Some people want to lose weight because of the health benefits. Others want to get slimmer in a specific area like their feet.
If you have a lot of pounds to lose you can almost certainly lose weight in your feet too. Unfortunately it’s not possible to target fat loss in a specific area like your feet.
This means that to lose weight in your feet you have to lose enough weight overall until your feet are next. Often people are surprised just how much of a difference that can make. This difference can come down to multiple shoe sizes.
There are also situations where your feet can be swollen that have nothing to do with accumulating fat. By resolving the root cause of that you might be able to slim down your feet without fat loss.
Why you generally can’t focus fat loss
In general it is not possible to focus fat loss in a specfic area of your body.
Some people claim that you can feel a “burn” in a specific place when you are working the muscles in that area with a certain exercise. However, it’s not because specific muscles are working that your body only uses energy from that place.
Your body looks at your body fat as a single store of energy. It does prioritize certain areas but you don’t have a say in the order this happens.
How do you gain body fat?
Every day you do all kinds of activities that require energy. Walking, breathing, sleeping, eating,.. you need energy to do all these things. Your body gets this energy from food. This energy is measured in calories.
When you absorb more calories from your food than you use your body stores this energy for later use. As body fat and in other ways. Ultimately, the more excess calories you have the more body fat you gain.
Your body prefers some areas over others for fat storage. Most often the preferred areas are places like abdomen and hips.
From a certain point on, it is more useful for your body to have the excess body fat divided into different areas. So, from this point on you will gain gradually gain body fat in other areas too.
In what order does fat loss happen?
Once you start losing weight this process happens in reverse. In the beginning you will lose a lot of body fat in places like face, hands, and feet. The places where you gained fat first will most likely be the last where you lose fat. That’s why you may have heard from “stubborn belly fat”.
Once you start losing body fat, the reverse of this storing process usually happens. The last place you gained fat will most likely be the first place you will lose fat again.
The main reason this order of fat loss is different in different people is due to genetics. Some people easily gain weight on their belly, others easily store fat in their thighs. There is very little you can do to influence this.
How to improve appearance in body areas
While you can’t target fat loss you can sometimes improve the appearance of certain areas of your body.
The first way you can make certain body parts appear less fat is by reducing swelling. You do have to keep in mind that not everyone who has feet that appear fat necessarily has swelling.
You can learn what some possible causes are. By excluding these you know whether or not you need to lose fat in your feet if you want to see a visual change.
Here are some possible reasons your feet might be swollen (1):
- Eating a lot of salt
- Fluid retention
- Hot weather
- When you wake up due to sleeping position
- An injury
- Certain medicines
- Medical conditions
If you have a lot of weight to lose the puffiness of your feet is most likely due to body fat. If not you might need to contact your doctor to exclude other conditions.
Toning body parts
The second way you can make body parts appear less fat is by building muscle in these areas. This won’t improve fat burning in the area but the muscle can make it look better.
Unfortunately this is not really an option for your feet. You can gain a lot of muscle in areas like your legs, arms, and belly. There is not that much muscle growth possible in your feet.