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Weight Loss
Moderators: spoiled_candy, Mollybygolly, devilish_patsy, nycgirl

I can't get rid of this belly!

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No matter what I do, no matter how well I watch my calories or exercise, I cannot get rid of my big jiggly belly. The only time I've ever seen significant change in it is when I fast. I'm trying not to do that because I always end up overeating afterward. I realize that child birth has stretched the skin, but my youngest child is eight years old! I do tons of ab exercises. Has anyone had any success with shrinking a jiggly belly? BTW, I'm 41, 140 pounds, 5'4". I'm trying to drop 15-20 pounds. It's not working and I'm getting discouraged. If I'm going to have this bubbly belly, I might as well be eating the cakes and cookies I love!

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Sadly, you can't spot reduce, nor will just abdominal exercises help you. You could have wonderfully strong abs and a layer of fat on top of them and they'd never show. Continue with your exercise - bother strength and cardiovascular - and calorie counting. Make sure you never go under 1200 calories a day full stop. Per this calculator, as a 41 year old, 140lb and 5'4 female, you burn 1687 calories when sedentary. Never drop outside of a 1000 calorie defecit from your BMR either, remembering that exercise calories burnt factor into your defecit. (For example, if you burn 300 calories in exercise and eat 1450 calories, you'd have a defecit of 500.)

What alarms me is your admission of fasting. Fasting is terribly, terribly unhealthy as you deprive yourself of important and vital nutrients and minerals, and - as you have experienced - often results in a binge of food because your body is starved and crying out.

Your body needs at least 1200 calories per day to survive. Here is a very rough scientific break down provided by a dietician for a  5' 2", 19 year old female weighing approximately 100 pounds, sitting around all day and doing nothing:

-The heart needs 12% of the calories (144 cals)
-The kidney needs 12% of the calories (144 cals)
-The Liver needs 23% of the calories (276 cals)
-The brain needs 23% of the calories (276 cals)
-The skeletal muscle needs 30% of the calories (360 cals)

Reference: .html#6

As you weigh and stand at more than this you need a lot more. Fasting deprives your body of this.

  • Dieting & Metabolism - This article explains starvation mode and why undereating is counter productive.
  • The Body Neglected - This is what happens when you undereat for an extended period of time.

And, a reminder,

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I hope this helps you. If you have any more questions, please ask.

- Ellie.

When you figure it out, let me know.  I've been trying to lose mine for two years.  Everyone says to lose more weight and it will go away, but my BMI is like not even healthy anymore and it hasn't improved at all.  Now I just look like a stick figure with a pot belly. I have never had kids or been significantly overweight.   

Fasting only reduces it because your body doesn't retain as much water while fasting (plus all that sodium gets flushed out).  Fasting shouldn't be to improve the way your body looks anyways, it's only good when done for spiritual reasons, or for other reasons but under a doctors supervision.

Last time I lost weight my belly seemed to flatten more within a couple of weeks, and I was happy as hell.  This time (after gaining back about 10 pounds in the year since the first time) My belly fat still isn't budging.  Granted, I haven't lost much weight on the scale, but I've definitely dropped some body fat % due to building muscle.  I'm not too worried about it though because when I last gained it probably all came back as fat and glued itself in my stomach, so I just have more to move this time.  My body seems to be losing from top (face->neck->breasts->lower arms) and bottom (lower legs->lower thighs) in towards the middle.  It is odd, because I feel that I still look the same everywhere but my face, and my chest has changed sizes only in the band, my breasts are still just as big (now a cup size larger due to band measuerment shrinking).


Anyway, I'd say just keep with it.  It'll come off when it's ready, and don't fret about it.  Also even if it's still there when you reach your goal weight, keep on with the exercising, but eat enough cals to maintain and build muscle and it should eventually move.  The more muscle you have the more calories your body burns!

It's so frustrating! Time is not kind to women!

Thanks Lala. I will keep with it. Something's got to give eventually!

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My belly is still pretty big considering, but I am running out of areas to lose fat so it's going to have to start coming off sooner or later (make no mistake, it has shruken considerably, just not as much as I'd have expected). I've heard that males usually lose their bellies last so I'm not too concerned because I know it'll be gone before I know it, thus revealing my coveted 6-pack abs. :-)

Yeah nes, I think mine are under a layer of fat, but they're definitely there! I just remember when I would lose weight in the past, my belly would be the first to go. Now it's holding on!

7 Replies