Blog Posts, Fitness myths

Myth #30: You can spot reduce

When I meet with a new client, the first things they tell me are all the places from vet-verbranden-buik-target.jpgthey want to lose weight.  She (it’s almost always a “she” saying this) points first to her belly, then to her butt, and finally grabs the fat on her arms.  They want me to focus on fixing these areas, posthaste or tout de suite or PDQ or something.

Which is, after all, lovely.  Except that bodies don’t behave that way.

Just because you spend tons of time training your abs or triceps doesn’t mean you are going to see any definition.

9eaa7bc83339b4401b375a0c99939cdbWhy?  First of all, definition comes when there is a reduction of fat.  Fat that isn’t around your midsection is subcutaneous fat, which means it’s just below your skin.  That is, it sits on top of your muscle. The more “padding” you have, the  less definition you’ll see.   And because  You Can’t Out Train a Bad Diet and Stress plays a big role in your ability to lose weight, especially around your middle, you’ve got some work to do if you want your body to reflect your hard work.

Training a muscle group means you are strengthening that group and maybe building some muscle. It doesn’t mean you necessarily burning fat there.  (However, once you lose the fat, it does make the muscle underneath look awfully pretty!) You can’t “spot reduce”.  In fact, the body seems to behave in one of two ways when it comes to fat loss.  Men tend to lose weight all over.  Women seem to lose weight in the extremities first, and their middles last. The first places I noticed I was shrinking were my hands, feet (umm yeah…shoes fell right off my feet), and my face.

So the only way to get the body you want is to eat properly and train according to your goals. And to be consistent until the fat goes away from all the places that drive you crazy. Truth: most people want results yesterday! They get discouraged because they have unreasonable expectations of being able to see definition before their body has put in the work to get there.  Don’t be one of those people.  Your hard work will pay off!

In tomorrow’s post:

Cardio before or after weights?



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