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When I’ve exercised a lot in the past, why do my legs seem to get lean much sooner than my abdomen?


Answer: Exercising a particular body part does not mean you will automatically lose a significant amount of fat from that area. This is a common myth called spot reducing. One may be genetically geared toward losing leg fat, while their goal is to have an abdomen like a washboard. Some studies suggest that high intensity exercise may shave a bit of fat from the working muscles, but if no calorie deficit exists, fat will just be stored in another area. The contrast here is that exercise induces small decreases of fat stores locally in working muscle, while genetics and stress hormones have a greater influence over where fat will be lost during a calorie deficit.

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