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I have lost 46 pounds, why is my stomach still big?


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Hi everyone (:

Little info about me. I am 20 years old ( my height is 5'4) and back in January I weighed 180 pounds. I now weigh 134 pounds, but am still unhappy with my stomach. Don't get me wrong, I have gotten smaller but I would think almost 50 pounds smaller my stomach would be flat. 

I eat 4-5 small meals a day.

Meal 1 : a waffle, an egg, or a 100 calore granola bar.
Meal 2 : an apple
Meal 3 : 140 calorie chicken noodle soup, salad, or half a peanut butter sandwich.
Meal 4 : what ever my mother makes for dinner but always healthy and smaller portions.

I work out every day.

Daily workout routine.
1.) hour Zumba class
2.) hour on the treadmill doing interval training
3.) weight machines for 30 minutes.
4.) ab workouts for 30 minutes.

Some days I also do the Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones or her Cardio workout DVD.

I originally was hoping to lose 50 pounds total, but now I think I may need to lose more? I lose at least 2 pounds a week and have never not lost at least 2 pounds a week. The top of my stomach has gotten much smaller, but my lower stomach is not really getting much better. It is odd looking also because the sides of my stomach are starting to get definition from the ab workouts but then the middle of my stomach just is big still. (and no it is not excess skin)

Do you think I need to drop down to 120 or do you think 130 is the normal weight for a girl my age and height? Do you think I need to just focus more on toning ? I just don't know what to do. Swim suit season is just around the corner and everyone is so excited to see me in a bathing suit since they know I have lost 46 pounds, but I am still not happy with my stomach. 

Any advice would be great! thank you so much!

18 Replies (last)

My stomach is my main concern as well, because it makes me look pregnant!  I know that one thing I have stopped doing is ab workouts. I found that when I would do crunches and stuff that focused on abs...my stomach would stick out and look horrible!     I know it sucks to hear it so much and from every one, but really we can't spot reduce, and the best thing to do for us to lose the pooch is to keep doing cario, and also work on strengthening the core.

I hate running, so the fact that you can do an hour on a treadmill is absolutely awesome to me!!  The most I can do is stationary bike and walking ( I have weak ankles and the pressure of running hurts).

Congratulations on losing the 46 pounds!  You should keep at it, and maybe add some yoga or pilates??  Keep doing your cardio and healthy eating, and core workouts, but try to not do the "traditional" crunches, maybe you can do like the twists, or standing up crunches (left elbow to right knee kind), but not the sitting on the floor and crunching kind. See if not doing those will help!

You are currently at a healthy weight.  My suggestion would be to start eating maintenance calories and focus on strength training.  This will add muscle and burn fat.

One thing that strikes me, is that it appears you eat incredibly little. Unless your evening meal is like 1500kcals on its own?

You do 3 - 4 hours of cardio a day - that's fairly insane!

That aside, my guess is that if you're looking for an ironing board type appearance, you'll have to drop down to a BMI of 18 to achieve that. Not that healthy...and not recommended...

Unless your body carries all your weight around your middle - and you have very skinny legs / thighs and a tiny upper body, I can't quite see how you realistically have much of a "stomach" with your current stats. Undecided

Let me see if I understand this correctly: you are 20 years old, 5'4", 134 pounds (BMI of 23), eating 1,200 calories (that's a generous estimate, I think you're eating less) and exercising for THREE HOURS A DAY, sometime MORE?

Here's what I think you need to do:

  1. Eat more. You're not even eating enough to sustain your daily routine, let alone three hours of additional exercise.
  2. Exercise less. Three hours is excessive, espeically considering how little you're eating.
  3. Exercise more efficiently. I think that by cutting out the two hours of cardio, getting off the weight machines and ditching the isolated ab work, you could do so much more for your body in much less time. My suggestion is to start a full-body lifting program using free weights, finish it up with some HIIT or intervals (15-20 minutes worth) and continue doing Zumba, if you really enjoy it, on your off days.

While it's possible that more fat loss is in your future, building up your strength will help you get to where you ultimately want to be. No amout of isolate ab work got me the results that squats and deadlifts have.

