You never thought you’d have a hard time losing belly fat.
Back in “the day,” you could eat pretty much what you wanted, and you knew you’d never find yourself hanging on to extra pounds, dressing to conceal yourself, and looking like you just don’t care.
Take a moment to read these odd things that really make weight loss harder.
Because really – it doesn’t matter how you got here. You just hate it.
But losing belly fat is Just. So. Hard!
I’m here to tell you – it might not be your fault after all.
In fact – if you don’t know these 13 things, it’s no wonder you’re having a hard time losing belly fat.
You just might unlock a metabolism-boosting trick or two that helps you shed the pounds and feel more like yourself again.
The 13 Surprising Reasons You’re Not Losing Belly Fat
1. You’re not sleeping enough
When you’re chronically tired (meaning you’re sleeping 5 or fewer hours of sleep per night) studies show you’re likely to gain weight.
There are a number of reasons for this. Some are related to hormones.
Other reasons have to do with the bad habits of high-sugar snacking, not drinking water, and drinking sugar and caffeine laden beverages to cope with the chronic fatigue.
But either way, if you’re not getting enough sleep, changes are good you’re not losing your belly fat, either.
Bump up the sleep to 6-8 hours of sleep per night (or just go to bed earlier until you find the amount you need to feel rested in the morning), and see what a difference it makes in meeting your weight loss goals.
2. You’re not a spring chicken anymore
So I know age is a delicate topic. But here’s the thing. As you grow older, your metabolism slows. (You know where this is going, right?) A slower metabolism means it’s harder to lose weight.
Now, if you’re a woman, chances are strong that losing belly fat will be harder than ever as a result (partly thanks to those pesky hormones we’ll be talking about more in a moment).
As you age, it’s good to pay attention to how much food you’re eating (and how much food you really need to feel satisfied at each meal). When you no longer feel hungry, that’s the time to stop eating. Don’t wait until you feel stuffed each and every meal.
3. Muscle memory is working against you
As you get used to any workout, your muscles adapt and become more efficient.
Usually efficiency is a good thing – not so much when it comes to building muscle.
If your muscles have adapted to your exercise routine and you’re no longer getting results, try switching up your exercises on a regular basis. Introduce new types of movements and new exercise classes into your routine and see if you can start losing belly fat once again.
4. You have an injury from childbirth that never healed
Time for a little anatomy lesson. Many women experience a separation of the abdominal muscles during pregnancy and childbirth. And if this separation isn’t supported and encouraged to heal, traditional core exercises can actually make it worse. The result – it’s going to look like you’re having an awfully hard time losing belly fat.
If you have unusual abdominal bulges that haven’t gone away – and your last baby isn’t exactly a newborn any longer, talk to your doc about checking for a diastasis recti.
5. You’re eating way more calories than you really think
It’s a bad habit of way too many moms.
You’re cleaning the table after meals – you snack on the leftovers. The toddler wants a handful of crackers, you get a handful for yourself. You’re cooking dinner; you eat a substantial portion of whatever’s cooking as you adjust last minute seasonings.
All of these snacks add up and make it hard as heck to lose body fat!
Get real about what you’re eating – use a food journal to keep track of your habits. You might be surprised to find out you’re eating a lot more than you think.
It Starts With Food
6. Your stress level is sabotaging your weight loss
Stress affects your weight loss in many different ways.
On one hand – if you’re a stress eater, excessive stress might lead you to try to numb the feelings with your food-drug of choice.
But even if that’s not the case, stress increases your level of cortisol over time, and cortisol makes losing belly fat really difficult.
7. It’s your hormones
For women, going through menopause can make it incredibly hard to lose belly fat (and might just keep it piling on).
Decreases in progesterone and estrogen, as well as levels of testosterone that decrease more slowly, can make losing weight around the belly area extremely difficult.
8. You’re not building lean muscle
Somehow, women got tricked into believing that doing endless rounds of cardio was the secret to losing weight.
That couldn’t be further from the truth. If you’re not doing exercises to build your muscles, you won’t be losing belly fat.
Look Great Naked Weight Loss Book
9. You’re eating too much processed food
Today’s processed foods have an unfortunate effect of increasing the inflammation levels in your body. The more you’re dealing with the effects of inflammation, the harder you’ll find losing belly fat is.
10. You need to see your doctor
Sometimes difficulty in shedding excess fat is a symptom of an underlying medical issue that needs to be sorted out by a medical professional. If your weight is creeping up, and you can’t seem to lose no matter what you do, it’s time to talk to your healthcare provider to rule out hidden causes.
11. You’re not doing the right exercises
Are you stuck thinking that crunches are the ultimate belly shrinking exercise? Just stop already!
A better way to build your core is to start from the inside – your transverse abdominal muscles. These are the muscles that form the abdominal corset and work together to give you your flattest belly ever. If these aren’t strong, you’ll never have the flat belly or 6-pack abs you want.
12. You’re not challenging yourself
In order keep losing belly fat, you need to burn more calories. It takes a combination of exercise types and some high intensity intervals, to challenge yourself in the way you need to in order to actually get the results you want.
Lose Belly Fat
13. You’re not eating enough (quality) fat
A lot of people think that all fat must be avoided in order to lose weight. But more than anything, it’s all about eating the right amount of the right kinds of fats.
Specifically, eating more omega-3 fats such as those found in nuts and fish, can help decrease inflammation, keep you feeling fuller longer, and help you lose weight. But remember – this doesn’t mean you can just go out and eat any kind of fats like the ones found in fast food and other unhealthy foods.
Losing belly fat isn’t impossible.
Keep these 13 things in mind and you’ll find yourself shedding the flab faster than ever.
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