Fat is proven to be an essential component that you need so your body can dissolve the fat-soluble nutrients from the food that we eat. Fat also acts as insulation against cold and cushions your body from injuries and these are just the many benefits that fat brings to your body.
However, too much of anything is not good and this can never be truer when it comes to the fat content in your body. Not only does excess fat makes people unattractive and uncomfortable but it also causes harmful effects to our body that can cause serious repercussions in the long run.
Due to the perils of excess fat, many fitness and health experts have developed numerous programs and methods for people to lose excess fat and maintain their weight. These programs are in the form of new exercise methods and calisthenics, diet programs, fat burning foods and even fat-burning supplements. And the list goes on and on.
Some of these have worked for some people, using one method or a combination of two or more methods, but for some people, losing weight might prove difficult and challenging. And for some, they might even lose weight and reduce their body’s fat content but for some reason, their belly fat stays and wouldn’t seem to budge. Why is it that the belly fat stays and difficult to get rid of? See the reasons below and knowing them is crucial so you can adjust your weight loss program accordingly.
Your Age is Playing a Factor
People have the tendency to look for answers in many places but sometimes the answer is quite simple and staring them in the face. When questioning why you are not losing weight, you might point to the food that you eat or to the lack of exercise that you put in but for all you know, it could be your age.
People who are above 40 will have difficulty burning fat at a faster rate because there is a significant decrease in the body’s rate of metabolism, among other factors such as changes in the body’s hormone and testosterone productions. The peak age where your body is most efficient in burning fat is said to be 18 to 25 years old and it decreases as you grow older.
If you think that your age is the factor why you don’t see significant fat loss in spite of the proper diet and exercise you are doing, then you need to make some changes. You might want to increase the intensity of your exercise – maybe increase your weight resistance level or increase your cardio workout or a combination of both.
You might also want to re-asses your diet and see where you can make some improvements. These tweaks in your program should be designed to compensate for the age factor so you can still get the desired weight loss goals.
You need muscle development in order to improve your body’s fat-burning ability. If you can’t grow new muscles due to age or due to lack of increased intensity, you should at least maintain the muscle mass in your body. The body’s muscle reacts best to growth if they are broken down or “damaged” during the workout.
After each workout, your muscles undergo a cellular process to repair or replace damaged muscle fibers to form new muscle protein strands or myofibrils. The increased muscle growth also called muscle hypertrophy) is caused by these repaired myofibrils.
Your muscles need variation in workouts for maximum reaction and growth. By subjecting your muscles to different workouts, you avoid what is called “muscle memory” where the muscles become accustomed to the exercises so they’re not being subjected to maximum exertion and damage.
You will notice that whenever you do an exercise for the first time, you will feel an intense pain or burn during the exercise and after the exercise. And if you do the same exercise for a period of time without changing it, it won’t hurt the same as when you first did it. That’s when muscle memory has set in. When this happens, your muscles stop building so they will not grow.
You can prevent the onset of muscle memory by incorporating a different set of exercise in your workout. You can change them after every two weeks or whenever you feel that the workout is not affecting your muscles that much anymore.
You’re Too Stressed
The body experiences stress every day and in so many different levels. Most often than not, people have learned to take it for granted and accept the stress as part of everyday living. If you are trying to lose weight and not seeing your desired results, you should consider changing the way you deal with stress as this might be one of the culprits why you are not losing that belly fat.
When your body is under stress, it releases a hormone called “cortisol” which is called the stress hormone. When cortisol is produced by the body, your hunger pangs increases and you tend to crave “junk” or “comfort” food that basically causes accumulation of belly fat.
Why do you crave for these foods? Because your body thinks you have used up your calories to deal with the stress even though you didn’t. The increase amount of cortisol also leads to higher insulin levels so your blood sugar drops and you crave sugary, fatty foods.
In the end, you should make an effort to manage stress by doing relaxation activities such as yoga, meditation or by doing some physical activities such as exercising, walking or other stress busting activity you can think of.
We have discussed a number of actions that you can do and things that you should be aware of in order to get you closer to getting rid of your belly fat or just losing weight in general. In the end, it boils down to doing the three most important actionable things: eat a proper diet, do a combination of cardio and muscle resistance exercise, and live a healthy lifestyle by having enough sleep, avoiding smoking and excessive drinking.
I want to reiterate that the three actions mentioned are something that you MUST implement and continue over a period of time so here comes the intangible aspect of a weight loss program – YOU! Being successful in this endeavor requires your dedication, perseverance and the belief that you can do it.
There are things in life that are hard and challenging but once conquered will give you a sense of physical, emotional and mental fulfillment like no other. Achieving your weight loss goals and losing your belly fat is one of them. It is worth the journey so continue on until you reach the destination.
Good luck and cheers to your health and fitness goals!