Most people have specific problem areas that they would like to tone up or whittle down. When you focus on improving the shape and appearance of a particular part of your body, you are working on spot reduction. The best way to target problem areas is through exercises designed to strengthen and tone those areas. For example, doing abdominal exercises can tone up the stomach and waist areas. However, there are no magic formulas for spot reduction. The latest hype promotes the stress hormone cortisol as a magic fat dissolver that will melt fat away from the waist area. A lot of people would be really happy if this were the case, but this myth has no basis in scientific fact.
Any time people take in more calories than they burn off over a period of time, excess energy is converted to stored fat. Different people tend to store fatty deposits in different areas of their bodies. Typically, men tend to carry their extra fat around their waist and stomach. Women also tend to store weight in their waist and stomach areas, but also frequently store fat around their hips and thighs.
When you reduce your calorie intake and increase your activity levels as part of your weight management program, your body will begin to burn off stored fat, which results in weight loss and a reduction of body fat. However, there is nothing you can do to control which fatty deposits are burned off. Many people diet to lose excess fat in a particular area, and find that as they lose weight, they lose fat from areas other than the ones they are targeting. The only way to remove localized fat deposits from specific areas is a surgical procedure such as liposuction.
Short of seeking medical intervention, toning exercises are the best way to see an improvement in toning of specific areas. Abdominal exercises are very beneficial because not only does performing the exercises assist with strengthening and toning of specific problem areas, it also helps burn off additional calories, which results in even more fat and weight loss.
Don’t fall for claims of so-called miracle drugs for spot reducing or weight loss. It is not likely that there will ever be a pill you can take that will make fat disappear from your hips, thighs, stomach, or any other areas. Following a comprehensive weight loss program that includes a healthy and balanced diet, paired with a daily exercise program, is the best way to lose weight and reduce your overall percentage of body fat.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that you can still realize the overall benefits of a comprehensive weight management program even if you don’t see results right away in the specific areas you want to target. Structure your exercise routine so that it emphasizes strengthening and toning the areas where you want to benefit from spot reducing, and your overall health will benefit from your efforts.