Can you spot reduce, or target fat loss from various parts of the body?

I am often asked how to lose fat from a particular area of the body or clients will tell me how they should be losing fat from, say, their stomach because they do 100 sit ups a day.  Well, whoopty do, that's good for keeping the underlying abdominal muscles strong (IF you do the exercises right), but it won't make any difference to shifting the fat off the top of the muscles, not directly.

Your body does not discriminate from where it pulls its energy reserves (fat) from. It is constantly mobilising and storing fat, from all over your body, at all times of the day.

Fat storage patterns are different from person to person. There are a lot of factors that influence where you store the majority of your fat. A couple of these factors are hormone levels and genetics. Your ratio of testosterone to estrogen, and your body’s sensitivity to insulin play a large role in where you store fat. In addition, whether you are a male or female plays a role too. This gender specific fat storage pattern has a lot to do with the differences of hormones in our bodies.

When you exercise, the hormones and enzymes responsible for fat loss are released into the bloodstream. Within seconds and a few heart pumps, they are dispersed throughout the entire body. For example, you start doing sit-ups with the hope that the fat on your stomach will be used. Instead, in response to a muscle being contracted, the body notices a demand for energy, and starts releasing fat-mobilising hormones. These hormones, which are now everywhere in the body, start pulling energy (fat) from all over the body.

If it seems like you’re holding onto your fat in your belly or your butt, but losing it everywhere else, this is just an illusion. You are actually losing fat all over your body, but the results tend to show up in the areas where you hold the least amount of fat.  Women generally tend to lose fat from the top half of their bodies first and then from their thighs, butt and hips as they get leaner on top.  it is a case of staying in a calorie deficit while exercising several times a week to keep burning fat out of the fat cells. As usual, there are no shortcuts, you get back what you put in. I've talked about fad diets and pills and potions that offer fast fat loss before and how they simply are not a recipe for long term fat loss.

Posted on October 4, 2013 .