(Good Housekeeping) Here's the straight truth:

Yes, you can drop fat all over by exercising
Moderate-intensity exercise think 30 to 60 minutes of brisk walking, jogging, swimming or Spinning, prompts muscles to burn glucose in your bloodstream. When that happens, your insulin levels drop, which tells your fat cells to release some of what they're storing. High-intensity interval training (HIIT), where you do bouts of all-out effort, speeds up this process. "It initiates an adrenaline response, which prompts fat cells to respond within minutes," says Michael D. Jensen, M.D., a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist who studies body distribution. Both kinds of exercise will drop fat; HIIT is just faster.

No, you can't control which area slims down
While cells in some parts of your body will likely let go of fat more quickly than others, it's highly individual, says Aaron M. Cypess, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health: "Exercise may help one person lose fat in the belly first; for another, it might be the butt."

Yes, whole foods and complex carbohydrates will help you loss fat
Foods that race through your system like highly processed, low-nutrient junk, make a beeline for your fat cells. But because your body need more time to break down foods with lots of fiber and complex carbs, those foods have a better shot at getting used before they get stored.

No, there aren't specific foods that burn fat
Regardless of what you eat, food travels to your intestines, where bile breaks it down, and whatever isn't used or excreted is repackaged for storage. This happens more slowly with whole foods, but it's not as if say, you'll burn fat faster eating almonds than eating Brazil nuts.

Yes, losing weight slowly gives you the best shot at maintaining that fat loss
"Generally speaking, a body will tolerate more subtle adjustments without trying as strongly to counteract them," says Dr. Cypess. Extreme weight loss signals to your body that you're going to starve, so it scrambles to put weight back on. "If you're 25 pounds overweight, you should have a five-year goal, not a five week goal," he says.

No, there's no magic fix
Cellulite creams can't reshape the way your fat has formed under the skin. And while liposuction and fat-freezing procedures may remove or destroy fat cells, says Dr. Cypess, you're remaining fat cells get fatter unless you keep calories down.


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