Is it possible to lose weight in a specific area of the body?

My workout

Published on 24 September 2013
by Jean-Denis Thomson

Is it possible to lose weight in a specific area when repeatedly doing exercises aiming at that particular area? The answer is no. A localised weight loss rendered possible by decreasing calorie intake or by repeating a specific exercise is still inconclusive. The only way to achieve it would be through surgery.

When practicing a physical activity or when working out, depending on intensity and time length, a certain amount of free fatty acids (FFA) is liberated in the blood stream to then be transformed into adenosine triphosphate molecules (ATP) that will be utilised by your muscles. The FFAs come from overall body fat reserve. And so, it is not by focusing your muscular training on a specific area, your abdominals for example, that you will get rid of the fat located there.

And so, in order to lose weight, you should favour a negative energy balance, meaning to expend more calories than you consume on a daily basis. This will allow you to lower you overall body-fat percentage, including at the area you were looking to improve. You will be able to achieve just that combining cardio and muscular training, and lowering your daily caloric intake.

Have a great work-out!

Jean-Denis Thomson
Kinesiologist, Training Department Director