Monday, August 10, 2009

Spot the Myth in Spot Reduction

Spot Reduction - The Targeted Fat Burn

The Spot Reduction Myth is the myth that you can lose fat specifically in one area, through the focusing of exercise on that area, and is one that's caused both exercising disappointments and the success of the sham exercise machines that frequent daytime TV infomercials.

Spot Reduction is what can be referred to as a 'Factoid Propagation'. A factoid propagation, known sometimes as a truism, enshrined myth or false assumption is a logical fallacy where a mere proposition has become stated as one that is either:
  • "(a) an objectively established fact; or
  • (b) so taken-for-granted by 'reasonable people' that it is 'beyond question'" - Hunting Humbug - Jef Clark and Theo Clark (the free eBook version can be viewed here).
The factoid has been so commonly assumed to be true that it has become known as the truth and therefore becomes more and more enshrined as a well established truth, far off its actual status as a mere preposition. This is certainly the case of the Spot Reduction weight loss myth.

Upon eating fats, they are chemically broken down by the enzyme lipase into smaller chemicals, a main one being glycerol (also known as glycerin or glycerine), as well as the ester glyceride. These smaller chemicals are able to pass through the wall of the gut into the blood where they can be reconstituted as fat, that consequently travels through the blood stream to be used. What isn't used it stored as fat to act as an insulator, a shock absorber and a fuel reserve.

"Although fat is lost or gained throughout the body it seems the first area to get fat, or the last area to become lean, is the midsection (in men and some women, especially after menopause) and hips and thighs (in women and few men)."

"Fat is lost throughout the body in a pattern dependent upon genetics, sex (hormones), and age. Overall body fat must be reduced to lose fat in any particular area." -

Ergo, in men the apple shape and in woman the pear shape.

The Spot Reduction myth is most often known because of the many misconceptions of toning. Toning is essentially gaining muscle mass and lowering your overall fat percentage as to gain that more 'cut' muscular appearance. So focusing on muscle groups will, if done properly, give you muscle growth and this is important in toning. However if you were to focus on a particular muscle group, such as the commonly targeted abdominal muscles, you will not use up the fat surrounding this area but will merely lower your overall fat percentage.

Word of the Blog
val⋅e⋅tu⋅di⋅nar⋅i⋅an - [val-i-tood-n-air-ee-uhn]
1. an invalid.
2. a person who is excessively concerned about his or her poor health or ailments.
3. in poor health; sickly; invalid.
4. excessively concerned about one's poor health or ailments.
5. of, pertaining to, or characterized by invalidism.

Video of the Blog
Sent to me by Sam Barber

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