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  • Writer's pictureDr. Riffat Qadir

Belly Fat Blues

Updated: Jan 26

Healthy Adults

5 Reasons Why You Can’t Lose Belly Fat

Belly fat is much more than a cosmetic problem. It represents fat accumulation around the abdominal organs and produces lots of highly inflammatory chemicals. We know inflammation is a major underlying cause of life-threatening chronic diseases and belly fat is associated with increased risk of diabetes & insulin resistance, heart disease & stroke, and some cancers. If you have tried various diets and exercise but the belly fat won’t budge, it may be due to one of these other factors.

  1. Eating too many processed foods: Processed foods are full of simple carbs, sugar, trans fats and omega 6 fats. These foods all cause inflammation in the body and lead to weight gain and chronic diseases.Natural whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts &seeds are full of antioxidants which are anti-inflammatory and help the body maintain an optimal weight. Processed foods are also generally made with Genetically ModifiedFoods (GMO) which are higher in toxic chemical residues.It is not just the number of calories you eat, but the quality of those calories that counts.

  2. Workout is wrong: Jogging and Spinning are great cardio workouts and provide great benefit to your heart and lungs but they won’t do much for your belly. A combination of resistance training (weights or bands) and cardio training are required. Resistance training increases muscle mass which increases your metabolism so you burn more calories even when not exercising. The intensity of exercise also matters; interval high intensity exercise is far superior to moderate intensity exercise.If you haven’t been exercising regularly, check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program.

  3. Too much chemical/toxic exposure: We are living in a time of extremely high chemical exposures in our air, food and water. The majority of these chemicals have not been adequately tested for safety and we know that their effects become far more potent when added together. Many of these chemicals are even called ‘obesogens’ because they have been shown to cause obesity. Minimizing toxic exposures and optimizing your body’s ability to clear out toxic chemicals by eating antioxidant rich foods and utilizing other means to improve detoxification(eg. Infrared sauna) can help improve your overall health and help stubborn belly fat melt away.

  4. Too much stress: Work, children, relationship, aging parents, finances–whatever your sources of stress, having too much of it can make it impossible to drop those unwanted pounds, especially the ones around your middle. It’s not just the stress eating that keeps the pounds on.When you are stressed your body produces an excess of a hormone called cortisol which causes your body to hold onto fat, especially around your middle. Though you may not be able to eliminate some of your stressors, you can learn to change your reaction to them so that your cortisol level does not go up so high and stay up for so long. Abdominal breathing, meditation, connecting with nature, and exercise all can help you to avoid the negative consequences of stress on your health.

  5. Not enough sleep: Inadequate amount and quality of sleep has been documented in numerous research studies to not only be associated with weight gain but also with increased risk of diabetes. Make sure you allow enough time for sleep(7 to 8 hours is recommended)and discuss any sleep related problems with your doctor.


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