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small frame, healthy weight...belly fat??

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so I'm 5'4, small frame, and at a healthy weight. I am a dancer, but not a really intense one. I also run daily, so I'm toned, but not exactly muscle-woman.

My problem is belly fat. Of all the parts of my body that have excess fat, my stomach is by far the worst. I'm searching for reasons why this is. I've never had a flat stomach, so I don't expect it to be perfect, but I work out my abs every night and my belly is the worst place.

[for some perspective, at waist measurements are like 27-28, and just below is like 32-33.]

it really bugs me that this excess weight won't go away. I live in the south, and while my calorie intake is pretty normal to maintain, I like all true southerners drink my fair share of sweet tea. I am wondering if it is the culprit. or maybe I'm grasping at straws.

anyone else have, or already conquered, this problem? it seems small but it bugs me that I can't make it go away even when I work out and stuff.

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Often that's just the way you're built.  Sometimes, however, it can be where any fluid you're retaining is sitting.  To see if that's the case try following a so-called 'clean' diet for a few weeks if you don't already.  Plenty of fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, lean meats and fish, pulses (legumes) etc....   Cook and prepare your own food rather than relying on ready-meals or packaged goods.  Try to avoid as best you can processed foods, refined carbohydrates (white flour, white rice, biscuits, pizza) and any foods with added sugar and salt.   Try not to eat out for a while as restaurant food is usually caked in salt.  Caffeinated and/or fizzy drinks should also be dispensed with in favour of water and things like fruit or herb tea. 

If it does nothing to reduce your belly, it's all great for your overall health.  What have you got to lose?
Good Day seizestar,

I looked at your profile quickly and I noticed that you had posted /6/88381.html . Perhaps, this is something that you could be better at consulting your doctor.  I did a google search, quickly, for diets and if you have the time, take a look at this
I just thought some more, do you exercise ?  eddiepotter had posted "Maintenance Problems and How to Conquer Them" in the maintaing forum, and I thought to you.  A quote from that thread:

"Stomach:  In order to maintain a good mid section you have to eat right. This is number one, because if you don?t eat right then you?ll just lose it eventually.  I also suggest doing 2-3 days of cardio a week and 2 ab workouts a week.  The workouts don?t have to be extremely intense?as this is just maintaining the body that you worked hard to get.  All the hard work is complete? this is just the icing n the cake".

It's just difficult for people who are not so well equiped to advise of 'how to eat' with your condition, that is why I suggested a doc.  You may even need to see a doctor for exercise regimin - I don't know.  Just hope you find the direction that you need and are looking for.
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thanks for the links and tips!

the diet link made a lot of sense to me and fits right in with what my doctor has said.

I've been meaning to talk to the doc about this particular problem..I will be seeing him sometime the end of this month, though, so I'll question him about it then.

I do exercise. I'm a dancer, and dance three-four times a week, and I run almost every day that I don't dance, for about an hour and a half.

I do ab workouts [not heavy intense workouts, just enough to feel the burn] every night. I have trouble focusing the work on my lower abs, which could be part of the problem.

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Ab workouts don't burn very much fat at all.  Since you like running you may like to try adding sprints to your runs.  Running is a cardio exercise and only burns calories during the running period and maybe 2-3 hours afterwards.  But quick bursts of energy like from sprinting or weight lifting (low reps and more sets) causes muscle protein breakdown, which in turn will raise your RMR for the next 1-2 days.  You will not want to do sprints or weight training everyday, one day on, one day off.  This allows your muscles proteins to rebuild and become stronger; that is why your RMR will also increase.

gosh, I have always had problems with my stomach area. No matter what I do more fat is there than anywhere else. I believe a lot of it is genetic because my mom has the exact same problem.

I am 5'3 and I went from 135 to 115, and I still have fat on my stomach. Who knows....although I am about to add yoga to my exercise routine, because I have heard it helps with issues like these

I read from some of the messages on this web site regarding this issue.  The suggestion I can remember is stay away from REFINED SUGAR.  You will see slightly difference in one week without any refined sugar intake.  After three weeks, you will notice the change.  Have not tried it myself but will love to hear from someone who had tried or is trying it right now.

Not supposed to post links, so here is my advice -- conduct a google search on the phrase "body type" and click the quiz from iVillage (probably the second link down).

The current idea on "trouble spots" (such as belly, hips, thighs, arms, whatever) is that your body is genetically predisposed to store fat in certain areas.  The quiz identifies your genetic "body type" and suggests exercises that will help you sculpt your way to more pleasing proportions.

For example, I tend to store fat in my lower regions, so the site recommended I build a more muscular upper body to balance it out.  I whined at first, but the  advice was right on -- even when I'm not at my "ideal" weight, I look fabulous.

However, your body is still your body, and there's only so much change that can be initiated by exercise.  That's where clothes come in! Find styles that emphasize your arms, face, boobs and legs, and that hide your tummy.

And, seriously, love yourself. Recognize that there is only so much that you can do (without plastic surgery) and don't beat yourself up because your body type isn't in fashion. After all, if we all looked the same than it would be much more difficult for our loved ones to recognize us. ;^)

Stumbled upon this from that other article linked to! oss-flatab.shtml

I only read the first five replies but here's my idea:

dancing is generally not regarded as aerobic (fat burning) because you stop to learn the exercise, do the combinations and then wait for the rest of class to perform.  its stop and go, like city driving, and your body rests between sets so maybe add some cardio.  dance like zumba and aerobics classes are, obviously, aerobic and thereby fat-burning.  but classes like ballet, jazz, and modern dance are not.  although I could make the argument that rehearsals are aerobic, depending on the piece.


I don't know how long you are running for and there are different measures for this, but at least thirty mins is when your body switches to fat-burning mode. 

anyway, so maybe increase your aerobic exercise.

Please remember that your muscles need 48 hours between sets to heal and go through their break down and rebuild process.  

Try a slightly more intense workout every other night and to fill the void try stretching sessions on the nights you give your abs a break!  Also... look for NEW exercises to do.   250 crunches every night for 4 weeks and it is no longer a challenge for you abs.  They need variety.
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