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STOP the MYTH! You can't spot reduce!

Updated: Sep 9, 2022

Recently, many of my friends and former co-workers here in Hong Kong have been asking me about losing body fat in some hard-to-lose regions such as the belly and the waistline. This is called spot reduction. I've even seen a lot of youtube video ads for machine spot reductions. I am going to bring you some bad news in this blog. Spot reduction is one of the biggest myths in weight loss that has been perpetuated for decades. Even if a machine can help you in spot reduction, your body will naturally want to add fat to your core making a machine weight-loss as pointless as Uvalde Police Department.

The reality is that your body draws energy from your overall fat cells that are stored in your body. I want you to think of the fat deposit in your body as a gas tank. Is it possible to pump fuel to your engine from only the right side of the gas tank? Of course not! It is impossible. Your body fat works exactly the same way. Body fat's function is to store energy so that your body can use its energy.

Instead, to lose body fat, you need to be in what we call calorie deficit. When you are in a calorie deficit, your body is burning fat for energy. This is why you are losing body fat. You are consuming less food than your body needs. However, you need to remember that it doesn't mean that you should starve yourself. You need to make sure that you still eat enough food or you may run into many problems such as muscle mass loss or malnutrition.

So here are three tips on how you can lose weight and maintain good nutrition:

1. In one of my previous blogs, I mentioned, Calculate your TDEE. TDEE is Total Daily Calories Expenditure. For example, your tdee is 2000 calories. You will need to be in a deficit to lose weight.

2. In my weight management and nutrition licensing program with my professor, Felix Harder, he modeled your diet after Harvard University's medical school. Your diet every day should consist of about 30% of different types and colours of vegetables, 20 mixed fruits, 25% lean proteins, and 25% whole grain carbs such as brown rice, brown bread, and whole grain pasta.

3. Start your day with a high protein diet. One of my favourite websites, Healthline, also agrees that starting the day with a high protein diet can help you reduce your over-calorie intake for the day. That is because proteins in general give you a more satiating feeling. With a higher thermic effect of food, you naturally snack less. In fact, Healthline, suggested that adding a protein shake for breakfast is a quick and convenient way to increase your protein intake while adding more micro-nutrients into your over diet. In fact, in one study, they found that 27 people with a high protein diet can reduce their chance of overnight snacking. When paired with mixed fruits and vegetables, a protein shake can also improve your overall nutrition intake in the morning.

So follow the following basic principles and get started on your better health journey.

-Herbawho Nutritionist. P.S. The Chinese translation for this blog will be delated due to upgrade to the Website.

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