Spot Reduction of Fat

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How do I lose extra pounds from hips/ thighs? How to reduce fat from my belly? What should I do to tone my arms and sides? How can I lose weight from my face so that my jaw line appears?

These are some of the questions I get to see every day online or get asked by clients. The easy answer for me or anyone would be to tell couple of exercises that work the particular body part in question and enlighten the person with basics of clean eating patterns. However, I never for once used this method. Why so you may think? Apparently, it’s not the complete truth.

To begin with, spot reduction of fat from one particular part of body is scientifically not possible. When you gain weight, you gain it on your complete body and when you lose, it happens in the same way. Only difference is, some parts of your body tend to gain/ lose more weight compared to rest of the body.

Also, the area of weight gain is dissimilar based on gender. So, in case of men lower abdomen is a prominent weight gain area commonly known as beer belly, where as in case of women hips and thighs are the major concern area.

Now, what can be done to target fat from the body (and not from specific part of the body)? The simple strategy is to modify the diet and start an activity to expend energy.

The formula for weight loss is:

Weight loss= calories intake< calories expenditure

So, in lame terms eat less, move more. But, you may ask, “eat less by how much?” Or how much more I need to move?” To understand this let’s look at a banal calculation:

Let us assume that your daily required calorie intake based on BMR* (Basal Metabolic Rate) calculation is 2500kcal.

In order to reduce weight you start to eat 500kcal less every day.

So, in a week total number of calories reduced by 500*7=3500kcal and in nerd language, 3500kcal equals 1 pound.

Hence after a week your weight will be 1 pound less than the last week. Voila, you have lost weight!

By the way, 1 pound drop in weighing scale per week is most appropriate weight reduction for long term weight loss goal as there is less chance of you putting it back Vis a Vis a sudden drop of 2-3 pounds.

Here, you can choose to reduce the amount of calorie intake by 500kcal or can make a mix of diet and workout to create calorie deficiency. For example eating 300kcal less and burning 200kcal in activity will again have the same effect of lowering the total calories.

You need to take into account that all the weight that you put on happened over the years and is not going to go away in few days. You have to be patient with the process and develop positive relationship with food and activity. Remember slow progress is better than no progress. So, start slowly and work gradually to achieve the body you desire.


*BMR shows the total number of calories you need just for your body to function or it is an estimate of the number of calories your body uses in a day, at rest. You can calculate the BMR by the below mentioned method:

For Female:

BMR= 655+ (4.35*weight in lbs.) + (4.7*height in inches)-(4.7*age in years)

For Male:

BMR= 66+ (6.23*weight in lbs.) + (12.7*height in inches)-(6.8*age in years)




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