I am asked this question on a daily basis, multiple times even. I know other fitblr/healthblr/weightloss blogs get the same question time and time again. I think its time someone clears this up for everyone, once and for all. :)
I am sure you’ve read or heard about those magical exercises that promise to “blast belly fat” and rid you of your muffin tops and bat wings…and it couldn’t be further from the truth.
When you do these types of exercises (crunches, for example). You are only targeting the abdominal muscles. They are effective exercises of course, but don’t expect a 6-pack by morning. Your abdominal muscles are under the layer of fat. Doing these exercises do not “turn your fat into muscle”. This applies to any strength training exercise (curling weights, hip abduction, sit-ups, lunges and so on).
You can’t pick where your excess fat goes, so why would you be able to choose where you burn your fat? It applies both ways. It is all determined by genetics.
Now, don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t mean hold off on all strength training exercises until you’re at lower weight. Strength training is still beneficial and can aid in reducing your overall body fat percentage (along with proper diet and exercise!).
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?
You can reduce your overall body fat. First, you must create a calorie deficit.
Creating a calorie deficit is done by subtracting 500 calories from your daily required calorie intake and when done continually it results in fat loss.
**To figure out what your requirements are - use this calculator and plug in your info, subtract 500 to lose weight, add 500 to gain weight, do nothing to maintain current weight**
For best results I would suggest a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise.
Cardio and stregnth training together provide optimal results in my opinion, though it isn’t something for everyone. Find something that you enjoy and works for you. Many people seem to think the only effective cardio is running. This is untrue as well. You can do cycling, swimming, kickboxing, jumproping, dancing, etc. :)
WHY DOES A CALORIE DEFICIT WORK?
It is said there approximately 3500 calories in a single pound of fat. When you subtract those 500 calories, your body has to find other sources (fat) to get that energy. (500 calories x 7 days = 3500 calories.) So, weightloss should be around 1 lb a week. This is considered to be healthy weightloss and maintainable. You may or may not lose fat every single week, sometimes it will be more and other times it will be less. This is a slow process, there are no shortcuts or quick fixes. Remember: not all calories are created equal. 200 calories of strawberries is not the same as 200 calories of chocolate cake. So eat healthy, wholesome foods! ;) Also keep in mind less calories does not mean more weightloss. Read why low-cal diets do not work, are detrimental to your health and difficult to maintain here.
To sum it up: There is NO exercise that can target fat loss in a certain area. Spot reduction (short of liposuction) is impossible. Plain and simple.
Pass the word on everyone. Reblog to get the word out. :)
Have a question or need something clarified? Inbox me.
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