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Why am I Struggling to Lose Weight from my Belly?



Why am I Struggling to Lose Weight from my Belly?

Living a healthy lifestyle and keeping active makes us feel good. But of all the different difficult aspects of health and fitness, which do you find the most frustrating? Forcing ourselves to enjoy eating kale and performing burpees is probably up there. As is staying motivated when we’re busy and the weather outside is cold and dark.

But perhaps one of the most annoying things of all is our ability to lose belly fat. We might be doing all we can to exercise regularly and make healthy diet and lifestyle choices but that stubborn fat around our bellies is seemingly going nowhere. 

If you’re exercising and eating well, yet your midriff feels like it’s falling behind the rest of you – you’re not alone. Women regularly report their middle area is the area they love the least. 

But it might comfort you to know that belly fat is notoriously difficult to shift, especially in women. Female bodies have much higher levels of the female sex hormone, oestrogen. Oestrogen affects the fat distribution in our bodies, meaning that females carry more weight around their belly than males. Scientists think this is all to do with carrying babies, and creating a nourishing space for a developing foetus. 

Not only that, the type of fat also matters. There are two types of fat cell – alpha and beta. Alpha fat cells are easier to burn off through diet and exercise than beta cells. Alpha cells are found in our faces, arms and legs – often the first places we lose weight when we consciously try to. Beta cells are found in, yes, you’ve guessed it, our stomach and hip areas. 

Stress plays a role too. When we’re stressed, we release the hormone cortisol, which encourages us to store fat around our belly area. What’s more, cortisol also slows down our metabolism, our ability to burn the calories we consume. 

If we’re perimenopausal or menopausal, then that will also impact our body shape. Not only does oestrogen mean we carry weight around our middles, a lack of oestrogen means the same thing! 

As we lose oestrogen, our body composition changes and we’re biologically more inclined to carry more fat than lean muscle. Women carry fat around their midriff, so it’s a frustrating fact of life that in our middle years, our middle is going to be more difficult to keep trim. 

Now it’s time for some good news – it’s not impossible to lose belly fat! But it does take hard work and dedication. 

It’s mainly down to diet, choosing low fat, healthy, protein rich foods is key. Exercise-wise, fat burning, high energy workouts such as our Dance Party workouts will help to reduce fat from all over our body (sadly we can’t specifically target belly fat alone). Mixing this up with toning and muscle building exercise such as F.I.T Combat will help to sculpt our shape. 

You’ve got this! Keep up all the good work and you’ll start to see progress, you’re amazing!

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