the super grain satisfy any carb cravings, but it is also a good source of protein.
Just aim to burn more calories than you consume, and your body fat should start decreasing.