'Targeted' Fat Loss - Does It Work?

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Replies

  • myfitnessnmhoy
    myfitnessnmhoy Posts: 2,105 Member
    If not, then is the point of 'targeted' exercises only to gain strength/muscle mass in that area?

    Yes.

    Your body will lose fat where it loses fat, when it loses fat there. When your body calls on fat reserves for energy, it doesn't necessarily call on them from the same spot the energy is being used. There's a common myth that you are actually burning fat in a specific spot and somehow turning it into muscle when you exercise - if only that were true! In reality, you are creating a calorie deficit, your body draws on fat, muscle (bias toward unused muscle), organs, and whatever else it needs to help make up that deficit, and then it creates muscle in places where you are using it.

    The only way to lose fat in a specific spot is to lose fat everywhere until you lose it in the spot you want to lose it. For me, for example, it's the belly. Now 2 pounds overweight and a bit of a spare tire, that's me. Of course, a lot of that is because I'm losing fat and muscle at about the same ratio.

    The best way to burn energy and increase stamina is cardio.
    The best way to retain muscle is heavy lifting or high-intensity intermittent training and eating enough protein and nutrients.
    The best way to lose weight is to eat at a modest caloric deficit.

    So, it stands to reason that the best way to burn off FAT is to retain as much MUSCLE as possible while maintaining a calorie deficit but eating plenty of protein. You can use cardio to help create that deficit, but to retain muscle you have to lift - the heavier the better.

    So if you want to lose weight, increase cardiovascular capacity and stamina, and retain as much muscle as possible, you need a mix of cardio and lifting, a reasonable caloric deficit, and a diet rich in good quality proteins and all the vitamins and minerals you need. This is the optimal road to weight loss AND better health.

    If you just want to lose weight, and don't actually care about lean muscle mass (if you're OK looking good only when clothed), you can eat at a larger deficit with no exercise and/or do lots and lots of cardio as your only source of exercise. Trust me on this one - I haven't been doing the weights like I should and that's part of the reason my body fat percent is not changing and still a tad high even though my BMI is rapidly approaching normal. I'm not unhealthy by any stretch, but if I had put more emphasis and time into lifting, I'd probably have burned off more fat and have a little more 6-pack, a little less keg.
  • Wow. Thank you everybody!!!
  • TourThePast
    TourThePast Posts: 1,753 Member
    If not, then is the point of 'targeted' exercises only to gain strength/muscle mass in that area?

    Yes.

    Your body will lose fat where it loses fat, when it loses fat there. When your body calls on fat reserves for energy, it doesn't necessarily call on them from the same spot the energy is being used. There's a common myth that you are actually burning fat in a specific spot and somehow turning it into muscle when you exercise - if only that were true! In reality, you are creating a calorie deficit, your body draws on fat, muscle (bias toward unused muscle), organs, and whatever else it needs to help make up that deficit, and then it creates muscle in places where you are using it.

    The only way to lose fat in a specific spot is to lose fat everywhere until you lose it in the spot you want to lose it. For me, for example, it's the belly. Now 2 pounds overweight and a bit of a spare tire, that's me. Of course, a lot of that is because I'm losing fat and muscle at about the same ratio.

    The best way to burn energy and increase stamina is cardio.
    The best way to retain muscle is heavy lifting or high-intensity intermittent training and eating enough protein and nutrients.
    The best way to lose weight is to eat at a modest caloric deficit.

    So, it stands to reason that the best way to burn off FAT is to retain as much MUSCLE as possible while maintaining a calorie deficit but eating plenty of protein. You can use cardio to help create that deficit, but to retain muscle you have to lift - the heavier the better.

    So if you want to lose weight, increase cardiovascular capacity and stamina, and retain as much muscle as possible, you need a mix of cardio and lifting, a reasonable caloric deficit, and a diet rich in good quality proteins and all the vitamins and minerals you need. This is the optimal road to weight loss AND better health.

    If you just want to lose weight, and don't actually care about lean muscle mass (if you're OK looking good only when clothed), you can eat at a larger deficit with no exercise and/or do lots and lots of cardio as your only source of exercise. Trust me on this one - I haven't been doing the weights like I should and that's part of the reason my body fat percent is not changing and still a tad high even though my BMI is rapidly approaching normal. I'm not unhealthy by any stretch, but if I had put more emphasis and time into lifting, I'd probably have burned off more fat and have a little more 6-pack, a little less keg.
    Absolutely spot on!
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    Can you give me a rough break down of the kind of diet you would suggest for me? What percentage of carbohydrates, fats, and protein?

    I'm 24 years old
    5'7''
    33% body fat - I had this measured by a friend last night who is also a personal trainer
    workout 6 days a week, 3 strength training, 3 day cardio
    I work a desk job
    no medical problems

    Well, the one stat you failed to mention, current weight. So adding 22 goal loss to a ideal goal weight of 135 is 157.

    If that exercise is about 1 hr daily then.
    2036 daily calorie burn for everything, weekly avg taken to daily avg.
    15% deficit appropriate for so little to lose.
    Eat 1730 each day, workout or not.

    If you actually miss a planned workout, skip 200 cal's that day. if you make it up, eat 200 more that day.

    And for your exercise, make the lifting heavier by making the cardio easier. If you press the cardio too intense on the between days, you won't get full benefit from the lifting on the other days.
    Since the lifting will get best results, more focus on that.

    Macros, keep it simple at 40/30/30 popular ratio.