Can you really control where you lose fat?
|Author: Alexis Bigham|
Date: Monday, April 21st, 2014
|Return to Archive|
The rumor: You can spot-reduce to lose body fat
Legend has it that, by targeting specific parts of your body through exercise, you can laser-focus where your body burns fat.
Heck, the guy in the TV commercial for that abs thing lost 60 pounds around his midsection by doing three minutes a day on what looks like an assisted twerking machine. And popular wisdom says there's no problem getting washboard abs if you do enough crunches.
But are the rumors true?
The verdict: You can't control where you lose fat
Sorry, but where your body loses fat has more to do with genetics than with that weekly "Six-Pack-A-Palooza" class at your gym.
"Asking your body to lose fat in one area is like trying to remove a cup of water from one corner of a filled bathtub," says personal trainer Lecia Whitlock, an instructor at The National Personal Training Institute. "The overall water level will go down, but there won't be a divot in one corner of the tub."
A 2013 study measured the effects of exercise on the fat mass of a targeted body area. Subjects did a ludicrous number of leg presses using their nondominant leg over the course of 12 weeks.
Despite performing between 960 and 1,200 reps (!) three times a week against very light resistance, participants saw no significant change in fat mass in the exercising leg. There was a decrease in fat mass in the upper body, but nada in the leg that did all of the work.
So, where does this leave you if you want to lean out through the middle?
First off, we just saved you anywhere from $19 to $199, because now you won't be tempted to go out and get the latest "fat-burning" abs gizmo. And that's only the beginning of the good news.
If you're serious about losing your gut and are following a sound exercise and diet program, there are some things you can do to decrease the appearance of your waistline while your body leans itself out.
"Strength training the muscles of the upper body -- especially the shoulders and back -- will improve your posture and change your body's proportions," says Whitlock. "This will make your waistline appear smaller."
Your improved posture will get you standing taller and appearing thinner, and the added muscle you'll be building will help increase your overall metabolism and speed up the rate at which your body is burning calories and shedding body fat.
Ultimately, the key to a more ripped midsection isn't doing a zillion crunches. It's working the entire body and eating correctly.
Strength training will increase the calories you burn 24/7. High-intensity cardio will let you burn big chunks of calories in a small amount of time. And a healthy diet will ensure that you're taking in the proper number of quality calories.
You might not lose three pants sizes in a week like the guy in the ad, but you will eventually reach your goal. "And as a bonus," says Whitlock, "the rest of your body will look and feel better as well."
- All Categories
- March 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS October 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2012 E-Newsletter
- April 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS November 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2013 E-Newsletter
- JUNE 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS May/June 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2013 E-Newsletter
- Archived CHHS News
- CHHS October 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2015 E-Newsletter
- December 2015 ICYMI
- January 2016 ICYMI
- MAY 2016 ICYMI
- February 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS July 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2011 E-Newsletter
- All Categories
- Academic Outreach
- Continuing & Professional Development
- Online Learning
- Summer Sessions
- Winter Term
- Career & Workforce Development
- Lifelong Learning
- Society for Lifelong Learning
- WKU On Demand
- Study Away
- Faculty-Led Study Abroad
- Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning
- Cohort Programs
- Dual Credit
- Training Resources & Event Planning Services
Western Kentucky University’s College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) will honor the opening of their first student-applied research center, the WKU Center for Environmental and Workplace Health (CEWH).
Loup Langton receives the honor of serving as Turner Professor in Journalism at WKU.
Over the past two years, faculty in the WKU English Department have been creatively rethinking the English curricula to ensure that our programs serve 21st-century English majors well.
WKU’s Forensics Team divided into three groups and traveled to Lebanon, Illinois; Normal, Illinois; and Jefferson City, Tennessee, to compete in six tournaments Nov. 11-12.
Students, faculty, and staff from the Center for Human GeoEnvironmental Studies (CHNGES) and Department of Geography & Geology recently attended national conferences in Arkansas and Washington state.
A bronze statue of longtime WKU supporter and Kentucky State Rep. Jody Richards of Bowling Green was unveiled on WKU’s main campus Monday (Nov. 6) in Jody Richards Hall.
Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,