Why You Aren’t Losing Belly Fat

It’s no secret I’m on a constant quest to find ways to whittle my middle – and every other part of me for that matter.  When I saw this article on Shape.com all kinds of bells, whistles and lights started going off in my head.  The first question was, “What could I be doing wrong?”

What can these ladies do to get rid of their bellies?

photo credit: Malingering via photopin cc

Here is what I gleaned from this well written, documented and researched article along with a few extra thoughts of my own –

1. You are low on magnesium.  Women over 30 need 320 mg of magnesium per day through supplements in addition to eating more leafy greens, beans and nuts. Avocados and almonds are high in magnesium and in addition to supporting your metabolism and weight loss are great for relieving constipation.

2. Your body has gotten used to your workout’s intensity level.  It’s time to speed things up and heat them up. HIIT High Intensity Interval training – like Tabatas or adding a sprint to you jog will have a longer lasting effect on weight loss and takes more energy to recover from the microtears that are created in muscles.

3. You aren’t getting enough sleep. You need 7 to 9 hours. Make your bedroom a place to relax not for reading or TV watching. Get rid of or hide anything that glows at night. You know exactly what I mean – your phone, tablet, watch or even a kids nightlight in another room could be disrupting your sleep habits.  Make a sleep schedule and stick to it. Don’t worry about your favorite late night TV show.  If you have a DVR use it.

4. Stop the vicious soda cycle. Even diet soda interferes with your body’s hunger signals because the sweetness triggers a message to expect calories that it doesn’t get. This means you actually crave more and end up overeating because of drinking something you think will help whittle your waistline. It’s actually doing the opposite. Instead of reaching for the cola make water or unsweetened tea (green is best) your go to drink. If you want something sweet try slices of fruit to spruce up your drink. Coffee is OK, but reduce out the high calorie flavorings, sugar or other additions.

5. You eat too much salt. Either because you eat out often or have a habit of adding too much your consumption of sodium is making you feel and look bloated.  First of all, try to cook more of your own food.  Use powerful spices to add flavor to your meals. Try ones like rosemary, parsley, cumin, cayenne powder, chili powder, cinnamon and basil to add loads of flavor without the sodium. This will allow you to reduce the salt if not eliminate it all together without missing the flavor. Plus, these spices offer health benefits.

6. Reduce the booze. It’s no secret that many moms and dads out there like to have a glass of wine (or two or three) to unwind after a particularly stressful day of work and wrangling kids. This could be contributing to your growing mid-section. What to do? Don’t cut out your favorite brew altogether. Instead of drinking alcohol every night, try taking a warm bath with Epsom salts and baking soda to relax and detoxify. If your drink of choice is sugary daiquiris or margaritas maybe switch to a lighter less calorie laden choice.

What I’ve learned over the years is that it’s a lot of little choices that when put together make a big difference for the good or the bad.  Gaining 6 pounds a year doesn’t sound like much but when you compound that over a decade of bad habits and inactivity you end up with 60 pounds and a terrible gut to match.  Making the changes to impact your health will take time.  The effects will not be instant.  Don’t give up.  Remember little changes add up to big rewards.

26 comments for “Why You Aren’t Losing Belly Fat

  1. lisalisa
    April 9, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Wow, it was meant for me to see this post….awesome.
    I see my cycle from 1-6 even though
    I have decreased if not illuminated some things I still need to make better choices to reduce my bellt fat. Great post!

    • April 9, 2014 at 4:54 pm

      I’m glad you liked it Lisa! When I saw the original on Shape I had to take notes and share it with you all.

  2. April 9, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    I am guilty of all of these and to be honest have tried to stop drinking pop and it’s harder than when i quit smoking. Thanks for the tips though I am definitely pinning for when I am ready to try again.
    Amanda @ The Mommy Mix recently posted…My Pros And Cons Of BreastfeedingMy Profile

    • April 9, 2014 at 4:53 pm

      I am guilty of several of these as well. Stagnant workouts, giving up, not sleeping enough. . . Though I didn’t think I had a problem with pop – until I read up on Dr. Oz’s 2 Week Rapid Weight Loss plan. It wasn’t until reading this article on Shape that I realized WHY I was supposed to eliminate artificial sweeteners, probably even stevia, because of the mixed signals we send our brain that sabotage our progress. DOH! Back to the drawing board. 🙁

