Weight Loss
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Losing Weight. But Why Not Belly Fat?


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Okay, so I lost like 6-7 lbs over 2 months and I started strength training also. I have to say that Yes, I did lost belly fat also (a lot). But I still have fat above my abs. The only way to take that fat off my belly is to lose weight, but unfortunately If I do lose more weight then I would be considered dangerously under-weight.

What should I do? 

Should I lose weight to lose belly fat even if it puts me in extreme under-weight zone?

23 Replies (last)

How old are you and what is your height/weight/gender?

If you are already bordering on underweight, then it is highly improbable that you have excess fat -- excess skin may be possible if you are older or if you were extremely overweight, but excess fat is unlikely.

And, if you are underweight, then NO -- you should NOT be trying to lose weight in order to lose the perceived belly fat.

EDIT:  Never mind -- you are 15, 5'1" and 78 lb??? 

Then let me put this another way -- NO NO NO NO NO

with a bmi in the 14, you have ONE thing you should be doing -- EATING.

I'm going to remind you of the PGs, just in case

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Hello,

 

I dont know if I have any advice but I totally understand what you mean, im going through the same, I've lost the same amount over the past 3-4 months (after losing 20lbs the year before) and and am near the end of the BMI scale. Im 5"7 and 125lbs. I dont have any issue with my weight, i love my arms, shoulders and legs they are really toned and lovely! BUT its my belly, its so untoned and I'm nervous it's excess skin and I will never get rid of it.

Everybody keeps saying 'your so slim dont lose any more' but Im stuck coz i want to lose more weight to drop this belly!

I have just started using slendertone to see if that helps the belly as well as my gym and yoga sessions!

Help Us!! xx

Crap,

 

Just seen the edit on the post above, NO NO NO NO NO!

 

Please listen to the advice given above hun

 

xxxxxxx

Thanks for your advice.

Isn't it that if I eat more- I'll gain more fat around my belly? I'm just afraid to try eating more.

Also, Can this be bloating? Because I am recently having lots of gas and being constipated for like 2-3 days...

Thanks for reminding me about the PG- I'm not trying to promote starvation diet as I've changed my mind to gain weight now. (but please answer the new questions above)

 

Thanks

#5  
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I'm going to get flamed for this, but reduce carbs.

If you try to cut calories without reducing carbs you'll end up "skinny fat" which is what you're describing.

My advice, look into it.

Original Post by tydude187:

I'm going to get flamed for this, but reduce carbs.

If you try to cut calories without reducing carbs you'll end up "skinny fat" which is what you're describing.

My advice, look into it.

Do you think that you'll get flamed for recommending reducing carbs, or for recommending cutting any source of food to a person with a BMI of 14.7?

Underweight people typically have "excess" belly fat because the body is hanging onto the fat stores for dear life and deems that the most important place to put fat since it protects the internal organs.

You need to eat more.  As you gain weight, you'll find that the body eventually trusts you enough to redistribute the fat away from the belly area.

#8  
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Cutting out refined carbohydrates never hurt anybody.

I personally let my own weight get that low because it always seemed like I had "fat to lose" and it would never quite go away.

I solved this by cutting carbs. I'm no longer incredibly underweight, I no longer fear food, and I have not counted calories for over a year.


I mean no harm, but an eating disorder cannot be solved by simply encouraging people to eat. They know that, and that's what they're afraid of. Real food should be the staple of any successful diet.

Unless you happen to be a severely underweight 15 year old male with a BMI of 14.  While I wouldn't ordinarily endorse eating refined carbs (mostly), in this case, I'd just be happy he was eating SOMETHING.

OP -- it is entirely possible you are bloated -- the body fights its own death in many ways, holding on to water is just one of them.  Eat, for the love of Pete (or God, your choice), just eat.

You will never reach a stage where you can build muscle if you don't eat more than you are burning, and if you don't have the necessary nutrients in your meal plans, and if you aren't at a healthy weight.

You are a tad height challenged at the moment -- your body is NOT going to produce the hormones necessary for you to get any taller as you get older until you reach a healthy weight. 

For some of the respondents:  This boy is 15, 5'1', 78lb with a BMI of 14 -- please do not encourage him to cut anything from his meals, else I will consider that encouraging a pro-ana/pro-mia habit and delete and lock.

OP: When kids are growing, they often tend to "shoot out" then "shoot up."  They'll put on some weight, look a bit fuller, then suddenly they grow a few inches and "grow into" their weight.  Then they sometimes look crazy skinny even though they eat like a horse!  I've seen this with my own boys and watched my brother do the same thing.  In fact, I was just thinking about this very thing earlier today.  

