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Nope, You Can't Lose Weight In Specific Body Parts

When a workout promises that it'll shrink your belly, banish arm jiggle, or whittle your whatever... it's not being totally honest.

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That's because it's not possible to target fat loss in a particular area just by working out that area.

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"A lot of people think, I'm going to turn that fat into muscle, but it doesn't work that way," Greg Justice, exercise physiologist and author of Mind Over Head Chatter: The Pscyhology of Athletic Success, tells BuzzFeed Life.

"Muscle building is site-specific. That means if I want big strong triceps, I can work my triceps and make them bigger and stronger. But fat loss is not fat-specific. So you can do a thousand situps, but it doesn't lead to losing fat in your abdominals." It just means whatever belly fat you started out with will now have very strong ab muscles underneath it.

If your goal is to look leaner and more toned in certain spots, you'll need to pair workouts with a modified diet focused on fat loss, with the goal of reducing your overall body-fat percentage. So, basically, you'll need to lean down all over in order to get the lean-looking reduction in the "zones" that you're targeting.

Also worth noting: Your genetics play a really big role here.

And no matter how much fat you do lose, you very likely won't be able to "sculpt" your body to look a specific way, Justice says. People come in all different shapes and sizes. Many people's bodies are not built to have a thigh gap, for instance, or a naturally flat belly. And that's completely OK and normal, and not at all something to feel bad about.

In fact, maybe a better way to think about fitness and getting in shape is to think about how great it makes you feel.

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And how healthy it is. Working out is good for your heart, your mood, your overall strength, and more. And thinking about everything fitness adds to your life (rather than what it does or doesn't reduce) can be a much healthier and happier way to think about it.

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