Have you ever stood in front of a mirror, examining your body, hoping you could grab handfuls of fat and get rid of them?
You might enjoy how your body looks, but there could be certain areas you don’t like and want to change.
For many women, these areas are the thighs, buttocks, and stomach. In men, troublesome areas include the chest, lower back, and belly.
But what does it take to lose fat, and is it possible to target specific areas through dieting and training?
Can You Target Body Fat On Areas Of Your Body?
Like most people, you’ve probably researched topics like “How do I get rid of belly fat?” and “How to trim down thigh fat?” But is such a thing possible?
Many sources on the internet would have you believe that it is possible to melt fat from a specific area of your body. The advice is typically to do exercises that target the area. For example, if a person wants to shed belly fat, someone might advise them to do lots of crunches and sit-ups.
Unfortunately, while that sounds great, it doesn’t work. Targeting a specific area develops the muscles and promotes blood flow, but it doesn’t impact actual fat loss.
How Does Actual Fat Loss Occur?
At its core, weight loss comes down to creating a calorie deficit––eat fewer calories than you burn each day. Doing so forces your body to break down bodily tissue (fat and muscle) to get the remaining energy to keep functioning. As a result, you lose weight.
Now, here’s something to keep in mind:
Your body decides how fat loss occurs, and there is nothing you can do. Some people lose more fat from their upper body, and others carry less ‘fluff’ on their legs and buttocks.
The only thing you can do is diet diligently and follow a good training plan for as long as necessary until you get the body you want.
But Why Is Fat Loss So Challenging For Some Body Parts?
If you’ve dieted and lost a significant amount of weight before, you probably noticed that you don’t lose fat from all areas of your body equally. Some areas get leaner more quickly, and others remain covered in fat even after weeks or months on a diet. One reason for these effects relates to fat cell receptors.
Under normal circumstances, catecholamines (a group of hormones) interact with fat cells by binding to their beta-2 receptors. The interaction causes cells to release their fatty acids, allowing the body to break them down for energy, leading to fat loss.
Unfortunately, when the same hormones bind to the alpha-2 receptors of fat cells, nothing happens.
Fat cells in certain areas have more alpha-2 receptors, which makes them more resistant to breakdown. Such areas include the hips, buttocks, lower back, and stomach. Because of that, it is not uncommon to get relatively lean but still carry some fat on the thighs and belly.
Fat loss is relatively straightforward, but it takes dedication and discipline to stay consistent and reach your goals.
Unfortunately, there is no shortcut to getting the body you desire, and there are no effective tactics you can use to shed more fat from specific areas. It all comes down to good nutrition, regular exercise, and plenty of sleep.