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Nutrition & Dieting/Pls help - why isn't my stomach slimming down?

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Question
Hi there.

I am female, 19 yrs old, I weigh 121 lbs and am 5"4'.
For the past 6 weeks or so I have been really trying to lose weight, as my stomach, hips and thighs have a fair bit of excess fat, particularly my stomach.

In order to do so, I've been eating really healthy - 5 small meals a day - (mainly soy milk, lean meat, tuna, vegies, whole grains, eggs) eating around 1300 calories, drinking a lot of water, and doing about 30 mins of cardio every day.

I've lost 2 kilos, however none of it seems to have come from my stomach. I've only really noticed it from my legs and a bit from my hips. First I thought that it might just take some more time, but in the last few days my stomach seems even bigger than it was in the first place.

At one point I was doing ab exercises but then I realised they would make my stomach stick out so I stopped doing them, do you think that's why my stomach is sticking out? From the underlying muscle that I built up?
I'm pretty sure it isn't bloating. It sticks out just as much in the morning, and I have next to no sodium, and the only liquid I drink is water.

Should I start doing the 'vacuum exercise' or something to slim it down?

Please help, pretty frustrated. Been trying to get a flat stomach for more than a year now.

Answer
It sounds like you are putting a lot of committment into this. I would not stop doing ab exercises simple because it is nice to have structured ab muscles when the fat comes off. To lose fat, you have to burn more than you consume. This means that you will want to do whatever you can to keep a heightened metabolism to get the most of your cardio. One way to do that is weight training to increase lean muscle. This does not have to be bodybuilder type workouts. There are many options such as traditional training 3 times a week or crossfit. The other component is the amount of cardio. Thirty minutes is fantastic for health gains, but not fat loss. You will do better to get 60-90 minutes per day. It is not wise to do it all at once, simply because spreading it out allows your metabolism to stay stoked. My recommendation is to continue with your thirty minutes and add another thirty minutes at some time in the day. Later, you can add 15 more somewhere in the day.

You might be tempted to do sixty minutes at once, but keep in mind that splitting it up in the day will increase your ability to burn calories by almost up to 25% because of sustained increased metabolism.

Even more important is to stick to your nutrition plan by reducing the bread products and not having foods that have added sugars. This means that the ingredient list does not list a form of sugar. Yes, that means staying away from bread for a short time until you reach your goal.

Hope this helps!

Nutrition & Dieting

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Laura Ray, BS Nutrition, Certified Wellness Coach

Expertise

Please only individuals over the age of 18 years. I have no expertise in adolescent nutrition. Also, this is not a forum in which I am able to create an individual or general diet plan. I will answer general questions. I can answer directly to questions regarding the use of nutrition and exercise to weight loss in women particularly as it relates to the following: yo-yo dieting, lifestyle change, hormonal changes, menopause, perimenopause, metabolic disorders, age related fat accumulation, HCG dieting, Dr. Simeon, nutritional changes geared toward health, coaching as it relates to weight loss, finding affordable nutrition plans, why diets do not work, and complete wellness programs.

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I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition, am certified in Wellness Coaching by Wellcoaches, and live what I teach.

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Bachelor of Science Nutrition, Certified in Wellness Coaching

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