Getting rid of your belly bulge is important for more than just vanity's sake. Excess abdominal fat—particularly visceral fat, the kind that surrounds your organs and puffs your stomach into a "beer gut"—is a predictor of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and some cancers. If diet and exercise haven't done much to reduce your pooch, then your hormones, your age, and other genetic factors may be the reason why. Read on for 11 possible reasons why your belly fat won't budge.
As you get older, your body changes how it gains and loses weight. Both men and women experience a declining metabolic rate, or the number of calories the body needs to function normally. On top of that, women have to deal with menopause. "If women gain weight after menopause, it's more likely to be in their bellies," says Michael Jensen, MD, professor of medicine in the Mayo Clinic's endocrinology division. In menopause, production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone slows down. Meanwhile, testosterone levels also start to drop, but at a slower rate. This shift in hormones causes women to hold onto weight in their bellies. The good news: you can fight this process. Read on.
2. Cut out all salt besides what’s naturally in food. This is somewhat obvious, but a major player in water retention is salt intake. And generally speaking, most people consume too much salt in their diets, while dropping salt intake down, shoot for 100 oz’s of water per day if you are under 160 and 140 oz’s per day if your over 160. Dropping the salt and increasing water will cause your body to drastically reduce any extra water it may be holding onto.
As with most other training goals the fat loss craze has reached epic proportions to where special diets - the more bizarre sounding the more popular they seem - and insane cardio regimes are the norm. With cardio we today see the devoted masses scheduling in one hour - or more- sessions each day of the week and wondering why they are not losing body fat (with all the muscle often lost through such an enterprise it is really no surprise). Further, there are those with even greater discipline who train as if they are preparing for inclusion in an elite military unit, with hour upon hour of endurance work heaped upon exhaustive weight training sessions and supported by starvation diets.
2. When sitting down to a meal, it should be made up of at last half vegetables(lunch and dinner, usually more fruit at breakfast time). Eat the vegetables first along with the lean protein and THEN eat the carbohydrate portion of the meal, but only if you’re still hungry. If you’re not still hungry, then don’t eat it. The starch/carbohydrate usually contains more calories than the other components in the meal, so saving it till last helps to cut unnecessary calories as most people are not still hungry by the time they finish everything else.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Try interval training. Cardio is good, but lately science is pointing the to fact that interval training is better. And it's quicker and more convenient to boot! Instead of jogging for 30 minutes, you do quick bursts of all-out runs for 30 seconds between periods of leisurely walking for 15 or 20. Why? It burns more calories and keeps your heart pumping; there's an afterburn effect, too!
But just because belly fat comes off a bit more easily doesn’t make it less dangerous. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. “Belly fat is unfortunately the most dangerous location to store fat,” says Dr. Cheskin. Because belly fat—also known as visceral fat, or the deep abdominal fat that surrounds your organs—is more temporary, it’s more active in terms of circulating in the bloodstream. That means it’s likely to raise the amount of fat in your blood (known as blood lipid levels) and increase your blood sugar levels, which as a result raises your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
You don’t have to go low-carb to ditch those extra pounds around your waist in a short period of time. In fact, opting for more whole grains might just get you there faster. Researchers at Tufts University have linked eating three or more daily servings of whole grains to as much as a 10 percent reduction in visceral body fat, the kind that ups your risk for chronic diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.