I’m trying to finally put to bed the myth of “spot reduction.” I’m not that optimistic that I’ll be 100% successful because there are so many other sources that tout and make money off of the contrary. What I mean is that there is no single magic exercise that’s going to give you a flat 6-pack stomach, those slim slender thighs, or triceps that aren’t all jiggly. Sorry to burst your bubble but it’s the truth. It’s a question that comes up a lot, and rightfully so, since we are inundated with fitness gadgets, gizmos, videos, and routines that claim to give you the body you’ve always wanted just by doing a couple simple exercises. Bull Crap!
We all put on weight in different areas of the body and we all take weight off in different areas when we lose weight (fat mass). We all have different body types, which is why we all look different.
What is the best way to lose weight? Bottom line and to put it simply, diet, exercise, and caloric expenditure (burning more than you consume). If within a 24-hour period you burn 2,500 calories but you eat 3,000 calories, you’re going to gain weight. The opposite is also true; if you burn the same 2,500 calories but only take in 2,000, you’re going to lose weight. (Full disclosure, these are just made up numbers for sake of easy math, this is in no way a representation of actual scientific data or recommended caloric intakes.)
Now, what happens when we see the latest infomercial and buy the latest and greatest ab sculpting tool? Nothing except you’re a tool for buying it! Maybe that is a slight exaggeration. Let’s say you buy this ab sculpting tool and use it faithfully every day, but don’t make any other changes to the way you eat or how much you exercise. You aren’t going to see any real difference in the way you look. You may have a stronger and more muscular core but it will still be covered by the layer of fat that was there before you started. I don’t remember where I heard this but everyone has a 6-pack, it’s just whether you can see it - or not - under what is covering it.
Seeing results and changes in your body, aesthetically speaking, comes down to maintaining or increasing muscle mass while decreasing fat mass. This may or may not be in the specific areas that you want to change, but that’s how it works. You can do crunches and sit ups all day but unless you make real changes to your caloric intake and expenditure, you’re just going to have a strong core under that outer layer of disappointment.
There’s no magic fix to getting the body you want. Looking the way that you want to look IS and WILL BE hard work. Balanced and healthy eating habits, in conjunction with a well-rounded and diverse exercise program, is the only way to get there.
I am happy to answer questions on this topic. Shoot me an email or make an appointment to talk to me at CPC. It’s not easy, but it is possible.