Spot Reduction! How to lose fat from the belly?


Spot Reduction” is the process of reducing fat from one target spot!

Most often, people want to spot reduce fat from their belly…and some of the want to reduce it from their hands, thighs etc. However, the belly fat is also known as “stubborn fat” for a reason!

How does fat breakdown?

Fat is stored in the fat-cell (adipocyctes) as triglycerides. These triglycerides are released from the fat-cells, when there is a calorie deficit in our body, i.e when our calorie intake is lesser than the calorie expenditure. This process, also known as Lipolysis is done with the help of certain hormone called Catecholamine.

Think of it this way – catecholamine is the key that opens the door lock of the fat-cells, to take triglycerides out of it. Or in other words, Catecholamine (key) binds with the receptors (door-lock) in the fat-cells, to open them and release fatty acids so that they can be used for energy.

There are 2 types of door locks – one is a fast responding one (Beta Receptor) and the other is a slow responding type (Alpha Receptor)

The fat around our tummy is the one with the slow responding alpha receptor variety. And this is PRECISELY the reason, it is called as a stubborn fat. This is in fact, nature’s mechanism to protect the internal reproductive organs.

The fat cells seen around the face, neck, upper back etc are usually the fast responding type (beta receptor). So when you start losing body fat, because of a calorie deficit, the fat goes away from the face & neck first!

However, this is also dependent on genetic factors! You would have noticed, some people have more fat around arms, thighs, etc.

Anyway, long story short – it is not possible to spot reduce fat through a healthy diet and exercise. Fat gets taken away because there is a calorie deficit..and when body does that, it does not necessarily take it from the area you exercises.

Think of it this way – when you take a bucket of water from a well, do u find a hole there ?? No! water instead levels out..and in our body too,its nearly the same..but more favouring the fat reducting from face and neck in the initial stages for the reasons i earlier mentioned.

haha! so that means, no point doing 100 crunches for your belly fat 😉

So what happens when you do so many crunches?

When you perform exercises targeted at that area, the muscles there become stronger and better. For ex, with crunches, if done right, improves the ability of the core muscles – especially the favourite 6-packs muscles called Rectus Abdominis. However, the fat layer around that muscle is still there and will not go away unless they are used by the body because there is a calorie deficit.

Performing crunches can sometimes be detrimental for people who are slightly over weight and may cause back pain (Read more here –

Spot Reduction, however, is possible if you go under knife – i.e surgically removing fat from the body.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Himanshu Saleria

    I really love your posts! Short and crisp! Keep it up 🙂 💪💪

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