GETTING rid of a hanging belly or love handles is one the most common reasons for starting a fitness programme. But even after several weeks of training, some women can't seem to lose those stubborn inches from their waistlines. And Gisel Harrow, personal trainer and fitness expert at Express Fitness, Liguanea, offers a logical explanation for this.
“Belly fat can be very stubborn and hard to get rid of, but there can also be varying factors that contribute to the slow or not visible results – some that may have very little to do with your fitness routine,” Harrow explained.
Below she shares a number of reasons why you may still not be able to button that cute pair of jeans that you have been struggling to get into for weeks:
1. Your fitness approach may be misguided
“It could be you're not exercising correctly to see your desired results. While cardio burns calories and can help with losing weight, doing only cardio will not get you exactly where you want to be,“ Harrow explained. She reasoned that what will give you the results is a combination of cardio along with resistance training which will help you burn more calories.
In addition, she encourages performing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions, which is a mixture of cardio and weights at an intense level which can yield results three to four times per week for 30-45 minutes.
2. The body lacks magnesium
“Magnesium aids in weight loss and body shaping. Magnesium is used by the body for more than 300 chemical reactions, including keeping heart rhythm steady and regulating blood sugar levels. Its recommended daily dosage is 310-320mg,” Harrow said. Additionally, research shows that high abdominal fat levels are linked to low or a lack of magnesium in the body. Harrow says that foods such as beans, leafy greens and nuts are rich in magnesium and can also be obtained from supplements recommended by a physician.
3. You haven't been sleeping
“A lack of sleep not only causes significant fatigue but it can also contribute to weight gain, especially in the tummy area,” Harrow said. She notes that people should aim for the generally recommended seven to eight hours of sleep daily. This, she says, will improve your quality of life and help you to stay focused and energised.
She says that other factors that could prevent you from losing abdominal weight include not eating a balanced diet, not drinking enough water, having too many alcoholic beverages, a very high intake of sodium which encourages water retention, as well as having too much soda and sugary foods.