14 Obstacles on the Way to Losing Belly Fat
Losing belly fat is hard. In fact, it requires a lot of perseverance to be successful. Unfortunately, not everyone can easily lose belly fat. In fact, some of the obstacles, you are likely to encounter, are listed below.
First, if you are among the 30 percent of Americans who sleep less than six hours a night, it’s hard to lose belly fat or weight. In fact, there is a 16-year study of 70,000 women on sleep and weight. Meanwhile, the study collected sleep hours and weight. And the study reported that women sleeping less than five hours were 30 percent more likely to gain 30 or more pounds than women sleeping seven hours.
How Work is an Obstacle to Losing Belly Fat
Next, work can create obstacles in at least four ways. First, by the stress associated with the work itself. Second, the excessive workload and deadlines may prevent you from getting the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Third, the excessive workload may also prevent you from getting your cardio and strength workouts. And, fourth by playing havoc with your diet.
As most people can agree, it’s hard to avoid stress. Regrettably, stress may result in increasing fat around the belly and increasing your weight.
Now, in response to stress, your body produces the hormone, cortisol. Moreover, the increased levels of cortisol results in higher insulin levels. As a result, blood sugar levels fall. Consequently, you end up craving sugary, fatty foods. Which, in turn, increases belly fat. Furthermore, many studies also show cortisol causes an accumulation of fat around the abdominal area. Meanwhile, one of the ways to get relief from the stress is to take a 15 to 20-minute nap.
Most of all diet plays a very significant role in losing belly fat. Now, since you are trying to lose belly fat, it’s safe to assume you have a healthy diet. So, the issue is having the discipline to stay with the diet. Moreover, it is very difficult to maintain this discipline when it takes such a long time to lose belly fat.
Why Genes are an Obstacle to Losing Belly Fat
Next, genetic disposition gives some people an apple shaped body. Consequently, these people, may likely end up with excess fat around their abdominal area than their hips or thigh.
Now, as you get older, your metabolic rate drops. Because, as you get older, your body needs less calories to function normally, less body fat gets converted to energy. As a result, the percentage of body fat increases. In addition, the distribution of the body fat changes with age. Regrettably, this means more fat around the belly.
Next, when women enter menopause their body’s production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone slows down. Also, their testosterone levels start to drop, but at a slower rate. As a result of these changes, women hold on or gain visceral fat around the belly.
By the way, microbiota are microbes or bacteria living in our intestines. In fact, the four dominant bacterial phyla or divisions, in the gut, are Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, and Proteobacteria.
Now, most of these bacteria are useful because they produce hormones, digest food, extract nutrients, regulate the immune system, control your mood, and manage your appetite. However, according to research published in the journal Nature, the Firmicutes bacteria absorbs calories from the food. And the greater the population of the Firmicutes bacteria, the more calories are absorbed from the food. Consequently, these people tend to put on more weight than others, with smaller population of Firmicutes bacteria.
Furthermore, a study published in the journal Genome looked at 1,300 twins. And, the study concluded that the less diverse your gut bacteria, the more likely you will have belly fat. Consequently, one way to reduce this outcome is to diversity your microbiota.
Why Motivation Helps Losing Belly Fat
Next, it takes discipline and time to lose belly fat. Indeed, for some, it may take several years to lose belly fat. As a result, it’s hard to stay committed for such a long period of time. Therefore, to succeed, the desire to lose belly fat needs to become a lifestyle.
Conscientiousness and Planfulness
Those who are conscientious and are better at making plans are more likely to meet their goals such as the desire to lose belly fat. In fact, a recent study with 282 participants, at the University of Oregon, reported that those with a plan to meet their goals, such as going to the gym, were more successful than those who didn’t. Moreover, the same reasoning also applies to a goal such as desiring to losing belly fat. Because, it takes a long time to lose belly fat, only those having a goal-oriented personality have a better chance of success than those who don’t.
How Over Exercising Hurts Losing Belly Fat
Now, it’s rational to think that the more you exercise the more you will burn calories and lose belly fat. Yes, you will burn calories. However, over exercising or endurance training creates physical stress in the body. And this physical stress causes the body to increase production of the hormone, cortisol. Consequently, the high cortisol levels, results in more belly fat.
Next, cardio exercises can result in heavy breathing and sweating. So, it’s logical to think cardio exercises are going to make you lose weight and burn fat. Unfortunately, cardio by itself is not enough. In fact, cardio needs to be balanced with strength training. Because, strength training builds muscles. And, muscles burn fat 24 hours. As a result, muscles burn more calories and belly fat than cardio. On the other hand, cardio burns calories mostly from glucose in blood and only during the workout.
Why Alcohol is Bad for Losing Belly Fat
Meanwhile, if you are used to having a drink regularly, it’s hard to give that up. Moreover, when alcohol reaches the digestive system, it gets absorbed by the circulatory system to become part of the blood flowing through the body. And, when the blood reaches the liver, the alcohol in the blood is metabolized into acetate. Next, acetate is broken down into carbon dioxide and water mainly in tissue other than the liver.
Now, the brain utilizes the acetate in the blood, partially replacing glucose consumption. Furthermore, acetate is ultimately used by cells for the synthesis of fatty acids which makes up fat. Consequently, the amount of fat increases.
In addition, research shows that high alcohol use increases cortisol levels. Also, alcohol decreases your testosterone levels. As a result, it becomes difficult to build lean muscle and burn fat as fuel.
For many men, low testosterone results in not having enough energy. Consequently, their athletic performance falls. Also, they have greater difficulty building muscles and losing belly fat. As a result, fat increases and the men lose muscle mass.
Meanwhile, symptoms of low testosterone in males includes decreased motivation, decreased libido, more belly fat, trouble sleeping, and fatigue.Finally, men with low testosterone can suffer from osteoporosis, obesity, and loss of muscle mass.
Meanwhile, women with high testosterone levels have difficultly losing weight and have bigger muscle mass. By the way, high levels of testosterone can occur in women with Polycystic Ovarian syndrome.
All things considered these obstacles are not insurmountable. However, these obstacles just make it harder to lose belly fat and weight.