Spot Reduction: Can You Target Problem Body Areas?

Pexels // CC0 licence

When it comes to achieving the body of your dreams, the chances are that you will feel some areas of your body need a little more focus than others. We all have areas of our body that we are particularly self-conscious about, with the thighs, upper arms, and abdominal region usually topping the list of areas that cause the most concern.

If you have such an area, then you may find yourself tempted to try and target your weight loss towards that specific part of your body. This seems like a sensible solution, especially if you are in good shape generally, and just have a particular concern that you’d like to improve – but does it work?


Introducing spot reduction

The scenario described above – wanting to target weight loss to a specific area – is known as “spot reduction”. Proponents of this technique suggest that you can target fat burning and reduction to specific body parts, usually by controlling caloric intake and focusing exercise on the area in question. For example, if you are trying to remove fat from your stomach, you’d focus on abdominal exercises.

It is important to note that spot reduction focuses on fat loss rather than toning. It is possible to tone an area by exercising a specific body part; the question over spot reduction is whether it is possible to cause actual fat loss in specific areas also.


Does spot reduction work?

 It very much depends on who you ask.

Some studies have found in favour of spot reduction, which sounds like great news, except for the fact that other studies have shown spot reduction doesn’t work. As a result, the picture is rather confusing, and may be largely down to individual body type and genetics – overall, studies have found predominantly against the idea, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t see benefits if you try it.

If you want to try spot reduction, then exercise is far more likely to deliver results than eating in a specific way. We all see adverts every now and then for “foods that will help trim your abdominal fat!”, but these are to be ignored – the food you eat cannot “target” any area of fat, only exercise can do that (and even then, with variable efficacy).


What are the alternatives to spot reduction?

If you’re not convinced that spot reduction will work, or have tried to focus fat loss on a specific area and haven’t seen results, then your best option is usually cosmetic surgery of the type performed by Dr Eddy Dona and similar reputable surgeons. Cosmetic surgery can be targeted to a specific area in order to deliver spot results, which tends to allow for better results than exercise alone.


In conclusion 

If you have been seeking to boost your confidence by improving an area of your body that makes you feel self-conscious, then spot reduction may be effective for this – but it is far from guaranteed. If you want definitive results, cosmetic surgery may be your best option, which you can further enhance with specific exercises for toning rather than weight loss.