Can You Reduce Fat from a Specific Body Area?

Reviewed Feb 21, 2017

Close

E-mail Article

Complete form to e-mail article…

Required fields are denoted by an asterisk (*) adjacent to the label.

Separate multiple recipients with a comma

Close

Sign-Up For Newsletters

Complete this form to sign-up for newsletters…

Required fields are denoted by an asterisk (*) adjacent to the label.

 

Summary

You cannot spot reduce without liposuction or some other surgical procedure, but you can tone up or reduce overall body fat with exercise and dietary changes.

Pick a part, any part—of your body, that is—and answer this question honestly: Are you engaged in a full-scale war with it? If you dream of thinner thighs, a flatter belly, toned arms, etc., you are certainly not alone. Read on to learn what you can and cannot do about those trouble spots.

The truth

First, let go of faulty thinking about weight loss. You might be confused about your options, but grasp this one truth: you cannot spot reduce without liposuction or some other surgical procedure. This means, for example:

  • You cannot lose belly fat by doing crunches, but tighter abs may make you look leaner if they help you keep the tummy pulled in.
  • You will not reduce your thigh size with a cream.
  • Jiggling devices don’t reduce layers of fat anywhere you wear them!

That unpopular area of your body could be very strong if you’ve targeted it repeatedly with isolated exercises. Unfortunately it might also be buried under several inches of fat.

The right approach

If you can’t spot reduce, then what can you do? Within reason, you can lose weight overall and see whether that problem area seems less of a problem to you. Although you should consult your doctor for detailed nutritional advice and before starting an exercise program, here are some guidelines for you to consider:

  • Get regular aerobic exercise five times a week for 30 minutes or more.
  • Strength train twice a week to boost overall metabolism.
  • Eat a balanced diet based on the United States Department of Agriculture MyPlate plan—watch those portions!
  • Newest studies suggest that eating plenty of soluble fiber such as apples and peas can reduce visceral fat (fat that's inside around your organs)—this may or may not change your appearance, but it improves your health.

The big “what if"

It’s possible that you already eat well and exercise regularly, but that one area just won’t budge. It might just be time to make peace with the image in the mirror and let these truths sink in:

  • Genetics play a huge role in fat distribution—your shape is a pre-determined blueprint.
  • The media promotes an unrealistic image that few attain.
  • Your body can be trained to be very fit and strong, regardless of its size.
  • If you just can’t love your whole shape, you can focus on the parts that don’t bother you.

A few magic tricks

Let’s assume you’re on the road to success, whether it’s weight loss or a peaceful acceptance of your body exactly as it is, but a high school reunion or blind date looms close and shakes your newfound confidence. Perhaps some of these tips will help:

  • Stand tall—erect posture lengthens and slims the look of your torso.
  • Experiment with clothing—play up the parts you love. Got great legs? Show them!
  • “Cheat” a little—you’ll find all sorts of slimming lingerie out there.
  • You can always suck in your belly if you really want to.
  • Do nothing at all and notice how the world keeps turning.

Win the inner battle

If you could have back every minute you’ve wasted dwelling on whatever body part bugs you, how much of your life would be returned to you? If the answer overwhelms you, reclaim your life now! Instead of hating those thighs or other parts, commit them to a realistic, worthy goal.

  • Enroll them in a training program and prepare to walk a marathon for a charitable cause.
  • Put your body to work helping a local church build a house for someone in need.
  • You can choose something different—just start brainstorming how you can use or improve your body’s strength and capability in order to meet a higher call.

Accepting your body, as it is, sets you free to relish its amazing design and potential.

Resources

American College of Sports Medicine
www.acsm.org

www.choosemyplate.gov 

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: Program Design for Personal Trainers by Douglas S. Brooks, MS. Human Kinetics Publishers, 1997; The Personal Training Center

Summary

You cannot spot reduce without liposuction or some other surgical procedure, but you can tone up or reduce overall body fat with exercise and dietary changes.

Pick a part, any part—of your body, that is—and answer this question honestly: Are you engaged in a full-scale war with it? If you dream of thinner thighs, a flatter belly, toned arms, etc., you are certainly not alone. Read on to learn what you can and cannot do about those trouble spots.

The truth

First, let go of faulty thinking about weight loss. You might be confused about your options, but grasp this one truth: you cannot spot reduce without liposuction or some other surgical procedure. This means, for example:

  • You cannot lose belly fat by doing crunches, but tighter abs may make you look leaner if they help you keep the tummy pulled in.
  • You will not reduce your thigh size with a cream.
  • Jiggling devices don’t reduce layers of fat anywhere you wear them!

That unpopular area of your body could be very strong if you’ve targeted it repeatedly with isolated exercises. Unfortunately it might also be buried under several inches of fat.

The right approach

If you can’t spot reduce, then what can you do? Within reason, you can lose weight overall and see whether that problem area seems less of a problem to you. Although you should consult your doctor for detailed nutritional advice and before starting an exercise program, here are some guidelines for you to consider:

  • Get regular aerobic exercise five times a week for 30 minutes or more.
  • Strength train twice a week to boost overall metabolism.
  • Eat a balanced diet based on the United States Department of Agriculture MyPlate plan—watch those portions!
  • Newest studies suggest that eating plenty of soluble fiber such as apples and peas can reduce visceral fat (fat that's inside around your organs)—this may or may not change your appearance, but it improves your health.

