‘Do these 5 exercises to burn your stomach fat!’ We all have come across this phrase at some point while browsing online. While these may be the kind of articles or videos that get the greatest number of clicks, they are one of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to fitness. This particular belief is known as ‘Spot Reduction’. It follows the principle that doing a certain exercise will reduce the fat deposited on a specific part of your body, the most common ones being hips, thighs, and abs.
‘Spot Reduction’ plans are the biggest distractions within the fitness industry. The reason for this is because, it sells the idea that in order to lose fat deposition in a certain part of your body, all you have to do are a few specific exercises for that part. However, our bodies do not function like that. In order to lose excess fat, the only thing that works is to create a caloric deficit in your body. While some of these ‘spot reduction’ exercises might help you build muscle and burn overall calories, they most certainly do not reduce fat at a specific spot. You know what they say ‘Abs are made in the kitchen’ and this statement is applicable to the entire body. You lower your overall fat percentage by eating at a caloric deficit. Fat does not ‘melt’ or ‘burn’ as incorrectly claimed by numerous ‘spot reduction’ workout plans.
Here are some things that you could do instead!
You want to lose fat from a certain part of your body but now you know that spot reduction does not really work. So, what do you do? It is definitely possible to lose fat but it will take a little more effort than what these spot reduction plans claim. Moreover, certain factors such as genes, body type, etc that will determine which part of your body will lose fat first. Hence, here are a few things you can do to target the overall reduction in fat deposition.
Nutrition is key – Eating clean and whole foods will give you the boost you need in order to lose fat. Pay attention to your calorie intake and eat lower than your maintenance calories. This can be done by controlling your portion sizes and limiting the amount of processed food you eat.
Compound Movements over Isolation – You expend more energy while doing compound exercises such as Squats as compared to Isolation movements for the simple reason that you are activating multiple muscles while doing compound exercises. By involving larger muscles of the body, you will make sure that you burn a higher number of calories.
Acceptance is important – As the ‘spot reduction’ myth got debunked, more people had started coming to the realization that not everything can be fine-tuned and learned about your body. You will never know where you might lose or gain fat first. Hence, the smartest thing to do in this case would be to have a low-calorie diet, workout consistently, get good sleep and have a healthy lifestyle.
The reason why spot-reduction is so famous is because we are constantly looking for shortcuts. However, such methods are often ineffective and pointless when it comes to long term fitness. Ultimately, in order to lose fat, instead of investing time in incorrect methodologies, we must focus on building a healthier lifestyle. Putting in consistent effort while working out and maintaining a healthy diet will reward you with an overall toned body instead of fat loss in just one specific part of your body.