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Why you’re struggling to lose weight (and how to fix it)

Why you're struggling to lose weight (and how to fix it)

I recently saw a fitness forum post where a woman asked, “Why am I not losing weight?” She’d recently started exercising and eating healthy, but hadn’t seen the number on the scale change. While everyone knows diet and exercise are the two main contributing factors of weight loss, there are other reasons for weight loss as well, and those may be holding you back if you notice you’re not losing weight. Read on to find out what those reasons are, and how the 8-Day Jumpstart can get you on track from the start.

5 Top Reasons You’re Struggling To Lose Weight

There are actually 15 common reasons for weight loss failure, but of those, there are five that seem to be the most commonly neglected, and the easiest fixes. Here’s what they are, and how you can counteract them to overcome weight loss failure.

Stress

Are you ready for this? Stress eating isn’t just an expression, it’s actually science. Stress increases the amount of cortisol in our bodies. An increase in the cortisol hormone can increase your appetite and make you crave sugar, high-fat, and salty foods. So when you’re stressed, it’s harder to stick with your diet. Exercise, meditation, yoga, and other stress-relieving activities have been proven to lower cortisol levels.

Lack of Sleep

What does sleep have to do with weight loss? Believe it or not, a lot. Not sleeping enough has been shown to lead to an increased appetite, higher stress levels, lower energy levels, and a disrupted circadian rhythm—all of which can lead to weight gain. So make sure you’re getting your Zzzzzzs.

Dehydration

If you’re not getting enough water, your body may get confused and think you’re hungry. When you’re dehydrated, your brain often sends out hunger signals instead of thirst signals. This can lead to overeating when really, a tall glass of water would have done the trick.

Poor Nutrition

Eating an appropriate number of calories is important, but more importantly, they need to be the right kind of calories. Empty calories can lead to a lack of energy, which can result in less movement and fewer calories expended. On the other hand, fueling your body with proper nutrition (think fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, among other things) helps it work more efficiently so you have more energy, and effectively burn off the calories you take in.

Not Moving Enough

If you’re currently living the couch potato life, it’s time to get moving. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends a minimum of 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise (think brisk walking) a week, and muscle-strengthening activities at least two days a week.

If you’re serious about getting on track with your weight loss, make sure you have these five areas dialed in to save yourself from weight loss failure.

Why you're struggling to lose weight (and how to fix it)

A good way to tackle these five reasons you’re not losing weight is to use weight loss systems. Sometimes people even ask, “Why am I not losing weight on Xyngular?” The answer is that they’re not taking a full-body approach to weight loss. That’s why we recommend starting out with a weight loss system.

Weight loss systems are designed as a whole-body approach to weight loss, and there’s no better way to kick things off right and get results fast, than with the 8-Day Jumpstart. The Xyngular 8-Day Jumpstart will prep your body for long-term weight loss while allowing you to lose up to 15 lbs in just eight days. It’s that easy!*

Give us 8 days and we’ll change your life! Try the Xyngular 8-Day Jumpstart and find out exactly what you have to lose as you start your journey to a healthier life.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

*Lose up to 15 pounds in 8 days. Lose an additional 1-2 pounds or more each week following the 8-day jump start. Results are not guaranteed and can vary.

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There’s not one singular thing we can point to that causes weight gain. Instead, a person’s weight gets determined by several factors. It’s not a simple matter of how much you eat .

That’s why dieting, exercising, and weight loss are all complicated.

If you’re asking yourself ‘why can’t I lose weight?’, then you’re in good company. Millions of women around the globe are asking themselves the same question.

Wonder no longer. Read on to learn exactly what factors influence your weight and what you can do about them.

1. Your Eating Habits Are Hurting You

It’s a basic concept to understand — the more you eat, the more weight you’ll gain. While simple in theory, it’s not so straightforward in reality.

Not all food gets created equal. It not only matters what you eat but also when and how you eat.

First, you need to make sure you’re eating enough. If your body doesn’t get enough to eat, then it will actually end up causing you to gain weight.

Next, focus on what you’re eating. Make every food you eat count! That means opting for the healthiest choices possible.

