Excessive belly fat is not something your body wants to have.
From genetic factors to missing out on sleep, the reasons of having excessive belly fat can be different. In its turn, excessive belly fat can predict Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, some types of cancer, and insulin resistance.
Actually, excessive fat around the lower abdominal area, also known as ‘visceral’ or ‘subcutaneous’ fat can be one of the most dangerous areas to have it in excess. And the fact is that it’s quite difficult to shift. Let’s find out what are the reasons why you still can’t lose belly fat.
- You’re getting older
Whether you want it or not, getting older your body also changes its algorithm of gaining and losing weight. Both women and men experience changes in their metabolic rate and the amount of calories needed daily. Talking about women, it’s also worthy to note the menopause.
Women often gain weight after menopause, and it’s more likely to affect their bellies. During the menopause period, production of hormones progesterone and estrogen decrease gradually.
The level of testosterone also drops down, but at a slower rate. The changes in the hormones production makes women keep fat in their belly zone.
- The workouts you do, don’t fit you
Whether it’s a spin class or a daily run, both are great for your heart. However these cannot be enough for your waist line. It is important to combine cardiovascular training and weights.
Doing a strength training you increase the muscle mass that allows your body burn fat more effectively.
Factually, muscles require more calories than fat. That means having more muscles you can naturally burn more calories. Dieticians recommend 125 minutes of high-intensity training or 250 minutes of moderate exercising every week.
- You eat too much junk food
Junk food and processed food can negatively affect your belly zone. Crackers, white bread, chips and refined sugars in deserts and sweetened drinks increase inflammation in human body.
Belly fat is also considered an inflammation, so consuming too many processed products will make it more difficult to lose belly fat.
Try to eat more natural foods instead. These are whole grains, fruits and vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants. Featuring anti-inflammatory properties, these can really help, preventing your belly fat.
- You’re not eating the right fats
Our body has different reaction on different fats. High intake of saturated fats (there are a lot of them in dairy and meat) can result in increased visceral fat.
Monounsaturated fats (that can be found in avocados and olive oil, for example) and some types of polyunsaturated fats (sunflower seeds, walnuts, and fatty fish) feature anti-inflammatory effects in human’s body.
Eaten in small but regular portions, these can benefit your body. But keep in mind that eating too much fat of any type, your body gets more calories than it needs and it can result in weight gain. So, be moderate.
- Your workouts are not challenging you
No pain-no gain! To burn the stubborn belly fat you have to break your limits during the workout. People who regularly complete a high-intensity workout plan lose more belly fat than those who prefer low-intensity regimen. Actually, the low-intensity workouts can’t provide any significant changes.
But exercising at full intensity will make you burn lots of calories and lose belly fat. When we talk about high-intensity workouts, we mean going above your limits as long as you can.
If it sounds inappropriate for you, think in the following way: you’ll be able to burn more fat in less time. Amazing, isn’t it?
- The exercises you do are not the right ones
What is the first exercise you imagine when thinking about removing belly fat? If your answer is “Crunches”, stop thinking this way! When you try to get rid of your belly fat, the boring crunch won’t help you at all. You might be surprised, but this is not that type of exercise that can really help.
Do functional workouts instead. These use your core muscles, which involve obliques, abdominals, pelvic and back, as well as other parts of your body. During functional training more muscles are used, so more calories can be burnt.
One of the best functional exercises is plank. It activates not just your core muscles, but also legs, arms and butt muscles.
- You are stressed
Bills, deadlines, kids – the sources of stress can vary. But no matter what is the reason of your stress today, you shouldn’t have too much of it.
Too much stress can make it harder to lose weight, especially from your middle part. The stress hormone cortisol makes your body increase the amounts of fat and enlarge the fat cells.
There is an evident correlation between cortisol and visceral fat.
- Your body shape is “Apple”
Apple-shaped body is characterized by having the pounds set mostly in your middle part, rather than on your thighs and hips. This is a genetic predisposition, which makes losing of belly fat harder, though not impossible.
- You don’t sleep enough
Sleeping less than 6 hours a night is one of the easiest ways to enlarge your waistline.
A recent study showed that women who slept 6 hours and less were 30% more likely to get 30 and more pounds compared to those who slept 7-8 hours. Doctors suggest adults sleep 7 to 8 hours a night.
- You’re sick
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition when women have high testosterone levels. Having this disease, you might face difficulties losing weight.
If you’re overweight and you’re apple-shaped, it will be good to see your doctor, as there are chances you have prediabetic or diabetic condition.
- There is no enough motivation
Are you ready to work on losing your belly fat? To get rid of it, you’ll have to apply a combination approach of cardio & weight training along with the low-calorie diet, which contains minimal sugar and carbohydrates and is rich in fiber.
Remember, that if you really want it, you can even go around genetics and get a flat belly you were always dreaming about.