15 Reasons You Can’t Seem to Lose Your Belly Fat

Krysta Shannon
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For many of us, when we gain weight, the midsection is the first place to show it. The dreaded  ‘spare tire’ around your waist may become a constant reminder that you are no longer 18 years old or that you frequent the diner at 2 am a little too frequently.

“Age and poor nutrition are two main causes of belly fat”

Age and poor nutrition are two  main causes of belly fat (not considering health issues), but there is hope for your puffy pooch. Below are 15 reasons you can’t lose the belly fat, along with guidance on how to finally lose the flab:

1. You don’t exercise enough.

If you exercise regularly, your overall body fat will be  decreased. However, cardio or targeted exercises will not trim your waist. Aim for at least 125 minutes of high-intensity exercise each week to torch the calories and your waistline.

2. You aren’t doing the right exercises.

Focus on bodyweight and strength training exercises, such as planks, squats or other exercises that target and tone larger groups of muscles, which increase your muscle mass and allow your body to burn more fat. Also, avoid exercises, such as crunches, that specifically target your abdomen, which increase our muscles in this area but can also increase the size of your belly if the fat remains beneath.

3. You are stressed.

Stress causes your body to produce a hormone called cortisol that may increase the amount of fat that your body stores. Also, stress causes many people to reach for sugary or comfort foods, so reduce your stress through meditation, deep breathing, yoga and other activities that you enjoy. Don’t have time for a regular yoga practice or “me time?” Pop an omega-3 supplement (or nosh on fish) or Vitamin C (supplement or from fruits and veggies), which are said to prevent stress and promote flat stomachs.

4. Sugar is your indulgence.

If you read the article on Tips to Ditch the Sugar, you know how unhealthy sugar can be and how little sugar our bodies actually need on a daily basis. When you eat a significant amount of processed foods that contain refined sugar, your body is forced to turn excess sugar into fat. Can you guess where that fat goes? Straight to your stomach (and thighs).

Recommended Read: 10 Tips to Ditch the Sugar

5. You aren’t eating enough fiber.

Fiber keeps you fuller longer, makes you less likely to reach for unhealthy treats, and reduces constipation and bloating. Choose low-calorie and high protein beans or leafy green vegetables such as spinach or green peas to get your daily fill. Ditch refined cereals and breads for whole grain versions, which often contain more healthy fiber to keep you fuller longer.

6. You’re eating the wrong fats.

Monounsaturated fats (found in avocados, olive oil and nuts) reduce inflammation in your body and help satisfy hunger and cravings. On the other hand, saturated fats (found in meats and dairy products) increase your body’s visceral fat – the fat in your abdomen and around your organs.

Choose “good fats” including peanut butter, Omega 3-rich chia seeds and coconut oil with your next meal, all of which support the digestive system and prevent bloating.

Recommended read: Could Coconut Oil in My Coffee be the Key to My Weight Loss?

7. Your diet lacks antioxidants.

To rid your body of excess baggage in your midsection, choose foods and supplements with antioxidants, which are linked to increases in fat burning potential. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants, speeds up your metabolism and burns an additional 266 calories each day. Other low calorie, antioxidant rich indulgences include chocolate (umm yes!), apples, pears and peppers and other fruits and veggies.

8. You don’t get enough calcium.

You should consume calcium daily, whether it is in the form of a supplement, or a glass of low- or non-fat milk or yogurt (for a healthier alternative, drink organic almond, cashew, or soy milk, and opt for plain Greek yogurt). Any way that you take it, calcium breaks down fat and is said to keep fat from appearing in the first place.
 

 

9. You eat too many carbs.

If you restrict your carbohydrate intake and increase your protein, you will find that your appetite, weight, amount of belly fat and bloating will decrease. Aim for 25 to 30% of your daily calorie intake from high-quality proteins, such as fish, eggs, poultry, dairy products and whey protein supplements.

Vegans and vegetarians worry not! You can get your fill of protein from quinoa, beans, chickpeas, tofu, soybeans, nuts and nut butters and even chia seeds, among many other sources.

10. You are tired. Yes, you can sleep yourself thin!

When you are feeling tired and rundown, you will tend to overeat in an attempt to gain some extra energy. Make sure you get enough ZZZZ’s for your body, and it will help you maintain your weight in the long term.

11. You jump on the fad diet wagon.

You are a frequent dieter who has tried everything from Atkins, South Beach, Paleo to the Master Cleanse, but nothing works. The reason that nothing sticks is that diets are temporary, and for your body to have a lasting change, you need to change the way you eat – permanently.

Those fad diets negatively affect your digestive system and metabolism, and in the long run, they cause you to gain more weight once your “diet” is over. Make healthy food choices, minus the occasional “cheat,” and you will see a different in your dress size.

12. You are dehydrated.

When you do not get your minimum of eight glasses of water each day, your body becomes dehydrated and retains water in an effort for self-preservation. Drinking water or tea sends a clear signal to your body that it can let go of the excess water weight that it’s carrying. Tired of boring H20? Sip on ginger tea, which is natural digestive aid that also increases your body’s temperature and helps you burn more fat.

Dandelion tea will also reduce water retention, as it’s a natural diuretic that will improve your liver function and help your body release toxins. Not thirsty? Eat fruits and veggies with high water content, such as citrus fruits, celery or watermelon to contribute to your eight cups a day.

13. You eat too many salty foods.

Salt retains water and will make you look like you have a bigger belly pooch than you really do. Cut down on processed and packaged foods and you will see a reduction in your belly bloat, even if the scale doesn’t budge.

14. You don’t eat enough meals.

When you eat smaller meals, spaced out about three to four hours apart, your body will digest your food more easily and will not succumb to a drop in blood sugar. Instead of the 3 pm donut by the water cooler, choose a healthy snack, such as a piece of fruit, a hand full of nuts or some plain Greek yogurt to keep you full and focused until dinner time.

15. You eat the wrong meals at the wrong times.

You might be busy in the morning, but breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For breakfast, don’t just grab a granola bar. Eat a complete breakfast with protein that will fuel you through to lunchtime. Also, finish your last meal of the day three hours before bed, since your body slows down and digests slower when resting.

Recommended read: 3 Busy Bee Breakfasts to Fuel Your Day

Even if you’ve had a little extra cushion settled into your midsection for a long time, there is still hope! Belly fat no longer has to dimple your silhouette or hang over your skinny jeans. What belly fat-blasting techniques have you tried? What has or hasn’t worked for you? Share it with the community in the comments below, and help your fellow yogis get slim and trim.

This article has been read 10K+ times. Bada bing!

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Krysta Shannon

Krysta is a staff writer and product review guru at YogiApproved. She believes in the powers of healing crystals and essential oils, and never leaves home without them. Krysta is a true Jersey girl (in the best sort of way) who embraces a non-toxic and all-natural lifestyle.

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