2. Your Physical Activity Levels

Have you ever wondered — why can’t I lose weight in the winter? Less physical activity often leads to weight gain. Consistent activity, though, does the opposite.

If you’re struggling to lose weight, make sure you’re getting physical.

3. You Lack Balance in Your Life

Do you tend to yo-yo diet? Are you inconsistent with your exercising goals? Without balance, you’ll continue to struggle with your weight.

Do your best to get into a groove and stick with it!

4. Your Genes Are Working Against You

Try as we might, some things are out of our control. If your genetic makeup is working against you, then you’ll always be climbing uphill.

Your genes may in fact contribute to your tendency to gain weight. They might also be shutting down your efforts to lose weight!

Right now, there’s nothing we can do to splice or change our DNA. Lifestyle changes can impact what genes get activated, but that’s as far as our knowledge goes.

Weight loss surgery may be your best option if your genes are causing your weight gain.

Are You Still Asking — Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

Have you addressed the factors above already? Have you spent years asking ‘why can’t I lose weight’ without any new revelations? If this article was nothing but a review for you, then don’t lose hope.

Weight loss surgery is an option for those who can’t seem to shed those pounds in a natural way. There’s no need to waste your time on ineffective weight loss strategies any longer.

Do what feels right for you.

Are you looking for more life tips to help you be the best mom you can be? If so, then you know you’re on the right blog. Keep browsing through our home living section for more of our best articles.

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About Author

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer. SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and “Grams” to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna’s fur babies are her world.

10 Reasons Why You Might Be Struggling to Drop Lbs, According to Experts

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There’s nothing more frustrating than getting your diet and fitness game in check only to realize you’ve lost precisely zero pounds — especially if you’ve been lacing up those sneakers and hitting your move goals on a regular basis.

Whether you’re just starting a workout routine or you’ve been hitting the gym for a couple of months now, if you’re not seeing the scale budge yet, it could be remedied with a very subtle lifestyle shift. We spoke to a handful of nutritionists, trainers, and wellness experts to get their insights on what you can do to boost your weight loss.

Note that while there are certainly small lifestyle shifts that you can do in order to kickstart your weight loss journey, if you suspect something might be wrong or feels off, consider speaking to your doctor to make sure everything is medically sound.

You could be getting great results with your workouts and diet but the scale will deceptively tell you otherwise and that can be discouraging if you’re not sure what’s going on.

“If you’re working out and lifting weights then your body is going to build muscle. As you build muscle you’re probably also burning fat too (if you’re eating well),” says certified personal trainer Josh Schlottman. “Muscle also weighs something too so the weight in fat you lose will be balanced out with muscle.”

According to Schlottman, you’ll get a much more accurate picture of your progress by measuring your inches and body fat percentage (which some smart scales can track), or by taking note of how your clothes might be fitting differently, as opposed to focusing on a number on the scale.

“I’ve noticed guys who are working out too hard with intense exercise like HIIT find themselves eating more,” says Schlottman. “With intense exercise, your body is going to use glycogen stores for fuel.”

According to Schlottman, glycogen is essentially carbs and sugars stored in your muscle for energy. When you burn through these glycogen stores with intense exercise your body is going to crave more sugars and carbs to replenish them. So you’ll end up eating more sugars and carbs that’ll cause you to keep the weight on.

When you go for extended periods of time in a caloric deficit your body will gradually start slowing down the metabolism and this will result in fewer calories burned throughout the day.

“Your body slows down the metabolism as a survival mechanism — if it thinks you’re not getting enough calories coming in then it thinks food is scarce so it needs to preserve what it has,” explains Schlottman. “You can easily break through this plateau by strategically adding some cheat meals once every week or two.”

“Even if you are continuing to eat the same number of calories and nutrient-rich foods that helped you initially lose weight, a plateau may indicate a new change in diet is needed. Another factor is unknowingly eating a large amount of inflammatory health foods,” explains Lisa Richards, author of The Candida Diet. “Many processed health foods contain a significant amount of fat, sodium, gluten, and/or refined carbohydrates. These ingredients can stall weight loss.”

