How to lose weight but keep your curves

“Emmerson how can I lose weight on my stomach and keep my curves? I hate my stomach but I don’t want to lose weight anywhere else.”

emmerson campbell logoThe above is probably the most asked question I get from many readers. It is one that I’ve answered many times before, but given its frequency, I feel the need to shed some light on this topic once again.

So if you want to lose weight and keep your curves, keep reading.

“Spot reduction” is a term commonly used in the diet and exercise industry to refer to any nutrition and/or exercise regime that aims to promote weight loss in one specific area.

In theory, spot reduction works to reduce fat in one area (a “problem area”) while still leaving other areas untouched. The spot-reducing effect is heavily sought after by consumers, with most problem areas typically being the abdomen, upper arms, and thighs.

While spot reduction sounds promising, especially for those who feel that their weight is concentrated in one specific area, it is rarely effective.

According to a study, in 90% of cases, spot-reduction techniques are the stuff of marketing ploys and magazine workouts. While it is certainly possible to lose weight, reduce body fat, and tone muscle, the ability to remove fat from one area while leaving other areas untouched is difficult, and often impossible.


Why doesn’t spot reduction work?


Allow me to explain.

Weight loss ultimately depends on energy balance. Energy balance is the relationship between calories consumed (through food and beverage) and calories expended/burned (through exercise, basal metabolism, and daily activities).

When you consume more calories than you expend, you gain weight. When you consume fewer calories than you expend, you lose weight. It’s as simple as that. When the number of calories you consume is equal to the number of calories you expend, weight is maintained. The rate of weight loss will depend on the calorie deficit. A deficit of 3,500 calories is required to lose one pound of fat.

If, for example, you were to reduce your daily calorie intake by 500 calories (let’s say from 2,000 calories to 1,500 calories), you would lose one pound in a week’s time (7 days x 500 calories = 3,500 calories).

Unfortunately, there is no way to ensure that the weight will be lost from any one specific area. Where fat is lost depends on individual characteristics, including body type, the amount of fat in any one area, and exercise routine.

In general, a combination of diet and exercise is most effective in reducing body fat and body weight. If one specific area is of concern, aim to reduce caloric intake, increase cardiovascular exercise, and incorporate specific toning/strength training exercises to target the area of intent.

For example, if your goal is to lose weight and the abdomen is an area of intent, reduce caloric intake by 500 calories per day, focus on cardiovascular exercise (which burns more calories than weight-training exercises), and include abdominal exercises (without weights) to target/tone the abdomen.

Stay tuned, friends.

If you need help with building muscle or losing fat, shoot me an email:

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