Can you target fat loss?
Having fat in unwanted areas is something a lot of people can relate to, wouldn’t it be fantastic if your workouts could target these areas and blitz your fat? Although you might have heard that doing certain exercises will ensure fat loss in the targeted areas, unfortunately, the science does not support this.
Scitec Nutrition Athlete Emi Roberti explains.
The reason as to why spot reduction doesn't work is because fat contained in fat cells exists in a form known as triglycerides. Muscle cells, however, cannot directly use triglycerides as fuel; it would be dangerous for example trying to run a car on just crude oil which would be like burning triglycerides as fuel in your body. Instead, the fat must be broken down into glycerol and free fatty acids, which then enter the bloodstream and this is what your body uses for fuel.
The fat broken down in the body to be used as fuel can come and will come from anywhere in the body, not just from the body part at work.
To put it simply, doing 300 sit-ups a day will not burn the fat around your tummy, building strong abdominal (abs) muscles will not give you a 6-pack if those muscles are hiding behind body fat. The human body doesn’t work like that.
What’s the best way to burn fat?
The good news though, is that through regular exercise and good nutrition, you can burn fat from your entire body, and get fitter, healthier and leaner in the process. You can target muscle growth and improve your muscle definition with weights and bodyweight exercises, focusing on specific areas, whether that’s the chest, back, arms, legs or abs, this will give you a new body composition look.
The use of cardio is also a tool to burn fat, but I always advise not to use this as the only tool, This is because your body becomes efficient at it and to maintain weight loss you have to keep increasing it, which means more time at the gym.
Ideally, you want to follow a type of resistance training program with some cardio, the weights programs should give you a chance to build muscle so you can speed up the metabolic rate. I would recommend using professional programs that allow for progression by increasing tension load over the same period not increasing workout time.
Most people have limited time so the plan has to fit and be realistic for each person.
Hope you found this useful.