By Jarrod Agosta, Accredited Practising Dietitian & Nutritionist

This month we tackle another weight loss myth. Whilst many diet or exercise programs will have you believe that targeted weight loss is possible, it simply isn’t.

It is true that weight appears and disappears from some areas of the body quicker than others. Men typically lose their belly fat first, whilst women lose fat all over the body but tend to retain weight around their hips and thighs. However, this is due to genetics, gender and hormones.

It is impossible to pick and choose where the fat on your body will disappear from simply by doing a specific exercise, such as sit-ups to get rid of excess belly fat. Personal trainers or so-called nutrition experts call this “spot reduction” or “targeted weight loss” and it’s evident why it has such an appeal: many people wouldn’t consider themselves to be overweight but may have one or two trouble areas that this kind of marketing preys upon. However, the notion that we are in control of this, or can specifically target certain areas from which to lose fat is a myth.

The only way to decrease unwanted excess kilos is to decrease your energy intake whilst also increasing your energy expenditure.

Managing calories in vs calories out will cause an energy deficit and cause weight loss. Now we obviously need to ensure we meet 100% of our nutrient needs and this is where choosing the most nutritious foods matters, to really make the most of the calories that we take in.  This is also where, as an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist, I can help you. We look at your diet and lifestyle, including the nutritional profile of what you usually eat and how much physical activity you do, and create a plan that suits you, to help you achieve your weight loss goals.

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