Spot Fat Reduction – Is It Possible?

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Is spot fat reduction a myth? Most probably, yes. While there is a theory that you can reduce the amount of fat in certain parts of your body, this would require you to meet certain conditions and would still cause you to lose fat from other areas. In this article, we will explain why spot fat reduction is likely impossible, but also briefly explain the theory that suggests it could work.

Spot Reduction Fat Loss – Why Isn’t It (Probably) Possible?

Firstly, let’s examine why spot reduction fat loss is unlikely. It all comes down to how our bodies manage energy.

If you want to lose fat, you need to fulfill one requirement: achieve energy deficiency. This is what stimulates your body to use up its reserves, fat tissue being one of them. In such cases, your whole body is working to provide the energy by extracting it from the reserve “warehouses” and transporting it wherever it is needed. What does it mean in practice?

No matter where the energy is required, your body will acquire it from all the warehouses possible. So, even if you’re training your abdominal muscles, the energy will be transported from your thigh fat, belly fat, and even neck fat.

There are, of course, processes that can stimulate this. For instance, if you know how fat burners work, you realize that the same effect can be achieved through thermogenesis since then your body needs to regulate its temperature and uses up additional energy to do so. Yet, even if you would achieve this effect spot on, this would still mean your body would extract the extra energy from all the “warehouses,” not only the particular spot. Thus, it’s highly unlikely that spot fat reduction works.

is spot fat reduction possible

Is Spot Fat Reduction Possible? A Theory by Menno Henselmans

As mentioned in the introduction, there is one theory that would suggest that spot fat reduction isn’t a myth. How is it possible, considering how fat-burning works? Let us explain this.

According to Menno Henselmans, spot fat reduction can be achieved by… accelerating energy extraction in certain areas. How does it work?

If you train a particular part of your body, the muscles there generate heat, and the blood flow in the area increases. When your body needs the additional energy from the fat tissue, it still tries to acquire it from all possible sources. However, due to the heat and faster blood flow, it extracts it faster from the fat tissue near the muscles you’ve been working out, hence enabling you to lose more fat in the particular area (while the overall fat loss remains the same). Seems too good to be true, right?

Well, in practice, it’s highly likely that spot fat reduction is possible with this method, but… the difference between the spot targeted and fat loss in other areas is so small that you won’t see a difference. So, while in theory you could train to reduce fat in a particular body part, in practice, this wouldn’t be much different from regular training.

What Can I Do If Spot Fat Reduction Is a Myth?

The fact that spot reduction fat loss is impossible isn’t the end of the world – you can still lose fat; it just might take a bit more time. On the bright side, you won’t have to torture yourself only with training on certain parts of your body. Instead, you can focus on any cardio (and combine it with strength training) and achieve the desired results.

How to accelerate this process? For instance, with supplements. Do fat burners work? Unlike spot fat reduction, yes, they do. However, you still need to exercise to see their effects, but they can help you achieve the desired look more quickly. Okay, but is cardio enough? Well, it depends.

If you’re skinny-fat, meaning that you were quite thin and then gained fat, you might want to include muscle-building workouts into your routine. This way, you’ll make sure that you’re no longer skinny after dropping fat. At the same time, we recommend measuring yourself rather than recording weight to measure progress. The latter won’t be effective since, at some point, you’ll find a balance between the weight of your growing muscles and burn fat.

The Importance of Energy Deficit

No matter whether you believe in spot fat reduction, or you still want to try this method out, there’s one important thing that you need to do – keep an energy deficit. Without this, your body won’t need to extract additional energy from the fat tissue, so you won’t be burning any fat.

How to achieve an energy deficit? There are two ways to do that:

  • Diet – First of all, you should start counting calories and balance your diet, including the macros. This way, you can reduce the amount of fat consumed + achieve an energy deficit by simply eating fewer calories than you need.
  • Training – Diet is all about reducing the amount of energy you provide your body with. With training, you approach this from the other side – you increase your energy usage. Naturally, these two methods work best together.

spot fat reduction

The Takeaway

Is spot fat reduction possible, or is it a myth? Probably the former. While in theory, the latter is possible, in practice, it’s likely that its impact is insignificant when compared to overall fat reduction; thus, there’s no point in trying it out. No matter which approach you want to adopt, you need to ensure an energy deficit if you truly want to burn fat. Additionally, you should consider supplements, such as fat burners, which will enhance the effects of your workouts. Burning fat is a timely process, but with some dedication, you’ll get rid of the extra pounds in no time.

You might also read: What Are Fat Burners Made of?


Is spot fat reduction a myth?

Spot fat reduction is likely a myth because fat loss occurs throughout the body, not just in targeted areas, due to the body’s energy management process.

What is the theory behind spot fat reduction according to Menno Henselmans?

Menno Henselmans proposed that spot fat reduction could occur by accelerating energy extraction in specific areas through increased heat and blood flow during muscle-focused workouts.

Can spot fat reduction be practically achieved?

While theoretically possible, practical spot fat reduction is likely negligible compared to overall fat loss, making it ineffective as a targeted strategy for body shaping.

What alternatives are there for fat loss if spot reduction doesn’t work?

Alternatives for fat loss include maintaining an energy deficit through balanced diet and exercise, incorporating cardio and strength training, and considering supplements like fat burners to enhance results.

spot reduction fat loss

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