When my brother was just about your age, he put on weight in his face and stomach, yet he was still underweight.  But his height just needed time to catch up with his weight.  After a few months he was taller, the belly was gone, and his face thinned out again.  It was the beginning of a major growth spurt for him that always went the same way.  He'd start to look a bit chubby, then he'd shoot up.  Over and over again.  It was just the way his body grew.

As long as you're reasonably active and eating healthily, you really shouldn't be concerned with any belly fat right now.  The best thing you could possibly do for yourself is to eat well when you're hungry and stay active.  And if you have a weightlifting class at school, the teacher can be a great resource in helping you get started with a safe weight training routine.  That will make a huge difference in the way you look and feel about yourself.  

susiecue, you are right.  I am within a healthy range for my BMI,  but I had the same problem with belly fat, and "skinny fat." Recently, I began eating more, and the belly fat has been disappearing. However, I have to stress focusing on portion control and balanced meals, when eating more.   My weakness was and still is carbs.   But I have been eating them in the right portions, and getting results.

 

Original Post by tydude187:

Cutting out refined carbohydrates never hurt anybody.

Cutting out refined carbs is a completely different suggestion than your original "cut carbs" advice.  Advice like "eat a banana with peanut butter instead of a slice of white bread" is very different from "stay away from carbs" since "carbs" includes veggies, fruit, whole grains (not just wheat but quinoa, buckwheat, wild rice, etc.) and so on.  Better advice would have been to advise the OP to increase fat/protein intake.

Ok wow, so if i aet more the belly fat should disappear? thats so backwards but i i guess its the same as starvation mode and plateaus?

 

At the moment my calorie defecit is 1200, how much more would you recommend increasing it to encourage my body to let go of the fat?

 

xx

Original Post by vickygoo:

Ok wow, so if i aet more the belly fat should disappear? thats so backwards but i i guess its the same as starvation mode and plateaus?

 

At the moment my calorie defecit is 1200, how much more would you recommend increasing it to encourage my body to let go of the fat?

 

Yes, it is very weird.  So many times I have thought "I can't believe this is working." 

But pay attention to portion sizes.

Before I started counting calories, I would have 3 bowls of cereal for "first breakfast" then 3 more for "second breakfast."  Then noodles and rice some time later in the day.  The result was the beginning of what looked like a muffin top, despite being skinny.  ;^/

I ate both nutritious whole grain cereals, and sugary kids cereals.  Just whatever sounded good.

I thought cereal was "like eating air."  And I could eat all I wanted since it was low in fat.  However, all those calories and carbs add up.

I couldn't believe the portion sizes of some things at first.

Now I can't even imagine eating cereal like that. 

Eating has actually been more enjoyable, now that I have been eating a wider variety of foods.   And I can fit into pants I couldn't before.

 

 

Original Post by vickygoo: At the moment my calorie defecit is 1200, how much more would you recommend increasing it to encourage my body to let go of the fat?

 

I don't feel knowledgeable enough to give out that kind of advice, but I read that women should not eat any LESS than that amount.

1200 calories is as low as you should ever go.

That is the minimum your body needs to function at a healthy level.

I'm not sure what you are taking in, but that sounds like a scary low deficit. 

I'd try 1500 calories a day, and really try to make that goal as often as you can.  Definitely do not go under 1200, if you can help it.

 

 

The only way to take that fat off my belly is to lose weight, but unfortunately If I do lose more weight then I would be considered dangerously under-weight.

Thank you for your advice, Im going to give it a go and boost my calories per day, 1200 is something I was told by another webiste, I have only just learnt from here that I should never go below 1200 so now I know will try my best not to.

 

I dont want to lose anymore weight at all but that tummy is there so i have the 'skinny fat' syndrome where losing weight is my only option and by eating 1200cals a day, my weight isn't dropping and I'm pretty sure thats because my body doesnt want to lose anymore but I really need to lose it off my tummy!

I know what you mean about the cereal penelope_green!! it used to my biggest weakness and I would consume tonnes of it! Now i stick only to museli (low sugar Alpen). I am the healthiest I have ever been in my life and I know I'm so close to get a flat tummy for the first time ever!

 

How much weight/inches did you lose when you upped your cals?

 

Original Post by vickygoo:

Thank you for your advice, Im going to give it a go and boost my calories per day, 1200 is something I was told by another webiste, I have only just learnt from here that I should never go below 1200 so now I know will try my best not to.

 I only recently learned this too.  That's why I was hesitant to give advice, and just offered what I do know.   ;^)     I have a weird question for you,  how is your posture?  I have bad arches and tend to slouch.  Anyone slumping over gets the appearance of more of a belly. Sometimes I realize, if I just straighten up my perceived belly looks fine or better! However I did have a  baby muffin type shape a few months ago, no matter how I stood.  And I knew exactly how it got there. For a while, I was doing crunches and side stretches every day, (back when I was cereal binging) and it helped a lot.  But I was not seeing the results I wanted.

