The Reason Why It Is So Hard To Lose Belly Fat

  • Post last modified:August 11, 2021
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Almost everyone has some belly fat, even thin people. The body fat that’s stored within the abdominal cavity is called “visceral” fat. 

Too much “visceral” fat will not only affect your body shape but also seriously affect your health. It causes many diseases, including fatty liver, diabetes and heart disease.

However, one of the most frustrating things for many people is how difficult it is to get rid of that belly fat.

To solve this problem, you must first understand the root cause of the inability to lose belly fat.

If all your efforts (such as sit-ups, abdominal crunches, etc) have had little effect, then it is time to examine what went wrong.

Here are 11 reasons why it is so hard to lose belly fat:

1. You eat too much

This is definitely the number one cause of weight gain.

Some people think that eating small, frequent meals throughout the day may help them lose weight. However, they forget the fact that it is easy to consume too many calories.

Eating too often or too much also causes a more serious problem. It keeps your blood sugar levels high. In order to balance blood sugar, the pancreas keeps secreting insulin and eventually this can lead to insulin resistance.

A study has shown that insulin resistance (IR) links to obesity, pre-diabetes and diabetes. The most obvious sign of insulin resistance is an increase in belly fat.

2. You are eating unhealthy foods

An unhealthy diet can’t provide your body with the right amount or the right type of nutrients for maximum health.

Junk food (especially those that have a high amount of unhealthy fats, added sugars or salt) have almost no nutritional value except for empty calories. While junk food is tasty, it is usually not very filling, which makes it easy for people to overeat.

These kinds of foods have been linked to insulin resistance, high triglycerides, cholesterol and increased fat accumulation in the liver and in the abdominal cavity. [*]


3. You eat too little

Many people eat a vegan or calorie-restricted diet to help them lose weight. This may be effective in the short term.

However, these types of diets are not easy to adhere to. They are easy to give up on, causing overeating or causing your weight to rebound.

What’s more serious is that this practice can lead to malnutrition, a lower metabolic rate and endocrine disorders. You not only can’t lose weight but you may also damage your health.

4. Watch what you are drinking

Do you drink too much alcohol?

Whether it is wine, liquor or beer, excessive intake of alcohol can increase the accumulation of belly fat.

These alcoholic beverages not only contain sugar but are also high in calories.

In addition, various carbonated beverages and fruit juices can also increase body weight and body fat.

Any kind of calories — whether from alcohol, sugary beverages or oversized portions of food — can increase belly fat. However, alcohol does seem to have a particular association with fat in the midsection.

Why am I not losing belly fat

5. You are stressed out

Studies have shown that stress may cause excessive abdominal fat in women. Even people of normal weight or thin people can experience an increase in belly fat due to stress.  [*]

Greater exposure to life stress or psychological vulnerability to stress may explain their enhanced cortisol reactivity. In turn, their cortisol exposure may have led them to accumulate greater abdominal fat.

Said Elissa S. Epel, Ph.D., lead investigator on the study she conducted while at Yale’s psychology department. [*]

6. You don’t get enough sleep

According to statistics, if adults and children do not get enough sleep, the risk of obesity can increase by 60% to 90%, respectively.

A study showed that averaging five hours or less of sleep each night leads to a large increase in visceral fat or fat around the organs.

Poor or insufficient sleep affects people’s daily activities. It also promotes the body to release more cortisol, thereby increasing belly fat.

Elevated cortisol levels also increase the risk of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.


How Come It Is Hard To Lose Belly Fat

7. You lack of physical activity

A sedentary lifestyle is the most unhealthy lifestyle.

A survey conducted in the United States from 1988 to 2010 found that those who do not practice physical activities and sit still for a long time have significantly increased weight and waist circumference.

Another observational study compared women who watched TV for more than 3 hours a day with women who watched TV for less than 1 hour a day.

The results showed that the former has almost twice the rate of abdominal obesity as the latter [*].

8. You exercise incorrectly

When it comes to weight loss, many people first think of aerobic exercise such as running.

Proper exercise is certainly good for your health. However, if you want to burn fat and lose weight, a single aerobic exercise such as running or swimming may not be very effective.

The intensity of exercise, not the duration of exercise, is the key to triggering fat burning. In addition, doing a single aerobic exercise for a long time may increase your stress hormone (cortisol), thereby affecting fat loss.

This is why some people can’t lose weight even after running every day.

9. You eat too much salt

The main ingredient of salt is sodium.

Your body needs sodium to maintain fluid balance in the body, transmit nerve impulses and affect muscle contraction.

However, too much sodium will make your body retain excess fluid, causing edema. When you eat too much salt, your body retains water in an effort to dilute it.

Some studies have shown that a high-sodium diet may affect the activity of fat cells and increase fat accumulation.

10. You have aged

As you get older, your metabolism starts to slow down. This leads to loose skin and a decrease in muscle mass. Furthermore, an increase in your waistline is almost inevitable.

After the age of 40, the reduction of female estrogen and male testosterone means that fat is more likely to accumulate in the abdomen instead of in other parts of the body.

11. You may have health problems

Some health problems can also cause weight gain, making it more difficult to lose weight.

For example:

  • insulin resistance
  • metabolic syndrome
  • hypothyroidism
  • type 2 diabetes
  • sleep apnea

If this is the case, you may want to seek health care support immediately.  


Many people wonder why it is so hard to lose belly fat. The reason for it is due to many factors such as unhealthy diet and lifestyle, or as simple as getting older. 

However, some health issues can cause weight gain. In this case, it is recommended that you seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

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