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  • Emily

The myths about targeted fat loss

Updated: Oct 19, 2020

Ever wondered how you could target your "problem" areas?

I have many clients that come to me with a specific body part that they want to tone. I watch them pinch and poke the unwanted fat while talking about how they have tried and failed to exercise the area enough to make a difference.

Welp. I wish I could tell you that I have just the right exercise to reduce fat in your abdominal, triceps, thighs, chin etc. - but I can't.

There are certain exercises that target muscle building in these areas, but this will ultimately not change the amount of fat in that area. A good example is a person could have very strong abdominal muscles from tons of core work but those muscles are hidden underneath a beer belly. The muscles are still there, but they are cloaked by a layer of fat.


But wait! There is also good news! You can still change the appearance of those areas by losing body fat. Through appropriate dieting, you can lose fat over your whole body and ultimately transform those areas of your body that you previously were not able to change.

The key is that this change happens more in the dining room than it does in the gym. Fat loss requires adjusting your diet to reduce your overall calorie consumption as well as the types of foods you eat. Check out this article from The National Academy of Sport's Medicine for more information.

Another common question I receive is about how to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. Generally speaking, building muscle requires more calories (a calorie surplus) and losing fat requires fewer calories (a calorie deficit), so at first glance, it seems that doing both of these things at once is impossible. But, for most beginners, this is a very achievable goal.

Simply put, in order to lose fat and gain muscle you will need to balance cardio and strength training as well as your diet. Check out the details here.

So here's the bottom line - you cannot reduce fat by just doing exercises that strengthen the muscles in that area. You have to change your diet and reduce overall body fat in order to see a noticeable difference in your body composition.

Interested in more specific advice on the diet and exercise that can help you accomplish this? Contact me and I can help coach you through the transformation.

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