Belly bulge is one of the toughest things to get rid of. And you may have experienced that the difficulty level rises with every attempt of losing this fat.
I mean if you were successful at reducing your belly fat completely the first time it showed up with a little bit of exercise and diet control, the next time you are going to find it little more difficult to shed that fat.
And the difficulty level goes on increasing just like the levels you have to cross in the video games! So, what are these factors that make it difficult for you to lose belly fat? Let us have a look at them one by one:
1. Your age
As we get older, our body’s metabolic functions undergo a change, which results in a change in how you gain or lose weight. Most of us experience a gradually declining metabolic rate, because of which the body utilizes less number of calories to function normally.
This phenomenon is more common in women because of the altered hormonal balance during menopause. They are more likely to gain weight especially around their tummy due to the slowing down of the production of estrogen and progesterone coupled with a drop in the testosterone levels.
As a cumulative effect of this, women hold onto more weight around their belly region. Though there is nothing you can do to reverse your age, you can definitely prevent the bulging belly from appearing by following a healthy diet and exercising in the right way!
2. Processed foods
Processed foods are the worst foods to eat if you are trying to lose belly fat. Refined grains such as crackers, white bread, and chips, and the refined sugars used to sweeten desserts and drinks can increase the inflammation in our body. Since belly fat is linked with inflammation, eating processed foods can substantially hinder your ability to lose it.
So, make sure you skip all forms of refined foods and opt for natural foods such as fruits, veggies, and whole grains that are full of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and antioxidants.
3. Your workouts are not right
Most people complain that they are not able to lose belly fat in spite of working out regularly. The possible reason here could be their workouts are not aimed at losing fats from the tummy region.
For example; If you are into cardio, it will definitely be great for your heart; but won’t do much for your tummy fat. What you actually need is a combination of cardio and weights training or strength training.
Strength training can increase the muscle mass, and set your body to burn more belly fat. Since muscles consume more energy during workouts, an increased muscle mass results in a higher amount of fat burning. Hence, the best way would be to include exercises that work out your muscles.
4. Skipping fats
A very surprising reason for not being able to lose belly fat could be you are not eating fats! Yes, you read it right! A diet that is completely devoid of fats can only act as a major hindrance to your efforts to lose fats stored in the tummy!
The reason is simple; the fats are of 2 types- healthy or saturated fats and unhealthy or unsaturated fat. Our body reacts differently to both these forms of fats.
While a high intake of saturated fat can increase the visceral fat, an intake of healthy monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats is necessary to fight the belly fat.
These healthy fats produce an anti-inflammatory effect, which prevents the accumulation of fats in the body. So, make sure you enjoy the healthy fats like omega 3s, but in moderation.
5. Magnesium deficiency
Magnesium is an essential nutrient needed by the body to perform more than 300 functions including regulation of the blood sugar levels and promoting body shaping through weight loss. A lower intake of magnesium is associated with increased levels of insulin and fasting glucose, both of which are the markers for weight gain.
Hence, it is vital that you eat the magnesium-rich foods like green leafy vegetables, nuts, and beans to lose belly fat.
6. You are not sleeping well
Not getting enough sleep is the worst thing you can do to your health. It can take away all the benefits of your workouts and diet and make you prone to not just obesity, but also depression, heart attacks, and stroke.
The lack of ZZZ’s can be highly detrimental for your waistline: the reason being too little sleep can cause an increase in ghrelin, a hormone responsible for stimulating your appetite.
Naturally, when you do not get enough sleep, you tend to eat more. So, even if you work out hard, you will only gain back the lost fat.
This can be easily avoided by making sure you get at least 7 to 8 hours of sound sleep every night. To ensure quality slumber, keep your room dark and cool, remove all forms of distractions from the bedroom and minimize your intake of caffeine.
7. You trust diet soda
All forms of soda, even the so-called zero-calorie diet soda, have immense ability to expand your waistline. It has been found that regular soda can increase the abdominal fat, and waist size considerably. But what is more
surprising is diet soda can be worse than the regular soda in terms of your BMI, increased waist size, and total fat percentage in the body.
The reason behind this is the artificial sweeteners used in diet soda do not initiate the response expected by your body upon the consumption of something sweet. Diet soda produces a sweet taste for the taste buds and sends a message to the body to expect a surge of energy, which doesn’t arrive since your diet soda contains no calories.
This affects the body’s hunger signals as a result of which you end up craving for additional calories in an attempt to make up for the calories it didn’t receive from the diet soda. Hence, it would be wise to shun all sodas from your diet.
Some more reasons that prevent you from losing belly fat:
- A higher intake of salt or salty foods like chips
- An excessive consumption of alcohol
- High levels of mental stress
- A pre-existing condition like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Belly fat can be very dangerous for your health and make you prone to heart attacks, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, cancer, and many more diseases. This marks the importance of identifying the factors responsible for the lack of desired results. Though some of the factors mentioned above can be easily tackled, some are not in your control such as your increasing age. Yet, you can definitely work around the modifiable factors and lose the belly fat to stay healthy and fit!