Targeted Weight Loss is a Myth. Stop Falling For It
Do you ever feel the impulse of throwing yourself into an intense arm workout for leaner arms?
Do you ever feel the impulse of throwing yourself into an intense arm workout for leaner arms?(Photo: iStockphoto)

Targeted Weight Loss is a Myth. Stop Falling For It

We recently put out a poll where (unexpectedly enough, to be honest) a lot of people knew about the myth of targeted weight loss. However, in case you’re wondering about the hows and whys of it, read on.

Do you ever feel the impulse of throwing yourself into an intense arm workout for leaner arms? Or to crack a few dozen crunches for a slimmer stomach? Turns out while you may be strengthening your body on the whole, it doesn’t specifically target body fat in those areas.

There’s more.

Also Read : Stop Looking For a Perfect Weight Loss Diet ‘Cuz There Ain’t One

Too caught up to read? Listen to the story here:

All the crunches could have left you with rock solid abs, but perhaps they are buried under layers and layers of fat.

Bottomline? Try full-body workouts and eat clean for leaner limbs, smaller waist or any other body-appearance-related desires of your heart. You don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s what holistic expert Vesna Jacob says:

There are broadly two things that will determine weight loss. One is creating a calorie deficit. Another is your genetic makeup.
  • Calorie Deficit: This is simple math - when you burn more calories than you consume, your body draws upon its fat, thereby making itself leaner. On an average, an individual looking for significant weight loss needs to aim to create a deficit of 200 calories, as is also pointed out by this article. The key to healthy weight loss is be aware of the calories you put in, without being obsessed with numbers, and to always remember that they are indeed very essential for a healthy body.
  • Genetic Makeup: Your genetic disposition will definitely determine how quickly you drop weight and how hard or easy it is to maintain it once lost. It will also define your metabolic rate - a high metabolic rate would ensure lesser weight gain as opposed to a lower one.
If you have a soft stomach, you will have to watch your diet.
If you have a soft stomach, you will have to watch your diet.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

On the topic of body fat, Vesna further says:

The first place on is the last place off. That’s why it might get frustrating for people, especially those who are struggling to lose weight around their waistlines. Unfortunately, it’s the truth. Abdominal exercise will help with shaping up, but if you have a soft stomach, you will have to watch your diet to tone it, as you lose weight from all over your body. Fat is simply stored energy. When you perform crunches, it will draw upon stored energy from all over the body.

Also Read : Losing 7 Kilos Was Great, But Getting Healthier Was Better 

Blood Circulation and Weight Loss

Good blood circulation is imperative for weight loss, emphasises Vesna. Everything gets metabolised through blood which means wherever it has easier access, fat will be targeted better.

People often opt for massages for weight loss from particular parts of the body.
People often opt for massages for weight loss from particular parts of the body.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Now, there are two types of fat - visceral (around your body organs) and subcutaneous (under the skin). The latter is the kind we want to target through exercise, but if it’s dense, it would also hinder the blood flow, making it all the more harder to lose it. That is why people often opt for massages for particular parts of the body.

“You may want to increase the blood flow”, says Vesna, “but that’s more like a holistic approach for your overall well-being, not just weight loss.” 

Also Read : Carbs and Fats? Here’s What Your Pre-Workout Snack Should Include

Strong and Lean - Two Separate Things

It might be surprising to know that your abs might be drowning in subcutaneous fat, but this just goes to show that being lean and strong are two very different things.

While you might be very lean, you may have no muscle mass, and therefore, a low level of strength and fitness. On the other hand, a person can be huge, as in the case of shotput athletes, some kinds of wrestlers and rugby players, Vesna points out, and still be very fit and strong.

People mix terms too easily. This is an instant age where everyone wants to see results quickly, this is the biggest obstacle for many people. Give your body some time, get it moving first, listen to what it’s telling you. If it has taken time to reach a certain stage, give it time to get out of it.
Vesna Jacob

Let it be a slow, but sustainable road to fitness. And next time someone tells you about an exercise routine or fad that will give you abs or biceps in a jiffy, give them a metaphorical smack of hard-hitting facts.

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