The fix to this issue? Richards suggests increasing your physical activity or decreasing your calories. However, she also strongly suggests evaluating your diet for the quality of calories you’re eating and the amount of processed health foods you’re consuming. “These can easily be removed from your diet to help trigger weight loss and decrease inflammation.”

You are probably consuming your entire meal in less than 5-10 minutes which, according to Garret Seacat, head coach at Absolute Endurance, can lead to 25 percent or more calories being consumed!

“Try to make it a conscious effort to take longer and slow down. Eat a bite then sit your fork down and catch up with someone at the table or watch a minute of TV then repeat,” suggests Seacat. “You have likely been eating so fast your sense of full is warped and you are going to fill full with food left on your plate once you slow down.”

How is your sleep? According to Kiran Dodeja Smith, certified holistic health coach, if it’s less than six to seven hours a night, it can have definite effects on your weight. Lack of sleep not only affects your metabolism but can also make it more difficult to maintain a healthy diet and active lifestyle.

How satisfied are you with your life? “Considering areas such as career, social life, relationships and more can have a profound effect on your weight, when these things are not aligned, your body can be off and you can have stress and not even realize it,” explains Smith.

“The American diet is so supersized, it is almost impossible to accurately predict the number of calories you are eating each day unless you measure and track them,” explains Dr. Leann Poston M.D., M.B.A., M.Ed. “It is a hassle, but if you really want to lose weight, use an app or other means to keep track of every calorie you eat!”

Apps such as Noom and MyFitnessPal have received great ratings and reviews for their meal tracking and calorie counting tools.

To break through and continue to shed the pounds, Max Whiteside, training expert at Bar Bend, suggests switching up your eating schedule. “I am a proponent of intermittent fasting. The premise of this diet is you will be eating fewer calories since you’re squeezing them into a narrower timeframe, as opposed to consuming them throughout the day,” he says.

There are different approaches to intermittent fasting, with the most popular being an 8:16 split. “This means you consume your calories in an eight-hour eating window and fast for the other 16 hours of the day,” Whiteside explains. “Other variations include 10:16, 16:10, or even 6:20 eating: fasting split.”

Another thing that you may be doing wrong is only centering your fitness attention around cardio — rather than adding a variety of workouts into the mix. Nelson Joseph, training expert at CardioZero suggests incorporating a few resistance training workouts into your routine, like lifting weights.

“This can help you to shed your stubborn fat and fill your body with healthy muscle. It can also boost your metabolism which can rapidly speed up your weight loss process,” explains Joseph.

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Have you ever wondered “why am I not losing weight” despite your best efforts? If you’ve realized that you’re not losing weight no matter how hard you try, it can be really frustrating.

And you are not alone.

Studies show that the average person tries 4-5 diets per year without seeing major results.

If millions of people are trying to lose weight and over 40% of the population is considered obese, then it means something is wrong.

The fact is that most diets don’t work, and that there are different situations where losing weight is harder for some persons.

Here are 11 reasons why you’re not losing weight and how you can make some changes to bring your weight in the right direction- down.

Why you're struggling to lose weight (and how to fix it)You’re Hopping Between Diets

One of the biggest obstacles that you might face when trying to lose weight is how to find the right diet for you.

Let’s be real. There is no shortage of weight loss tips and dieting information online.

What many of us struggle with is finding the right one that you can stick to without feeling like you’re sacrificing your love of good food.

If you’re not losing weight because you’ve tried too many diets (or you’ve given up on dieting completely), the key is to start by eating healthy foods and cutting out the junk.

You know- sugar, processed carbs, processed dairy. Eat more whole foods and exercise at least 3 times weekly.

This is by far the simplest and most effective approach to weight loss that you can find.

You Don’t Get Enough Sleep

Not getting enough sleep may be the reason why you’re not losing weight.

Lack of sleep puts your body into survival mode so it craves more carbs and fat. Remember that if you’re tired, you might have less will power and energy so you’ll eat more unhealthy foods just for the convenience.

Studies actually show that women who sleep for less than 4 hours eat 300 more calories and 21 more grams of fat.

Solution

Get at least seven and a half hours of sleep each night and try to wake up before your alarm. If your alarm goes off and you hit snooze, you may need up to 8 or 9 hours of sleep before you feel fully recharged.

