Can you lose weight in certain areas? The biggest controversy in the fitness world. Your entire fitness journey can be destroyed if you don’t know the basics. Everyone loves a shortcut. For any problem, we tend to avoid the difficult part while solving it, but unfortunately, life doesn’t seem to be fair to us, and we have to deal with them. The fitness industry is run by some popular myths, including spot reduction, and is widely believed that by doing some workout that targets specific muscle groups, fats can be reduced from some parts of the body. In simple words, doing thousands of crunches or sit-ups won’t reduce fats from the body’s specific area, and the strong abdominal muscles won’t be visible even though these are hiding behind the fats. Reducing body fats and making a strong core are two different things. The bitter truth is that the reduction of fats from specific parts is impossible, but the good news is fat reduces from the entire body by doing any physical activities. In short, spot reduction is impossible quickly but possible for the long-term. Before any conclusion, we should know the reason behind fat storage in our body.
Why fat storage happens
Some people look overweight but don’t have excess fats, whereas some have more fats in some particular places despite being skinny or vice versa. It doesn’t mean that being thin is the sign of good health, as mentioned by our society. The bitter truth is fat storage happens due to genetics. Some people have more fats in their belly or butt or arms, and even after the intense workout, fats don’t fade away, and the blame goes to hormones only, but there is no point in becoming depressed because, in the end, it depends on lifestyle.
Our sexual hormone testosterone and estrogen play a significant role in fat storage and is the reason for different body shapes of male and female. Let’s make it simple. Puberty changes our body significantly and is the time when it develops fats due to adipose tissue that stores in different parts. Scientifically, the male body stores fat in the belly or sometimes chest, whereas the female body has most of the fats in the butt or thighs and is the reason for the cardiovascular problem that men are facing. Too much testosterone is also a reason for storing more fats in the belly. Testosterone promotes leanness & abdominal fat, and since it decreases with age, men tend to accumulate more fats in the stomach. At the same time, it is also true that having too much testosterone causes more belly fat.
Though it’s impossible to describe here due to the article’s length briefly, we aim to give a simple fat storage description. The only way to control it by making a balance that ultimately depends on the lifestyle.
Before falling in the spot reduction theory and wasting your time in crunches, you should know the basics of fat loss.
Can you lose weight in specific areas
It is not new for most of us to hear about feeling the burn after the workout. It’s the biggest misconception in the workout program, especially in weight loss. Don’t be surprised if you find many popular fitness trainers, fitness magazines, bloggers are endorsing spot reduction and constantly arguing that it exists. Here, we come with facts and scientific-based research. Isolation workouts don’t burn fats but give shape to the target muscle groups if you are lean and your goal is to get toned. That’s why people are convinced about spot reduction and think it works.
By targeting specific areas with isolation exercises are ineffective if your goal is to lose fats. When you target a particular muscle through isolation exercises, they are not effective in enhancing your fitness. It doesn’t matter how much burn you feel. Keep in mind that small muscle group fatigue is not a signal of overall fitness.
In reality, fat doesn’t melt. It doesn’t even burn. In our body, fats are stored as triglycerides and are impossible to burn, and the only way is to break it down into glycerol and fatty acids to enter into the bloodstream. So after an intense workout, the body pulls fats from anywhere to break it down, which most of us are wrongly assuming that burns happen in the target areas. In reality, it happens because of the afterburn effect.
However, even though fat doesn’t burn, this process’s accurate deception is burning fat though not related anything to burning. Unfortunately, most of us consider it as fat burning.
Crunches will strengthen your abdominal muscles, but it won’t help you to reduce the fat. In fact, running is more effective to lose fats than crunches.
The workout burns more fats, but it doesn’t mean that we are losing more body fat simultaneously, and this is the actual reason why the weight loss doesn’t happen immediately. The heart is responsible for calories burn, and an average human body burns 8 calories with a heart rate of about 120 beats per minute. The High-intensity workout (HIIT), Crossfit, and weight training are helpful to burn more fats. These are so difficult that it is difficult to speak after the exercise, but this is how it works. It isn’t easy, but with proper guidance, anyone can do these and can achieve the desired fitness level. Now, if someone asks can you lose weight in certain areas, you know what to say.
P.S: HIIT workout is not for everybody, and people with medical problems must consult with doctors before starting the training.
Abdominal exercise alone can’t reduce fats
According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research study, abdominal exercises alone are insufficient to reduce abdominal subcutaneous fat and other body composition measures.
They conducted a study on 24 healthy people (14 men and 10 women) age groups between 18 and 40 who have a sedentary lifestyle.
