Why Am I Not Losing Belly Fat with Diet and Exercise

Why Am I Not Losing Belly Fat with Diet and Exercise

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Written by Megan Ayala. Last Updated: March 19, 2021

It’s nearly everyone’s dream to lose belly fat. Losing weight isn’t easy, but it’s a lot easier than losing that stubborn belly fat that never seems to go away. Getting rid of this fat is a goal of many that look to improve their physical appearance. However, it also happens to be one of the areas on your body where stored fat can increase your risk of developing various diseases including heart disease [1].

It’s no wonder why it’s something many would like to get rid of. If you find yourself implementing a good diet and exercise program and you still aren’t getting the results you are looking for, it might be due to numerous reasons.

Here are some of the reasons you aren’t losing belly fat even with dieting and exercising.

Top 9 Reasons You Aren’t Losing Belly Fat Even with Diet & Exercise

1. Your Metabolism Is Slowing Down

This could be caused by a variety of different reasons. If you were always skinny as a kid, teenager, and young adult, it might come as a shock to you.

The fact is your body changes as you age.

Your bodily processes aren’t nearly as efficient when you get older. Because of this, you can experience significant decreases in your metabolism. This is true regardless of gender. You shouldn’t expect your metabolism to maintain the rate it once was.

Thus, as you age, you need to be cognizant of the changes. That way, you can use that information to make changes to both your diet and your exercise routine.

If your metabolism is slowing down, you may need to do things to help speed it up and you may need to spend more time exercising to achieve the same results you once did.

2. Your Hormone Production Changes

This is another big factor that you need to consider. This is another one that is linked to aging. As you get older, your body will produce less testosterone. The same is true for both men and women. A drop in testosterone production can lead to a loss in muscle mass and even an increase in belly fat. This is why research has shown that testosterone therapy in men with testosterone deficiency was able to reduce fat mass and produce sustained weight loss [2].

3. You’re Not Eating Enough or You’re Eating Too Much

People looking to lose weight can make one of these mistakes. The fact is, your body needs a certain number of calories to operate. If you are starving your body of calories, your body isn’t going to allow the body to starve. As a result, your body will begin to slow down bodily processes like your metabolism. This can stall any of your weight loss or fat loss efforts because your body will be in starvation mode.

On the other hand, a simplified way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you are taking in daily. If you are dieting but you are consuming too many calories, you won’t achieve your desired weight loss goals.

When you are looking to lose belly fat, you’ll want to start counting calories to ensure you’re putting yourself at a caloric deficit.

4. You’re Not Sleeping Enough

Believe it or not, but your sleep has a lot to do with how easily you can burn fat. This is especially true when it comes to belly fat. The truth is, too many people deprive themselves of a healthy amount of sleep. You should be getting around 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep time every night. That way, you give your body plenty of time to recover. There is plenty of research showing how poor quality sleep can increase the risk of obesity in men and women [3].

If you find that you are putting in a lot of time exercising and you are dieting properly and you are still not losing belly fat, you may be stunting your efforts by not giving your body enough sleep. Keep in mind, you could be laying down in your bed for 8 or even 9 hours and not getting quality sleep.

You need to maintain quality sleep throughout the night. See if you are experiencing issues like sleep apnea or other problems that could be inhibiting you from getting quality sleep.

5. You’re Stressed Out

Another reason you could be experiencing limited success with your fat loss efforts could be caused by having too much stress. Stress is something that can harm your body in a variety of ways. One of the ways it can hurt you is by causing severe fluctuations in your hormones. After all, stress is triggered by the stress hormone known as cortisol.

6. You’re Not Working Out Properly

This is a major one that many don’t even know they are doing. A lot of people get into their weight and fat loss journey without knowing what effective exercise is. A lot of people make the mistake of focusing solely on doing core exercises just to get rid of their belly fat.

The truth is, you won’t make a dent doing anything this way. You need to get rid of the belly fat before focusing that much attention on trying to get your abs to show through. The best way to do this is by focusing on exercises that burn the most calories. Therefore, you should be doing a lot of cardiovascular exercises.

RELATED READING: Can Rowing Machines Help You Burn Belly Fat?

This way, you can get rid of the excess calories that you are dealing with. By trying to specifically target our abdominals, you will be limiting the effectiveness of your workouts. Try to get as much cardio into your daily exercise routine as possible.

Once you have burned off the belly fat, that’s when you can incorporate some of the less efficient exercises like situps or crunches. Incorporate as many full-body exercises as possible to boost your fat burn rate.

7. You’re Dieting Wrong

This is another one that gets a lot of people in trouble. There are good ways to diet and there are bad ways to diet. Far too many people diet improperly. Whether it’s choosing the wrong diets that have no science backing them or picking the wrong diet for yourself. You want to find something that is science-based and something that works well for you – if you need help in this area, Noom is one app that can help.

Not everyone is going to do well with a vegetarian diet. Likewise, not everyone would do well with a keto diet. The key is finding a diet that you can stick with. Finding a sustainable diet is the key to your success. After all, a diet needs consistency above all else to be successful.

RELATED READING: Our Favorite Vegetarian Recipes for Weight Loss

Thus, you need to find something that you feel would be practical and sustainable for your lifestyle. The keto diet is one of the best diets you can incorporate into your lifestyle but you need to be willing to commit to it for it to work.

8. You’re Not Cutting Out The Right Foods

While it’s true, you need to consume fewer calories than you are taking in, that’s not the end all be all of it. You need to be certain that you aren’t consuming too many empty calories. Empty calories are those that aren’t providing you with any nutritional value.

If you are consuming too many of the wrong foods, it could hurt your ability to burn belly fat by a considerable margin. You need to cut out all of the processed foods in your diet, the sugary drinks, and the unhealthy fats. By doing all of this, you can maximize your fat burn in the belly area.

The same holds for the foods that you are eating. You should be focusing on eating nutrient-dense foods like superfoods to keep you feeling fuller for longer.

9. You’re Drinking Alcohol

One issue with many that have belly fat is their alcohol intake. The fact is, if you are consuming a lot of alcohol, you will be drinking a lot of calories. Even if you are drinking low-carbohydrate beer, you are still going to be drinking a lot of calories which can add up. Also, alcohol can negatively impact your body’s metabolism.

Because of this, it can slow down your body’s rate of fat burn and cause your body to store fat more often. If you’re trying to lose weight, you may want to consider cutting back on your drinking.


As you can see, there are plenty of different reasons you might not be burning belly fat as you should be. Diet and exercise are crucial to your success. However, there are plenty of things that are involved in your fat loss process. You need to be doing everything properly to experience the kind of fat loss that you are expecting.

If you are having trouble getting the positive results you’re seeking, try to correct some of the issues above. That way, you can get back on track towards getting rid of that stubborn belly fat once and for all.

The key to getting rid of stubborn belly fat is putting in the work to get rid of it. It can be very difficult to get rid of. However, with proper implementation of dieting and exercise, you can achieve your end goal.


  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/2018072614354
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4154787/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4394987/