You’re Focusing on The Scale

The term ‘weight’ in this article means ‘fat’. Whenever you’re on a weight-loss journey, it’s best to measure the amount of body fat that you lose instead of your overall weight.

Getting rid of some bloating and water weight can reduce the number on the scale and you might think it’s progress when it’s not.

The scale doesn’t tell you the whole story. If you’re losing weight and building muscle, you might see a physical difference but it won’t register on the scale.

Alternatives

Track your body fat percentage using this body fat loss monitor, and remember that the scale only measures the total mass of your body at one given time.

You can also measure your body circumference using a tape measure to know exactly how your body is changing.

You Aren’t Lifting Weights

While dieting and cardio are both great ways to lose weight, your weight loss can stall if you don’t start to use weights.

If your main goal is fat loss, running and hiking are helpful ways to sweat, but real results will start to show when you use weights to build lean muscle.

You Go Overboard On Cheat Days

If you follow a diet or fitness regimen that allows cheat days, it’s possible that this is slowing down your weight loss.

If you’re heavily overweight and have a slow metabolism, this is relevant because a whole day of unhealthy foods can set you back.

Solution

Reduce your cheat day to one cheat meal or ignore cheat days completely.

You can confidently enjoy cheat days when your metabolism is higher and your body burns fat and carbs more efficiently.

You’re Only Focused On ‘Low-Calorie Foods’

If you buy packaged foods but you try to stick with healthy alternatives, you may be getting tricked by labels that promise ‘low fat’, ‘gluten-free’, ‘low calories’, or ‘low sugar’.

Food manufacturers market their food to be healthy but you have to read the labels to ensure that the product is actually healthy.

A common example is when persons buy bottled fruit juiced instead of soda without realizing that they often have the same amount of sugar (which is a lot).

If you want the convenience of packaged foods while you’re trying to lose weight, keep it simple and read the ingredients.

You’re Eating Too Many Processed Foods

If you’re not losing weight quickly enough, then you should stay far away from refined foods.

Foods like crackers, cookies, bread, pasta, and snacks that contain all those sneaky sugars should be off your plate.

These unhealthy foods increase weight and inflammation, which affects your ability to lose belly fat.

Solution

Stick to whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. For healthy snacks that won’t make you fat, you can consider nuts, fruits, and other options.

You’re Drinking Extra Calories

One 8 ounce drink can add hundreds of calories and dozens of grams of sugar without you noticing. This happens because your brain doesn’t register the calories you drink like the calories you eat.

The best way to avoid this is by drinking water, but you can still enjoy low sugar drinks occasionally.

Here’s a list of low carb drinks that you can enjoy.

Also, remember that most fruits are high in sugar (fructose) so too many fruits or fruit juices mean more calories and therefore extra pounds.

You’re On Medication

One of the unfortunate effects of some medication is weight gain. Antidepressants, steroids, and even the pill are some of the medications that are necessary for your health but bad for your weight.

Research shows that persons may start gaining weight after 2 or 3 years into treatment, so don’t ignore this reason if you’ve been taking pills for a while.

Sometimes weight gain happens because the medication affects the body’s electrolyte and water balances. And other times, weight is redistributed so you look heavier than you actually are.

Solution

If you think you’re not losing weight because of medication, just knowing that this is a possibility can help.

With this knowledge, you can talk to your doctor about the best medication options and start to incorporate the right diet and exercise into your lifestyle.

If you’ve ever spent time dedicating yourself to a weight loss diet, you know that results are not linear. You may start out losing weight at steady pace but eventually things get out of whack. Some weeks you lose weight and other weeks you stay the same. Heck there may even be times when you gain weight! There are many reasons for these temporary fluctuations and sticking points. But what exactly can you do to bust through these plateaus?

The trick to keeping the weight loss going depends on the reason behind the stall in progress. Sometimes there is a simple fix that requires little effort. But other times you have to put in a good deal of work to get yourself back on track. Let’s discuss some of the main reasons that your weight loss stalls and what you can do to remedy the situation.