I agree with the comments above. You have been on a starvation diet, so you have likely messed up your metabolism, and much of that 46 pounds lost was probably not fat. You should change your focus from weight loss to fat loss.

 

Also, give it a little time.  Even if you are not losing weight, you can re-arrange and you can lose inches without losing weight. 

Ata  BMI of 23, it would probably be a good diea to maintain for some time at this weight before trying to lose more.  Also, take a set of measurements and make sure you do not have unrealistic expectations.

hmm, I'd be careful if I were you.. I'm almost underweight and my stomach "sticks out". You probably have unrealistic expectations. Your current lifestyle seems really extreme, and very hard on your body, and you're starving yourself. Not very smart, and not a fun way to live. Relax and embrace what you've been given.. if you can't get it with THAT much effort, is it worth it? How much of your life is workouts and obsession over looks? :/

i still have stomach fat even though i'm 5 ft 7 in and 119 lbs (bmi 18.6). haven't tried toning much. maybe try toning a bit? my tummy looks pretty flat when i'm standing/lying down, but it's pretty obvious when i'm sitting down :/ gonna try some sit ups maybe? maybe that will help. so far i've tried walking long distances (20 km in a day), doesn't seem to help :/

even some of the skinniest people i know have pooches when they sit down. i use to be 135 before i had my son and a month ago i was 5'7  and 187lbs. i started with a detox cut out all the soda and junk food which reduces bloating. and started eating a few more small meals and snacks but not over doing my calorie intake or under eating and i stop eating by 7:30 pm  my work outs include tread mill in the morning for 30-40 minutes 20 minutes of yoga/calisthenics. then 3 days a week ill go to the gym , do a cardio class and an hour work out or see my trainer for 30 minutes . the problem is when you lose weight you have to tone as you go or you'll get flabby and its hard to reduce after that . i even walk alot as part of work. if you can afford it a personal trainer is good. im now down to 176 with a toned body.  and even though i haven't dropped a lot of weight and i've gained muscle that my trouble areas aren't so trouble some and they're shrinking quickly as you do loose weight and tone youll see some stretch marks as well rub vitiman e oil on them twice a day or stretch mark cream

under eating is un healthy you need to learn to balance the amount you eat and how healthy you eat. when you work out your body uses up all the vitamins and stuff in your food to help build muscles.once you have those your metabolism burns faster and your exercising  regularly your body uses up twice a month. you will go up in weight at first because you gain the muscle then you'll shred a few healthy pounds and over exercising  is bad how long did it take you to drop the weight?

if you started back in January and it is now may and you lost that much in that little of time that's why you have the belly flab and you did it unhealthy. use the calorie counter eat several small meals a day and meet your calorie/vitamin requirements. it takes 9 months to a year the healthy way to loose that much weight

Thank you all for your replies, but I just want to let you all know that I am def. doing it in a healthy way. I use the calorie counter website everyday, and am always in the calorie intake I need. And I am def. not starving, because I love food way to much haha. I did watch the biggest loser and heard that sometimes your body goes into something called "starvation mode" and I need to eat more which I planed on upping my calorie intake anyway. 

 

It is also very possible and healthy to lose 50 pounds in a month. I ask my doctor and trainers at my gym and they all said it was very possible. I lose 2 pounds a week and even on this website they say it is normal to lose .5 - 2 pounds a week. 

 

And don't get me wrong my stomach is still not HUGE. I can see the difference drastically, I just have this little pouch. It looks find with everything but a bikini on. It's odd because where the bottom of the bathing suit is it is flat, then it just has a little pouch above it.

 

Also I know most people have a stomach when they sit and that doesn't bother me, I just wanted a flat stomach when I stand!

 

My major thing I don't know what to do with is my exercising? Do you think I need to stop working out so much. I can't imagine just not working out as much though, but If it is not doing me any good I wouldn't

Original Post by swinggyy:

It is also very possible and healthy to lose 50 pounds in a month. I ask my doctor and trainers at my gym and they all said it was very possible. I lose 2 pounds a week and even on this website they say it is normal to lose .5 - 2 pounds a week. 

