Nutrition

Fat Distribution and the Spot Reduction Myth

Fat Distribution and the Spot Reduction Myth

When we talk about fat distribution, we’re talking about the way in which an individual’s body composition is made up to store fat and build muscle. The way in which males and females store fat is very similar to the way in which we build muscle. When we build muscles, we have certain body parts that respond better and faster to a growth stimulus than others, which is why some body parts see greater results from training. With fat, we all have places in which we tend to store fat and lose fat from first and last, with each person being different.


Men’s and Women’s Fat Storage

Men will usually store fat on their abdominal region and back, whilst remaining leaner in their arms and legs. Women, however, will usually end up storing fat around their lower half of their body, legs and hips. This is driven by the different levels of hormones running through women and men. Although this may not be the case for some people, it is for the majority of males and females.

fat distribution

With that said, people often try to claim that this is an easy fix that can be solved with spot reduction. Spot reduction is where you train a certain body part in a particular way to help reduce body fat in that general area. This is entirely false and completely misleading. Fat cells are throughout the entire body, and when we exercise, our body has to use all of the fat cells for energy when needed. We cannot pick which cells we use by training that specific area, for if this was the case, we would all have a perfectly flat stomach with fatty legs and backs, since these are the muscle groups usually neglected in training.


How Do We Lose Fat?

If spot reduction is false, how can we go about losing fat in certain areas? This is actually really simple in terms of understanding how the body works in losing fat and the proper approach to go about it. The most simple way is the only way we can lose fat: you must be at a caloric deficit. It’s that simple. You must consume fewer calories than your TDE (Total Daily Expenditure) of calories is. This means if you eat 2000 calories a day, you must burn more than 2000 calories a day to lose weight.


Take-Home Message

If you notice you are gaining fat, think about the ways in which I just discussed about how males and females store and lose fat. If you are wanting to lose fat, stop believing that performing thousands of sit ups and crunches will get you abs and burn your belly fat. To burn fat, you must consume fewer calories than you consume or eat on a daily basis. Its that simple. Hope this helps gives you a better understanding of more myths and how your body stores fat.



Logan Berman

Logan Berman

Writer and expert


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