Can You Spot Reduce Fat?
"How can I lose belly fat?"
"What exercises can I do to lose thigh fat?"
"How can I lose fat from my lower body, but not from my upper body?"
"I want to lose 40 pounds, but I don't want to lose any of my breasts."
"Do you know of any exercises I can do to lose weight, that won't change the size of my breasts?"
"I want to shrink my stomach, but I don't want to lose any of my butt."
If I had a dollar for every time I received a question or comment like this, I would be driving a Range Rover instead of a 2006 Toyota Corolla. Yes, that's what I currently drive. Yes, you're allowed to laugh. Now, I want to make it clear: I have absolutely NO problem with these questions. Nor do I think that the people who ask them are silly for asking them. They are absolutely fair questions, however you likely won't find the answer to those questions to be very fair. Let's dive in, shall we?
We CANNOT "spot reduce fat." What does this mean? This means that we cannot pick and choose the areas of our bodies from which we would like to lose fat. So, for example: Let's say that you have a goal of losing 50 pounds. You like having large breasts, but you don't like having fat around your midsection, and you certainly don't like carrying fat on your thighs and lower body. Can you lose 50 pounds exclusively from your midsection and lower body, while not losing any fat from your breasts? NO. Your body will lose fat from the areas that it chooses, some areas of your body will shed fat quite quickly, while other areas will be far more stubborn, and tend to hold on to that extra fat for far longer.
This concept remains the same when it comes to gaining weight. Think about a time in your life when you gained a significant amount of weight. Perhaps from a pregnancy, perhaps from a stressful time in your life, perhaps you were like me and gained the "Freshman 15." (Personally I refer to my weight gain as the "Freshman 15 times 2 and add 10." That's more accurate.) Now, when you gained that weight, did you get to choose where you gained the weight? Were you able to gain weight only in your booty, but not in your abdomen or lower body? No. Your body stored fat where it chose to. Likewise, when it comes to losing fat, your body will lose fat from the areas of it's choice.
Now, I realize I may have just crushed your dreams. However, please DO NOT panic. Just because you cannot spot reduce fat, doesn't mean that you can't lose fat from those stubborn areas of your body. It simply means you can't target them directly. So, how do you do this? How do you lose fat from those areas? You do this by losing fat overall, aka by lowering your overall body fat percentage. Instead of focusing on losing fat from one specific area, focus on losing fat overall.
Listen, in an ideal world we would be able to choose where we lose fat and where we keep fat. In an ideal world, my breasts wouldn't have shrunk 6 cup sizes. In an ideal world, chocolate and wine would have 0 calories. Unfortunately my friends, things are not always "ideal." Fat loss is one of those things. So, the moral of the story? Stop stressing yourself out by trying to lose fat from your hips, lower belly, inner thighs, arms...or wherever else, and focus on losing fat overall.
Down 6 cup sizes but still trying to work it,