There is no end to the amount of nails that can be put in this fitness myth’s coffin, so why not add another? No, there is NOTHING you can do to make your body lose fat in a specific place outside of surgery. You may stop reading now.

…But Why?

Well if you wish to know, your body doesn’t store fat in specific places to fuel specific muscles. For this same reason, your muscles don’t get their fuel from specific fat deposits. People love to think they can crunch their way to 6-pack abs, but what is really going on during a crunch? You may feel the burn in your abdominals, but every muscle in your body is tensing up to hold your body’s position, your heart and lunges are working harder, and your brain is sending¬†stronger electrical signals to your body to perform the movement. In case you didn’t know, every one of those processes requires energy, and there are thousands of processes going on at the molecular level to make each of them possible.

Losing body fat is akin to draining a pool. The first fat to disappear will be from the last place it went, just like the shallowest end of the pool goes first and the last to go¬†is the deep end. Because our body’s prefer to keep extra weight close to our center of mass, the first place fat is deposited is around our mid-section, making everyone’s “deep end” the lower back, “love-handles” and belly fat.

Now your “shallow-end” is up to your body’s genetics. Men and apple-shaped women tend to spill their fat over from the belly to the lower back, chest, upper back and arms first, whereas pear-shaped women and some men will overflow into the glutes and thighs. Because the amount of fat cells your body can reproduce is virtually unlimited, they can eventually flood into fingers, toes, and even the back of your head. Everyone is different, but the rule of “last hired, first fired” still applies. The first fat to go will be the last place it went, and it that will continue until your lower back, hips and stomach are as fit and flat as they can be.

Depending on how much your skin has had to expand to accommodate excessive fat stores, and how many fat cells your body has generated, you may or may not have the abdominal definition you desire once you have lost all the fat you can afford to lose. This is an unfortunate fact about our bodies, but if it is something important to you and you have the means to do so, surgery can be a viable option to remove excess skin and empty fat cells. Such procedures have become so common that finding a skilled and affordable surgeon is easier than it was years ago.