I dont want to lose anymore weight at all but that tummy is there so i have the 'skinny fat' syndrome where losing weight is my only option and by eating 1200cals a day, my weight isn't dropping and I'm pretty sure thats because my body doesnt want to lose anymore but I really need to lose it off my tummy!

I suggest that you also do some crunches and side stretches.  Not to lose weight, just gentle working out, to wake up your metabolism, and slowly tone the area.  I was only doing about 10 crunches a day at first, and worked up from there.  I felt better, and could feel the area tightening, even before I could see anything happening.  

I need to get back into doing my little light work out.

Just be patient with yourself.  Try staying above 1200, and working out a little.  Please don't kill yourself with exercise though. 

Make eating a good thing.  Discover new foods and combinations.

Eating more protein helps.  A lot.

One of my favorite snacks is peanut butter on a hot toasted mini bagel, or a table spoon of peanut butter dipped in cocoa crispies.  It's so good it feels like cheating.

Another fun way to get protein is pour Slim Fast on your cereal instead of milk.   I had Cappuccino Delight and Chocolate Cheerios this morning.

On that note, I do not recommend their "plans".  Some days I just have one can for a supplement or as an ingredient in something else. 

Try to have protein with carbs.  

I know what you mean about the cereal penelope_green!! it used to my biggest weakness and I would consume tonnes of it! Now i stick only to museli (low sugar Alpen). I am the healthiest I have ever been in my life and I know I'm so close to get a flat tummy for the first time ever!

 That's great!  ;^D   Be patient with yourself, you can do it!

How much weight/inches did you lose when you upped your cals?

Before, it seemed like every time I went to the doctor, I weighed more. The nurses may have laughed and asked where I kept it all, but I didn't think it was funny.  

When I was cereal binging and not counting, I was usually between 128/130  which is the high end of my weight spectrum.  I fluxuate between 120-130.

Around Christmas, I was in the hospital for asthma, and I weighed in around 126.   That was just cutting out the excess cereal.

I don't have a scale, and am curious to see what I'll weigh when I go to my appointment on Thursday.  

I'm not going for a certain number, being that I am a healthy weight, but I am curious.

If I am still 126, that's fine. 

As for pants,  I probably lost at least an inch off the front of my belly.  That was the major problem area when it came to jeans.  The pants would fit everywhere else fine, but could not close, not comfortably anyway.

Jean sizes for girls are confusing though, at least to me.  With different cuts and juniors verses regular.

I have a pair of juniors jeans that are 14.  And a pair that are 7.  They both fit the same, and are both low riding.

I also have a pair of size "0" pants that are hip huggers.  I got them at a thrift store.  Truthfully, I don't believe in size 0.   You can't have size nothing.

For me, if the pants fit look good and are comfortable, then that's all that matters.  ;^)

I also have some men's cargo pants, that are size 29. 

But for the last several years, I tended towards pants that were less fitted, and had elastic bands.   Now I wear pants like this more, since I can comfortably.

 

I only recently learned this too.  That's why I was hesitant to give advice, and just offered what I do know.   ;^)     I have a weird question for you,  how is your posture?  I have bad arches and tend to slouch.  Anyone slumping over gets the appearance of more of a belly.

 

My posture is a lot better than it used to be, its really good when I stand but quite shocking when I sit, I tend to really roll my shoulders! My belly is definately fat, I can pinch an inch (or two!), I used to be a lot bigger and I have never ever had a 'flat tummy'. All my fat is concentrated under my navel and seems to be in one area, I also have the dreaded love handles but they have gone down a lot since I lost weight but is still enough for me to worry!

I suggest that you also do some crunches and side stretches.  Not to lose weight, just gentle working out, to wake up your metabolism, and slowly tone the area.

I have been doing the plank and side planks (pain!) for the past 2 weeks and do feel stronger in my sides so I think Im getting there, Im just very impatient! Must keep going! I also go to the gym 3-4 x weekly plus yoga 2x a week which definately helped my intial weight loss for everywhere else. I have gotten to that fear stage I think where I'm so nervous about putting weight back on especially when I've been eating so healthy and restricting myself and not lost a pound for weeks!

One of my favorite snacks is peanut butter on a hot toasted mini bagel, or a table spoon of peanut butter dipped in cocoa crispies.  It's so good it feels like cheating.

Oooo I know what you mean about peanut butter! Have you ever tried peanut butter with celery sticks? It sounds wrong but so yummy! 

