Renowned obesity scientist debunks bold, decades-old weight loss claim

Renowned obesity scientist debunks bold, decades-old weight loss claim

One of the most common weight loss requests is targeting fat loss from specific areas of the body. However, a leading weight loss scientist has claimed that this is simply not possible. Ads for exercises, pills, and supplements often claim they can blitz fat in one part of the body. Dr. Nick Fuller, an author and lecturer in the treatment and management of obesity at the University of Sydney, labeled targeted fat loss, or ‘spot reduction’, a myth. He explained that factors such as genes, gender, age, and the amount of fat and muscle a person has dictate the areas and order in which our bodies store and lose fat.

Dr. Fuller argued that studies have shown genes can account for up to 60 percent of where body fat is distributed. Gender and age may also play a role, with changes to muscle mass, metabolism, and hormone levels impacted by the aging process. He added that women tend to lose weight from their face, calves, and arms first because they impact childbearing the least, while holding on to fat stored around the hips, thighs, and buttocks.According to an article in The Conversation, targeting specific areas for fat loss through exercise is not possible. The author explains that our muscles do not directly access and burn specific fat stores when we exercise. Instead, they undergo lipolysis, converting triglycerides into free fatty acids and glycerol, which then travel to our muscles through the bloodstream. Therefore, the fat stores used for energy during exercise come from all over our bodies, not just the targeted areas. The author also mentions that research suggests working out specific muscles has little impact on reducing fat in that area. A 2015 study of women on a weight-loss diet found that those who performed abdominal exercises did not see greater improvement in reducing belly fat compared to those who only dieted. Iranian researchers also concluded that there were no significant differences between the groups.

The article also discusses the influence of genes, gender, and age on fat distribution. Genes can account for up to 60% of where body fat is stored, meaning that a person’s parents’ fat storage patterns can be an indicator of their own. Gender also plays a role, with women storing more fat than men to support pregnancy and breastfeeding. Women tend to lose weight from their face, calves, and arms first, as these areas have the least impact on childbearing. Age also affects fat storage, with post-menopausal women and middle-aged men tending to accumulate fat around their stomachs, which is difficult to lose.

Lastly, the article addresses the lack of substantial evidence supporting pills and supplements that claim to target fat. The author states that even if these products claim to be backed by clinical trials and scientific evidence in advertisements, there is not enough support for their effectiveness.Researchers at the University of Sydney conducted two recent studies on over 120 trials of herbal and dietary supplements that claim to aid weight loss. The studies found that there was insufficient evidence to support these claims.

According to the researchers, spot reduction, or the idea that you can control where your body loses fat from, is a myth. It is impossible to target specific areas for fat loss.

Instead, the focus should be on achieving overall fat loss, which can change body shape and help with long-term weight management. The metabolic rate, or how much energy you burn at rest, is determined by the amount of muscle and fat you carry.

People with higher muscle mass have a faster metabolic rate compared to those with higher fat mass but the same weight.

To look slimmer, it is recommended to lose weight in small, manageable chunks that can be sustained. Each period of weight loss should be followed by maintenance to reach a goal weight.

The growing obesity epidemic in the UK has been attributed to a lack of exercise and unhealthy diets. NHS data shows that 26% of adults in England are obese and an additional 38% are overweight but not obese. The rates are also high among children, with a quarter of children in reception classes in England considered overweight and one in ten obese.

A landmark study published in May revealed that the UK’s obesity problem is costing the cash-strapped NHS billions of pounds each year. The costs per patient rise significantly as weight increases, as obesity-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease become more prevalent.

It is important to maintain a balanced diet for overall health. Meals should be based on starchy carbohydrates like potatoes, bread, rice, or pasta, ideally wholegrain, according to the NHS.The NHS Eatwell Guide provides recommendations for a healthy diet. It advises individuals to consume at least 5 portions of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day, including fresh, frozen, dried, and canned options. Additionally, it suggests basing meals on starchy carbohydrates like potatoes, bread, rice, or pasta, preferably wholegrain.

To meet the recommended daily intake of 30 grams of fiber, one can consume 5 portions of fruits and vegetables, 2 whole-wheat cereal biscuits, 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread, and a large baked potato with the skin on. It is also important to include dairy or dairy alternatives, opting for lower fat and lower sugar options.

Furthermore, the guide advises incorporating beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat, and other proteins into the diet. It specifically recommends consuming 2 portions of fish per week, with one of them being oily fish. When it comes to oils and spreads, it is recommended to choose unsaturated options and consume them in moderation.

Staying hydrated is crucial, and the guide suggests drinking 6-8 cups or glasses of water per day. Lastly, it emphasizes the importance of limiting salt intake to less than 6g per day and saturated fat intake to 20g for women or 30g for men. By following these guidelines, individuals can maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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