Corinne Austin | Personal Training

Fat Loss is NOT Site Specific

Having worked in the fitness industry for a third of my life, I have been bombarded with health and fitness questions of all shapes and sizes. But the one question that sits at the very top of the list for being the most popularly asked questions is “How do I get rid of fat from here?” (person promptly points to a specific body part). In all honesty, if I had the answer you were all searching for, I would be a very wealthy lady.

‘Spot Reduction’ is the misconception we have that by working a specific muscle we will automatically encourage fat to dissipate from the area surrounding that muscle. For example, doing abdominal exercises will reduce the amount of fat on your mid-section. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work like that.

Why? Well, for a start, muscle and fat are two different tissues: they have different properties and characteristics. Further, muscle does not own the fat that surrounds it. You have probably noticed that you lose fat from some areas quicker than from other areas. This simply comes down to a genetic selective pattern and isn’t a result of the strength or tone of the muscles within those areas. On own individual body-fat deposits are genetically predetermined – we can not physically control where our body chooses to store or lose bodyfat.

To simplify it even more remember this: muscle-building is site specific; fat loss is not. If you wish to witness extra strength or size in a particular muscle or area, then you need to perform exercises that thoroughly work that particular area. BUT, if you wish to see additional shape or sculpt in your body you will need to have a professionally designed or prescribed nutritional and exercise programme that will enable your fat loss goals to come to life. But remember, even then, you will only lose fat from where your body chooses to lose fat.

There is no single be all or end all rule for fat loss. For best effect it comes down to a correctly balanced combo of a diet of good clean food and an exercise plan that includes some form of regular resistance training and high intensity cardiovascular exercise.

Here are a few of my top fat loss tips:

  • Eat good, clean, mostly unprocessed foods.
  • Eat a good selection of nuts and unrefined grains
  • Include lean meat and fish daily
  • Ensure your protein intake is optimal for your bodyweight and goals
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid sugars, baked goods, processed foods, alcohol, juices, fizzy drinks, and most packaged foods.
  • Get adequate sleep (7-8 hours per night)
  • Include resistance training and cardiovascular training in your exercise plan
  • Make sure you have at least one day of rest each week
  • Minimise stress
  • Nurture great relationships that make you happy
  • Minimise unnecessary medication

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