Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and think to yourself ‘hey I think this part of my body is getting more chubby compared to the rest’ or after a vacation you get back and feel like you’ve started to develop some love handles or saggy arms because you have been relaxing and letting lose a bit?
Well, happens to the best of us. And at that point many. A lot of people have had this thought to just target the affected areas for fat loss and move on with their lives. This is what is known as spot reduction or as we like to call it, one of the ‘dumbest myths in existence’.
If you read about it anywhere or someone suggests that to you, don’t believe it, it’s not true at all. We can only wish for our bodies to work that way but unfortunately, it does not work like that.
Think about it like this, let’s take a well-built sports car. Most of the parts are dependent on each other and without one, the others might not function as well as the manufacturer intended to do so. Now you want to increase the speed of the car. Now if you just change the engine of the car, you will also have to change the wiring, the cooling systems, headers, fuel systems and multiple other things in the car.
It’s the same with our bodies. It was designed a certain way and the core systems of all human beings are the same. So just targeting one part of your body for fat loss won’t work because that one muscle group is dependent on other muscle groups and functions as a unit.
So if you seem to have developed love handles and think that doing just abdominal exercises will result in fat loss, you are wrong my friend.
A lot of research has gone into this myth and all of them say the same thing, that it does not work. For instance, take this research where 24 people who did exercises only targeting the abdominal muscle for 6 weeks and found no reduction in belly fat.
Or you can also have a look at this research where the arms of a group of tennis players were observed. As their dominant arm is exercised more than the non-dominant arm, one can assume that the subcutaneous fat (the jiggly fat visible just under the skin like love handles) of both arms will be different. Well, that was not the case as both the arms were similar.
So this begs the question, what happens if one muscle group is trained over and over again. Does it have no effect? Well no, it obviously has an effect but not in a way one would assume it should.
What actually happens is that your body will start to lose fat, but not at the desired location but instead in a top to down fashion. You will start seeing changes in your arms and face first as they’ll get leaner, your chest will start to look more toned and then it’ll go down to the love handles, then the belly and the hips.
So although you’ll want to lose weight in a certain region, your body will still lose fat the way nature intended to and although that is a bit annoying, it is also good as you will start to lose weight the right way.
So instead of targeted spot reduction, go for a traditional and proven method instead. Add cardiovascular activities like jogging and swimming to your routine with a proven resistance training program to get better results. Focus on compound exercises such as deadlifts, bench presses and squats. You can also look into HIIT programmes to get good results.
But the bottom line is if you are reading this, I am sorry to say that most probably you are in this predicament because your diet is not good. Diet is the key here.
Develop a diet plan keeping your macros and calories in check. If you don’t know where to begin, check out our articles on calories and macro-nutrients!
Add more protein to keep up with your workouts and increase the amount of fibre you consume. The fibre will help in your metabolism process helping you lose those kilograms faster.
At the end of it, the important thing is if you have stubborn belly fat or love handles or just one annoying flabby part, it is time to start working on your whole body. Not only will that target the area you want to target, but it will also help the other areas of your body and well what’s the harm in that.
But do remember, don’t be disheartened and it’s never too late! Sustainability will be the key so go for it! And as always if you need more help, feel free to contact us and we’ll gladly be of service!