Updated: May 26, 2021
Why does it take so long to lose belly fat even when I’m working out? I get this question a lot. There are several possibilities of what makes belly fat so hard to lose, even when you are working out.
First, it’s important to recognize that people burn energy differently from one another…just in case you were comparing yourself to someone else.
Secondly, you can’t target where you lose weight. Losing weight in a specific area is a myth perpetuated by the fitness equipment industry trying to sell you a thigh blaster.
Fat gets broken down in the body and hits the bloodstream as fatty acids. When energy is needed, it pulls from anywhere in the body, not just the muscle doing the work.
Then there’s genetics. Genetics play a very important role in how you burn fuel. Genetics also plays a role in determining which parts of your body seem to have more than their share of ‘energy stores’ (or fat) than you’d perhaps like.
Last, but certainly not least, genetics play a part in your ability to lose weight. The predisposition of your genes to influence fat cells enlarging, multiplying or shrinking can be anywhere between 25% to 70%-80%.
As with other things, the influence of genetics …repeat after me…varies from person to person.
Belly fat shows up around your midsection for a number of reasons. Much of it is reflected in a lifestyle full of stress, common practices, busy lifestyles looking for shortcuts, and bad habits that sabotage good intentions.
Alas, not all is lost. There’s actually a few things you can do.
#1 TIP: One of your more important efforts should be to develop patience.
Patience: the ability to wait calmly, working on your goal without frustration.
Losing belly fat, even when you are working out takes patience, lots of it. In fact, the leaner you are, the more stubborn that belly fat becomes. How do you like those bananas!
Is there a best exercise to lose belly fat?
Remember earlier, we mentioned that people burn fuel differently from one another. Same applies here.
Each person responds differently to working out or to a training program. So, there isn’t a ‘best’ exercise that will help you lose belly fat, but there are ones that work give you better odds.
We’re so used to seeing those ‘fat burning zones’ on cardio machines and the like, but that low intensity endeavor only tells part of the story.
It’s true that fat does account for most of the fuel source for low intensity work, but the amount of calories burned is also on the low side.
#2 TIP: Choose an exercise intensity that will burn the most calories, thus the most fat.
Kicking up that workout intensity to moderate or high substantially increases the amount of
calories used up and as such, more fat is burned for the same amount of exercise time or duration.
Also, the rate of fat oxidation (breaking down of fatty acids) in the after burn is higher and longer following high-intensity exercise compared to low-intensity exercise. The duration also has effect on the after burn.
Because aerobic exercise enhances fat metabolism (the process of breaking down the fat to be used by the body), it has a big impact on losing belly fat.
Put it together, and it makes interval training a great choice for high intensity training.
Interval training allows you to perform at greater intensities and for longer duration because it’s broken up with recovery or rest periods. 8 Proven Strategies to Better Health A