Can you target fat loss?
Many people have asked a personal trainers, and fitness coaches, if it is possible to lose fat “right here.”
When they ask, they always point to a body part: maybe the belly, perhaps the legs, some talk about the area underneath the arm, and others still point to their neck.
All are asking if there is such a thing as “spot reduction.” In other words, “can I choose exactly where I lose fat?”
The short answer is no. You cannot specify which part of your body loses fat.
Doing exercises specifically for your areas of concern won’t create changes in body fat in that specific area. For example, you won’t be getting ripped abs if you do 1,000 sit ups per day. Your body just doesn’t work like that.
Your body won’t “take fat” from beside a working muscle. What it will do is provide fuel to the muscle by using all the sources and systems available to it (and there are many).
Further, genetic factors influence exactly where people carry body fat. Some people find it easier to lose fat in certain areas than others, and vice-versa.
But here is the good news: a qualified and trained coach can help you change your overall body composition which will likely result in changes in those pesky areas too!
Training Your Whole Body
While you cannot drop fat from a specific location in the body, you can train to alter body composition. To do so, you’ll want to have a exercise regimen [and nutrition plan] to reduce your overall body fat. This might be your only goal. But for some, they want to add muscle too.
That’s possible — but it takes hard work.
Notice we mentioned exercise and nutrition? They’re almost inseparable when you want to change your body composition. Cue the overused quote, “abs are made in the kitchen.”
In the kitchen, you’ll need to ensure you’re eating enough calories to support activity but not body fat. A coach can help you with this.
In the gym, your plan should include full-body exercises performed at moderate to high intensity levels. Again, a coach can help you determine what intensity level is right for you — it will depend on many factors including your training history, age, and so on.
Full-body exercises use large muscle groups and require lots of energy which means you’ll burn more calories. These exercises — think squats, deadlifts, lunges, snatches — are also great for building muscle and improving your core strength.
Remember, we aren’t talking about bodybuilding exercises. Bodybuilders generally do “isolation movements” to grow as much muscle as they can. While we do like muscle, most people don’t want to look like a bodybuilder.
We are talking about “compound movements” which use many joints at once and “functional movements” to allow you to do a lot of work quickly.
When you train your entire body with appropriate intensity, and eat to support this activity, the results you garner can be surprising. You can have that “fit” appearance and actually be fit.
It’s not uncommon for people who train like this to have body fat percentages of 14% to 24% for women and 6% to 17% for men. That puts them in the realm of “athlete.” “Acceptable” levels, according to WebMD.com, are 25% to 31% for women and 18% to 25% for men.
It is also important to remember a couple of things:
- These percentages are age-based as we do tend to lose muscle [and gain body fat] as we age
- It is not unheard of for people to have better performance in the gym with a little more body fat on their body (not unhealthy percentages, mind you)
So, how do you know what level of body fat is right for? You can book yourself your free consultation by CLICKING HERE. Talk to us about your goals — whether you’re focused on performance, appearance, or some combination. We’ll also tell you exactly how to accomplish your goals.
In the meantime, if you see a product or service claiming to reduce fat in your “right area,” you should be very skeptical. Fat loss is a result of exercise and nutrition and your body will determine exactly where those changes are made.