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Why Is Belly Fat Hard to Lose?

By Genevieve Van Wyden ; Updated July 18, 2017

Belly fat. It's so easy to put on and so hard to get rid of. This fat causes health problems and you need to work on shedding it. The daily habits that led to the excess pounds are hard to change since they include eating bad foods that taste good, drinking excess alcohol and developing the couch potato habit.

Significance

Lack of physical exercise and eating the wrong kinds of food can lead to gaining excess inches around the waist, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Working at a sedentary job that doesn’t give you the opportunity to move around and increase your heart rate leads to muscle loss, which decreases the rate at which your body burns calories. As this happens, you gain weight and some of this weight can be concentrated in your abdominal area. If you don’t start to exercise regularly, you won’t be able to lose the extra inches, despite decreasing your caloric intake.

Factors

One factor contributing to accumulation of belly fat is age, which contributes to the loss of muscle. A second factor is lifestyle, which includes whether you’re active or not, the types of food you eat, the amount of alcohol you drink and the level of stress in your life.

A third factor is genetics--whether your relatives, including your parents, have accumulated belly fat. This is less of an influence than lifestyle and habits, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Trans fats, such as those found in margarines (stick and tub), chips, bakery products, fast foods that have been fried, hamburgers and cheeseburgers, desserts and packaged foods, can contribute to a re-distribution of fat to your abdominal area. Continuing to eat these foods makes it difficult to reduce your waist size, no matter how much you exercise or decrease your caloric intake, according to eMedExpert.

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Types

Abdominal fat can be divided into two classifications. Fat buried deep in the abdomen is called visceral fat and the fat that’s located between the abdominal wall and your skin is called subcutaneous fat, according to the Harvard Health Publications.

Because visceral fat is located so close to a critical body vein in your abdomen, it carries fatty acids to your liver. Once these acids are in your liver, they can contribute to the increase of blood lipids or fats. This kind of fat is also directly connected to bad cholesterol and good cholesterol, according to the Harvard Health Publications.

You can trigger the visceral fat in your body to help you lose the extra inches. This particular fat is more sensitive to additional physical exercise and reduced caloric intake.

Considerations

The most effective way to begin losing belly fat is to increase your level of physical exercise while decreasing your daily caloric intake, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Belly fat is often called “beer belly.” If you drink beer or alcohol in general to excess, you need to lower your intake to two drinks daily to begin to lose your belly fat. Wine, in general, may be the exception to this rule, although it’s still a good idea to restrict your daily intake of wine to two glasses.

If you’re not motivated to begin exercising regularly and decreasing your intake of alcohol and foods, especially refined foods, you’ll find it hard to get rid of the extra inches. You need to make a firm commitment to changing your lifestyle so you can rid yourself of your belly fat.

Effects

While it’s difficult to “spot reduce,” you can lose more weight and inches in your abdominal area if you reduce your caloric intake and increase your level of physical activity.

This is important, because the extra fat around your abdomen can increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes, stroke, some cancers, heart disease, insulin resistance, high triglycerides, metabolic syndrome, low levels of good cholesterol and sleep apnea, particularly in men, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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