Longevity is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
It's a common lament most personal trainers and dieticians have heard from new clients: "I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I'm trying to lose weight, but my stomach is still chubby as ever. Can you please help me?"
As far as dieting complaints go, it's as common as can be. Belly fat is one of the most difficult kinds of fat to get rid of, and it's also one of the most common. At times, it just seems to be the only part of your body that isn't losing mass. Frustrating, isn't it?
Believe it or not, there are a couple of surprising factors that prevent many people from losing that gut the old-fashioned way. If you've been wondering why you are not losing belly fat, consider these potential explanations.
You're exercising, but not dieting.
I'll let you in on a little secret that I first learned back when I used to be a runway model. In the gym world, there's a saying that's not really well-known to newbies. That saying is, "Abs are made in the kitchen."
Though you'd never guess it from gym commercials, most of your ability to lose weight is actually diet-based. You can't lose weight without cutting calories or exercising to make up the difference.
If you are busting your butt at the gym, but not really dieting, that's the reason why you are not losing belly fat. Belly fat is really, truly, a diet-sensitive type of fat. So, you will need to diet if you want to get rid of it.
Carbohydrates, in particular, tend to be bad for folks looking to lose belly fat. So, you might want to look into a low-carb diet to trim that belly fat.
The Fix: Cut calories, especially carbohydrates.
You're a salt lover.
Salt is delicious and our bodies need it in order to operate well. However, it can be too good. I ought to know; I love me a Dorito snack once in a while. However, excessive salt can be a really bad diet detriment—and also can be a pretty mean trickster, too!
The funny thing about salt is that it causes a lot of water retention, which in turn makes people look bloaty. This can actually trick you into thinking that you aren't losing belly fat when you are.
The Fix: Beat the bloat by reducing salt intake and drinking more water.
You love your diet soda.
This is another major diet downfall we are all guilty of, and sadly, it's pretty bad for you. Diet soda might not have the sugary stuff, but the additives that soda contains have been linked to a lot of issues you don't want to touch.
One such study showed that people who drank diet soda experienced far more increases in belly fat than those who didn't—even if everything else in their diets were the same. People who drink diet soda are also more likely to experience cravings than those who don't.
The Fix: Stop ordering the Diet Coke! By just ditching soda for seltzer, you should see a reduction in belly fat.
You're not practicing mindful eating.
Mindful eating is the practice of actually taking the time to enjoy your food, and I mean, really enjoy it. This practice has people take in the smell, taste, and look of every single bite they take. This, in turn, tends to translate into longer eating times.
When you take longer to eat, your body is capable of registering fullness more accurately. This leads to you eating less. Moreover, since mindful eating is stress-relieving, you also will be less likely to have belly fat triggered by cortisol, a stress hormone.
The Fix: Give mindful eating a try.
The foods you're putting on your plate are terrible.
It's worth pointing out that diets aren't just about calories. It's about getting high-quality foods in your stomach. You need not ask why you are not losing belly fat if your choice of food is terrible.
Fat-burning foods like meat, fruits, leafy greens, and eggs are known to help reduce belly fat. On the other hand, white breads, processed foods, and being a sugar addict will cause you to gain belly fat—not to mention start to crave bad stuff.
The Fix: Eat foods that are good for you, and maybe invest in healthy cookbooks.
Do you have an office job? Most of us do, and while that may be great for your paycheck, that's not always great for your health. One of the reasons why companies are now investing in standing desks is because sitting for 8 hours a day just isn't good for you.
Though exercise might be only a small sliver of the entire weight loss process, it's important to realize that being totally sedentary isn't good for you at all. In fact, a sedentary lifestyle can increase your chances of dealing with extra belly fat.
One of the hidden reasons you are not losing belly fat could be that you're not getting at least 2,000 steps a day in. If you live a very sedentary lifestyle, you might want to start doing daily walks.
The Fix: Walk, and start burning calories already.
You are stressed AF.
Stress has a hugely negative effect on weight loss, and not just because of the fact that it might goad you into stress-eating. Being very stressed causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol as a part of your body's "fight or flight" mechanism.
Cortisol causes your body to store belly fat easily, and also can make belly fat harder to lose. The older you are, the more likely it is that you have a cortisol issue.
The Fix: If you're totally certain that stress might be why you are not losing belly fat, you need to cut down on stress. Meditate, take yoga, run a bubble bath... just do something!
You're accidentally drinking away your calories.
A lot of well-meaning dieters will restrict every little calorie from their foods in hopes of shedding the pounds—and that's actually great. However, they forget that food is only half the battle.
Drinks, too, can pack a serious caloric punch. A single 16-ounce cup of soda packs as much as 185 calories on average. A smoothie from Jamba Juice can easily clock in as much as 500 calories.
If you have been assuming that juice doesn't pack calories, then one of the reasons why you are not losing belly fat probably deals with what you're drinking rather than what you're eating.
The Fix: Stick to water and seltzer.
Your sleep schedule is all kinds of messed up.
Sleep has a massive impact on every aspect of your life. It affects your mood, your ability to think, and yes, it also affects your appetite and waistline.
Studies have shown that people who don't get enough sleep are far more likely to gain weight and experience cravings. This is mostly due to the hormonal fluctuations caused by a lack of sleep.
The Fix: Get at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep per day.
Your exercise routine isn't on point.
Part of being able to start fat loss and keep it up is exercise—and not just the usual cardio, either. Though cardio definitely helps with weight loss, one of the more likely exercise-based reasons you are not losing belly fat deals with resistance training.
Resistance training remains one of the most effective forms of exercise for losing belly fat. This is because resistance training builds muscle. Muscle burns more calories than fat, and that means that you end up burning more calories just by existing.
Weight training and other forms of muscle-building resistance training can offer a lot of good to people who want to lose belly fat quickly. Contrary to popular belief, it also won't cause you to bulk up.
The Fix: Hit the weights and start using your own body weight to build muscle.
Finally, you're not giving yourself time to let the new routine work.
You can always try new ways to lose weight, but if you really don't stick to it for longer than a couple of days, you shouldn't be shocked when it doesn't work. One of the most common reasons why you are not losing belly fat deals with the amount of time it takes to shed the pounds.
The truth is that diets and exercise routines can take weeks, or even months, to pay off. If you don't know what to do with your routine, or feel like it's not working because you aren't seeing things happen immediately, it may be time to calm down.
Just keep going the course. Things will pay off.
The Fix: Give your efforts to lose the belly bulge some time!