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Is ‘Spot Reduction’ possible?

Fat Loss
Can you selectively lose fat from a specific part of your body

aka, Is ‘Spot Reduction’ possible? Short Answer: 4 out of 5 studies say ‘no’, but a recent 2017 study has raised the possibility of preferential fat loss. More research is warranted before saying it conclusively though. We see many fitness enthusiasts do more side bends or crunches to reduce the stubborn fat around love handles or the belly-fat area. Intuitively, it does sound convincing though. For eg, if I am working on my abs, why would my body go all the way to burn the fat stored in my biceps or my face to generate the energy for that abs exercise? There are 5 notable studies available on spot reduction. Out of these, 4 have concluded that spot reduction is certainly not a reality which was also the scientific consensus until one study came in 2017. It clearly highlighted that spot reduction does come into play when Upper Limb or Lower Limb Resistance Training is followed by a 30 min low-intensity cardio session. [1][2][3][4][5] All 5 studies have their fair share of limitations, but the last study does raise the possibility of spot reduction.. However, This standalone study seems to open the possibility that untrained individuals might be able to target fat loss from their upper or lower body limbs by doing a resistance training routine and follow it up with a low intensity cardio session. From a research perspective, the spot reduction question is still inconclusive as more research studies that can replicate the results in different conditions are warranted. If your client wants to target upper or lower limb fat mass, you can try the methodology followed in the study. However, the sure fire way for fat loss from a specific area remains - sustainable calorie deficit, along with progressive resistance training and a little bit of patience. Reference: 1. Thickness of Subcutaneous Fat and Activity of Underlying Muscles 2. Subcutaneous fat alterations resulting from an upper-body resistance training program 3. The effect of abdominal exercise on abdominal fat 4. Regional fat changes induced by localized muscle endurance resistance training 5. Effect of combined resistance and endurance exercise training on regional fat loss (2017 study) Content by Praveen Budhrani

Hydar Ali Shaikh

Interesting read.

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