Can you really lose belly fat in 7 days? Is it possible to reduce fat from one place in your body? Can you do 100 crunches a day to get a flat belly?
Do you have these questions in your mind without the right answers for it? Read on to know the truth.
You can't pick a part of your body to lose fat from. Yes, I am the harbinger of bad news today. Targeted fat loss, also known as "spot reduction" is a type of exercise that many people try to do when they want to slim down specific areas of their bodies.
You must have seen articles and videos that promise a Flat Belly or Toned Arms in 7 days across the internet. This sounds very appealing and promises quick results which is why people are drawn to it.
Where you store fat is determined by your gender, age, genetics and lifestyle. For example, most women tend to carry more weight on their thighs and buttocks while men carry most of their extra weight in their midsection.
Spot reduction thus is promised as a way to get quick results in a shorter time. It caters to the belief that working the muscles in a certain areas of your body will burn the fat in that specific spot.
Is Spot Reduction a Fad or a Fact?
To understand if spot reduction is possible, it is important to understand how fat loss works.
Your body stores fat in the form of triglycerides which are stored in your adipose tissues to be used for energy. When you workout, these are broken down into smaller components like free fatty acids and glycerol.
The free fatty acids and glycerol then enter the blood stream and reach the muscles to be used as fuel. Now you cannot control which part of your body decides to break its fat stores and thus cannot control where you lose fat from.
There are various studies that have shown that spot reduction does not work. A 2011 study investigated the effects of abdominal exercises on reducing abdominal fat in 24 people and found no significant difference in body composition or abdominal fat in the people doing these abdominal exercises.
What does resistance training achieve then?
You can definitely tone and build stronger muscles when you do exercises like is abdominal crunches, plank, biceps curl etc., Even though you can't burn fat from these specific areas, you can build stronger muscles. But remember that you will not see a flat belly and the abs underneath unless you lose overall body fat and the fat in that area.
And the one way to lose overall body fat is to be in a calorie deficit long enough to let your stored fat be used as fuel by your body.