Monday, November 3, 2008

SPOT REDUCTION

Men complain of getting too thin on the face and still have spare tire around the waist, women complain of having small busts and still have wide hips and huge buttocks. Body fat surprisingly has its own mind, it appears where it wants, mostly on the wrong places. When we talk about the areas where fat is gained in the body the PEAR shape is commonly found in women where fat is generally gained around thighs and buttocks. The APPLE shape is commonly found in man where fat is commonly gained around the abdominals. Keep note that these are the most predominant patterns but in some cases it can be found in either gender.

When we talk about gaining fat there are some data available where fat is gained and dominant areas gender wise.

KNEE:
Fat often builds up on the inside region of the knees in women

UPPER ARM:
Also common in women, fat builds up can occur in the middle of upper areas of the upper arm – typically covering the tricep area.

ABDOMEN:
Fat builds around the navel area is common in both genders. It is also one of the few fat deposits that are also found in slim women.

INNER THIGH:
Fat storage between the thighs is common in women – but also occurs with men. It is more noticeable in women due to the width of the pelvis that in turn influences the position on the thigh (Femur).

OUTER THIGH:
Sometimes called “Riding Breeches” – this area is the most likely place for the pitted or “quilted” appearances of cellulite. This fat concentration also blends with fat tissue on the inner thigh and the buttocks.

BUTTOCKS:
Without fat here – sitting would be quite uncomfortable. Fat is held in place by the gluteal fold. If significant fat is lost from buttock, then only appropriate training can prevent the buttock from sagging down against the thigh.

LOWER BACK:
This fat concentration often merges with the buttock area.

CHEST:
Breast tissue comprises the mammary gland (one’s’ endowment) surrounded by fat. Men also have atrophied glands and fat in this area. Both sexes gain fat in this area. In men this can sometimes be mistaken for the condition of gynecomastia – a condition that includes not only fat build up, but growth in gland tissues.

The question of spot reduction has been thrown at me a million times while on radio and TV shows; unfortunately my answer has to be I really dun know how to do the magic of spot reduction as the proven studies confirms that spot reduction is impossible. The following study conduct by the University of Massachusetts during mid 1980s showed some interesting evidence.

In the investigation, 13 male subjects participated in a vigorous abdominal exercise training program, for 27 days. Each participant in the study was required to perform a total of 5,000 sit-ups over the course of research project. Fat biopsies were obtained from the subject’s abdomens, buttocks and upper backs before and after the exercise program. Contrary to what spot reduction proponents would have you believed, the results of the study confirms that fat decreased similarly in all three sites, not just the abdominal region.

You maybe thinking about multi million dollar industry of products which claims spot reduction on the waist, thigh and buttocks, the reality based of scientific studies cast doubt on the validity of spot reduction therefore these products. If you are to invest on exercise equipments invest wisely on something valid and something which works.

The news can be frustrating but the reality is SPOT REDUCTION is not proven.

References:
1 - Bryant, Cedric X, Ace Fitness Matters, January / February 2004.
2 – The Complete Guide to Personal Training
3 – Fit Facts, American Council on Exercise

3 comments:

Hilath said...

So any "gut" suggestions on what we could do about it? I am "suffering" from the same problem, too! :-)

Roo said...

Yes many women complain of what you said, what are the recommendations which will help?

Anonymous said...

good post, a doubt which all of us has.