Sometimes, I really wish the topics of spot weight reduction and toning would just die on the vine and never be heard about again. These topics will often be posed with the question ;
How can I reduce my belly fat and tone my arms?
Well, here is you how you do spot reduction and toning:
Stand straight and tall, click your heels together three times, then hold your nose with your left hand while pointing at the sun with your right, and then execute three counter clockwise pirouettes. And don’t forget to do 100 sit ups and 100 dumbbell triceps kickbacks each day until you are satisfied with your results. If that works out for you, be sure to let me know so I can quit my work of research, study and writing for you.
In other words, spot reduction and toning are not really possible for you.
I get it, your tummy has developed a little pudge, and your arms have become soft and you just want to look a little better since after all, you still have an otherwise nice figure. Almost everyone would like to change certain parts of their body at some time or other. I need to address this in as real a manner as possible – if your tummy has a little bulge to it and your arms are now soft, you need to know that your body fat is too high everywhere, not just those specific areas. You need to make lifestyle changes that will impact your entire body, not just a couple of areas where you believe you need improvement.
Weight gain is quite frustrating for most people, while weight loss can also seem to be an impossible endeavor. Many people will often seek out easier alternatives than adopting healthy and permanent changes to their diet or increasing their activity levels.
Spot reduction is promoted as a way to quickly reduce fat in problematic areas. This method appeals to the belief that working the muscles in problem areas is the best way to burn the fat in that specific spot. Yet, fat loss doesn’t work that way, and there is very little scientific evidence to back this claim. To understand why spot reduction is not effective, it is important to understand how the body burns fat.
How Your Body Burns fat
When you are burning off body fat, you are doing so all over your body. You will notice the fat loss first in places where you were more lean, yet the rate of fat loss between your arms and belly are still going at the same rate. The reality is, the more body fat you carry, the more patient you are going to need to be in achieving desirable results from your weight loss endeavor.
In order to get rid of belly fat, you have to work to get rid of arm fat, back fat, neck fat, thigh fat, and finger fat too. It all comes and goes together. There is no easy way out, and it does take work to get there. The fat in your cells is found in the form of triglycerides, which are stored fats that the body can use for energy. Before they can be burned for energy, triglycerides must be broken down into smaller sections called free fatty acids and glycerol, which are able to enter the bloodstream. During exercise, the free fatty acids and glycerol used as fuel come from everywhere in your body, not specifically from the area that is being exercised. This is a basic fact for each and every one of us no matter what some people who promote spot reduction might tell you as you hand over your hard earned cash.
But I can Spot Tone Right?
Well, of course you can spot tone. And you might as well whistle your favorite show tune while doing so for all that is worth. Remember, as I said above, if you have a pudgy belly and soft arms, then your overall body fat is too high everywhere, not just those specific areas. You could build up your upper arms with curls and triceps kick backs, but what are you going to do for the rest of your body? What are going to do about the muscle and strength imbalances that will come from trying to spot tone? Do you even believe this would be a good look when you have one area of your body looking firm while the rest is still soft?
Do you only care about what others see when you are dressed?
Or, do you care more about what you see in the mirror when you are undressed?
If you care more about the former, you might want to check your priorities!
Spot reduction or toning is not the best use of your time, many evidenced-based methods can help you lose fat and tone your entire body which is not only a better look, it is a more healthy choice for your body. Workouts and exercises that engage your body as a whole have been shown to be most effective at shedding pounds and getting a fit and trim appearance. If you are going to commit to achieving a healthy, fit and trim body, then make intelligent choices in what actually works best to get there.
Whole-body exercises: Instead of focusing on one area of the body, whole-body exercise like burpees have been shown to burn more calories and lead to more fat loss than targeted muscle toning exercises.
Combining exercises: Combining resistance training and cardiovascular exercise has been shown to be more effective at shedding pounds than just focusing on one type of exercise.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT): HIIT involves short periods of intense activity immediately followed by a recovery period. Studies show HIIT may be more effective at burning fat than steady-state cardio.
Cardiovascular exercise: Cardio, such as running and cycling, uses large muscle groups and has been proven to be effective at torching calories.
But the key for any exercise to work for you is in consuming a healthy diet! You cannot out exercise a poor diet my friends. It is a solid fact of life that when you choose unhealthy foods or overeating, these factors can, and will, quickly undo all your hard work in the gym. There have been a great many studies which have shown that exercise alone is not effective for weight loss unless a conscious effort is made to control calorie intake and make healthy food choices. I can tell you this is a truth from my own personal experience.
Following a healthy meal plan and creating a calorie deficit is crucial for weight loss. Cutting out added sugars entirely and limiting processed foods, while consuming more protein and fiber and practicing portion control are all evidence-based ways to lose weight and achieve a fit and trim body.
Many people want a quick and easy way to lose fat, especially in troublesome areas like the hips, belly, arms and thighs and will seek out shortcuts to try to get there. Shortcuts never work in the long run no matter who you are. Placing your focus on working towards a healthier, more toned body overall is far more beneficial than attempting to lose fat in one particular area. My friends, with plenty of hard work and full dedication in both the gym and kitchen, you can and will, achieve your goals.