Don’t Sound the Weight Loss Alarm Just Yet

The human body is a funny thing. On the most basic level it seems to operate on a fairly straight forward rule known as calories in vs. calories out (CICO). Eat fewer calories than you burn each day and you should lose fat. As such, you should see the number on the scale go down over the course of several days, weeks, and months. However, there are some complications that can muddy the waters and make it seem like you didn’t lose any fat at all. Charting your progress over time will reveal a fairly linear downward trend in weight. However, there are sure to be some major swings back and forth along the way.

It is possible that you can lose fat but not lose any weight. The main way that this happens is through fluctuations in water weight. There are quite a few reasons that cause you to hold extra water including increased sodium intake, increased carbohydrate intake, and fluctuations in hormones (especially for females). Thankfully, the water weight will resolve itself on its own so you don’t need to do anything special in this case.

Another way you might lose fat but not lose weight is through muscle gain. This is common for those who introduce weight training into their fitness routine or those who start a new, more intense lifting program. Beginners and intermediates can enjoy a phenomenon known as “body recomposition” in which they lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously. For most of you, this should actually be a welcomed result. Even though the number on the scale doesn’t move as quickly, you’ll look better in the mirror!

This is why it is important to keep track of more than just weight when it comes to losing fat. The scale can lie to you and warp your self-image. Snapping progress pictures, taking body part measurements, or measuring body fat levels are great tools to add to tracking your scale weight. Just remember that scale weight is more volatile than the other methods so it may be off from week to week. My advice would be to compare pictures, measurement, or body fat levels first and then see if the scale agrees.

Why you're struggling to lose weight (and how to fix it)

When It’s Time to Put in Some Work

There are definitely instances when your stall in weight loss is the result of a stall in fat loss. If you find that your weight stays constant or even increases for several weeks then it warrants further investigation. Again, it could be that you gained some muscle especially if you are a beginner or just started the diet. But if your measurements and progress pictures remain unchanged as well, then it could be that you’re at a standstill.

One reason for this could be natural metabolic adaptation. As we lose weight, our metabolism slows down a bit. This is due to having less body mass as well as your body’s natural reaction to calorie deficits. Eventually, your metabolism will slow down to the point where your calorie burn matches your calorie intake. When this happens, you have two options: decrease your calories, or increase your activity level. If you are already tracking your calories or macros, then reducing your calorie intake is fairly easy to do. If not, you might want to start tracking in order to get an idea of how much you are actually eating. Once you find your baseline, you can then reduce your intake and see if it helps you lose weight again.

However, there are instances where reducing caloric intake or increasing activity is not the right idea. Maybe you’ve been dieting for a very long time and you are now on fairly low calories. Perhaps you are also exercising as much as you possibly can each day. Reducing your calorie intake at this point might actually do more harm than good and can be dangerous to your health. In this case you have to do something that may be difficult for you to accept. You actually have to stop dieting.

(FYI – Anything less than 20 calories per kilogram of body mass, or

9 calories per pound of bodyweight, would be considered low calories.)

Introducing a “reverse diet” where you slowly increase calories over time will help to repair your slow and damaged metabolism. You may gain some weight back in the process but eventually your metabolism will normalize and you’ll be able to maintain your weight on more calories. You would then want to spend an adequate amount of time maintaining this newly repaired metabolism and letting your weight stabilize. Finally, you would be able to reduce calories and lose fat again. This is an intensive process but one that is well worth the effort in the end. Sometimes you just have to take a step back in order to keep moving forward.

Conclusion

At the end of the day weight loss just doesn’t happen in a perfectly linear fashion. There will be fluctuations up and down throughout the whole process. But it is important to stay objective during the weight loss process (as hard as that may be). Water weight and changes to muscle mass can cause a stall in weight loss despite the fact that you still lost fat. Taking extra measurement like body fat and progress pictures can help you identify these instances more easily.

However, you will eventually hit a fat loss plateau. Your metabolism adapts over time until it eventually equalizes with your caloric intake. When this happens you will have to decrease your caloric intake, increase activity levels, or a combination of both. But these decreases can’t happen forever either. If you find yourself dieting on extremely low calories with little to no fat loss, it may be time to stop dieting altogether. Reverse dieting will allow you to repair your metabolism and limit fat regain. Eventually you will be able to normalize your metabolism and lose fat once again!

