It is one of the most common inquiries about weight loss.
However, targeted fat loss in certain areas of the body – be it the thighs or stomach – is “simply not possible”, claimed a leading weight loss scientist.
Advertisements for exercises, pills, and supplements often claim that they reduce fat in one part of the body.
Dr. Nick Fuller, author and lecturer in obesity treatment and treatment at the University of Sydney, described targeted fat loss – or “spot reduction” – as a “myth”.
Instead, factors beyond your control, such as genes, gender and age, as well as how much fat and muscle a person has, determine the areas and order in which our bodies store and lose fat, he said.
Dr. Nick Fuller (pictured), author and senior lecturer in obesity treatment and management at the University of Sydney, said factors beyond our control influence the areas and order in which our bodies store and lose fat
Studies have also shown that genes can account for up to 60 percent of body fat distribution, argued Dr. Ink pen. Gender and age can also play a role, as the aging process affects changes in muscle mass, metabolism and hormone levels. “Women tend to lose weight in the face, calves and arms first because they have the least impact on childbirth, while retaining fat on the hips, thighs and buttocks,” he added
Registered mail The conversationHe added: “Our muscles cannot directly access and burn certain fat stores during exercise.”
Instead, they use a process called lipolysis to convert triglycerides – harmful fats in the blood – into free fatty acids and a compound called glycerin, “which then travels to our muscles via our bloodstream.”
“Therefore, the fat reserves we use for energy during exercise come from everywhere in our body – not just the areas we target for fat loss,” he said.
Additionally, research suggests that training specific muscles has little effect on fat loss in that area.
One Study from 2015 with 45 women Weight loss diet participants found that those who also performed abdominal exercises did not see a greater improvement in reducing belly fat compared to those who dieted alone.
Iranian researchers concluded that “there were no significant differences between groups.”
Studies show that genes, gender and age influence where people gain and lose fat.
Genes can account for up to 60 percent of the distribution of body fat, meaning that where a person’s parents store fat is often also an indicator of where they will store fat, Dr. Ink pen.
Gender also plays a role. For example, women store more fat than men – to support pregnancy and breastfeeding – and tend to lose weight in their face, calves and arms first, as this is what Dr. Fuller has the least impact on birth.
Age affects where the body stores fat, with postmenopausal women and middle-aged men tending to accumulate fat around their stomachs that they find difficult to get rid of, he said.
Additionally, pills and supplements that claim to burn fat are not supported by substantial evidence, Dr. Fuller – even when advertising claims they are backed by clinical studies and scientific evidence.
Two recent studies by researchers at the University of Sydney who examined In more than 120 trials of herbal and nutritional supplements that claim to help you lose weight, it was found that ““insufficient evidence” behind the claims.
Therefore, spot reduction is a “myth” and it is impossible to control where the body loses fat from, he said.
Instead, people can just try to achieve overall fat loss, which will alter body shape and help with long-term weight control, Dr. Fuller added.
The author of Interval Weight Loss and Interval Weight Loss for Life, Dr. Fuller, said: “That’s because your metabolism – how much energy you burn at rest – depends on how much muscle and fat you’re carrying.”
Someone with a higher muscle mass has a faster metabolism than someone with the same weight but a higher fat mass, he said.
Those who want to look slimmer should lose weight in “small, manageable portions” that they can sustain, with each phase of weight loss followed by a period of weight maintenance until the goal weight is reached, he said.
Lack of exercise combined with unhealthy diets are blamed for the growing obesity epidemic in the UK.
Latest NHS data shows that 26 per cent of adults in England are obese and a further 38 per cent are overweight but not obese.
They are also high among children: a quarter of children in reception classes in England are now considered overweight and one in ten are considered obese.
A groundbreaking study published in May found that the UK’s bulging waistlines are draining the cash-strapped NHS of billions of pounds every year, with twice as much being spent on obese patients as on those of a healthy weight.
According to a study of nearly 2.5 million people, the more people weigh, the more people weigh because of “obesity issues” such as type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
What should a balanced diet look like?
According to the NHS, meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains
• Eat at least 5 servings of different fruits and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruits and vegetables count
• Basic meals are potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains
• 30 grams of fiber per day: This is equivalent to eating all of the following: 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, 2 whole-grain cereal cookies, 2 thick slices of whole-grain bread, and a large baked potato with skin on
• Consume some dairy products or milk alternatives (e.g. soy drinks) and choose options with less fat and less sugar
• Eat some beans, legumes, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 servings of fish every week, one of which should be oily)
• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consume them in small quantities
• Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of water daily
• Adults should consume less than 6g of salt and 20g of saturated fat for women and 30g for men per day
Source: NHS Eatwell Guide