If you’ve been really careful with what you eat, you’ve been exercising well and you’ve lost some weight but you still can’t shift the weight around your belly then it’s time for a re-think.
Yes, you should be proud of yourself, it’s no mean feat losing weight!
Carry on eating healthily to keep those pounds at bay but perhaps consider trying some other methods to slim down your tummy area.
We’re going to show you why you’re losing weight but not belly fat and we’re also going to tell you what you can do about it.
1. You Need to Change Up Your Workout
Great – you’ve lost weight but your tummy isn’t as flat as you want it to be.
If you’ve been running religiously 3 times a week or you’ve hit the gym every other day doing the same workout for 40 minutes then you may well have reached your peak.
Your body needs to be constantly challenged.
You’ve lost the weight, your body looks better, it’s more toned than ever before but now it can cope well with the exercise – it needs a different, more challenging workout.
If you belong to a gym, speak to the trainer in charge and ask him or her to devise a different program to target belly fat (HIT training is great, it’s training in short, sharp bursts with very brief rest periods in-between).
Remember, every time you’ve mastered an exercise regime, it’s time to make it just a little bit harder.
2. You’re Not Doing Enough Ab Work
Diet and exercise will help you lose weight and define muscle tone as well but if you have a tummy problem area, you need to focus on it.
Try adding in an ab-only session a few times a week to target that area alone.
You need to really concentrate on repetitions of sit-ups, crunches, plank, oblique crunch and stomach crunches with legs raised.
Ten minutes of ab exercises every other day should tone up your saggy belly!
3. You’re Still Drinking Alcohol
It doesn’t matter how much weight you lose, alcohol is your belly’s enemy.
Most excess sugar goes straight on your tummy so even if you work-out regularly and watch what you eat, if you drink lots of alcohol your tummy won’t lose that wobble!
Beer and spirits are packed full of sugar, wine is slightly better but regular glasses of wine won’t help your quest for a trim tum.
Try swapping a white wine for a white wine spritzer and strictly limit your spirit intake to once or twice a week (watch the mixers – they are usually high in sugar).
You can still have a drink but moderate how big that drink is and how often you reach for the booze!
4. You Need to Relax!
Stress is a reason why the body holds onto excess fat.
When you feel stressed, your body releases Cortisol, this is the stress hormone and it adds belly fat. The best thing you can do is to make sure you factor in some me-time.
Better still, try yoga.
Not only is it an excellent way to de-stress, it also helps to promote a leaner looking, more toned physique which will work wonders with trimming that tummy.
5. You’re Bloated
Sometimes it’s as simple as getting rid of the bloat.
If you feel constipated or bloated then your tummy won’t look flat and smooth but luckily this is really easy to deal with.
Firstly, drink plenty of water to keep yourself regular.
If your body holds onto water, it needs more water to flush it out, try drinking 2 liters a day to get rid of any additional swelling.
Then, look at what you eat.
If you drink lots of carbonated beverages then you will also add to that bloated feeling.
Not only are many of these drinks full of sugar, each bubble contains air and that air ends up in your tummy – that could be why it feels swollen!
You might also have a food intolerance, so try eliminating different food types for a week to see if it makes a difference, for example, dairy or wheat can be reasons why you have a bloated tummy.
6. You Consume Too Much Sugar
Have you ever considered your sugar intake?
You might not eat sweets, cake or chocolate but there are hidden sugars everywhere.
Sugar is the belly’s number one enemy and where most of it ends up. Think about what saturated fat and white refined food you eat.
Things like white bread, rice, potatoes and pasta are all causes of belly fat.
They metabolize really quickly and that makes your blood sugar spike, leading to excess fat.
Instead of sugary foods and saturated fats, try more lean meat (poultry too), lots of vegetables and fruit (which contains natural sugar – much better for you than refined sugar).
Avoid saturated fat and eat monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats which you’ll find in avocados, nuts, seeds and oily fish.
7. Sleep More
If you don’t get enough sleep then you won’t lose that belly.
Sleep-deprived people tend to feel more sluggish during the day.
If that sounds like you perhaps when that sleepy feeling kicks in you reach for a sugary snack to pep up your energy levels.
That’s one reason why your belly fat doesn’t shift but actually, when you don’t sleep long enough, your body doesn’t regulate your hormones as effectively as it should.
The hormone that controls metabolism becomes weakened so your metabolism slows down.
It’s simple, go to bed earlier and get between 7 and 8 hours sleep every night.
If you struggle with sleeping well, try the yoga idea mentioned earlier or factor in a long, lingering and relaxing bath before bed, dim the lights, switch off all devices and listen to some relaxing music to help you drift off.