Many so-called health and fitness professionals will tell you that it is impossible to spot reduce. Basically meaning that you cannot lose fat from a particular area of choice.
Well I am here to challenge that and tell you that it is possible.
However before we pop the champagne and pull the party poppers there is something I need to clear up.
Spot reduction does not work in the way many people think it does, ie: by doing abdominal exercises, this will not melt fat directly from your abdominals (for more on that read this article)
And unfortunately the secret to losing those bat wings on the back of your arms is not by doing hundreds of repetitions of tricep pushdowns.
Now if it was that easy, I would simply prescribe you several leg exercises and whalla, PERFECT LEGS. And this would be the end of this article.
But back to reality!
Would it surprise you to find that the fat deposits found in your calf muscle are in direct correlation to your quality of sleep?
Well its true.
By simply getting a better nights sleep, you can significantly reduce fat from your calves.
The same thing happens with abdominal fat.
If you start by simply reducing your stress levels, you will be on your way to a slimmer stomach in no time.
Stress produces the hormone cortisol, and cortisol is responsible for storing fat where you dislike it most. Right across the front of your stomach.
So less stress = less cortisol = less stomach fat
Now I want to keep this article simple and straight to the point. So I am not going to get all science on you. I will write this is the most easiest way to understand possible.
So Lets get started.
Get your estrogen levels in check
The war on thigh fat is in a continuous battle against the hormone estrogen.
When a women’s estrogen levels are at optimum levels, your body will naturally create more growth hormone GH, which is the hormone involved in the burning of fat for energy. GH also plays many other positive roles within your body. Keeping you young for one.
On the other hand higher estrogen is usually associated with increased body fat.
This is because fat cells actually produce estrogen. So, if you’re overweight, you’ll likely have too much estrogen. Then, elevated estrogen alters thyroid function, slowing your metabolism.
Here are 3 tips on how to get your estrogen levels back to normal
Limit chemicals found in food
Plant pecdicides would be on the top of the list to look out for.
Wash your plant products to remove any unwanted chemicals that may have made its way onto the product throught the production process.
If you can, try eat organic straight from the farm products.
Don’t use BPA bottles
Bpa is used to make certain plastic and epoxy resins. Epoxy resins containing BPA are used as coatings on the inside of many food and beverage cans.
Studies have indicated that there is a direct correlation between BPA and fat storage.
Look after that liver of yours
Your liver plays a very important role in estrogen and fat metabolism
Alcohol and artificial sweeteners to name couples all need to pass through your liver. By reducing these amounts you will reduce the stress that your liver undertakes during the detoxification process.
- Eat proteins as this is a necessary component in the detoxification process.
- Improve your ph levels. You can do this by adding lemon or lime to your water.
- Eat your greens. These foods will help the liver to break down and remove fat from your body.
Fat Melting Tip 2
Increase Testosterone levels
In his book The Hormone Of Desire, Rako maintains
“testosterone is the hormone most critically implicated in the maintenance of libido, or sexual desire, in women just as it is men, furthermore helping aid in weight loss
Here is a great way to increase your testosterone by manipulating your training.
Use full body movements.
Simply put the more muscles you use the more fat you lose.
It is that exact reason that squats, lunges, deadlifts and other full body movements are integral in the war against fat.
I cringe when I see someone on a fat loss journey busting out countless repetitions of bicep curls, tricep pushdowns and even leg extensions.
These exercises focus on singular muscle groups and do not follow the “more muscles you use the more fat you lose” principal to work.
Here Are My 5 Top Exercises For Fat Loss!
- Squats – Utilize the many variations available.
- Walking Lunges – Hold a dumbbell in each hand to increase your work rate.
- Chin Up/ Pull Ups
- Overhead presses
Fat Melting Tip 3
Use super setting to avoid time wasting.
Super setting will also allow you to elicit more GH throughout exercise, this is the hormone that basically fights fat.
For example: Do 1x set of Barbell Squats with only 30-60 seconds rest followed by 1x set of Chin Ups or Pushups.
The benefit here is that you are using different muscle groups in each set. Which means that you are giving the muscles you use in squats time to recover until the next set.
Here are some other great super set examples.
- Squat with Hamstring Curl
- Pushup with Chin Up
- Shoulder Press with Pull Up
Bonus Fat Melting Tip!
Use sprint training.
Every program we create we ensure we add an element of sprint training to it.
Because it works.
You can use a protocol like this one used in a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning. It consisted of 6x 35-m sprints at maximum effort with a 10-second recovery between each sprint. Performed 2x per week.
Or another protocol used in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. As little as 3 HIIT sessions per week, involving 10 min of intense exercise within a time commitment of 30 min per session, including warm-up, recovery between intervals and cool down, has been shown to improve aerobic capacity, skeletal muscle oxidative capacity, fat loss, exercise tolerance and markers of disease risk after only a few weeks in both healthy individuals and people with cardiometabolic disorders.
Some studies have even found up to a 9x greater fat loss response by using sprint training vs continuous training.
The landmark study in interval training was from Tremblay.
This study pitted 20 weeks of aerobic endurance training against 15 weeks of interval training:
Energy cost of Aerobic endurance training = 28661 calories Energy cost of interval training = 13614 calories (less than half)
The interval training group showed a nine times greater loss in subcutaneous fat than the endurance group (long continuous exercise at a moderate pace) WOW did you read that correct. Calorie for calorie, the interval training group lost nine times more fat overall.
Here is another reason why sprint training literally kicks arse against long cardio.
Another study from the Journal of Sports Nutrition showed that 2 minutes of sprint training had comparable results to that of 30 minutes continuous cardio.
DISCLAIMER: the 2 minutes of sprint training is done at maximum effort, not at the same effort as long slow cardio.
Ok enough of the studies I think you get the point.
Here is a sprint training progression that you could use.
IMPORTANT: Be sure to warm up correctly when doing any form of sprint training to avoid injury.
Here is an example sprint training session you could use, I actually used this one fairly frequently.
- 45 seconds RPE = 5/10
- 15 seconds RPE = 10/10 meaning go as hard as you can
Repeat this for 7 Minutes and you are done.
This is a great way to finish of a workout.
For more fat burning workout challenges you can click here.
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Tremblay A, Simoneau JA, Bouchard C. Impact of exercise intensity on body fatness and skeletal muscle metabolism. Metabolism. 1994 Jul;43(7):814-8
Hazell TJ, Olver TD, Hamilton CD, Lemon PWR. 2012. Two minutes of sprint-interval exercise elicits 24-hr oxygen consumption similar to that of 30 min of continuous endurance exercise. Int. J. Sport Nutr. Exerc. Metab. 22(4): 276-283
Barba, M., et al. Urinary estrogen metabolites and prostate cancer: a case-control study and meta-analysis. Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research. 2009. 28:135.
Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 10.1139/apnm-2013-0187