It's safe and healthy to lose 1% of your body weight each week. For some (like someone who weighs 200 pounds), that would be 2 pounds per week. For you, a safe and healthy rate to lose weight would be 1.3 pounds per week.

Original Post by swinggyy:

My major thing I don't know what to do with is my exercising? Do you think I need to stop working out so much. I can't imagine just not working out as much though, but If it is not doing me any good I wouldn't

To answer this, I would like to redirect you to my post here. To reiterate, exercising for three hours a day is excessive and unnecessary. See my previous post for recommendations on what to do instead.

Also, according to Calorie Count, you could eat roughly 1,850 calories a day and still lose 1 pound per week. But, a word of warning, CC's tools aren't designed for those under 21. For instance, according to this calculator, you could eat 2,200 calories per day to lose at a rate of 1 pound per week (it estimates your daily energy output at 2,750).

So how often do you think I should exercise. How many days a week?

 

I will start doing 20 minutes of interval training and I will do the full body lifting, but I am not sure what that includes? I have used free weights, but mostly for arms. So I am not sure what the full body weight lifting would include? 

 

Thank you for helping (:

Original Post by swinggyy:

It is also very possible and healthy to lose 50 pounds in a month. I ask my doctor and trainers at my gym and they all said it was very possible. I lose 2 pounds a week and even on this website they say it is normal to lose .5 - 2 pounds a week. 

The problem is not that you can't lose the weight. The problem is that what you lose is not fat. It is easy to lose weight, but it is difficult to lose fat and hold on to lean mass. If anyone tells you they lost 50 pounds in a month, you know right away that they didn't lose 50 pounds of fat. And fat loss is the goal, isn't it?

 

Full body lifting is multi-joint exercises with heavier weights, or isometrics using your body weight.  Some examples:

Deadlift

Chinups

Bench Presses

Push-Ups

Squats

Tricep dips

Military Presses

Turkish Get-Ups

All of which are AWESOME :)  Though don't do them all in one day, heh.

The Turkish Get-Ups especially are good for core toning, which is what you sound like you want.

That said, you can't build muscle on a starvation diet.  You're going to need to start eating more to build the flat abs you want.

And don't do weights more than three-four days a week.  I recommend three, since you need recovery time to build muscle.  You can do cardio on the same days, or on your non-lifting days, whichever you prefer.

Original Post by vbeattie:

Full body lifting is multi-joint exercises with heavier weights, or isometrics using your body weight.  Some examples:

Deadlift

Chinups

Bench Presses

Push-Ups

Squats

Tricep dips

Military Presses

Turkish Get-Ups

All of which are AWESOME :)  Though don't do them all in one day, heh.

The Turkish Get-Ups especially are good for core toning, which is what you sound like you want.

That said, you can't build muscle on a starvation diet.  You're going to need to start eating more to build the flat abs you want.

And don't do weights more than three-four days a week.  I recommend three, since you need recovery time to build muscle.  You can do cardio on the same days, or on your non-lifting days, whichever you prefer.

 This. You may also want to look into getting a book that has a pre-planned program such as New Rules of Lifting for Women, Female Body Breakthrough, etc.

Original Post by swinggyy:

So how often do you think I should exercise. How many days a week?

 

I will start doing 20 minutes of interval training and I will do the full body lifting, but I am not sure what that includes? I have used free weights, but mostly for arms. So I am not sure what the full body weight lifting would include? 

 

Thank you for helping (:

Do whatever you enjoy doing. No point in doing hardcore exercise for a week, only to stay away from the gym for a month. The idea is to lose weight, and if you believe my experience in dealing with weight loss, stomach is the last place where you will see the difference. Just keep losing weight and eventually it will attack the stomach area.

 

Something else - that little pouch at the bottom of your stomach may not be fat, it might just be a little loose skin since you weighed more and your stomach was larger before.  I have one left over from my pregnancy (though it's a LOT smaller than it used to be) and it just takes a while for your skin's elasticity to catch up and tighten it up again.

It will, though.  Just give it time :)

18 Replies
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