Can You Spot Reduce Body Fat?

It’s 5:30am , I’ve got a cup of strong black coffee by my side and I’ve got 30 minutes before I need to leave and get ready for my first client.

So let’s talk about a question that comes up a lot from both my clients and website readers…

“Can I lose fat in a specific area?”

This question usually follows with people pointing to their stomachs, hip, thighs  and arms- since these are the areas most of us hold our fat.

The idea of losing fat in a specific area is called “spot reduction” and it’s an idea that has been around for a long time.

But is it actually a thing? In theory the idea of exercising a certain body part more to lose fat in that area makes sense right?


I mean, if you want to lose stomach fat then doing endless crunches, planks and sit ups must help right? Trying to lose your bingo wings? Surely doing arm exercises for your triceps (back of the arm) must help?

The answer? No. It doesn’t work.

You can’t pick and choose or select where you want to lose fat. The body doesn’t work like that. And there is plenty of research to back this point up.

If you want smaller thighs, sitting on the abduction machine at the gym isn’t going to cut it.

If spot reduction doesn’t work, how do you lose fat?

I’m about to tell you something that you don’t want to hear…

If fat loss is your goal then you can do all the exercise under the sun, but if you aren’t in a calorie deficit, you’re wasting your time.

(By calorie deficit I mean that you are eating less than you burn)

Why is this so important? Because without a calorie deficit it is impossible to lose fat. It’s the law of thermodynamics. So, first you need to get that in check.

(If you need help working out how much to eat to lose fat, read this article.)

But a calorie deficit isn’t enough.

Sure, you’ll lose fat. But if you want to build a toned body you need to strength train too. Why? Because it will help you get more toned.

Toning is the process of losing fat and building muscle. And building more muscle increases your metabolism. (Which is why strength training is better than cardio for fat loss).

female lifter

And ladies, if you are worried about strength training making you bulky, it won’t. Trust me. (This article should put your mind at ease)

If you are unsure where to start with strength training or want some guidance, hit the button below and send your question. I’ll help you out.


What Next?

You’re in a calorie deficit and you’ve started strength training. Awesome. You’re ahead of the curve.

Stick at it. Seriously. Be consistent and give yourself time. You can’t expect changes to occur over night and progress may be slow to begin with.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t working.

Stick with it for a few months and you will make progress.

Spot Reduction Is A Scam

Yes, you can target specific areas of your body with strength training. And yes, that will help you build a toned physique.

BUT you can’t pick and choose where your body loses fat. That is something that is out of your control.

My advice? Forget trying to spot reduce certain areas of your body and focus on the bigger picture. You’ll get quicker results, be less frustrated and make progress this way .

Categories : Fitness, Lifestyle, Nutrition
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