Weight Loss
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HELP! Low body fat but stomach sticks out.

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So I'm at 12% bodyfat (It's accurate, it was checked by our certified trainer). I'm very defined on my arms, chest, and legs. In fact, my back and tris were pinched at 9 and 7mm respectively. My abs are not as defined, with 14mm, but I can stick see the outine of a sixpack, and when I tighten em they are there.

What bothers me SOOO much is that my stomach sticks out, giving the appearance of fat, even when my bodyfat is pretty low and my fat pinch on my stomach is fairly low too.


I do really intense lifting for over an hour a week four times a week. I do half hour intense cardio (Running or kickboxing) after lifting every day. Plus I do martial arts in the night when I can. I eat 200g of protein and 2200cal/day.

The strange thing is that when I dieted to lose the semi-gut, at 1600 cals/day and was 15lbs less, I was at the same body fat and my stomach was still out. I gave up and I eat more now and it's the same, which is good i guess, but I really want it to go away, and I know losing weight won't do it now, so what can?

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Two things: genetics and workout routine.

Genetics- can't do much about your natural body type...that is if youre going to stay within the healthy guidelines of whatever association or board you choose.

Workout- Sit up technique. If you do a sit up and dont think/try to pull your abs down/in (think of pulling your bellybutton toward your spine)as you do the sit up or crunch, your abs will build outward. Also, if you consciously tighten and pull your abs in while you are doing any workout, you will see better results. It takes practice to keep a constantly engaged core. Pilates can do wonders for your core also.


Because you are human! And you've made the rest of your body so thin that a perfectly normal digestive tract looks 'fat' to you. There is no way to have an absolutely 'perfect' body without the aid of an airbrush no matter how hard you diet and exercise. You have to have a realistic expectation for yourself or you're going to be disappointed forever.

Honestly, probably nothing.  Its genetics.  Everyone is builty differently.  You just have to learn to accept your body, especially since you already have such a low bf%.  You definitely don't want to obsess about something that you can't change.  Most people can't be completely flat...just a fact of life.  Just be happy about the progress you've made and how far you've come.  Don't let some body part take away from that.

Well just how built if your mid section? How strong is your core. This all matters when talking about your stomach. If you are just working your abs then your abs are going to get bigger and then stick out. This is just the way it is, however if you also build your obliques (sp) then it can balance you out.

Some peoples stomachs just stick out more than others. I am 11.5% body fat and my stomach is flat but I do not have the ab definition that I want. However p90x and Ab Ripper X is going to get me where I want to be.

You need to make sure you are working out your core and not just your abs. You need to have a complete balance.

There is no way to spot reduce fat. You would have to lose more fat all over, to see definition in your stomach. I've heard just anecdotally that for men it's hard to see abs at above 8 percent. A range of 8-19 percent is considered healthy for men 20 - 30 years old. You sound like you have a good routine, though, I wouldn't change too much.

It could be your posture, your spine may not be aligned correctly causing your stomach to apear out.  

I am sure you look great!  And not fat at all no matter how far your stomach sticks out.   Also, congrats on your six pack!

6 Replies