There is no shortage of workouts available that promise to “shred fat” from your belly, booty or thighs. But is this possible…..will those ab exercises really melt fat from your tummy??
In fact this is a MYTH!
Most of us are guilty of working those “problem” areas a little more than others, but research has shown that exercises targeting a specific area will not sufficiently reduce fat in that area. It will increase the muscular endurance but will have little to no impact on your fat stores. The reason this is the case is because the fat in our fat cells exists in a form known as triglycerides. This is not a usable form of energy for our muscles. It must be broken down into smaller components known as glycerol and lipids. When triglycerides are broken down into their usable form they enter the blood stream and circulate the body providing energy to the areas that need it….that could be the heart, lungs, muscles and brain. Because of this process the fat that is broken down to fuel our body can come from anywhere and not just the body part in which you exercise.
Another reason spot reduction may not work is that the exercises being used may not actually burn that many calories. It takes 3500 calories to burn 1 pound of fat. If 1 crunch uses 0.159 calories, then it would take approximately 22, 000 crunches to burn 1 pound of fat. That is a lot of crunches!!
So what do I do?
Look at fat loss like you look at emptying a sink. Imagine you pull the plug from a full sink- the water is going to drain from everywhere- not just one area. So instead of worrying about WHERE the water is coming from, let’s focus on how the water is leaving the sink- the HOLE. So if we make the hole bigger we can drain more water. Same works for your body- if we can burn MORE calories- we can lose more fat from all over our body. The best approach is to make sure the larger muscles are working- your legs and arms. The bigger the muscle, the more energy it takes to move it. Try these exercises that require ALOT of movement- they burn ALOT of calories.
At the end of the day, weight loss and toning is a combination of exercise to maximize energy use and boosting your metabolism along with balanced nutrition. So save yourself the time and energy and speak to a trainer about a plan that would best suit you and your needs
PVA Trainer and Registered Kinesiologist