My friend, who recently got engaged, and I were discussing wedding gowns and how they usually only show off your upper body and arms. She said she wants to “tone up” for her wedding, but is only concerned with losing weight in her arms — not anywhere else. She likes her current bust size and thinks that if she loses any weight, she’s likely to also lose some boob-a-licious-ness. I told her I didn’t think it was possible to lose weight only in one part of your body. Can you clear this up? Is it possible to lose weight in one area, like your arms, without affecting any of your more, um, valued assets?
Loves Her Assets
Dear Loves Her Assets,
Unfortunately for your friend you are right. You can’t lose weight hoping to lose in just one area of your body. In industry terms that’s called “spot reduction”. The way you lose weight usually depends on your body type. Pear shaped girls for instance lose from the top down. The first thing you’ll notice thinning out is her face, then her collar-bone, then her chest, waist, and then finally the hips and legs. But take a more ruler shaped girl and notice that she will lose weight pretty much evenly all the way from her head down. And that’s because of her body’s proportions. You can change the measurements of your body by losing or gaining weight, but you can’t change the overall shape of it. As I always say, “once a pear always a pear.” Actually, I don’t always say that, but it fits.
Your friend can work out and lose weight in hopes of toning her arms, but she can’t spot reduce in hopes of not losing her bust. Here’s my advice though, strength training and cardio are important whether you want to lose weight or not. If your friend is at a good weight now and begins working out, but doesn’t change her diet then most likely she’ll lose only about 3-5 pounds, but she will tone up. Now, I’m not guaranteeing that her bust size won’t change, but as long as she’s not going to any major extremes she shouldn’t see any drastic changes. If she keeps up with a 2-3 day per week weight routine and a 5 day per week 30 minute cardio routine she will start to see her arms take shape. Begin with light weights and high reps (about 12-20) for the first four weeks and then heavier weights and lower reps (8-10) for the next 4 weeks. Keep toggling back and forth between the two rep ranges to keep the body challenged.
I have to say one more thing before I go, otherwise I wouldn’t feel good about this answer. I have pretty strong opinions about bridal bootcamps, which is that I think they are CRAZY! I know they’re popular, but being engaged and planning a wedding is hard enough, so don’t make yourself even more stressed out by becoming obsessed with the way you look in your wedding dress. Your fiance’ wants to marry you just the way you are now and all your friends already know what you look like, so walking down the aisle looking like a skeleton in a dress is just pure insanity. Plus, you’ll end up gaining it all back and then some after your honeymoon. I know that your wedding day is something that you’ve imagined forever and you want it to be just perfect, and I promise that it will be whether you’re a size 0 or a size 14. It doesn’t matter! Really! And I know this, because I gained 15 pounds right before mine!