10 Reasons You're Not Losing Belly Fat

10 Reasons You’re Not Losing Belly Fat

So you might be working out, driving yourself nuts and yet you still cannot manage to have washboard, perfect, flat abs. It’s frustrating, discouraging and disheartening, especially when it comes time for bikini season.

ok – so I know you want to get rid of your belly fat, but don’t get rid of all your belly fat. After all, a little bit of belly fat is actually good for your body. You need it to protect your internal organs, as well as your stomach and intestines.

The key words in that phrase were a little bit of belly fat – too much is terrible for you. When you have too much stomach fat, it extends deep into your body, creating “visceral fat” that throws off your blood chemistry and causes inflammation that increases your risk for heart disease and diabetes.

That’s the bad news, but here’s better news: women are actually very good at losing belly fat compared to men – they lose 30% more abdominal fat compared to total fat.

So here’s how to skyrocket your body’s fat burning potential and focus it on your belly to get rid of that stubborn pudge once and for all:

1. Put some more color into your meals

This might seem strange but it’s actually true – foods that are brighter in color (natural color, not artificial!) contain much higher levels of vitamin C, which lowers your stress hormones that cause belly fat to stick around. Plus, a study in the Journal of Nutrition found that people who ate red, yellow, and orange nutrient rich foods wound up with smaller waists.

So try adding some mango to your meal – like in a salsa on top of a fish dish – or some bright red peppers to that salad and watch your waistline shrink down.

2. Skip the low fat diet

This is counterintuitive – but it’s actually better to eat fats when you’re trying to lose fat. More specifically, it’s better to eat monounsaturated fats. Scientists have found that diets high in monounsaturated fats are much more effective at trimming belly fat off the body – because those “healthy” fats are so satisfying to your body, they curb cravings and stop you from eating junk foods.

Get your monounsaturated fats from healthy sources like nuts, olive oil, or avocado and watch the inches disappear off your waistline.

Related: Control Your Appetite With These 12 Foods

3. Burgers are bad

Researchers recently conducted an experiment where two groups of people were given 750 extra calories per day. One group got the calories mainly from saturated fats, and the other group got the same calories but from unsaturated fats. Over 7 weeks, the group that ate more saturated fat generated 2 times the amount of visceral fat.

Try getting your fats from fish instead of burgers. Reach for salmon or trout rather than ground beef to up your intake of polyunsaturated fats – and switch out the cheeseburgers for protein that has less saturated fat, like chicken.

Here are 8 easy ways to get started and stick with exercising.

4. Knock it off with the diet soda

A recent scientific study published in Obesity found that people who drink diet soda are much more likely to have a higher percentage of belly fat than others – because they overestimate the number of calories that they’re saving by drinking diet soda, and over eat at other meals.

If you don’t want to stop drinking diet sodas, instead, try cutting back on the number of calories you eat per day instead.

More: Avoid these 6 exercises at all costs

5. Pump up the magnesium

People who skimp on magnesium in their diets feel the effects – even if they don’t know what’s causing them. That’s because magnesium serves a crucial purpose in your body… actually, it serves about 300 crucial purposes in your body. Scientists have found that people who don’t eat enough magnesium have higher blood sugar levels and higher levels of insulin.

So at least twice every day, make sure to eat foods that are full of magnesium, like bananas, soybeans, and dark leafy greens.

6. Quit eating out of a box

Foods that come in boxes and packaging are generally terrible for you – and for your ability to burn belly fat. That’s because prepackaged foods either are heavy in carbs (like chips or pretzels) plus they have a ton of added sugar (like sweet drinks) that spike your blood sugar and floods your body with insulin. Excess insulin will decrease your sensitivity, plus signal to your body that you should be storing more fat around your middle.

However, it’s hard to cut junk food out of a diet cold turkey. That’s why a far better way to ease off junk food is to add in healthy food to your regular meals (like more fruits or veggies during lunch and dinner), which makes you fuller and kills your cravings for junk.

7. Beer makes a beer belly

Danish scientists found in 2013 that beer is actually linked to belly fat – just like the saying goes. That’s the bad news, but here’s worse – wine is bad for your belly fat too. All alcohol consumption has been linked to weight gain in women.

So what’s a girl who likes to get a buzz to do? Well, try sticking to 7 or less alcoholic drinks per week to keep the belly fat down and the pudge at bay.

8. Try yoga – it really works!

Here’s the bad news – when a woman’s body goes through menopause, it starts to hold onto belly fat more and more, making it harder to tone your stomach. But here’s the good news – a study conducted in 2012 found that women who had gone through menopause who did yoga 3 times per week slimmed their waistline by ½ an inch.

If you really don’t like yoga but still want the benefits, try treating yourself to something relaxing and pleasant at least once per day. By cutting down stress, you’re cutting down on your stress hormones, and making it easier for your body to burn that pesky belly fat.

9. Kick the depression

Women who are going through depression or feeling depression symptoms have been found to be much more likely to have extra belly fat. The link is that people who are depressed often have less physical activity and worse eating habits.

So how do you kick those moody blues? Exercise! That’s going to kill two birds with one stone!

Exercising will boost the chemicals in your brain that control your metabolism – more specifically the amount of fat that your metabolism burns. It also gives a kick start to the brain chemicals that put you in a better mood. However, if you feel so bad that you don’t want to do fun things like see friends or other things you used to like doing, it might be time to talk to a professional.

10. Get some more sweating done in your workouts

While low intensity workouts have been shown to have their benefits, there’s a growing body of research that suggests that high intensity interval training – which is very intense vigorous exercising followed by short rest periods – is one of the best ways to trim belly fat. It burns more calories in less time, as well as lowering your levels of insulin and cortisol.

