How do you spot reduce? The simple answer is you don’t.

 

Despite what you may have read or heard you cannot dictate where you lose fat from.
Doing all the crunches in the world won’t shrink your stomach.
Side bends won’t get rid of love handles.
Curtsy lunges won’t get rid of saddles bags.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but your body doesn’t work that way.
However, you can make it look like you’ve spot reduced.
How?
Build up surrounding muscle and lose body fat.

 

While fat loss isn’t body part specific, building muscle is. Focus on what you can control instead of trying to change what you can’t.
Lifting weights will help change how your body looks. When you have more muscle and less fat you’ll look more “toned”, fewer things jiggle, and you’ll look leaner (because you are) even if the scale says differently.
By building a bigger back you can make your waist look smaller. Work on your glutes for a more shapely booty, not to mention a more proportionate butt can help make your thighs appear smaller.
More muscular triceps (back of arms)? Less jiggling when you wave.
Where to start?
Don’t be afraid to lift heavy. I promise you won’t get bulky. I wish it were that easy to build muscle. Truth is, it takes years to get to that point and you’re not going to get there by accident.
Don’t be afraid to spend some time in a caloric surplus. Yes, you need to be in a deficit to lose body fat but it’s not healthy to stay there for an extended period of time (more on that next week). In order to build muscle, you need fuel. Plus, the more muscle mass you have the more calories you burn throughout the day. See how spending some time building could make it easier to lose body fat later?
Don’t jump around with your workouts. Have a plan and stick with it. If you’re constantly changing up your workouts it’s not only difficult to measure progress but it’s also going to be harder to get the overload necessary for muscle growth. Make sure the program is specific to your goals, is something you can do, and is something you are willing and able to do consistently. Hint: if you’re dreading it before you even start it might not be the right program for you.
Do spend some time in a caloric deficit to reduce body fat. That’s how you get to see those muscles you worked so hard for. Be like Goldilocks; you don’t want to stay in a deficit too long, but you also don’t want to drop your calories too low too quickly, find the sweet spot in the middle.
Whether you should start with a caloric surplus or deficit depends on a number of factors:
  1. Are you currently dieting?
    1. If so, for how long? What were your starting calories and where are you now? If you’ve been dieting for a while (more than 4 months) it might be a good time to get out of a deficit and focus on building muscle.
    2. If not, have you ever dieted before?
      1. How long ago?
      2. How many times?
  2. What are your current calories/macros?
    1. Are you maintaining, gaining, or losing weight?
  3. How are your energy levels?
  4. How stressed are you?
  5. Which is more important to you right now: building muscle or losing body fat? Hint: there’s no right or wrong answer.
  6. Which do you feel you’ll be able to commit to right now? Be honest with yourself. Again, there’s no right or wrong answer.
Need help figuring out the best program for you? Send me a message.
Note: I’m in no way saying you should want to change your body simply because your arms jiggle or you have a little extra fat on your hips. My goal is to help steer those who are looking to change their body composition in the right direction. If you’re happy with the way you look and have no desire to change it, keep on rocking.
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