Yes, it's yet another health and fitness myth - relying on "spot reduction," "tummy toning," and "stomach fat exercises for a flat tummy" are all a total "waist" of time when it comes to working to get those hips, thighs and tummies slimmer.
It's a myth because you simply can't control where the fat builds up or where you choose to lose it from. Apart from having all-out surgery and the problem areas lipo-suctioned away, the only answer to toning your body is though losing a percentage of your total body-fat by eating fewer calories than you burn each day.
It's also a fact that people often lose the fat they want to get rid of from their problem areas last. That's because the act of losing weight is a gradual process that typically includes the equal loss of fat from all over the body, not just one area at any one time, like tummy fat. If your stomach or thighs happen to be the areas where most fat is stored, then you will obviously see the fat drop off there last as the fat disappears in equal measure all over your body.
But yet again, like so many times before, there is always someone somewhere (usually in business...and more often than not BIG business) that will come up with some fad or gimmick or gadget to supposedly be the miracle easy-cure to solve everyone's weight loss problems.
Toning with Shape-Ups: The Magic Shoes that Flatten Problem Areas?
For example, I'm sure you are familiar with the Shape-Ups toning shoes from Skechers. For men, women, boys, and girls, there are shoes a plenty for everyone that will magic away the calories and help you keep toned and fat-free.
But note please, if you will, the use of the word "help" and "may help." Littered all over the Skechers website these words are used to signify that there is actually no scientific proof that these shoes will do what Skechers say they will. They "may help" burn calories and improve posture and cardiovascular health, and a whole host of other areas of the body or "spots" that have been carefully specified by Skechers including reducing joint stress, toning and firming buttocks, strengthening the back, tightening abdominals, and firming calves.
They "may help" - but there is absolutely no proof that they will or do.
The point is, when it comes to losing body fat it's all about maintaining a negative caloric balance in tandem with adopting a schedule of regular exercise - i.e. ultimately you need to eat fewer calories than you burn each day and keep active as much as possible. That is the only true way to get a flatter tummy or to tone up.
It has absolutely nothing to do with just working your lower abs daily or wearing special butt sculpting shoes to work.
Waist Cincher Knickers: Another Product for Flatter Tummies
Another ridiculous tummy toning fad is the Waist Cincher Knickers. They're advertised as the Anti Cellulite Firm Control Waist And Thigh Cincher Knickers and could be every girl's dream solution to attaining that ultimate flat tummy. The question is - can you sit down in them, and where exactly does all that tummy flab go?
Well, believe it or not, the manufacturers claim that these under garments have 3 active natural "ingredients" - caffeine, vitamin E, and aloe vera. The caffeine is for slimming and toning, the vitamin E for anti-ageing, and the aloe vera for soothing - all held together by millions of micro-bubbles which are released onto the skin as you move. The manufacturers recommend the garment be worn 8-10 hours a day, 6 days a week for four weeks, but stress that results will vary depending on the condition of the wearer's skin and amount of time it is worn.
To be fair, other sorts of "waist cinchers" seem to work for some women, but surely no one would want to wear them all the time? Plus, you have to ask yourself: is this not cheating? And of the less favorable comments, one described them as resembling wearing a "giant elastoplast bandage" and another said it gave them even more bulges than ever.
The point is, this sort of tummy flattening method might be okay for the occasional night out or to hide underwear lines at weddings, but that's about as far as it goes. It is not the answer to achieving permanent tummy flatness.
There are other "products" all over the place on the Internet claiming to help women achieve flat tummies - all costing a fair amount of dough to purchase - but really none of them will lead to long-lasting weight-loss in those important areas.
The only real way to achieve satisfying weight-loss is through expert health and fitness programs, such as the ones developed by online facilities like www.changingshape.com - a team of professional nutrition experts and fitness coaches who design customized diet, nutrition and exercise regimens to meet the specific needs and preferences of each individual member.
With full one-to-one online consultation, interactive videos, and email support, the changingshape guys are in the perfect position to tell you exactly where your tummy flab will go!
Otherwise at the end of the day, the "miracle" of spot reducing products or toning exercises won't do anything but 'waist' your time and only reduce the size of your wallet.
Matthew Johnson (Google+) is a certified personal trainer, nutrition expert and an on-line fitness consultant that started ChangingShape.com back in 2001.