We all have an area of our body that we’re not happy with. Or, particularly not happy with.
For some, it’s the classics. You wish your waist was more nipped in, that your hips were narrower, that your upper arms were tauter. Perhaps you wish for slimmer thighs or a jawline that’s tight to the bone.
For others, it’s the less obvious areas. A slimmer upper back, so bra straps glaze effortlessly over the skin rather than creating the dreaded ‘back fat’. Perhaps you think your wrists should be more slender, or you daydream of the perfect neck nape that can arch like a swan.
We all have these areas – it’s one of the most uniting things, in fact. While you may be generally satisfied with the rest of your body, there’s always something that stands out as being in need of attention.
The Myth of “Targeted Weight Loss”
Unfortunately, the fact that these concerns are fairly universal opens them up to exploitation. There are more than enough unscrupulous companies who will take this knowledge and decide to run with it, offering a solution – in exchange for a lot of money, of course – that can conquer our body demon area once and for all.
With this problem, the snake-oil style sales tactics focus on the idea of “targeted weight loss”. They will sell you a product or a vegetable (lest we forget that the lobbying industry for vegetables is very much a thing – how else would a nonentity like kale have gone from an unknown to a must-have?) that is going to be able to target a specific area of your body.
Eat tomatoes to limit your stomach fat!
Fed up of your upper arms? You need yams!
And so on and so forth.
Some Of The Hype Is Based In Reality
Sometimes, what’s being advertised is a positive thing. Telling people to eat more tomatoes is never a bad thing; they’re extremely nutritious and many of the compounds they contain will help with fat loss. But there’s no way of helping with a certain area. It just doesn’t exist, it’s not possible, that’s not how the human body works.
It’s equivalent to those painkillers that tell you that they are for a specific type of pain, such as headaches or period pain. That’s marketing nonsense (and Australia, for example, have banned them as a result). It’s the same with diet and foods; they can’t target a particular area.
So What Does Work?
If you have a defined concern, then you should address it first and foremost through diet. There’s no doubt that general calorie control coupled with these weight loss ideas can help reduce your overall intake and improve your nutrition, which is the first step to tackling a stubborn area.
With that ticked off, target an area through exercise rather than diet. Research specific toning exercises for the area you’re concerned about, listen to your body energy levels and then try to do them regularly. It might not be an exciting, cure-all answer, but it’s a method that has one preference over the wild claims…
… It will actually work.
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.