6 Reasons You Still Have Belly Fat
When you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll likely come across a great deal of misinformation. Many people swear that a particular weight loss plan is the solution; but, when it comes to belly fat, there’s no one diet or exercise program that will specifically target this problem area. It really just comes down to your lifestyle.
As an added obstacle, some of the habits that you thought were actually healthy, might just be what’s keeping you from being able to lose that excess belly fat. The following tips will help you understand some of the reasons you’re not losing your belly, and the steps you can take to get yourself back on track.
Problem #1 – You’re Eating too Many Packaged Snacks and/or Frozen Meals
Processed foods are typically high in sodium and sugar, even if they are marketed as low-calorie products. This can have a significant impact on your ability to lose belly fat. Your body will store any excess sugar as fat, even if it’s a natural source, such as honey. And, of course, salt tends to cause bloating. A study that was published in the journal Hepatology, found that people who consumed high fat and high calorie snacks gained more belly fat than people who had a diet with the same total number of calories, but they got those calories from eating well-rounded meals.
Problem #2 – You’re Doing too Many Crunches
Spot training or trying to target a specific area of your body for weight loss, just doesn’t work. In order to lose belly fat, you need to lose weight all over. As you drop those excess pounds, you’ll also notice your belly shrinking. So, while doing crunches and sit-ups can help you build muscles in your abs, until you lose the belly fat, those muscles will remain hidden.
A better way to lose belly fat is to focus on your whole body. You can continue working on exercises that strengthen your core muscles, but also add moves that work larger muscle groups, such as arms and legs. As you gain muscle, you also burn more calories.
Problem #3 – You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep
Research shows that not getting enough sleep can lead to weight gain, and that weight gain generally shows up as belly fat. When you don’t get enough sleep, it can lead to an increase in the production of hunger hormones, which can lead to overeating. A study conducted at Wake Forest University found that people who slept an average of 5 hours or less each night, weighed more than people who slept 6 to 8 hours each night. Additionally, they tended to carry more fat in their stomach.
Problem #4 – You’re Concentrating on Weight Training
Building muscle can definitely help you burn more calories; however, if you want to lose belly fat, you’ll also need to do some cardio to get your metabolism in high gear. Aerobic exercise is an important factor in burning fat. Working up a sweat is what you should focus on if you want to trim your middle. In addition to cardio, add some resistance training and you’ll be well on your way to blasting away that belly fat.
Problem #5 – You’re Consuming too Many Fats
You’ve probably heard that the unsaturated fats found in avocados and nuts are not only healthy, but that they can also help fill you up, which is definitely a great step towards weight loss. The problem most people face is that they tend to go overboard. Just one ounce of almonds (a small handful), packs a whopping 164 calories. Eating nuts can definitely be an important part of your weight loss plan, but make sure that you’re measuring your servings in order to avoid a calorie overload. Stick to an ounce of nuts, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, or 1/5 of an avocado. A great way to get healthy fats into your diet is to add them to a smoothie or smoothie bowl.
Problem #6 – You’re Still Drinking Diet Soda
According to a recent study, people who drank diet beverages typically gained up to 3 times as much belly fat compared to people who avoided these drinks. While experts aren’t sure why that is, many believe that consuming artificial sweeteners may lead to a slower metabolism. Additionally, when you feel like you’re doing something great by drinking a no-calorie diet beverage, you’ll be more tempted to think you’ve earned a little treat.
It’s better to ditch the diet soda and replace it with a glass of water. Add a little squeeze of lemon or lime if you want some flavor in your water. You can also use seltzer water for a bit of fizz or bubbles, if you prefer. It’s important to keep hydrated, your body needs water in order to break down fat cells. If you want even more flavor, sip some herbal tea.
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