Scientific studies show targeted spot fat reduction is not possible, yet targeted fat loss, also known as “spot reduction” is still a popular idea.
According to Elena Perry, writer of the Yale Scientific site, it’s because it has its appeal. The idea that we can specifically choose where we lose fat is a very attractive one.
A targeted fat loss study done in Irvine, California in 1971 has valid proof of how spot reduction is a fancy.
The research studied tennis players whose right arms and left arms have been consistently subjected to very different amount of exercise over several years.
Consequently, if spot specific fat loss has its validity, the player’s non-dominant arms would have thicker layers of fat or more specifically subcutaneous fat compared to their dominant arms.
However, when the player’s arms were measured, they showed no significant difference in the thickness of the fat layers between dominant and non-dominant arms.
A more recent study from 2007 showed a similar result. The University of Connecticut performed a study on 104 participants over a period of 12 weeks. The participants were enrolled in a resistance-training program where their non-dominant arm was selectively exercised.
Though when the participants’ arms were measured, there was no apparent difference in the thickness of fat layers between the exercised, non-dominant arm and non-exercised, dominant arm.
Rather, the result showed fat loss was generalized (losing fat equally from both arms).
Researchers explained there are a few physiological reasons why targeted fat loss does not work. The fat contained in the fat cells exits in a form known as triglycerides.
Muscle cells, however, cannot directly use triglycerides as fuel.
They need to be broken down into glycerol and free fatty acids to enter the bloodstream. As a result, the fat broken down to be used as fuel during prolonged exercise can come from anywhere in your body, not just the part that being worked the most.
While there’s no single exercise or diet that can specifically help you spot reduce fat in your legs. Burning calories is the key to reducing your overall body fat, and losing fat in your thighs and legs.
HIIT heart-pumping cardio is going to make that happen.
Choose the type of cardiovascular exercises that burn the most calories, such as jumping rope and rowing. They will help you lose the thigh fat and also tone the legs while shedding unwanted fat.