Over the past few weeks, months- or even years- you’ve been working out every single day until you’re ready to pass out. Unfortunately, the belly fat you’re trying to get rid of seems to be hanging on. That typically leads you to ask the question, “why is belly fat the last to go?”
Why is Belly Fat the Last to Go
There are several things that cause this: your age, hormones, and even what you are eating. Of course, if you are able to banish belly fat, you’ll decrease your risk of a host of health issues- plus, you’ll be much more confident and happy when it comes time for swimsuit season again.
What are the Dangers Associated with Belly Fat?
If you’ve been carrying around too much belly fat- also known as visceral fat- which is the fat that is nestled deep within your abdomen around your vital organs, then you should be aware that your health is at risk. According to the medical experts, women need to keep their waist at around 35” to ensure optimal health.
Any more than that increases a woman’s risk of conditions such as high blood pressure, colorectal cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Though it’s true that genetics do play a role as to a woman’s overall shape- apple-shaped or pear-shaped (which describes how she stores her fat), absolutely anyone can decrease the amount of belly fat they have by eating healthy and getting more exercise.
Aging Can Make Losing Weight Difficult
As women get older, it can become more difficult to lose belly fat. This is because the fat gets distributed more in their midsection, including their abdomen. This redistribution of fat, along with a decrease in metabolism, makes it much more difficult to reduce belly fat as you age. Regardless of what your weight is- even if you’re naturally thin- the fat that you do have will merge into your abdominal area as you get older.
High Insulin Levels Make Losing Weight Difficult
When your insulin levels are too high, the result is weight retention in your abdomen- which makes it that much more difficult to melt away belly fat than to melt way fat in other areas of your body. When you have high insulin levels for a long time, you could potentially develop insulin resistance, which will increase the difficulty you have in losing belly fat.
Even when you have a fairly active lifestyle, consuming a diet that is high in sugars and carbs contributes to higher insulin levels. If you believe that insulin is one of the reasons you are retaining belly fat, try to add more protein to your diet- 20-25 grams per meal is ideal.
Hormones Play a Role in Weight Loss
Your hormone levels play a major role in the way your body holds on to belly fat. If you’re under lots of stress, your body produces a hormone known as cortisol, which causes you to retain more belly fat. Try to make sure that you’re getting 7 ½ to 9 hours of sleep every night and including a source of protein as part of a balanced breakfast to combat the production of cortisol.
In addition, high estrogen levels, especially when you are premenopausal, can cause fat around your hips and belly to increase. Talk to your physician if you believe that hormones are to blame for your belly fat.
Exercise Plays a Role in Weight Loss
You’ve been giving it your all when you are working out. However, if you’re still not losing belly fat, perhaps you’re not doing the right kind of exercise. Aerobic exercise is much more effective at burning away belly fat than strength training. However, be aware that spot reduction exercises such as crunches and other belly exercises are not as effective as you might think.
When you work out, regardless of what you are doing, you burn calories throughout your entire body. There’s really no way to target the belly alone. On the other hand, if you have lost some belly fat, but you don’t feel like your belly is toned, you should focus on exercises that strengthen your transverse abdominis muscles and obliques.
These exercises will give your abs a much flatter, sleeker look, as these are the muscles that hold in your midsection. In addition, practicing better posture habits will give your abs a naturally flatter appearance.
Many women try so hard to lose weight, but their belly fat just holds on tight. That leads them to ask, “why is belly fat the last to go?” There are a variety of reasons, including the above. However, with the right exercise and lifestyle habits, you’ll eventually see that belly fat begin to melt away.