Busting the myth on ‘Spot Reduction’

If I had a dollar for every time I was asked by someone…”What do I need to do or how can I get rid of (as they aggressively and angriliy tug at) my ‘flabby’ arms, my ‘fat’ hips, my ‘tubby’ stomach”(spot reduction)
I would have well and truly built a lovely village in a third world country by now!
It is understandable and easy to see why so many people genuinely believe that ‘spot reduction’ is possible! We live in a society that has the quick fix answer for anything and everything and we are bombarded by fitness advertisements that claim to hold the secret that promise to magically – tighten, tone, remove, zap – those parts that are supposedly not ‘allowed’ to be there… (I would like to add here that we only believe they shouldn’t be there because we are conditioned and told they shouldn’t be… there is nothing ‘wrong’ about anyones body!!)
When we are experiencing that ‘bad body image day’ we might think to ourselves “if I just partipate in that tummy, hips and thighs class or do a zillion dips or crunches I will see results where I want to see them…and all my body image woes will float away too”
But we’ve done the tummy, hips and thighs classes, a zillion dips and crunches and the results haven’t appeared and alas, we still don’t always feel so great about our body.

So let’s set the record straight with some science – the reason our (or any) body part cannot spot reduce is because the human body utilises energy as a whole. For example, if we spend all our time working our calves, we will definitely strengthen them (possibly over train them at the same time – but I’m making a point here) but they won’t necessarily become leaner. The science of our body, our hormones and our genetics will decide where the body fat is removed from first. And it is different for everyone! If we think about it even further, our heart muscle is beating all day, every day, utilising fuel to do so and yet most people carry fat around their upper body!!
So when presented with the quick fix option or the promise that a certain piece of equipment or exercise will work magic on a body part, we need to challenge it with the truth…

  • We can’t fight or trick the science of the body. Our body decides where our body fat is stored, how it is used and where it goes first.
  • There is no such thing as a ‘problem’ area – for the sake of our body image confidence it’s really important that we remove and avoid using this language in our body talk.
  • Focus on being active and exercising for HEALTH benefits, conditioning your body and mind as a whole instead of the 1 or 2 areas you think ‘need it’.
  • At the end of each activity session (and during… and before!) compliment and acknowledge what your body parts have been able to do for you, when we give our body parts the respect they deserve they don’t seem so ‘flabby, tubby or fat’ anymore!

WIshing you a happy belated Tuesday (or Thursday for those who are a little more traditional!)

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