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The Myth of Spot Burning Fat

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Spot Burning, also known as Spot Reduction and Targeted Fat Loss, is a method that many people use in an attempt to reduce fat in problem areas. For example, if someone wanted to reduce the amount of fat in their stomach area, they would complete one hundred crunches a day. It seems logical that exercising the abdominal muscles will reduce fat in the stomach. Many exercise equipment commercials guarantee that customers will lose fat in their stomach, arms or legs, if they buy a specific product. Unfortunately, it isn't true: Spot Burning does not eliminate fat.

At least, not in the way we want it to; according to Yale Scientific, the fat in fat cells are called triglycerides, and muscles cannot break them down and directly use them as fuel. They have to be broken down to into glycerol and free fatty acids. After this, they enter the bloodstream. The fat that can be used as fuel can come from anywhere in the body, not the part that's being exercised the most. In the end, there is a loss of fat, but it's from anywhere in the body, not necessarily the desired area.

The goal then should be to find ways to lose fat effectively throughout the body, and not just specific areas. Here are some exercises that will guarantee fat loss.


Cardiovascular Training

These exercises will increase your heart rate and cause more fat to burn. Running is one of the most popular ways to lose weight because it raises the heart rate, and builds endurance. Running outside or on a treadmill for 30 minutes a day can burn 300 calories. Watching the amount of caloric intake and the amount of time running will help shed fat sooner. Just remember to start out slow, with walking or jogging for a longer time, instead of sprinting for a short distance. This will allow more calories to be burned.

Performing cardio workouts at home is another option. You can either buy a machine, or begin jogging, jumping rope, or doing any other activities that interest you. The key is to find something you enjoy doing, that way you won’t get bored and quit.

Any exercises that can speed up your heart rate for a certain amount of time will burn fat. Playing the dance video game Just Dance has become a popular way to burn fat without noticing. Zumba is also a great way to burn calories by dancing.


Strength Training

When you start losing weight, it's a great idea to have some strength training in your workout. This will make sure that when you start losing weight, strong, toned muscles will show instead of weak and flabby ones. Performing exercises with dumbbells and weights like these here are a great start. If you don't have equipment at home or don't have a membership to a gym, you can do a wall-sit for 60 seconds, or do several lunges, calf raises, squats, and of course, push-ups to build those muscles.



Supplements can help burn fat as well. Two very cheap options are Caffeine and Green Tea Extract. Taking 200 to 400 mg of caffeine anhydrous with 500 to 1,000 mg of Green Tea Extract in the morning and an hour before workouts will do the trick. Adding spices to your food, like red pepper and ginger, can help you lose weight as well. According to, spicy food increases metabolism, which increases the rate that you burn fat. It can also decrease hunger. While losing weight it is common to get tired a little bit quicker during workouts. this is why we advise using a good pre workout supplement. We find that ones that are lower in caffeine and higher in nutrition make a big difference. If you are planning on doing cardio we do not recommend too much caffeine, only take the above recommended amounts for weightlifting, having an artificially elevated heart rate before jumping on a treadmill is not a smart idea.

Even though spot burning doesn't work, there are many other ways to burn fat. Make sure to be consistent with your workout routine and in how many calories you intake. If you do that, you'll not only lose your problem areas, you'll be a healthier human being.

About the Author

Ryan Blair is a freelance writer who has spent 12 years in the fitness industry doing just about everything including personal training for 6 years.  He now spends his time combining his love of writing with his experience in fitness.  If you want to contact him you can do so at:

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