Next time you’re running or you’re on your bike, try boosting your speed for 2 minutes to the point where you’re out of breath, and then slow down for a minute to catch your breath, and rinse and repeat. Or if you’re more into body weight exercises, try doing squats and pushups as fast as you can for 2 minutes at a time, break for a minute, and then keep going.

In summary…

The Biggest Reasons You’re Not Losing Belly Fat

  1. Put some more color into your meals
  2. Skip the low fat diet
  3. Burgers are bad
  4. Knock it off with the diet soda
  5. Pump up the magnesium
  6. Quit eating out of a box
  7. Beer makes a beer belly
  8. Try yoga – it really works!
  9. Kick the depression
  10. Get some more sweating done in your workouts

reasons you’re not losing belly fat

If you loved this article, then check out these other must-see related posts:

9 Proven Ways To Lose Stubborn Belly Fat

6 Proven Ways to Lose Belly Fat (No. 2 and 3 are Best)

12 Tricks to Help Lose Belly Fat

28 comments… add one
  • Julia Stewart July 25, 2015, 6:23 pm

    I have been drinking more beer lately. Maybe that has something to do with it.

  • Theresa Fraser July 25, 2015, 6:13 pm

    I would say these are good reasons. I have been working out long and hard for months now and it seems like I cannot cut the fat content down. Is there something that I need to change?

  • Nicola Sutherland July 25, 2015, 5:51 pm

    Look up anything on belly fat and you will see that it is the worst kind to have.

  • Megan Newman July 23, 2015, 9:18 am

    If you are not losing belly fat that you watched grow with your normal workout routine, there is something else wrong. You need to re-access the situation and see what you can do differently.

  • Irene Parsons July 22, 2015, 10:04 am

    Once you get to the belly fat stages, everything is tough, especially trying to lose it. These are good tips however and things that every woman should keep in mind.

  • Jasmine Newman July 22, 2015, 9:34 am

    There is a myth about not sweating during a workout. I always felt real good when I sweat more during a workout. Its almost like a great way to detox.

    • Chloe Quinn July 25, 2015, 6:01 pm

      I always feel great after a nice long, sweaty workout.

  • Bernadette Lee July 21, 2015, 9:03 am

    Even though these reasons would be hard to hear, they are good ones and ones that should be understood if you are really trying to lose that belly!

  • Vanessa Reid July 19, 2015, 1:02 pm

    I am not so sure that you can just “kick” depression, but I know for sure that it is one thing that will ruin a good workout routine. The main thing is getting back on the “wagon” when you have fallen away from it for a while.

  • Theresa Newman July 18, 2015, 9:18 am

    There are a lot of diet plans that include the “color” thing in your diet. That way you know you are getting some veggies on the plate. Yoga is real good for the belly as well!

    • Wendy Mitchell July 23, 2015, 9:28 am

      Color is good. In fact, once I started to make the plate more colorful, it was more fun to eat because I was trying foods that I normally did not.

  • Sonia Bower July 17, 2015, 12:35 pm

    These are ALL very good reasons and relevant ones. It is important that people understand what causes belly fat and how to keep it to a minimum for your health.

  • Lily Welch July 17, 2015, 12:11 pm

    There is so much information regarding diet soda that you are just never sure what the hell is good for you anymore. I don’t mind drinking water, but once in a while, what about a soda?

    • Amanda Fraser July 18, 2015, 9:44 am

      Things are not bad once in a while. It is the bad habit foods and things that are going to make a bigger difference in your diet.

  • Mary Manning July 16, 2015, 4:36 pm

    Sometimes, that is just where the fat is going to collect in your body, right? Can ANYONE lose just BELLY fat?

  • Penelope Lee July 16, 2015, 4:29 pm

    Yes burgers are bad, especially if you are going to go with the fast food style!

    • Nicola Hart July 21, 2015, 9:57 am

      Exactly. The belly fat does not grow on its own. There is always something that helps it along!

  • Gabrielle MacDonald July 16, 2015, 4:03 pm

    Man, I just really started to like some of the craft beer from my local area and I can tell the beer belly is starting. That is no fun!

  • Audrey Oliver July 10, 2015, 11:52 am

    This makes sense to me. I have been working very hard to get rid of the belly fat that appeared after my first child. It goes away to a degree, but not like it used to be :(

  • Madeleine Gray July 10, 2015, 11:36 am

    Very hard to deal with, belly fat can creep up on your quickly if you are not paying attention. On the other hand, it is nice to see that woman lose it quicker than man, so that is nice.

  • Tracey MacDonald July 10, 2015, 11:13 am

    Belly fat is so ugly and hard to lose. I know it is bad, but I have been working on my abs for months and see no improvement. Is this just the way it will be for now?

  • Lauren Wright July 10, 2015, 9:40 am

    I love yoga and anytime a person asks me how to get rid of your belly, that is what I suggest. It worked for me.

    • Anna Hardacre July 19, 2015, 1:13 pm

      That is a very good tip! Thank you for sharing it with us!

  • Molly Hemmings July 10, 2015, 9:30 am

    Yeah, these are pretty good reasons. Since it is so bad for a person to have the belly fat, I guess that is where the focus should be right?

    • Rachel Campbell July 10, 2015, 11:24 am

      Yes. Keep the beer belly looking belly down to a minimum and your body will be healthier!

  • Jane Graham July 10, 2015, 9:11 am

    Belly fat is so bad for your body. We have all heard what the doctors on TV have said about it. It is the hardest thing to get rid of and the worst thing for you. Good luck!

  • Amy McLean July 10, 2015, 9:02 am

    I think it is hard for some people to give up things like beer and wine. The other foods might be a little easier, but having a drink at the end of the day just becomes a routine.

    • Deirdre Underwood July 16, 2015, 4:17 pm

      Well, just like with anything else, maybe beer or wine in moderation?

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