By Damilola Faustino
There’s a reason belly fat is known as the most stubborn to shift. The fat cells that gather around your lower abdomen are known as ‘beta fat’ cells, which are notoriously hard to get rid of. So what do you do if you’ve been exercising regularly and maintaining a balanced diet, but you’re still failing to see any results? Here are the reasons you are not losing belly fat:
You’re not getting enough sleep
From scrolling through social media to having a late-night coffee, there are plenty of ways you unknowingly keep yourself awake at night. Aside from feeling tired and groggy the next day, not getting the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night can affect weight loss including losing belly fat. Try going to bed a little earlier than usual to avoid this imbalance and remember to remove any distractions that might prevent you from nodding off.”
You’re doing the wrong type of workout
Only doing abdominal-focused workouts, like crunches, won’t help you banish the bulge. Belly fat is simply where your body stores energy, so you need to take a whole-body approach to tackle it. High-intensity interval training is a great way to burn fat and get your heart rate up.
You’re consuming too much sugar
If your diet consists of lots of sports drinks, sugar-sweetened drinks like fizzy pop and flavoured waters, or sugary foods like chocolate and cakes, it will make losing weight harder. While whole fruits and vegetables are undoubtedly good for you, they can also sometimes cause weight gain if you eat too much, as they have high levels of natural sugars in them. Try cutting back on the amount of simple carbohydrates you eat, like pasta and bread.
You’re not eating enough protein
Protein is great for fat loss. It helps build and preserve lean muscle tissue and can increase the amount of calories you burn. It’s also a great source of energy that helps you feel fuller for longer, so you’re less tempted to snack. Good sources include chicken breast, tuna, eggs, milk, and chickpeas. And if you’re finding it difficult to avoid snacks that are high in carbohydrates, try substituting them for protein shakes or bars.
You’re feeling stressed or anxious
Feeling stressed can wreak havoc on your bodies. It can cause your body to produce the steroid hormone cortisol, which can make you crave sugary foods that provide instant energy and pleasure. Short-term bursts of cortisol are necessary to help you cope with immediate danger, but your body will also release this hormone if you’re feeling stressed or anxious.
You’re expecting a quick fix
It’s easy to become impatient and frustrated when you’re trying to lose weight and haven’t seen the results yet. But be realistic – you won’t see the effect overnight. Your brain’s wiring plays a huge part in resisting changes in lifestyle, and it takes time to establish new habits – up to 12 weeks. Stick with it for at least eight weeks and you should notice a change.
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