Are You Able To Target Fat Loss With Your Workouts?

It's important to work out for our physical and mental well-being. Some people work out to maintain their fitness level, some exercise for their mental health, and some train to lose weight. Even if you work out regularly, you may have noticed that, while you can lose fat on your arms quicker, the area around the belly is more stubborn. Interestingly, you may be able to blame genetics for that. A 2019 study on thinness and obesity showed that genetics can play a role in a person's ability to lose weight and influence where they carry more fat (via PLOS Genetics). "Genetics does play an important role in determining somebody's weight," Dr. Mir Ali, a surgeon at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in California, told Healthline. Ali added that genetics isn't the only thing that determines one's body shape, though.

Many people turn to specific exercises to lose fat on specific body parts, but there are healthier ways to lose weight. Still, age, genetics, gender, and lifestyle make people prone to hold on to fat in some parts of their body more than others, and focusing on one area may not be the best approach to losing weight. Before you get too discouraged and think targeted fat loss isn't possible, remember that you can always incorporate healthier habits into your lifestyle that will eventually help you lose fat in your trouble areas, too.

General fat loss is possible, while targeted fat loss may not be

Ultimately, targeted fat loss, or spot reduction, is nothing more than a myth because science simply doesn't support it. "Spot reduction doesn't work because it usually targets muscles that are relatively small through exercises that are relatively insignificant in terms of enhancing overall fitness, strength and energy expenditure," Chris McGrath, the founder of Movement First, told Insider. McGrath added that overall fitness is more effective in burning fat everywhere, though you build more muscle in areas you work out more.

If you want to lose the fat around your abdominal area, you should try 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and two strength-training sessions each week (via Insider). Healthline seconds that and recommends adding cardio, high-intensity interval training, and strength training to your regimen because they are proven to help you lose fat and tone your body. Instead of just focusing on a particular body part, exercising the whole body results in overall fat loss. Moreover, instead of targeted exercises, Byrdie recommends prioritizing nutrition because a healthy diet can contribute to overall weight loss and help lower your body fat percentage. For example, try adding more protein and vegetables to your diet because they help you stay fuller longer, so you're less likely to overeat. Plus, you may build more lean muscle, which helps you lose weight, too (via Medical News Today)