Belly Fat Won’t Go Away! Belly Fat is Here to Stay!

Why is it so hard to get rid of belly fat?

The only thing harder than getting rid of belly fat is actually finding the elusive list of “5 Foods to Never Eat to Get Rid of Belly Fat.”

If you have ever searched for those foods you will quickly learn that it’s going to cost you a lot of money to actually view the list. Since I never put up the cash, I don’t know what are the foods on the list. I do know that no 5 foods are responsible for your stubborn belly fat. 

Belly fat is far more complicated than just never eating 5 belly-fattening foods!

Some of you can remember when you were younger and couldn’t pinch even a quarter of an inch of fat on your belly. Getting older promotes belly fat growth along with wrinkles and gray hair. We can try to fight the aging process or accept it, care for ourselves and live a healthy, satisfied, happy life!

Even if you are still eating and exercising at the same rate as you age, weight gain can happen and bellies can grow fatter.

Our metabolic rates slows meaning we need fewer calories for fuel. If we keep eating like we did when we were younger we’ll gain weight. If we’re women our estrogen and progesterone (female hormones) levels decrease with age too. These hormones tells body fat to be stored on hips and thighs. When those levels drop, another hormone in women’s bodies, testosterone, usually thought to be a male-only hormone, drops too but more slowly. This shift in hormones makes women’s weight gain pattern shift from hips and thighs to the belly.

Stress creates belly fat.

Some people have good stress coping mechanisms and some don’t. The cause of the stress doesn’t matter. It matters how we handle the stress. If you’re in a constant state of worry over major (or minor) things, your belly fat is loving it! 
Many stressed people try to cope with stress by eating. The preferred foods to fight stress tend to be high-fat, high-calorie choices. That is only part of the reason why stress promotes belly fat. The stress hormone cortisol, has been linked to increased belly fat. Moreover, cortisol increases feelings of anxiety and that also increases the need to eat to “calm down.” 

Sleepless nights make for fat-belly days.

We are beginning to understand exactly how bad it is for our bodies not to get enough sleep. We used to think that sleep was a luxury that few adults can afford. Research is showing us that sleep is not a luxury, it’s a necessity for a healthy body. Lack of sleep interrupts many body processes including two hormones that regulate hunger and eating satisfaction. Not enough sleep can make you eat too much!

It might be time to let go of the hope of having a totally fat-free belly. A moderate amount of belly fat is less of a threat to health than some of the crazy things people do to rid themselves of belly fat.

Some belly fat isn’t unsightly, it’s normal. Managing belly fat is a 3-step process.

1. Accept and love your body, belly fat and all. Learn to dress to flatter your body. Avoid clothes that cling or cut into your body causing your belly fat to puff out over them!

2. Stay active. A balanced routine of physical activity can help you keep belly fat under control. Balanced exercise includes aerobic exercise (fat burning), resistance exercise (muscle building), and stretching (staying limber).

3. Eat well. Build your daily food choices on lean protein, complex carbs (whole grains), low fat dairy, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and topped off with a few treats.

Why is it so hard to get rid of belly fat? Maybe because it’s supposed to be there. Maybe because we’ve allowed (altered) images to convince us that belly fat is an ugly thing and we’re trying to achieve unrealistic plastic Barbie and Ken doll bodies!

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.