  3. April 9, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I need to quit my diet soda addiction. But it’s going to be ugly!
    Triplezmom recently posted…What’s the Worst That Could Happen?My Profile

  4. April 15, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Those are some really great tips that I would have never thought about.
    Michelle F. recently posted…3 Months Down and Back to the 2 Week Dr. Oz PlanMy Profile

  5. April 15, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    I am so guilty of many of these – but I am not willing to change them … YET!
    Sara Phillips recently posted…Windows Surface 2 Tablet: Pros & Cons #WindowsChampionsMy Profile

  6. April 15, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Well, it’s pretty clear from your list, that I’ve been doing this all wrong. Changes are a’comin’ for me! Thank you.
    Lisa Weidknecht recently posted…Easter Cakes from Gourmet Gift Baskets – ReviewMy Profile

  7. April 15, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    After 3 kids, my stomach is definitely my problem area. I need to work on a couple of these, like the soda thing and the workout thing.
    Crystal recently posted…Isabelle Grace Jewelry: A Gift for Mother’s DayMy Profile

  8. April 15, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Lack of sleep is definitely a contributor to fat. Learnt this recently. So many people don’t know that.
    Marina recently posted…Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Rice {Recipe}My Profile

  9. April 15, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    I think I need to up my magnesium. A deficiency seems to be the source of a lot of problems.

  10. April 15, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    I will have to look into taking magnesium!

  11. April 15, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Your point about little changes is a good one. Of course it takes patience and hard work, and realizing not all people are built the same and will never look the same or have the same results as others.

  12. April 15, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    Getting enough sleep is my biggest battle.
    Jennifer @ Mom Spotted recently posted…Perrigo Nutritionals Products and Say Goodbye to Survival Mode Book {Review & #Giveaway}My Profile

  13. April 15, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    I carry my weight in my middle… I hate it. Sigh. And numbers 3 and 5 are big ones for me. Plus, I know I just plain eat too much.
    Donna recently posted…Make Your Life Easier with Target Pharmacy and $50 Target Giveaway #TargetSponsoredMy Profile

    • April 19, 2014 at 7:14 am

      I noticed that after getting married it became more difficult for me to lose weight. Bad associations spoil useful habits so says the Bible. I started eating like my husband. Bad idea since his metabolism can handle it but mine can’t. 🙁

  14. April 16, 2014 at 12:14 am

    I’m working really hard to cut down the diet soda. I know I also have too much salt in my diet though.
    Liz Mays recently posted…Banana Pudding SquaresMy Profile

  15. April 16, 2014 at 12:38 am

    wow these are great tips. i need to focus on getting a better nights sleep

    • April 19, 2014 at 7:11 am

      Getting enough rest is becoming more and more of n issue for me. I used to onset why my mom couldn’t sleep well when I was a kid and now I’m experiencing the same.

  16. April 16, 2014 at 12:51 am

    Soda is such a horrible habit and one I’m trying to break. Belly fat is a HUGE problem for me.
    Cat Davis recently posted…#EasyToMake Rice Krispies PEEP’S EGG NEST Easter TreatsMy Profile

  17. April 16, 2014 at 6:25 am

    I just had a baby, so my middle is pretty wrecked right now. I don’t drink soda or booze and rarely eat salt, but I definitely need to work out more. I just got the all-clear a couple of weeks ago {c-section} so I’ve been slowly stepping it up.
    Shell Feis recently posted…New Planes: Fire & Rescue Trailer!My Profile

    • April 19, 2014 at 7:10 am

      Congrats on you new baby and on getting the all clear to exercise. Since your body is in healing mode have you considered belly binding to encourage your muscles to knit back together properly. I didn’t after my pregnancies and I’m really, really regretting it now.

  18. April 16, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Great tips! I’m so glad I’ve given up on my sodas but I still haven’t learned to give up on my sugars in my coffee or treats.
    Chelle @ oh just stop already recently posted…Swapping My Boots for Gladiator Sandals w/ Make Me ChicMy Profile

    • April 19, 2014 at 7:06 am

      At least you can control how much sugar you put in your own concoctions. Some people may disagree but I think a little bit of sugar isn’t bad.

  19. April 17, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    I hate belly fat. Great article.
    Robyn recently posted…Earth Day: 5 Simple Ways to Teach Kids its ImportanceMy Profile

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