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Targeting Fat Loss: The Biggest Myth In The Fitness Industry

If you’ve ever tried to get fit or lose weight, you tend to hop online and do a few Google searches. You end up watching YouTube videos or finding fitness pages on Instagram. After browsing for a short time, you come across various videos that provide workouts helping you reach your goal of losing weight. Or, more specifically, your goal is to lose weight from a certain area of your body – usually your stomach. So, you specifically look for videos that help you do just that. 

Now, you will come across so many videos that claim to help you lose fat from your tummy – or any other specific area of your body. These videos include exercises that are ‘designed’ to help you lose the excess weight that’s haunting you. The only problem is that they’re all a big fat lie. 

Targeting fat loss is a myth. You cannot do this, and there are no exercises that will help you lose fat from a specific area of your body. 


Your body burns fat based on your general balance of calories in versus calories out. In essence, your calories out will refer to the calories you burn throughout the day. This doesn’t just include the calories burned in a workout, it also includes calories you burn while walking around, eating, and so on. If you burn more calories than you consume in a day, you’re going to lose fat because you’re burning it as a source of fuel. This means you will lose fat from all over your body, not just a specific area. 

The confusion comes because you can definitely build muscle in specific areas of your body. If you went and squatted every single day for a year, you’d end up with really strong and muscular legs/glutes, but your upper body would be significantly less muscular. This is partially where the myth of targeted fat loss comes from. 

Mistaking muscle gain/toning with fat loss

A lot of the exercise videos that claim to help you lose weight from a particular area of your body get it all wrong. For example, videos that say you can lose underarm fat will include lots of exercises for the triceps muscles. Now, the problem with this is that doing those exercises will only help you build more toned triceps muscles. The chances are, if you only do those workouts, you are not going to lose weight at all. You will have stronger triceps, but the fat will still exist there. 

Instead, a more effective approach is to perform general cardio workouts to help you lose weight. Once you start losing weight, you can then add in the targeted workouts to tone the muscles. This will produce an effect that makes it feel like you’re losing fat from a specific area of your body. Yes, your arms will be slimmer – but so will your waist, legs, and everywhere else. Adding in the underarm workouts will just ensure that your underarms become more toned, which can make them seem even less fat. 

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Is it ever possible to target fat loss from an area of your body?

We’ve already said that any exercise video that claims to help you lose fat from an area of the body is a lie. However, is it possible to target fat loss using other methods? The answer to this is yes and no. No, you will never be able to target a specific area for fat loss through exercising and dieting alone. The only way it is possible is through some type of cosmetic surgery. 

For instance, liposuction can be used to drain excess fat cells from an area of your body. Many people try this if they have lost a lot of weight but there’s still stubborn fat from a problem area that they can’t get rid of. We all retain fat in different ways, and some people might retain it in a certain part of their body no matter what they do. In situations like this, procedures like liposuction or a tummy tuck are the only way you can target fat loss. 

Well, there are non-surgical options as well, thanks to advances in cosmetic technology. Some treatments involve using laser devices to melt away the fat cells from an area of your body, while others involve freezing them to death. In either case, no surgery is needed to achieve targeted fat loss. 

Overall, it’s important that you understand it is impossible to lose fat from a specific area of your body by doing certain exercises. Your best approach is to just focus on losing weight overall, and the results will come.



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