From Arnie claiming that endless sit up would help you ‘whittle away your middle’ to the various infomercials on TV claiming to help you flatten and tone your stomach, the desire to drop some belly fat and have 6 pack abs has been known about and exploited for decades. But can you really drop fat from one specific area of your body?
The general answer is no, but advancements in technology means there can be ways to shift stubborn areas of fat from problem areas.
As a general rule you don’t have much control over where you store fat on your body. There are some correlations with certain hormonal profiles, such as those with high levels of cortisol tending to store more fat around their core than elsewhere, but the science in this area is fairly new. There’s a group of thought that by balancing out your hormonal profile you can encourage fat loss from particular areas, but it’s mostly anecdotal evidence at the moment.
There are medical and surgical approaches to getting rid of fat in a particular area, such as liposuction or CoolSculpting. Liposuction is a procedure during which the fat is sucked out from underneath the skin, and while there’s a recovery period involved it’s fairly effective. CoolSculpting is a non-surgical procedure which involves fat cells being frozen, after which they are secreted from the body in the following weeks. These obviously come with added expense, but if a quick solution is needed they can be hugely effective.
Generally speaking you’re best to stick with a calorie controlled diet and regular exercise over period of time. It may take a while to get the body you want, but you’ll see regular progress and you’ll feel far stronger and heathier.
Choosing a diet is a largely personal thing, and most will work as long as you’re eating less calories than you’re burning. Some people thrive on low-carb diets like Atkins, some enjoy the whole food approach the paleo diet offers, while the ‘if it fits your macros’ diet is increasing in popularity in the fitness community.
Be patient, stay the course and you’ll get the results you desire!