Spot Reduction – Myth or Reality?

Posted on December 13th, 2010 by Mic in Fat Burning Tips

Excess adipose tissue around a male's mid-section.
Image via Wikipedia

Spot Reduction – Myth or Reality?

Hi,

Research has shown that spot reduction is a myth.  However, there has always been a problem with this.

Now it is true that fat is non-discriminatory.  That means when you exercise and burn fat the fat will be burned throughout your body. 

You can’t exercise your arms and expect to burn fat on you glutes. 

But, if you exercise your arms hard enough to get into a fat burning mode, then you will lose some fat over your whole body. 

However, I always had a problem with that. 

Why could some people have big, muscular and ripped arms and a fat belly or fat thighs. 

Part of that has to do with where fat is deposited and the belly and glutes seem to attract more fat. 

I remember having this discussion with some of my fellow master students (in physical education at UC-Berkeley).

However, we exercise our arms much more than we exercise our belly and glutes. 

Our arms are almost constantly moving everyday.  Even if you sit at a desk all day, you are typing, answering the phone, writing, reaching, grabbing and so on all day long. 

All the while that you are sitting and not exercising your belly and glutes. 

So what if you did several thousand ab exercises and body weight squats all day long?  Would you have ripped abs and glutes?

Turns out that now there is some research showing that a tiny bit of spot reduction is possible.

A study from 2007 in the American Journal of Physiol Endocrinol Metabolism (292(2):e934-9 showed that “an acute bout of exercise can induce spot lipolysis and increased blood flow in adipose tissue adjacent to contracting skeletal muscle”.

That means that if you exercise your abs hard enough that you will be able to burn some surrounding subcutaneous fat around your abs over and beyond what you would get from an overall fat burning effect.

Note, this is only for subcutaneous fat.  Deeper fat is not affected by this.

So why does this possible spot reduction take place?  Stay tuned for the next post to find out why.

Thanks.

The reason you get this spot effect is because any time you exercise intensely your body needs to repair the damage that the exercise caused your muscles. 

This repair process takes energy

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