The Science of Spot Reduction: Can You Actually Spot Reduce Fat?

belly fat concept

Most of us would want to change certain areas of our bodies. At times, those flabby arms, saggy thighs, and the ever-annoying belly fat just make you want to drop everything and start working out those areas until your body feels sore and you could no longer breathe properly.

Most people are now drawn to targeted fat loss, or most commonly known as “spot reduction.” Such practice allegedly fast-tracks weight loss and helps slim down specific areas of your body. This appeals to many as a quick-fix solution, especially to those who have been struggling to lose weight.

While it would be nice to lose that extra body fat in certain areas, many health experts have debunked this myth. For instance, doing dozens of crunches daily can tone your abdominal muscles in the long run. However, fast-tracking fat loss in that certain area is likely impossible, according to health experts.

You might be discouraged to move forward with your weight loss journey, but there are other ways for you to effectively lose weight and keep those extra pounds off for good. Here are some simple tips that can help you lose excess body fat and maintain weight loss in the long term.

Choose a sustainable diet that fits your needs and your lifestyle

There is a growing interest in “fad” diets as a means for weight loss, particularly among younger people. Some of the most popular and science-based diets include the Atkins diet, veganism, the Paleo diet, the Ketogenic diet, and even intermittent fasting. Your diet plays a critical role in weight loss. Choosing the right diet that you can enjoy and sustain in the long run will help you achieve and maintain your weight loss goal. Don’t hesitate to seek advice from your doctor, nutritionist, or health expert in finding the best and suitable meal plan for you.

Exercise regularly, at least three times a week

While spot reduction can be considered a myth, you can still lose overall fat and build muscle mass by working out at least three times a week. Not only does exercise help you lose weight, but it is also known to reduce your risk of major illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and even cancer by up to 50%.

Working out daily can also help improve your mood, mental alertness, and sleeping patterns. Certain studies showed that taking 30 minutes of exercise daily can enhance one’s mental health by reducing anxiety and stress, as well as alleviate symptoms of low self-esteem and social withdrawals.

Complement your diet by taking nutritional supplements

Some people may need to take vitamin supplements due to certain medical conditions. Others may take them to complement their diets or to avoid deficiencies. For instance, calcium and vitamin D can reduce your risk of osteoporosis. Folic acid can prevent certain birth defects. Omega-3 fatty acids can limit the risks of heart disease. Vitamin C and zinc can help improve your immune system.

Electrolyte supplements or pills can regulate your nerve and muscle function, as well as keep your body hydrated and hasten muscle tissue repairs. However, it is best to seek professional advice prior to taking any dietary supplements.

Try to reduce stress

happy woman

Stress is a silent culprit of weight gain. When you start to feel overwhelming tension in your body, levels of your “stress hormone”, known as the cortisol, rises. This causes your insulin levels to peak and your blood sugar to drop, making you crave for fatty and sugary foods. Your body then tends to store more sugar and fat, which ultimately leads to weight gain. Additionally, most people reported having trouble sleeping when they’re stressed. This can lead to a slower metabolism and a lack of willpower to maintain healthy eating habits.

Incorporating some “breather” habits into your daily routine can help you manage stress. This includes doing yoga or breathing exercises, keeping a daily journal, watching your favorite TV series, or even just by taking breaks in between tasks. Getting enough rest and sleep is also crucial in managing stress and weight loss. However, if your stress is already hindering you from fulfilling your day-to-day responsibility, it may be time to seek professional help.

Losing weight does not happen overnight; there is no easy fix for it. However, taking on these key lifestyle changes can help you reach your fitness goal and maintain a sustainable, healthy lifestyle in the long run. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things to see which works best for you.

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