Need help setting up your diet? Apply now for 1-on-1 coaching and start reaching your goals!

Struggling to lose fat around your midsection? Here are 5 possible reasons why your belly fat won’t budge.

Weight gain around the midsection is fairly common, but losing fat from this area can be hard. Excess abdominal fat, particularly visceral fat, is linked to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, heart disease, and even certain cancers. Visceral fat is a type of body fat that’s stored deeper, underneath the abdominal muscles, around your abdominal organs like the stomach, liver, and intestines. Exercise alone won’t help get rid of the belly fat. To get a flat stomach, you need to eat right, exercise regularly, get proper sleep, and limit stress. Struggling to lose fat around your midsection? Here are 5 possible reasons why your belly fat won’t budge. Also Read – Mind The Clock! ‘When You Eat’ Is Crucial For Weight Loss

You’re drinking too much alcohol

Not only alcohol delays your liver’s ability to break down fat, it also suppresses testosterone production, the hormone that helps you break down fat. Alcohol is seen by the body as a toxin and so it gets immediate attention. When you drink alcohol, the body focuses on processing it instead of break down foods containing carbohydrates and fat. These excess calories are converted and stored as fat, resulting in a bigger waistline. Also Read – Rubina Dilaik, Bigg Boss 14 Fame Shares Her Fitness Routine In New Workout Video – Watch It Here

Drinking alcohol can also make you eat more. This is because alcohol increases your appetite by suppressing leptin, the hormone which tells the brain to stop eating. In addition, alcohol can disrupt your sleep, which can trigger you to eat more calories. Also Read – Reason Why You Feel Hungry All The Time And Struggle to Lose Weight

You’re getting older

As you get older, your body’s metabolic rate declines as well as the number of calories it needs to function normally. For women, menopause may lead to weight gain in the abdominal area. Menopause slows down the production of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. The drop in hormone levels leads to the accumulation of fat in their bellies.

You’re doing only cardio workouts

For a flat stomach, you need to do a combination of strength training and cardio workouts. Strength training increases muscle mass, and more muscle means your body will burn more calories. In addition, you have to ramp up your workouts to eliminate that stubborn belly fat. A high-intensity workout regimen can make lose more belly fat than a low-intensity plan, suggested a study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. With high-intensity workouts, you’ll burn more calories in less time.

You’re eating a lot of processed foods

Eating too many processed foods like white bread, crackers, chips, sweetened drinks and desserts, can hinder your ability to lose fat around your midsection. These foods can increase inflammation in your bodies and contribute to the widening of your waistline. So, avoid processed foods as much as possible and include more natural foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. Natural foods are loaded with antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties and thus they may help prevent belly fat.

You’re stressed

Too much stress may make it harder to lose weight, especially from around your midsection. When stressed, people tend to reach for high-fat, high-calorie foods. In addition, stress also leads to higher levels of cortisol — known as the stress hormone — which contributes to the storage of fat, particularly in the belly.

Struggling to lose fat around your midsection? Here are 5 possible reasons why your belly fat won’t budge.

Weight gain around the midsection is fairly common, but losing fat from this area can be hard. Excess abdominal fat, particularly visceral fat, is linked to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, heart disease, and even certain cancers. Visceral fat is a type of body fat that’s stored deeper, underneath the abdominal muscles, around your abdominal organs like the stomach, liver, and intestines. Exercise alone won’t help get rid of the belly fat. To get a flat stomach, you need to eat right, exercise regularly, get proper sleep, and limit stress. Struggling to lose fat around your midsection? Here are 5 possible reasons why your belly fat won’t budge. Also Read – Mind The Clock! ‘When You Eat’ Is Crucial For Weight Loss

You’re drinking too much alcohol

Not only alcohol delays your liver’s ability to break down fat, it also suppresses testosterone production, the hormone that helps you break down fat. Alcohol is seen by the body as a toxin and so it gets immediate attention. When you drink alcohol, the body focuses on processing it instead of break down foods containing carbohydrates and fat. These excess calories are converted and stored as fat, resulting in a bigger waistline. Also Read – Rubina Dilaik, Bigg Boss 14 Fame Shares Her Fitness Routine In New Workout Video – Watch It Here

