As an exercise professional, something I often hear is “I want to lose weight around my tummy” or “let’s focus on my arms this session“, in an attempt to drop body fat from that particular area.
Sadly, I also see a lot of online fitness professionals selling “tummy toning” programs that aim to “target” the abdominal region helping to lean out specifically through the mid section.
Unfortunately, weight loss doesn’t occur like that. It isn’t possible to spot reduce weight in a certain area, nor is it possible to “tone” up a certain area with specific exercises.
Targeted weight loss or spot reduction is simply a marketing tool sold by exercise “experts” as a way to make easy money off of a generic exercise program or nutrition plan to those who are desperate to lose weight. These programs are almost never tailored to the person buying the program and they can never be justified by exercise science if they claim the program can create a targeted weight loss effect.
It is important to understand that we can not directly influence where exactly we lose weight from. Weight loss is largely influenced by our genetics and our individual body types. Doing 100 sit-ups a day does not mean that your mid section will lean out. Doing 100 squats a day won’t immediately lead to leaner legs.
Let’s look at an example. You may notice that the first place you lose weight from is your face, or perhaps your arms. For others it may be around their legs or across their chest. This is not something that can be decided upon, it is caused by the individuals genetic make-up and body type.
So how does weight loss actually occur? Put simply, we need to be in a calorie deficit in order for weight loss to occur. We also need to be managing our sleep, stress, hydration, hormonal and exercise levels. If we can positively maintain all of these considerations, weight loss will happen over time.
If you are attempting to lose weight, remember that it all comes down to remaining in a caloric intake for a consistent period of time. As mentioned above, weight loss occurs when nutrition, sleep, hydration, hormones and exercise are all consistently monitored. It cannot occur from targeted exercise regimes or “toned tummy” HIT programs sold online.
Need help getting started on your weight loss? Talk with one of our Accredited Exercise Physiologists and Nutrition Coaches about how we can help you create a specific plan of attack that is tailored to you!