Here you are crushing your workouts, eating clean and healthy, and chugging water like your life depends on it, but you’re still not seeing results. Not being able to lose weight, especially in your stomach area, can be stressful and quickly derail anyone’s weight-loss journey. Fortunately, we have some tips on why you might not be losing belly fat and how to fix those problems.
1. You’re Not Sleeping Enough
Sleeping is an essential factor when it comes to losing weight in general and lack of sleep can have serious consequences when you’re trying to lose fat. When you get less sleep than you’re supposed to, it can cause an increase in a hormone called ghrelin that stimulates appetite. A study found that women who got four hours of sleep instead of eight consumed more than 300 extra calories a day, mainly in foods that had more fat.
The Fix: Experts recommend seven to nine hours of sleep a night. To help make sure you can accomplish this remove your cell phone from your sight and keep your room on the cooler side. Make sure to avoid caffeine after lunch and try to maintain the same sleep schedule, even on the weekends.
2. You’re Consuming Too Much Salt
Salt is one of the top reasons why you’re feeling bloated after a meal. Excess salt will cause water to move from your bloodstream into your skin, causing you to look puffy. The CDC recommends 2,300mg of sodium per day, and you might not realize what foods have a high amount of sodium, like canned food and salad dressing.
The Fix: Avoid adding salt to your meals. You can still boost your meals flavor with other spices and herbs that all have significant health benefits. Cinnamon, chili peppers, rosemary, and parsley are all delicious options that will take your meals to the next level.
3. You’re Not Doing the Right Workouts
Even though you’re doing five extreme cardio workouts a week doesn’t mean you’re going to see great results. Cardio is just one factor in losing weight, especially in the belly area, and it won’t do much for your stomach.
The Fix: Your body needs a good mix of cardio and strength training to kick that excessive fat away. With strength training, you are increasing your muscle mass, which will help your body burn more fat. Try dedicating 250 minutes to a strength training workout and 125 minutes to a cardio workout.
4. You’re Stressed
Stress is a key factor in why you’re not losing belly fat and typically when we are stressed, we don’t make the best food decisions. Stress can also produce a hormone called cortisol, which increases the amount of fat your body clings to and enlarges your fat cells.
The Fix: Try to eliminate the stress or find a way to manage it a little easier. Take a yoga class, meditate, or get a massage to help you loosen up and shake that belly fat away.
5. Your Age
As horrible as it sounds, your age does play a role in losing belly fat. When we get older our bodies pick and choose how it wants to lose weight, and typically our metabolism slows down. On top of that, if you’re a woman, menopause plays a massive part in losing weight, especially in our stomachs. For males, if your testosterone levels drop, it can play a role in keeping that belly fat around.
The Fix: Try to change up your diet and workout. Adding a mixture of weighted exercises and cardio can kick your metabolism into shape and having a clean and healthy diet will give your gut all the nutrients it needs.
6. You’re Eating Too Many Processed Foods
Yes, processed food makes our lives easier when it comes to prepping lunch or grabbing something for breakfast, but it can also be the reason why our belly fat is sticking around. Foods like white bread, crackers, sweetened drinks, and desserts can increase inflammation in our bodies which leads to fat sticking around.
The Fix: Fuel your body with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that are filled with antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory properties and can help prevent belly fat.
There you have it, six reasons why you’re not losing belly fat and a few ideas on how you can solve the problem. Hopefully, these tips can help you on your weight loss journey. Good luck!