Can you spot reduce fat?

By August 9, 2011Uncategorized

Can you spot reduce fat?

It is a commonly held misconception that in order to reduce the fat stored in a particular area of the body all you need to do is work the muscle in that specific area and you will burn the localised fat.

This notion is referred to as spot reduction and there are many companies that will utilise clever marketing campaigns, based upon this misconception, to sell their latest weight loss product or tool. Just to be clear from the start; spot reduction is a myth! It is impossible to influence fat loss towards a specific area on the body just by exercising the adjacent muscles.

A classic study, dating from 1971, used professional tennis players as a sample. If it was possible to spot reduce fat then you would expect to see that a professional tennis player has less fat in the arm that holds the racket than in the other. The study in 1971 clearly demonstrated that there was no difference in the sub-cutaneous adipose tissue levels (the fat that is stored beneath the skin) even thoughΒ there was a difference in the lean muscle tissue.

Bottom line: Stick to an exercise program set by a reputable fitness professional and along with sensible nutritional guidelines you will reduce body fat at a healthy pace, eventually leading to a slimmer figure with the proportions you’re supposed to have.