Drinking alcohol can also make you eat more. This is because alcohol increases your appetite by suppressing leptin, the hormone which tells the brain to stop eating. In addition, alcohol can disrupt your sleep, which can trigger you to eat more calories. Also Read – Reason Why You Feel Hungry All The Time And Struggle to Lose Weight

You’re getting older

As you get older, your body’s metabolic rate declines as well as the number of calories it needs to function normally. For women, menopause may lead to weight gain in the abdominal area. Menopause slows down the production of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. The drop in hormone levels leads to the accumulation of fat in their bellies.

You’re doing only cardio workouts

For a flat stomach, you need to do a combination of strength training and cardio workouts. Strength training increases muscle mass, and more muscle means your body will burn more calories. In addition, you have to ramp up your workouts to eliminate that stubborn belly fat. A high-intensity workout regimen can make lose more belly fat than a low-intensity plan, suggested a study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. With high-intensity workouts, you’ll burn more calories in less time.

You’re eating a lot of processed foods

Eating too many processed foods like white bread, crackers, chips, sweetened drinks and desserts, can hinder your ability to lose fat around your midsection. These foods can increase inflammation in your bodies and contribute to the widening of your waistline. So, avoid processed foods as much as possible and include more natural foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. Natural foods are loaded with antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties and thus they may help prevent belly fat.

You’re stressed

Too much stress may make it harder to lose weight, especially from around your midsection. When stressed, people tend to reach for high-fat, high-calorie foods. In addition, stress also leads to higher levels of cortisol — known as the stress hormone — which contributes to the storage of fat, particularly in the belly.

Just can’t lose belly fat, no matter how hard you try? These exercise blunders may be to blame.

Why you're struggling to lose weight (and how to fix it)

Why you're struggling to lose weight (and how to fix it)

Let’s get this tummy truth out of the way immediately: There are no specific exercises proven to spot-reduce belly fat.

“The best way to burn belly fat is to burn fat throughout the whole body. Where you gain—or hold onto—excess body fat is largely dependent on genetics. Some people see more in the midsection, while others hold more in the hips and thighs,” says Mackenzie Banta, an ACE-certified health coach and personal trainer on the app Trainiac.

Any lifestyle changes that include exercise, in general, can target belly fat, adds David Chesworth, a certified personal trainer and the fitness director at Hilton Head Health in South Carolina.

Still, it’s crucial to keep tabs on your waistline. More visceral fat, or fat surrounding your midsection and the internal organs that reside there, can increase your risk for chronic health conditions including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Recent research also shows that carrying extra belly fat might shrink your brain.

Moreover, losing visceral fat appears to be linked to interleukin-6, a molecule that helps control inflammation in the body, according to a 2018 study published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Here are workout mistakes that might be causing you to hang on to the excess inches—plus better ways to sweat and snack.

Why you're struggling to lose weight (and how to fix it)

For heart disease prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation, weight loss efforts count, but endurance wins.

A number of years ago I cared for a retired football player. He was a college star and a fringe player professionally. His once fit body had succumbed to the consequences of many jaw-dropping hits as he attempted to catch passes over the middle of the football field. Since retirement, his activity levels had plummeted, and he became overweight and developed heart disease. Some of this change was due to chronic pain. However, a lot of it was due to a transition in life that led to less activity and weight gain.

When we met, he had high blood pressure, prediabetes, and atrial fibrillation. We talked about his health conditions and weight gain. We discussed lifestyle changes and the need to start medications for his high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, and high cholesterol.

After this long discussion he said, “I am committed. I want to do this without medications.”

I actually hear this a lot. We will all face health problems, many of which come because of our lifestyles and choices. With the realization that disease has developed, we often use this moment to become motivated for change. Unfortunately, for most of us, sustaining high levels of motivation can be challenging, and we often fall back into more comfortable lifestyle habits. I believe there is merit in the initial desire to change. I also know that endurance is essential for lifestyle changes to work.

Medications make up for such human tendencies in most people with disease. They work immediately when motivation is high and often have a sustained benefit even if motivation is lost.

