Targeting Fat through Exercise

23 Apr
The following excerpt has no scientific basis behind it and is simply my own opinion of fat loss. The statements should only be taken as opinion and not as scientific fat.  Please consult your physician if you have any questions in regards to losing weight and before starting any type of exercise regimen.

I have read hundreds of articles on whether or not you can specifically target areas of fat through diet and exercise.  I am going to use this forum to talk through the process and try to better understand this myself. While the research says it is a definitive no, that it cannot target specific areas, I honestly feel that it is more of a gray area no.  Let me be clear, I do not think that doing a million sit ups or squats will burn the fat only in those areas, however, I do think that you burn more fat in areas that you are moving than other areas of the body you aren’t, especially during exercise.  Please, do not take what I have to say in the following paragraphs as scientific fact.  This is simply me, talking myself through some logic.

We live in a world where one principle, following the path of least resistance, is true for most anything in physics. Take for example, water or electricity. Water when it is flowing down a stream and comes to a bend is going to more likely try to cut that bend off over time, making as straight a path as possible. Electricity is going to travel through wire that is made of copper faster than it will other materials like aluminum or steel because copper is more conducive to carrying the electricity.

Wouldn’t you think our bodies would follow this same principle. I’m only talking during exercise and not after.  Think about it. The first thing our body uses for fuel is glucose and glycogen stores within the muscle and the bloodstream. It does this because it is the easiest energy to obtain and is the most readily available.  After that, the body is going to pull from one of two sources either fat or proteins in the muscle.  Hopefully it is pulling from the former.  That being the case, wouldn’t you think that, during exercise, the body would want to fuel the muscle with fat from the nearest source? I understand that while yes, the rest of the body is going to be breaking fat down into glucose to get it into the bloodstream as quickly as possible, it has to be pulling a more readily available source of energy.  That’s where I feel that it has to pull the glucose from the broken down fat nearest to the muscle. So if you are doing squats, before the rest of the body has an opportunity to break down the fat, it is already pulling fat from the leg area.

Again, I’m not saying go out and do a bagillion squats and your legs will be fat free. Eventually, I’m guessing within a minute, your bloodstream is going to be infatuated with energy from broken down fat from all over the body. Think about fat accumulation, the first places that fat is going to accumulate is around major arteries, first around those closest to the surface and second around the ones deeper in the body. The second place is going to be around major organs.   The first scenario, around major arteries serves a couple of purposes. First, it helps to insulate the body and prevent heat loss through the bodies surface.  The second is, having it so close to those major vessels allows for quicker absorption to get energy to where the body needs it. The second scenario is clear, the fat accumulates around the organs to protect it from impact as well as provide lasting energy to help it perform its basic duties.

Don’t you think these same principles would apply to the muscles as well? We tend to accumulate fat first in the arms and legs and then the excess beyond that goes into the stomach or buttocks regions. Depending on your body shape and genetics, some may accumulate more in certain areas like the buttocks more than others.

I don’t know about you, but anytime I read an article that states definitively that fat isn’t targeted through exercise has left out the gray area that I have mentioned.  One last time, I’m not saying that doing a specific exercise will eliminate fat in that area. Keep track of your fat loss and see what happens when you walk more, squat, bench press, or do pull ups.  My guess is that you will see the fat diminish from the legs and arms first, followed by the chest area and then last but not least, you will begin to see adipose disappear from your mid section.

What are your thoughts on fat loss? Do you have any tips to help others lose weight? Where do you think the science will be in 10 years?

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