There are a lot of people who are dissatisfied with one area or another of their body. You will often hear these people saying things like, “I need to get rid of this stomach” or “I need an exercise that will slim my thighs down”.
The premise behind these types of statements is that you can lose excess fat in any one given area on your body without affecting any other part of your body. Maybe if you just knew the right exercise to do, you could lose the fat in just the area you want to lose it in.
The plain and simple truth is; there is no such thing as localized fat loss. When you do a specific exercise for a specific part of your body, the muscles of that particular body part will develop and get stronger and grow bigger, but it will do nothing for getting rid of the fat in the area. Usually the reason people who do exercise get stronger but do not visually see the muscle development is because the excess fat is still covering the muscles.
Here are the facts about the spot reducing myth:
Physiologically speaking, muscle tissue is always firm. Muscle only feels like it not firm because of the presence of too much fat. Body parts that do not look toned simply have too much fat covering them. People are genetically predisposed to carry more fat in certain areas of their bodies, thus accounting for the extra buildup in these areas.
When you want to lose body fat, you must create a calorie deficit within your body. This means that you will have to consume less calories than you burn throughout the day. While you will typically seem to notice more rapid fat loss in your “trouble spots”, you will actually be losing fat from your whole body because when your body goes into fat burning mode, it can not select different areas to do it from.
When you start to lose body fat, it is genetically determined where the most rapid loss will occur first. Areas that do not store as much body fat will only have so much to lose, so you will see more fat loss in the harder spots as you go.
Despite the popular saying, it is impossible to turn fat into muscle. They are made up of completely different types of cells and one can not convert into the other. You can only lose fat and replace it with increased muscle size. Also, you can not firm up fat, nor can you firm up muscle. Fat and muscle cells are what they are, and you can’t change their composition. Simply put, softer muscle = more fat present and harder muscle = less fat present.
Muscle tone is simply the visual appearance of muscle in the absence of fat. Sensible eating coupled with moderate exercise will help take off any extra fat, even from trouble areas. Just because you can’t “spot reduce” doesn’t mean you can’t lose the fat in those areas. You just need to make the little changes in your eating habits and introduce a little exercise into your life that will make getting rid of that stubborn fat a reality.