For some people, even the smallest amount of dieting can have an impact on the amount of fat that they are carrying around their middles, but for others, it can feel as though nothing will help that area to slim down. What is it that causes the belly fat to stick around, seemingly regardless of all of the efforts that you make to eliminate it?
It could be the result of any or many of several different factors. There are mistakes that you could be making that are quite easy to fix, but there are also other issues that come into play, such as hormones and genetics, that can make things a little bit trickier to overcome.
Consider the following reasons that battling the bulge could be presenting you with a sizeable challenge.
• Age – you might have been able to drop a few pounds in a matter of days as a teenager, but as you get older, the function of the body changes in terms of the way that it loses and gains weight. Men and women, alike, undergo a slowing of the metabolism. This can make it easier to gain weight, but harder to lose it.
• You’re exercising wrong – many people feel that if they want slimmer bellies, then they need to work their abs. The truth is that all the crunches in the world won’t slim down your middle. It will only tone the muscles underneath. Don’t give up your strength training (as muscles are fantastic fat burners), but if you want to burn away fat, start taking on more cardio exercises, such as walking, running, jogging, swimming, cycling, and others.
• You’re eating junk – refined foods such as white flour, white sugar, and processed foods are high in fats, salts, and sugar, but are low in nutrients. Switch to whole foods and you’ll rapidly see a measurable difference in your weight loss.
• You’re stressed out – even if you’re exercising and eating right, stress can make the pounds stick longer than they should. Stress causes a hormone called cortisol to be produced in your body. The higher the levels of that hormone, the greater its chances of affecting your fat cells, such as by enlarging them. Cortisol has been linked to greater levels of visceral (abdominal) fat.
• You’re sleep starved – 30 percent of Americans get fewer than six hours of sleep per night. Unfortunately, sleep starvation has been directly linked to a notably higher level of body fat than is found in well rested people.