Tuesday, 24 May 2011

"How do I lose weight from..." The myth of "spot dieting"

Often members, particularly women, will talk to me about weight loss and their gym regime is having on weight their weight. Without doubt, THE most common question anyone asks me is,

"How do I lose weight from my... (insert word from below)"

- legs
- stomach
- hips
- arms
- anything really!

Problem! Unfortunately you can't REALLY "spot diet" for specific trouble areas of the body. You can improve pretty much every area of your body, but your DNA will account for where you store body fat, and where larger areas of body fat will subside rather than your choices of exercise.

The only other determining factor on body fat storage and body make-up is hormone levels; your hormone levels can have huge effects on areas in which your store body fat. From insulin to cortisol, they all play an important role in monitoring your body's storage and digestion of fats. However, for the purpose of this blog, I'm discussing the impact of specific exercises on body fat reduction/spot dieting.

You can improve, "tone up" and strengthen certain areas of your body through exercise. Likewise, you can look to avoid intensive training on areas which are susceptible to quick growth; but... doing a lot of abdominal work won't help strip down your stomach fat!

If you have areas of the body you want to reduce the body fat on, you will need to reduce your overall body fat and as a result, your "problem area(s)" should improve. It may take longer than other areas, or change may appear minimal as the rest of your body changes alongside it, but it's the only way.

I hear a lot of examples such as "I only want to lose weight from my arms, but I don't want to lose it anywhere else."

Sorry, same answer! It will simply be a case of reducing your overall body fat.

Don't view "fat" as a shameful word. Everyone has fat on their body! From single figure body fat readings to excessive levels of body fat, it's everywhere. So while you might not be viewed as "fat" in general, your body fat WILL need to decrease if you wish to lose fat from your troublesome areas.

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