Spot reduction is the idea that you can reduce fat stores on a particular part of the body by focusing on training the local muscle groups. Many workout routines are based completely around this concept. They like to use terms like "tone" or "firm" as buzzwords to mean the area becomes more solid. In other words, the ratio of muscle to fat goes down. Well, spot reducing is a myth.
Fat and muscle tissue are made of two different substances and do not directly affect each other. In fact, they work in two very different ways.
Muscle cells are set up in long fibers from one end of a muscle to the other. When a muscle contracts, every muscle cell squeezes at the same time, using up a lot of energy that comes from the blood stream. Having a lot of muscle means that you burn more calories than average but your body will always be trying to return you to your normal state. It does not like waste.
Fat cells are not set up in any particular pattern, but do have a tendency towards being in certain areas of the body such as the belly or hips. Unlike muscle, fat is built to conserve calories instead of spending them. Just like muscle, fat gets a supply of energy to store from the blood stream. Unfortunately, the body has a tenancy to like fat due to the fact that it is better safe than sorry and a famine could come at anytime...
Now, spot reduction can be deduced to be the idea that muscle cells can take energy from the nearby fat cells either through the blood stream or more directly. The fact is that the blood stream moves too fast for something so local to really matter. Also, some fat stores are more willing to break down than others. Either way, there is no such thing as spot reducing fat at will.
But there is a silver lining. there is a general order in which fat stores are lost. Usually, fat is first lost at the extremities, followed by the arms and legs, and then eventually the center of the torso, the least mobile area. So say you wanted six pack abs; you would have to work hard to lose fat all over before you got to see them. While this might take time, atleast you will look completely healthy having lost all your bodyfat all over just to reach this point.
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