Medications are valuable in disease management, but a lot of my patients, like this athlete, believe there is a better way.

The ‘Lifestyle Effect’ on Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

At the American College of Cardiology 64th Annual Scientific Sessions in SanDiego, one study presented on March 16th focused on the value of our initial motivation to change, as well the additive value of endurance. Two outstanding researchers, Rajeev Pathak, MBBS, and Prashanthan Sanders, MBBS, PhD, from the University of Adelaide in Australia led the study. These are physicians committed to the long-term care of atrial fibrillation patients. Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common heart rhythm disorders and can cause stroke, heart failure, poor quality of life, and even death. These physicians know that, in most people, atrial fibrillation can be prevented and perhaps in those patients in whom it has already developed, the disease can be reversed.

The Australian study involved 355 patients who had developed atrial fibrillation. Unlike most clinics in the United States, the one where these patients were treated also sent them to a lifestyle modification clinic. Drs. Pathak and Sanders examined the impact of early weight loss after lifestyle counseling in the clinic. Their findings are reason for great optimism in those who have atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, diabetes, or any combination of these diseases.

Here is a summary of what they reported:

  1. Blood pressure improved as the amount of weight loss increased — from less than 3 percent, to 3 percent to 9 percent, and then over 10 percent.
  2. Those patients who had more than a 10 percent weight loss were able to reduce their need for blood pressure medications by 50 percent, on average, while maintaining normal blood pressure levels.
  3. High cholesterol also improved. In those who experienced a 3 percent to 9 percent weight loss, cholesterol decreased by 25 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), on average.
  4. For those who lost more than 10 percent of their weight, the average cholesterol decrease was even better, approximately 45 mg/dL. The cholesterol improvement was observed in the group with the greatest weight loss despite the fact that 50 percent of them stopped taking their cholesterol medications. This is drug-free control of cholesterol.
  5. The group with more than 10 percent weight loss also had less diabetes — from 30 percent having prediabetes or diabetes to only 4 percent with these diseases at the last follow-up visit.

How Did the Heart Respond?

Data on patients’ hearts showed that when lifestyle changes are made, heart disease could be reversed. The heart chamber that creates atrial fibrillation decreased in size to near normal levels. The wall thickness of the heart, which typically is felt to be permanent despite use of medications, decreased, making the heart more flexible and adaptive. As a consequence, the amount of atrial fibrillation decreased dramatically.

In the group with weight loss of more than 10 percent, the burden of atrial fibrillation fell by 50 percent. In all weight loss categories, atrial fibrillation levels decreased from 20 percent to 50 percent. These patients reported that they felt better and their quality of life improved.

Lifestyle change was not a miracle cure, as many people still experienced some atrial fibrillation. But the study highlights the value of personal choices and lifestyle changes in disease management. The study provides evidence that you can take control of your health.

The study authors provided two important additional insights:

  • First, those who had sustained weight loss or continued to lose weight did the best. This is not overly surprising, but it gives us incentive to keep up the fight.
  • Second, those who lost weight initially and then gained it back still did better than those who never lost weight. In fact, even if their weight continued to fluctuate, they were 20 percent less likely to experience atrial fibrillation. This finding teaches us that initial effort is important as well, even if we slip up and have trouble keeping away from old habits.

What Was the Key to Long-Term Weight Loss?

The authors give a lot of credit to the use of a lifestyle clinic. Patients had the opportunity to use a team of professionals to help them. This team also made them accountable for change. Those who refused to participate in the clinic and did it on their own were most likely to not lose weight. This tells me we need to surround ourselves with a good supportive team that will expect us to endure and help us when times are difficult. This team may come from family, friends, and, hopefully, as prevention emphasis spreads in the United States, lifestyle clinics.

Kevin Durant, professional basketball player with the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association, provided insight into his greatness when during his Most Valuable Player award acceptance speech he said, “I failed so many and got back up. I’ve been through the toughest times with my family, but I’m still standing.”

We are all going to struggle, at times, with consistently making healthy decisions. This new study teaches us that it is worth it. It also teaches us that it is important to get back up each time we fall, and try again.

Photo: Hamza Tarkkol/Getty Images

Important: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not Everyday Health.