So welcome to the first installment of Fact or Fiction Friday! Have a question or topic you’d like to see addressed? Send ’em my way and I’ll do my best to demystify, debunk, and otherwise shed light on your nutrition and fitness queries.
Today’s question is, “I heard that by doing a bunch of crunches I could whittle away the fat in my midsection. Is it true that I can pick and choose where I shed body fat from?”
Sadly, this is fiction! It is not possible to target and trim fat from specific body parts (also referred to as spot reducing).
It is a common myth that weight training or exercising a specific body part will result in isolated fat loss from that particular area. While you will most certainly strengthen and develop the muscles you train, you’ve got to create an overall calorie deficit to lose body fat. (As the saying goes, you might have a six-pack, but you’ve got to take it out of the cooler!) Once a calorie deficit is created, the body simply taps into fat stores wherever they may be and this varies from person to person. While some may quickly lose weight around their face and arms, others may lose weight more quickly around their midsection or thighs. Be patient and eventually the excess weight will come off!