We all have some parts of our body that we are particularly uncomfortable with, and training these areas extra hard will help us shed fat from that specific area, right? But is it really true that adding more crunches to your exercise routine will help you with that excess belly fat?

First things first, your body cannot use stored fat as a source of fuel directly. These stored triglycerides must first be broken down and enter our bloodstream before they can be converted as energy. So, because our fat stores are not readily available, it is not right to believe that we are burning fat from a specific area just because we are doing specific exercises. Focusing on high intensity workouts and burning as much overall fat as possible will be more worth your time. And don’t worry, if you are losing fat consistently, you are bound to start losing fat in the specific area you want eventually!

Now that we know that specific exercises will not lead to fat loss in specific areas, is there anything else we can do to help us burn off that stubborn fat? Some research shows that fasted cardio can ‘force’ your body to draw energy from your fat stores, which ultimately leads to loss of body fat from where you most want it to be lost, but there are discrepancies about this technique as well.

Ultimately, fat loss comes down not to targeted exercises, but to the basic principle of how many calories you spend during your day versus how many you take in. No matter how many crunches or sit ups you do, you can’t target just your stomach to lose belly fat! Although these exercises can help firm muscles and strengthen your core, if the targeted area still carries an extra layer of fat, it won’t look much different. In the end, you can’t isolate fat loss to one part of the body and are better off sticking to a full body, high intensity cardio and workout regimen to shed extra kilos.