Spot Reduction

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Using a Weight Loss Program for Spot Reducing, Myth or Miracle?

If you have been looking carefully at all the information available online and elsewhere, you probably already understand that there are no miracles in weight loss, though there are lots of weight loss myths.

Lower body mass index with African Mango PlusYou may have heard a new myth making the rounds: eliminating cortisol will "dissolve" fat around the waist.

Alas: Not so, my friend.

Always remember the basic rule: Whenever you take in more calories than you use, the remaining calories are inevitably going to be stored in chemical bonds between adipose tissue, or, to put it simply, fatty deposits. That's the bottom line, and no hint of a pun is intended.

In adult men those fat deposits will be preferentially stored, with some input from individual genetic makeup, around the waist and abdomen, and in women, sadly, around the hips, thighs and abdomen.

As you participate in activities which demand an energy use by your body, commonly referred to as "exercise", that is greater than can be supplied by available glucose, which is stored in muscle tissue and which is the preferred energy source, it turns next to fat stores to supply the deficit.

Fat molecules are then broken down and severing those chemical bonds releases the energy needed for maintaining internal temperature, muscle movement, etc.

Here's the kicker, however.

While you do have control over what you eat and what you do physically, you have no personal control over where the body takes that fat from, which is the goal and premise of spot reducing.

While Cortisol may aid in releasing fat deposits and breaking down bonds, it is not, and cannot be, targeted. There is, in fact, currently no technology that will remove local fat deposits from any specific part of the body except through medical or mechanical removal, such as in liposuction.

It is true that doing abdominal exercises, though, can help reduce fat around the waist in two ways.

First, since most abdominal exercises typically involve large-scale movement that requires high effort, they naturally require lots of energy. As is common with any exercise, once the available free energy is consumed, the body turns to those fat deposits to get more. The result is less fat and concurrent weight loss.


All of that fat loss still happens in an overall way, with no specific, or even narrow location getting an appreciable share of the benefit!

Most of the fat may indeed come from the waist, but that's because that's where most of it is, as a percentage. But the exercise still does not, and cannot target that fat in any specific way.

All is not lost!

A second step towards something resembling spot-reduction comes about since during a vigorous abdominal workout those particular muscles are being worked harder than others.

That's the whole point of abdominal exercises, right?

As a result, those muscles (along with the back muscles, typically) are being strengthened and toned.

Toning and strengthening those muscles helps restore their youthful ability to hold in the internal organs, primarily the stomach thus giving the abdominal area a smaller size...but not necessarily by removing fat.

At the same time all this other stuff is going on, there will be a largely temporary loss of fluid, mainly water, which contributes to both weight loss and slimming. The net effect is that the waist looks slimmer, the bulge is reduced.

We'll take it!

After all, that's definitely a good thing, both for general health and weight loss or fat reduction.

Obviously, however, it's not quite the same thing as being able to target specific fatty deposits, as the makers of cortisol pills, and other "miracle fat loss products" would like you to believe.

To date, the only effective program known for reducing fat deposits - around the waist, on the thighs and buttocks, or anywhere else, for that matter - is the old-fashioned, high effort, high willpower one.

A program comprised of a combination of adequate daily exercise and proper diet is the key to long-term health, safe weight loss and fat reduction. You'll feel better and your health will be optimized. Not coincidentally, you'll reduce those unattractive fat deposits around the middle in the process.

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Page Updated 4:03 PM Wednesday 9/2/2015