lower belly fat

Lower belly fat is notoriously difficult to eliminate. With diet and exercise regime, one can lose body weight. But this weight loss is generalized and does not specifically target the this belly fat in the lower parts of the abdominal wall. How to lose this abdominal fat? What mistakes should one avoid while trying to shed it?

Lower belly fat and the difficulty

Lower belly fat is around the lower regions of the abdomen. It usually occurs with age and a lavish lifestyle. Eating unhealthy foods and sedentary lifestyle leads to it. In order to shed the extra body weight, we do a diet and lifestyle change. One starts daily exercise regimes for it. With these measures, weight loss does take place. But it does not specifically target the lower abdominal fat.

lower belly fat
The lower belly fat (Source: Womensbyte)

Dietitian Clarissa Lenherr says:

“While we can target weight loss in general through diet and lifestyle changes, it is unrealistic to think that we can target particular areas for fat loss.”

Personal trainer Emily Ricketts is in agreement. She feels that despite hard training our abdominal muscles, this lower abdominal fat is very hard to reduce. Then how to eliminate this bulge? What mistakes do people do that prevents them from losing it?

Mistakes to avoid

Experts feel that a well-balanced healthy diet and regular exercise with adequate sleep and stress management is the key that can help overcome this belly bulge. They advise avoiding these mistakes that obstruct the elimination of the lower belly bulge.

Not getting adequate proper sleep

Often, we overlook having a good night’s sleep. We spend out night scrolling social media or take a late night coffee or are busy finishing some work at night. All this affects the duration and quality of our night sleep. This lack of proper and sufficient night sleep makes us grumpy and tired the next day. Out work performance suffers. But this also obstructs our weight loss.

lower belly fat
Adequate sleep is a must (Source: Pinterest)

Dr. Luke James from Bupa UK elaborates:

When we’re lacking in sleep, our body’s hormones get thrown off balance which can impact our hunger levels the next day. We all have two hormones that affect our appetite: ghrelin and leptin. When we don’t get enough sleep, our ghrelin levels (the hormone that makes us feel hungry) rise, and our leptin levels (the hormone that makes us feel full) drop. This means that when we’re awake, we tend to eat more but feel less satisfied. Try going to bed a little earlier than usual to avoid this imbalance and remember to remove any distractions that might prevent you from nodding off.”

Not doing the right workout

Just doing workouts for the abdomen does not help. Luke emphasizes that one needs a whole body approach to tackle the lower belly fat collection. According to him, HIIT is best to burn fats and get the heart rate up. He advises combining this with squats, burpees, and threadmill sprints.

Emily too agrees with this and urges people with belly fat to do staple movements. She says that planks, crunches, twists, v-ups and holds are good. She also advocates compound movements (squats, deadlifts, pull-ups and overhead press) to work one’s core.

Eating excessive sugar

Sometimes, the dieter omits all sugars in foods and sweet foods. But continues to have drinks that contain hidden sugars. Sports drinks, sugar-laced drinks and flavored waters all have added sugars that can prevent loss of body fat. Luke adds that fruits and vegetables are good for health but eating too much of them can cause weight gain. Some of them contain high natural sugars that give high calories. Moreover, low fat foods might have high sugars. So it is always better to check on the package labels before purchase.

lower belly fat
Stress management (Source: The Monday Campaigns)

Also lessen refined and simple carbs intake. But Emily believes that one should not dub foods as healthy or unhealthy but just limit the portion sizes of these foods so that you are able to creat a calorie deficit for weight loss.

Not enough protein

Protein helps weight loss and builds muscles. It makes a person feel fuller and hence one can overcome snacking. Have high protein intake for weight loss.

Not managing stress well

Stress creates a lot of havoc in the body. It induces production of cortisol which increases cravings for sugary foods and hence weight gain. Chronic stress causes an elevated cortisol in the blood and this leads to overeating and formation of belly fat. Eat for hunger only and not to overcome stress, boredom or for excitement. Try alternative options for boredom such as a walk, a cup of tea or talking to some friend.

Also, read What is the flat belly diet? Its health benefits and cons!

Excessive alcohol intake

Alcohol has empty calories and body burns alcohol for energy instead of body fat. This leads to fat accumulation and obesity. The belly fat too increases with it. Hence drink in moderation.