The big “what if"

It’s possible that you already eat well and exercise regularly, but that one area just won’t budge. It might just be time to make peace with the image in the mirror and let these truths sink in:

  • Genetics play a huge role in fat distribution—your shape is a pre-determined blueprint.
  • The media promotes an unrealistic image that few attain.
  • Your body can be trained to be very fit and strong, regardless of its size.
  • If you just can’t love your whole shape, you can focus on the parts that don’t bother you.

A few magic tricks

Let’s assume you’re on the road to success, whether it’s weight loss or a peaceful acceptance of your body exactly as it is, but a high school reunion or blind date looms close and shakes your newfound confidence. Perhaps some of these tips will help:

  • Stand tall—erect posture lengthens and slims the look of your torso.
  • Experiment with clothing—play up the parts you love. Got great legs? Show them!
  • “Cheat” a little—you’ll find all sorts of slimming lingerie out there.
  • You can always suck in your belly if you really want to.
  • Do nothing at all and notice how the world keeps turning.

Win the inner battle

If you could have back every minute you’ve wasted dwelling on whatever body part bugs you, how much of your life would be returned to you? If the answer overwhelms you, reclaim your life now! Instead of hating those thighs or other parts, commit them to a realistic, worthy goal.

  • Enroll them in a training program and prepare to walk a marathon for a charitable cause.
  • Put your body to work helping a local church build a house for someone in need.
  • You can choose something different—just start brainstorming how you can use or improve your body’s strength and capability in order to meet a higher call.

Accepting your body, as it is, sets you free to relish its amazing design and potential.

Resources

American College of Sports Medicine
www.acsm.org

www.choosemyplate.gov 

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: Program Design for Personal Trainers by Douglas S. Brooks, MS. Human Kinetics Publishers, 1997; The Personal Training Center

Summary

You cannot spot reduce without liposuction or some other surgical procedure, but you can tone up or reduce overall body fat with exercise and dietary changes.

Pick a part, any part—of your body, that is—and answer this question honestly: Are you engaged in a full-scale war with it? If you dream of thinner thighs, a flatter belly, toned arms, etc., you are certainly not alone. Read on to learn what you can and cannot do about those trouble spots.

The truth

First, let go of faulty thinking about weight loss. You might be confused about your options, but grasp this one truth: you cannot spot reduce without liposuction or some other surgical procedure. This means, for example:

  • You cannot lose belly fat by doing crunches, but tighter abs may make you look leaner if they help you keep the tummy pulled in.
  • You will not reduce your thigh size with a cream.
  • Jiggling devices don’t reduce layers of fat anywhere you wear them!

That unpopular area of your body could be very strong if you’ve targeted it repeatedly with isolated exercises. Unfortunately it might also be buried under several inches of fat.

The right approach

If you can’t spot reduce, then what can you do? Within reason, you can lose weight overall and see whether that problem area seems less of a problem to you. Although you should consult your doctor for detailed nutritional advice and before starting an exercise program, here are some guidelines for you to consider:

  • Get regular aerobic exercise five times a week for 30 minutes or more.
  • Strength train twice a week to boost overall metabolism.
  • Eat a balanced diet based on the United States Department of Agriculture MyPlate plan—watch those portions!
  • Newest studies suggest that eating plenty of soluble fiber such as apples and peas can reduce visceral fat (fat that's inside around your organs)—this may or may not change your appearance, but it improves your health.

The big “what if"

It’s possible that you already eat well and exercise regularly, but that one area just won’t budge. It might just be time to make peace with the image in the mirror and let these truths sink in:

  • Genetics play a huge role in fat distribution—your shape is a pre-determined blueprint.
  • The media promotes an unrealistic image that few attain.
  • Your body can be trained to be very fit and strong, regardless of its size.
  • If you just can’t love your whole shape, you can focus on the parts that don’t bother you.

A few magic tricks

Let’s assume you’re on the road to success, whether it’s weight loss or a peaceful acceptance of your body exactly as it is, but a high school reunion or blind date looms close and shakes your newfound confidence. Perhaps some of these tips will help:

  • Stand tall—erect posture lengthens and slims the look of your torso.
  • Experiment with clothing—play up the parts you love. Got great legs? Show them!
  • “Cheat” a little—you’ll find all sorts of slimming lingerie out there.
  • You can always suck in your belly if you really want to.
  • Do nothing at all and notice how the world keeps turning.

Win the inner battle

If you could have back every minute you’ve wasted dwelling on whatever body part bugs you, how much of your life would be returned to you? If the answer overwhelms you, reclaim your life now! Instead of hating those thighs or other parts, commit them to a realistic, worthy goal.

  • Enroll them in a training program and prepare to walk a marathon for a charitable cause.
  • Put your body to work helping a local church build a house for someone in need.
  • You can choose something different—just start brainstorming how you can use or improve your body’s strength and capability in order to meet a higher call.

Accepting your body, as it is, sets you free to relish its amazing design and potential.

Resources

American College of Sports Medicine
www.acsm.org

www.choosemyplate.gov 

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: Program Design for Personal Trainers by Douglas S. Brooks, MS. Human Kinetics Publishers, 1997; The Personal Training Center

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical or health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

Close

  • Useful Tools

    Select a tool below

© 2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.