How to Tone and Lose Fat in One Body Part

Is it possible to tone or burn fat in one specific body part, and if so, how do you spot reduce?

Ben Greenfield
4-minute read
Episode #5

How to Tone and Lose Fat in One Body Part

Wouldn’t it be fabulous if there were a convenient way to take one specific area of your body, like your butt, your abs, the back of your arms, or your thighs, and magically make all the fat in that area instantly disappear?

How to Tone and Lose Fat in One Body Part

But as you may have guessed, there is no magic wand you can wave, or one special exercise you can do, that will tone a specific muscle or body part and make fat there disappear. If performing one exercise actually worked, then you could do just a few hundred crunches a day and have magazine cover model washboard abs. Unfortunately, that doesn’t actually work. Trust me, I’ve tried.

In this article, you’ll learn the next best thing: a method for spot reducing that involves a combination of targeted exercise and cardio.

How Do You Burn Fat?

Before you learn how to spot reduce, let’s take a quick look at how fat burning actually works. The best way to explain it goes something like this:

Imagine you have a big barrel of crude oil in the trunk of your car. Even though your car’s engine uses gasoline, and crude oil is used to make gasoline, all that crude oil in your trunk isn’t doing you a bit of good unless it somehow gets converted into gasoline and put into your engine!

Your body is no different. Think of all that fat around your waistline like the crude oil in your car’s trunk. You can’t just take the fat and burn it right where it sits on your waistline, because your body must first convert the fat into a form of fuel that your body can actually burn for energy. Your body accomplishes that by taking the fat, sending it to the liver, and breaking it down in something called “free fatty acids”, which can then be used for energy.

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All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.