SOME PEOPLE HAVE that one part of their body they wish that they could change. Maybe you're struggling with getting rid of that beer belly leftover from college, some love handles you gained after your last breakup, or that bit of unwanted fat in your chest.
These challenge areas might be the motivation behind your desire to lose weight. But, even if you're doing all the right things—watching what you're eating, staying consistent in the gym, drinking enough water, getting substantial sleep—you might not be seeing the results you're looking for. Sure, you're slowly starting to see the number on the scale drop the way you want it to. In the mirror, though, you're still faced with a challenge.
And it makes you wonder: Is there a specific place that fat comes off the body first?
Where Do You Lose Weight First?
The answer is different for everybody.
"Different people lose body fat from different places at different times. Some people may lose from their abdomen, while others may lose from their thighs," says Fatima Cody Stanford, M.D., M.P.H., obesity medicine physician at Harvard Medical School and a Men's Health advisor. "It is difficult to predict where a person will lose fat from first."
Fat loss all comes down to genetics, studies show, and also gender.
Men commonly lose weight through their trunk and glutes first, says Jeffrey Crespin, M.D., M.B.A., gastroenterologist and obesity medicine specialist. In fact, a 2017 study published in The Physician and Sports Medicine journal found that men are more likely to lose weight around their trunk area first than women. (The study is small, though, so more research needs to be done to confirm its findings.)
Can You Train to Lose Fat in a Specific Spot?
Unfortunately, there's no such thing as "spot training" or "spot reduction." It's a myth that you can train one specific spot on your body enough to lose fat in that area. For example, you may try to do a ton of crunches and sit-ups in an attempt to lose fat from your abdomen.
As stated before, where you lose fat depends on your genetics. Training specific areas of the body, like doing bicep curls for your arms or crunches for your abs, will help you build muscle in those spots, but these exercises won't help you lose weight in those areas.
“All the crunches in the world won't spot-reduce your waistline,” MH Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., told Men's Health. "Instead, those exercises are helping you gain more muscle, creating a more toned appearance overall."
The best way to achieve the physique you want is to maintain a healthy diet, stay consistent in your exercise plan, and talk to your doctor or dietician to help you tailor a routine more towards your specific goals.
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