Is it possible to target fat loss to specific body areas?

Can you lose weight only on your stomach?

Is it possible to target fat loss to specific body areas?
Written by Our: Editorial Team
Medical Fact Checked by: Dr. Bryan Havoc
Last updated:

Many women complain that despite overall slim figure some of their body parts remain clearly fatter. Thicker fat tissue usually accumulates around waist, belly, the upper part of hips, buttocks and thighs or arms. Can exercises on these body parts reduce the layer of fat there?

If they could, all women who managed to lose overweight through the diet and exercises, finally would have perfect bodies. But they don’t and it’s not because they don’t continue exercises. A lot of women fight with fat on belly by doing crunches, with fat on thighs - by doing squats, and by doing exercises for abdominal oblique muscles they fight with too fat hips. Effect? None. It’s because of two reasons.

Reason 1: It’s impossible to force your body to burn fat in chosen body parts. Your body decides on its own about pace of losing fat layers on particular body parts. And it’s exactly opposite to the pace of putting weight on.

Briefly: when you’re putting on weight and first your belly or buttocks get bigger, exactly these parts will stay bigger than the rest of your body during slimming.

So doing crunches won’t reduce fat on your belly and squats won’t slim your thighs.

Reason 2: Exercises which force only one muscle part to work have really low slimming effect because they require too little energy. Squats are in this regard much better because they cause work of many muscles: thighs, buttocks and calves of both legs so amount of energy used up by organism while doing squats is bigger. Unfortunately, according to what you read in reason 1, there is no guarantee that exercising legs muscles will slim your legs.

The only one way for slimming is a combination of diet and regular physical activity, but body decides by itself, which parts will get slimmer faster and which parts slower. It can also happen that fight with fat on some body parts will be very difficult or even senseless.

There are such figures in which body from a waist up is slimmer and from a waist down is bigger, and further slimming rather causes sliming of upper body parts than lower parts. There is no solution for that, you just have to accept that and choose such clothes which will cover body disproportions.

Good news!

If you stay awake at night because of too much belly, you are not without chances. It has been proven that intensive training or interval training where you use alternately high or very high intensity with low intensity, very effectively reduces fat on a belly. So it’s better if you’ll work out shorter but more intensively than at a turtle’s pace for an hour doing thousands of crunches.

Type of activity doesn’t matter - it can be running, bicycling, swimming, dancing, exercising on a rowing machine. What matters is high intensity, training which will cause you panting and sweating.

*This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.