Getting rid of excessive belly fat is actually not for the sake of looking good only but to be fit and healthy. Excess fat in the abdominal area especially viscreal fat (the kind that surrounds your organs and puffs your tummy into a beer gut) is a predator for heart diseases, diabetes, some cancers and insulin resistance. If your diet and excercises are not helping in reducing your stomach bulge, it means there are quite number of things you are doing wrong. These are 8 of those reasons you are not loosing belly fat:
1. You are doing the wrong workout: there are certain excercises that are good for you heart like daily run or spin class but cardio excercises won’t do much for your waist. According to Dr. Sangetta Kashyap; an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic, there has to be a combination of weights and cardiovascular training. Strength training increases muscle mass which sets your body up to burn more fat. Kate Patton; a registered dietician at Cleveland Clinic recommends 250 minutes of moderate-intensity workout and 125 minutes of high-intensity workout every week.
2. You are getting older: both men and women experience a decline in their metabolic rate or the number of calories the body need to function normally as they grow older i.e as you get older, your body changes how it gains and looses weight. This is prominent in women dealing with menopause. During menopause, if a woman is gaining weight, it is more like to be in her belly. In menopause, production of hormone estrogen and progesterone slows down. Meanwhile, testosterone also start to drop but at a slower rate. This shift in hormone causes women to hold on to weight in their stomachs.
3. Too many processed foods: too many refined foods like white bread, crackers, chips as well as refined sugars in drinks, desserts, snacks increases inflammation in our bodies. Because belly fat is associated with inflammation, eating too many processed foods will hinder your ability to lose belly bulge. Natural foods like fruits, whole grains, vegetables are full of anti-oxidants which have anti-inflammatory properties and therefore it is good in fighting abdominal fat.
4. You are not getting enough sleep: if you sleep less than six hours every night, your belly fat will not reduce. A 16 year study of about 70,000 women found out that most women who slept for five hours or less a night were 30 percent more likely to gain 30 or more pounds than women who slept 7 hours and above. Adults are advised to sleep for seven to eight hours at night.
5. You are apple shaped: if you tend to gain more weight around your middle rather than on your hips and thighs, then you are apple shaped. This genetic predispostion means it will be harder to loose the belly fat but it doesn’t mean it is impossible.
6. You are sick: if your testosterone level is high which is as a result of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), you might have difficulty loosing weight. If an apple shaped and you are overweight, it is advisable to see your doctor since there may be a chance that you are prediabetic or diabetic.
7. You are stressed: when you are stressed, you tend to consume high fat, high calorie food. Also, when you are stressed, your body secretes a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol increases the amount of fat in your body and enlarges your fat cells. Higher level of cortisol has been linked to viscreal fat.
8. You are not motivated or committed enough: reducing belly fat takes a combination approach of a diet low in calorie, sugar, carbohydrates and very high in fibre along with cardiovascular and weight training. If you are willing to do the work, you can move past genetics and lose your abdominal fat.
In all, do excercises that will make use of the muscles in your core- abdominals, pelvic, back, obliques as well as other body parts that will make you lose fat well like planking. Eat healthy and sleep well.