If you’re struggling to lose belly fat, you’re not alone. From fashion models to bodybuilders, most people encounter this problem at some stage in their life. A stressful lifestyle, bad eating, improper training and certain medications can all take their toll, making it hard to shift stubborn fat. If you’re working out and eating right but are still carrying excess fat, you may be doing something wrong. Here are five possible reasons why you’re not losing belly fat.
Excessive portion sizes
How much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Oversized portions are synonymous with an oversized belly because when you eat a lot, your stomach expands. Over time, this can lead to abdominal distension. Research has shown that people will generally finish what’s on their plate – regardless of its size. Choose a smaller plate to keep your portion sizes in check without feeling cheated. When dining out, don’t be fooled into ordering supposedly healthy choices that prove to be anything but. For example, a large Caesar salad with croutons and dressing can easily exceed 1,000 calories.
Poor food choices
Some foods may be healthy and nutritious but still pack a ton of calories. For instance, nuts can contain up to 700 calories per 100 grams and it’s easy to eat more than that in one sitting. Almonds, pistachios, nut butters, coconut oil, avocado and other nutrient-dense foods are a great addition to your diet but you still have to eat mindfully. Healthy food is not calorie free. The same is true of what you drink; if you’re eating sensibly all through the week before loading up on alcohol at the weekend, all your hard work will have been for nothing. The odd drink may not derail your progress but half a dozen certainly will.
Poor training choices
Fat loss requires more than mere cardio. If you’re racking up miles on the treadmill but aren’t seeing results, it’s time you took a different approach. While steady state cardio will burn calories, its benefits stop the moment you stop. For a smarter approach to weight loss, try HIIT. This intensive form of cardio is a highly effective means of burning fat. What’s more, research has shown that your body will burn additional fat up to 24 hours after completing a HIIT workout. Download Adrian James High Intensity Interval Training and give it a go. Don’t limit yourself to cardio either – lifting weights is another great way of fighting fat. Keep your rest period between sets to under 60 seconds to maintain a high heart rate throughout.
Lack of sleep
Lack of sleep affects every system in your body. When you don’t get enough shut-eye, your cortisol levels go up and testosterone levels go down. At the same time, insulin sensitivity decreases. These factors combined may lead to chronic stress, muscle loss, weight gain and metabolic disorders. To shed belly fat, prioritise sleep. Create a calming bedtime ritual and avoid using electronic devices late at night. Good sleep is the key to better health, stress relief and greater gains. Aim to get seven or eight hours a night.
Lack of motivation
If you’re struggling to shed those last few pounds, it’s easy to get discouraged. Loss of motivation can leave you prone to making poor dietary choices and skipping workouts. To reclaim your willpower, you need a challenge; a goal that will keep you focused and incentivised; a reason to eat right and train hard even on the days when you’re not feeling it. Try the Adrian James Body Transformation Challenge. Stick to the eight-week programme and not only will excess belly fat be a thing of the past, but you’ll be in the best shape of your life and loving every workout. In case you need any convincing, here’s what it did for Leigh, Liz and Choonie:
By training smarter, sleeping better and making simple lifestyle changes, you can improve your health and bid good riddance to stubborn fat for good.