 

I think my issue is I'm obsessed with my weight (125 for almost 4 weeks!) I took my measurements this morning and Im going to try to go by them now. (33, 26, 34) Im definatley going to use your mantra of clothes sizes. I recently bought my first size 8 dress I think that a US size 4?) and felt great but still obsessed with my tummy in it! Will I ever be happy!

Are you still wanting to lose weight or are you maintaining? Are you happy with your size, you seem very at ease with yourself, its great to hear!! xx

Original Post by vickygoo:


My posture is a lot better than it used to be, its really good when I stand but quite shocking when I sit, I tend to really roll my shoulders! My belly is definately fat, I can pinch an inch (or two!), I used to be a lot bigger and I have never ever had a 'flat tummy'. All my fat is concentrated under my navel and seems to be in one area, I also have the dreaded love handles but they have gone down a lot since I lost weight but is still enough for me to worry!

Wow, I totally roll my shoulders forward when I sit.   I tend to curl into myself.  It's a comfort/security thing.   My posture is improved when I stand/walk when I have my "shape ups" type shoes on.   But otherwise, I slouch.

I've always been lucky to have a flat tummy.  Not wanting to lose it with age and sedentary habits are a large part of why I am here.

I would much rather maintain it actively, than worry about losing it.

You know what's interesting about love handles?  Skinny people can have them too.   I used to feel self conscious about mine, until I noticed the bikini models in a catalog.  Normal looking girls, without airbrushing.  Real people.  Even with flat bellies, most of them had curves there.

You might have a curve of muscle there.  Which is a good thing.  When I feel mine, I can feel a muscle, which provides the shape under the fat.  I learned to stop desiring a  "bean pole" shape, and accepted that there is always going to be a curve there, regardless of how lean it is. But I do check a lot, lol. 

I have been doing the plank and side planks (pain!) for the past 2 weeks and do feel stronger in my sides so I think Im getting there, Im just very impatient! Must keep going! I also go to the gym 3-4 x weekly plus yoga 2x a week which definately helped my intial weight loss for everywhere else. I have gotten to that fear stage I think where I'm so nervous about putting weight back on especially when I've been eating so healthy and restricting myself and not lost a pound for weeks!

Wow so you definitely get your exercise.  Maybe you could ask for some advice on how to tone your belly.   Sometimes you need different exercises to accomplish certain things.  I would ask someone directly (like a trainer or staff) rather than wade through all the information on the internet. 

I can be very impatient too!  I know the feeling.  I really want the "V" ab mark.  Yes, girls can have it too.   But I heard it is really hard to get.   I don't even have any visible "abs" right now.   I didn't even when I was doing my crunches regularly.  I didn't stick with it long enough. 

I'm sorry it's been so frustrating, and wish I could help more with the plateau.   But I really think the restricting is making you hold onto the fat. And I heard that it does get harder after you have lost some weight.

My Grandma is with Weight Watchers, and it took her forever to lose that one last pound to get to her goal, but she did it.

Oooo I know what you mean about peanut butter! Have you ever tried peanut butter with celery sticks? It sounds wrong but so yummy! 

Celery?   Blechhh.  That is the worst veggie ever!  ;^D

 

I think my issue is I'm obsessed with my weight (125 for almost 4 weeks!) I took my measurements this morning and Im going to try to go by them now. (33, 26, 34) Im definatley going to use your mantra of clothes sizes. I recently bought my first size 8 dress I think that a US size 4?) and felt great but still obsessed with my tummy in it! Will I ever be happy!

To me, 125 doesn't sound bad.  I am 5'5 and last weighed 126.   It sounds like you are a little caught up with numbers.   You need to ask yourself if you feel good, then if you look good.  Be kind but be honest.  That is what really matters.   More than numbers and the mental weight we add to them.

Other than your desire to slim your belly down, and needing to up your calories, it sounds like you're doing really good.

You might want to actually stop weighing yourself and taking measurements for a few days.  Try to get it down to just once a day, once a week. 

As long as you are in that anxious, obsessive, cycle it is going to be very hard to be happy. It is a dangerous mindset that can lead to eating disorders or borderline behaviors. 

Focus on FEELING good, not letting the numbers tell you how you feel. 

That is one of the main reasons I don't have a scale, and don't invest much in clothing size numbers.

Are you still wanting to lose weight or are you maintaining? Are you happy with your size, you seem very at ease with yourself, its great to hear!! xx

I came here to maintain my weight, within range.  I have always fluxuated, which may explain why I do not fixate on the numbers much.

What I am doing, is trying to maintain a healthy weight, and become more pro-active about taking better care of myself.  A little at a time.

Eventually I would like to start working out, and get toned. 

Thank you.  My general shape/size is thankfully something I feel good about most of the time.    

 

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