They divided them into two groups and measured everyone’s anthropometrics, body composition, and abdominal muscular endurance before and after the experiments.
During the experiments, they assigned one group to perform 7 abdominal exercises for 2 sets of 10 repetitions on 5 days per week. They performed all these exercises for six weeks. The researchers actively helped this group and monitored their performance.
They allowed another group to perform the same exercise on their wishes for the same six weeks. And all of them maintained an isocaloric diet during the entire experiment.
There was no significant improvement in their body fat percentage, body weight, and android fat percentage after the six weeks.
The only achievement of the group they were monitoring was the improvements in doing the abdominal exercises compared to the other.
How To Lose Belly Fat And Tighten Stomach
We are always looking for a fruitful solution to burn belly fat.
But the million-dollar question “What is the best exercise to burn belly fat?” is yet to be solved.
The real problem is that most of us follow the wrong methods and have no idea what to follow and what not to.
As usual, we rely on sit-ups and crunches. The fact is both sit-ups and crunches won’t work well to reduce belly fat. These are not as effective as we think.
These two can reinforce poor posture. Too much flexion on the spine can lead to disc problems. Regular abs exercises don’t burn belly fats because they are only working in a small area of muscles due to their small movement.
For example, doing squat will help to reduce fat faster than usual abs workout.
The fact is, the more you move the body, the more you burn the fat.
So to burn fats, you have to do compound exercises.
The more muscles are involved, the more energy is required, and for that energy, the body burns more calories.
As a result, fat burning starts. Here is how to lose belly fat and tighten the stomach.
For a better result, you have to follow three basic rules. Remember that these are not for people having back pain, heart problems, diabetes, blood pressure, and other severe medical conditions. Before following these workout routines, please consult with a doctor and make sure that whether your physical state can handle the intense workout pressure or not.
- Workout 4-5 days/week
- Cook your food
- Take proper rest
- Workout 4-5 days/week
When it comes to fat, it involves total body workout, extensive movement, and energy.
So you need to figure out your exercise frequency. Divide your exercise frequency into three parts:
- Overall exercise
- Muscle group
- Weight training
You should know that targeted fat loss or spot reduction is a myth because overall reduction happens during the workout.
We can find countless exercises to lose belly fat from the internet, but the reality is different where you have to follow the right workout regime with diet.
You can’t lose belly fat without diet because it is the most crucial part of your weight loss journey.
According to experts, you can lose belly fat without exercise through the right diet but keep in mind that there is no one size fits all, and you should take help from a professional nutritionist.
This article is about belly fat only, so it is impossible to mention everything about all workouts.
To get a ripped body, you should workout four days/week. If it’s not possible, then in the worst case, try 3 days/week.
The ideal rule is 5 days/week. Do a 20 to 45 minutes workout.
Take 30-second rests between sets. Give 5 minutes only for abs workout.
HIIT cardio or CrossFit plays an important role; however, you can lose belly fat by lifting weights.
We mentioned before that there is no one size fits all; it’s better to take advice from your fitness trainer where he/she can prepare weight training plus cardio routine for you.
Monday to Wednesday – Thursday (Rest) – Friday to Saturday- Sunday (Rest)
Prepare your food
No matter how hard you train the body, it won’t give the desired result unless your focus is on nutrition. It is crucial to monitor the food you eat; otherwise, all hard work will go in the vain. Some people have higher body fats, and they should be more cautious in this case because people with higher body fats tend to store more if they are not careful about food.
We mentioned earlier that you can’t lose belly fat without diet, but at the same time, you don’t need to become a chef to prepare your food.
There’s no need to spend hours cooking. Use some simple method to prepare your food. Here are some tips to remove excess calories from food.
- Avoid too much oil, butter.
- Remove yellow yolk from the boiled egg.
- Eat fruits instead of sweets.
- Avoid milk products. But drink at least 1% milk to maintain strength.
- Eat more vegetables.
- Don’t eat large portions at one time.
- Eat small portions multiple times.
Focus on recovery
No matter how much effort you put into your workout and diet plan, you will fail miserably if you don’t get enough sleep.
Lack of sleep makes it harder for the body to recover from a workout. During sleep, most growth hormones are released.
Less sleep means less growth hormone. For body recovery, you should take 7-8 hours rest. Apart from sleeping, you should at least give two days for recovery in a week.
For weight loss, it is essential to count the calories you burn. There is a difference between weight and fats, and it is possible to lose fat without reducing weight. And you don’t need to eat crap in the name of diet; however, clean eating will be helpful but doesn’t mean to remove the favorite food permanently because sometimes eating on choice is not bad, but you need to make a balance.