Many would like to change the image of certain parts of your body. Localized thinning promotes this belief. The waist, thighs, tail, and arms are common areas where people tend to store excess body fat. Achieving change through diet and exercise takes time and effort; leaving those who want an easy change in the search for a faster solution. The loss of targeted or focused fat, also known as “localized thinning”, refers to a type of exercise that many people come to when trying to lose specific areas of their bodies. However, there is quite a bit of controversy about this issue and its veracity. This article analyzes in detail what science has so far shown regarding localized thinning.
What is localized thinning? The theory of localized slimming has been promoted in the world of Health and fitness for some time. However, there is not much evidence to support it. Localized thinning is a type of exercise aimed at burning fat in specific areas of the body. An example of localized thinning is to exercise triceps to remove excess fat in the back of the arms. This theory of selecting specific body parts is popular; which leads many people to focus only on problem areas, rather than exercising their whole body. Burning fat using this method can be particularly striking for those who have had difficulty losing weight in the past; or have been unable to get the results they wanted using other methods.
Why can some people want to reduce fat in certain areas?
There are countless reasons why people want to lose weight, including improved health status and reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes . Some people tend to have excess weight distributed proportionally, while others maintain weight in specific areas such as the back, thighs, or abdomen. Localized thinning is possible or is a myth. The gender, age, genetics and lifestyle play an important role in weight gain and body fat accumulation in areas of difficult reduction. For example, women have a higher percentage of body fat than men and tend to store excess fat in their thighs and buttocks, especially during their fertile years.
However, during perimenopause and menopause, hormonal changes can cause weight to change to the abdomen. On the other hand, men are more likely to gain weight in their central parts throughout their lifetime . Weight gain can be very frustrating and make many people look for easier alternatives than following a diet or increasing their activity levels.
Localized thinning is promoted as a way to quickly reduce fat in problem areas. This method appeals to the belief that working muscles in problem areas is the best way to burn fat at that specific point. However, fat loss does not work that way, and there is little scientific evidence to support this claim. Localized thinning is promoted as a way to reduce fat reserves in specific areas through specific exercises. Is localized thinning possible? Although fat loss directed at specific areas of the body would be ideal; localized thinning theory has not been proven effective by scientific studies.
How fat loss works
To understand why the localized thinning theory may not be effective, it is important to understand how the body burns fat. Fat in your body’s cells is in the form of triglycerides, which are stored fats that the body can use as energy. Before they can be burned for energy, triglycerides must be broken down into smaller sections called free fatty acids and glycerol, which can enter the bloodstream. During exercise, free fatty acids and glycerol used as fuel can come from anywhere in the body, not specifically from the area being exercised. Most studies have discredited localized thinning. In addition to not relating to how the body burns fat, a number of studies have shown that localized thinning is ineffective. For example, a study in 24 people who only completed six-week abdominal exercises found no reduction in abdominal fat .
Another study that followed 40 women with overweight and obesity for 12 weeks found that resistance training of the abdominal had no effect on the loss of fat from the abdomen, in comparison with dietary intervention alone . A study focused on the effectiveness of upper body resistance training had similar results. This 12-week study included 104 participants who completed a training program that exercised only their non-dominant arms. The researchers found that although some fat loss occurred, it was widespread throughout the body, not just the arm that was exercised.
Several other studies have resulted in similar findings, concluding that localized slimming techniques are not effective in burning fat in specific areas of the body . However, a small number of studies have had contradictory results. A study in 10 people found that fat loss was higher in areas near muscle contraction . Another recent study that included 16 women found that localized resistance training followed by 30 minutes of cycling resulted in increased fat loss in specific areas of the body ( 12 ).While the results of the latter studies justify further research, both had possible reasons for conflicting results, including measurement techniques and a small number of participants. Despite these atypical studies, most scientific evidence shows that it is not possible to lose fat in a specific area by exercising only that part of the body.