BistroMD Health Library

Get excited about reading again with fun and interesting tips from our experts, including The M.D., our dietitians, and our fitness expert. In our health library, you will find all of the information you need to achieve your goals of making a healthy lifestyle change. So, start reading and start losing!

Weight Loss

From the effects of the hormone cortisol to the role of genetics in weight loss, this category is packed with everything that you need to know about losing weight the healthy way.

5 Reasons Why You're Not Losing Belly Fat

Individuals accumulate and do not lose belly fat for a number of reasons. Get a better grasp on what causes belly fat and try these 4 simple tips to help you lose abdominal fat once and for all!


Weight gain and obesity are on the rise. The accumulation of fat increases the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. When fat is stored into the belly or abdominal region, the risk of chronic diseases grows further. Fat around the midsection has several contributors although poor diet quality and lack of exercise are main culprits. Get a better grasp on what causes belly fat and how you can lose abdominal fat once and for all!

5 Reasons Why You're Not Losing Belly Fat

Individuals accumulate and do not lose belly fat for a number of reasons. Below summarizes obstacles that may be interfering with you and the loss of your belly bulge.

1. Falling into Fad Diets
With so much health information out there, it is hard to sift through what diets work and what do not. As a simple rule, ask yourself "Does this sound too good to be true?" If you answer yes, the diet more than likely is. Since losing weight and belly fat is not a magic pill, save money by avoiding those fad diet supplements. Yo-yo dieting can ultimately disrupt long-term fat and weight loss.

2. Overestimating Workouts
A simple workout is better than no workout. However, sometimes individuals think they workout a little harder than what they actually did and over-consume foods afterwards. Do not defeat the purpose of a workout by treating yourself with multiple scoops of ice cream. A high protein snack paired with a healthy carbohydrate is a good way to properly refuel the body.

3. Stressing Out
In particularly, high stress levels can result into chronically high cortisol levels. During this response "flight-or-fight" response, the body may actually hold onto fat. The resistance ultimately makes weight loss that much harder.

4. Aging
With advancing age, comes changes in the body. Men and women generally experience a decline in their metabolic rate, or how fast and efficient the body can burn calories. Hormone changes also disrupts the efficiency of belly fat burning, with women in particularly experiencing weight gain in their abdominal regions.

5. Genetics
Our personal genetics are concrete and engrained. Although this might sound discouraging, do not let it defeat potential success. Read on how you can burn belly fat, despite unchangeable risk factors.

How to Burn Belly Fat

Burning belly fat is not one single answer, yet the totality of synergistic factors that work together. A complete lifestyle change consists of a well-balanced diet, efficient exercise, quality sleep, and controlled stress.

A healthful diet is key in the prevention and loss of belly fat. When calories in exceed calories out, weight gain is often to occur. To keep calories in check, focus attention on whole grains, lean proteins, and fruits and vegetables. Incorporate unsaturated fat sources while limiting the consumption of saturated and trans fats.

Thirty minutes to an hour of moderate to intense cardio should occur most days of the week, at least four to five days. If time is a factor in a busy schedule, high intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to effectively result in weight loss despite a severely shortened workout session. Pairing cardio with a strength training regimen further promotes fat and weight loss while strengthening and building lean muscle.

Get cozy in bed and designate time for adequate sleep. Research has shown those who get quality sleep might actually weigh less. Adults should aim to achieve seven to nine hours of sleep each night. In addition to quantity, sleep quality is extremely important. To get the most out of sleep, stay away from electronics, fluids, and caffeine before bedtime.

Keeping stress under control is a key component to lose belly fat. To reduce its effects, practice stress-reduction techniques and try to keep a positive mindset. A stress-free environment may be able to shed off those unwanted pounds and boost feelings of happiness.

Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on May 20, 2013. Updated on July 24, 2018.


Follow @bistroMD

Start Your Diet Today!

Reality Check - Your Free Diet Analysis

Simply answer a few questions so we can figure out your weight loss goals and provide solutions for a lighter, healthier you. Our weight loss meal plans are designed to help real people achieve real and lasting success.

as seen on...   

join our free newsletter

Get free support to help you lose weight and be healthy with our Weekly Dish on Health.

stay connected