Excuse me while I tiptoe across the minefield of “spot reduction,” because it’s a controversial topic. You’ve probably heard your whole dieting life that you can’t spot reduce. Well, there are ways you can spot reduce. One way is through exercising, and I base my opinion in science.
In 2006, researchers from the University of Denmark in Copenhagen took a group of guys and had them do leg extensions with a light weight on one leg only for 30 minutes straight. They did not exercise the other leg. Next, the researchers assessed blood flow to fat cells in both the exercised and resting legs, and they quantified the amount of fat released from fat cells in the legs.
Interesting: The exercised leg had a big surge in blood flow to it and a greater fat release, compared to the resting leg. So basically, the repetitive exercising for 30 minutes in one leg triggered the release of fat from that leg.
These results suggest that you can burn body fat selectively from the body part you’re exercising; in other words, you can spot reduce. The study examined fat on the thighs – which is extremely fat-burn resistant, so it’s good to see that by exercising, you can trim your thighs. Based on these findings, I think it’s safe to assume that you’ll get similar results in other areas of your body (like your tummy) from this sort of targeted, repetitive training.
What I suggest in the new edition of The 17 Day Diet is that you allot 17 minutes a day to exercising (with weights) a troublesome body part – one that you’d specifically like to spot reduce. I give exercise recommendations and a specific schedule in the new book.
For those of you who’d really like to concentrate on spot-reducing your belly, add a walking program to your exercise routine. Walking is a form of cardio that has been shown in numerous studies to whittle the waistline.
OK, get off the computer and go to the gym. Here’s to seeing less of you in a few weeks!