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The Spot Reduction Myth: The Answer to Why Your Belly is Still There

It’s late at night you can’t go to sleep so you turn on that good ole’ TV of yours and what do you see, some gizmo abdominal exercise machine that makes the promise that it will get rid of your belly fat. Although this machine may do a great job of strengthening your sagging abdominal muscles it will not make the fat that lies over your stomach disappear. If this was the case tennis players would have a super skinny tennis arm and the other arm would have more fat on it. This is not the case; they may have more muscle on that arm, but as far as fat goes no studies have suggested this. Go watch any tennis player I promise you that what I am telling you is the truth.

Fat works in a simple way that is often misunderstood. Most body fat is stored directly underneath the skin right on top of the muscle. Another thing about fat goes like this; usually the first place fat goes is usually the last place it wants to leave. In other words no amount of sit-ups, or the use of “ab” machines will make the fat go away from a certain area on your stomach or love handles. So the best way to lose fat is to pick an activity you like doing and go as hard as you can for as long as you can. If that activity is walking go for a walk, if that activity is swimming go for a nice swim. For others that activity may be gardening and gardening is a great way to burn calories.


The equation for weight loss is not too complicated to comprehend, but so many weight loss gurus seem to mess it up all the time. It goes a little something likes this, if calorie expenditure is greater than calories taken in weight loss occurs. One pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories. When you burn 3500 calories then 1 pound of fat is lost. The opposite works for weight gain. When you take in more calories then you burn then you will gain weight. So to answer another question of why does the weight seem to go our stomach if we are men or thighs and hips for women? That answer goes a little something like this; our bodies are smarter than we are so it stores the fat where we need protection the most. For men this extra padding we call fat goes to protect our vital organs in our stomach area, and for women it protects the hips an area that is prone to breaks.


So the next question is why isn’t this common knowledge? The answer is do you really think that the major conglomerates who sell these products want you to know this. The way they make their money is by the confusion that already exists. It’s a dangerous cycle that goes a little something like this. You buy their product and use it; get some initial results that start to taper off after a month. Eventually by the third month of using this product you get fed up and hid the contraption underneath your bed or in your closet. What a great way to use your 4 easy payments of $29.95. Then a few months later you are on the next gizmo and go through the same rollercoaster of effects. But a better question is how can these companies not get sued for making false claims? Well the answer to that is simple, using these machines does involve burning calories and as I have been preaching to you burning calories is key. So let’s do a quick comparison of running and crunches. For a 150lb. male running at a 10mph pace for 30 minutes can burn 214 calories, while doing 30 minutes of crunches at moderate intensity burns 148 calories. Another question that should be asked is do you think your muscles will be able to perform a sit-up type exercise for that long. I don’t know of any who can, but I know several people who can run for 30 minutes or more. As you see running is a better than an ab machine for weight loss.

So let’s face the facts people, when it comes to spot reduction let’s throw that term out of the dictionary. It is dangerous to believe in it when according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) it doesn’t. So the next time you see a gizmo on TV offering you flatter abs just remember doing exercises to strengthen your core doesn’t equal fat loss over your stomach.

A protruding paunch is one big problem that forms the basis of people taking up rigorous exercises to get rid of it in the first place and are willing to go to any extent to get a well built physique, especially film stars, as evidenced by their ever youthful looks and well maintained bodies. They achieve this by following a strict diet and regular training, along with protein supplements and the very best legal steroids added for good measure.

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