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TOPIC: big belly - but not much fat

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January 27, 2010 8:03 AM
Bit wierd this one - wondered if anyone else has same problem or an answer....

I'm not obese - just out of shape within the healthy range on BMI scale.. Looking to get trim for the summer so eating well - low calories - meeting my BMR of around 1600 monday to friday - not too clever at keeping track on the weekends.
I'm 5'6'' and when I train bulk up easily.

When I pinch an inch on my belly there doesn't feel like a lot of fat to grab. But I noticed that I'm always (subconsciously) holding my belly in and when I relax it - I have a big round belly....why is this?

Is this due to lack of abdominal/core strength?

and with the right training it will tone up?

Cheers guys...

Big Bellynoway
January 27, 2010 8:11 AM
I had the same problem! Do you eat a lot of sugar? Or things with sugar in them. As a suggestion, take a look at the sugar in everything you eat - try to get that sugar number as low as you can for just a few days. You will notice a change in your figure -I promise!
You might get an afternoon headache or wake up with one, but keep drinking your water. I usually put a little apple or cranberry juice in a big cup to give it some flavor. Not a lot though because you're trying to cut the sugar..

Please let me know if that helps you!

January 27, 2010 8:12 AM
January 27, 2010 8:17 AM
Try cutting the carbs. I do south beach diet. It really works. Belly fat is the first thing that goes. Also, you could try core strengthing. I do sit ups, planks, and wall squats with weights to strengthen my core. Good luck!
January 27, 2010 8:21 AM
This is rather common. Typically I see four things that causes this.

The first is a weak TVA. This is the muscle that acts as an "inner girdle" and helps hold your gut in. It tends to be weak in a lot of people. the easiest way to strenghten it up is to do something like "stomach vacuums" or other similar exercises. they are easy to do and you can do them anywhere at anytime (mostly anyway.)

The second is visceral fat. Essentially, there are two types of fat: subcutaneous (pinch an inch) and visceral fat. If you have no belly flab, then you are looking at visceral fat, which is fat that is internal and pushes the belly outward. A lot of times people tend to see the visceral fat push the belly out before they see "pinchable" flab. Visceral fat is also the fat that is linked to things like heart disease, etc. And to make it more of a pain in the butt, it's not typically something you can simply "diet" off; exercises seems to be a necessity to deal with this type of fat. Oh, and just to add, liposuction doesn't deal with visceral fat either ;)

The third is bad posture. if you work at a desk job a lot or spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer (or if you simply have a muscle imbalance) it can cause your shoulders to roll forward and give you bad posture, thus causing the gut to stick out a bit. If you pull the shoulders back and stand up straight, you can usually see a little bit of a correction right away.

The fourth is bloating. Some people get that way due to bloating, usually from something in their diet. Lactose intolerance seems to play a role in some people's gut. Simply cut out dairy and see if that helps. This may not be as common, but I have seen it a few times. The usual solution for this is a simple flush... Usually something involving charcoal tablets, psyllium husk powder, and senna tablets (or senna mixed with a few other natural ingredients.) Also things like carbonated beverages can add to bloating.

From what I have observed, those are four possibilities for a gut with no real sign of subcutaneous fat.
January 27, 2010 8:26 AM
Stomach vacuums? Would that be just like sucking it in and letting it out or something?
January 27, 2010 8:36 AM

Stomach vacuums? Would that be just like sucking it in and letting it out or something?

As dumb as it sounds, actually that's pretty much what it is. If you search youtube for videos, they can show some pointers on form. But essentially, you just exhale and then, with good posture, suck your stomach in as hard as you can. Try to visualize pushing your belly button towards your spine. No while it's sucked in, breathe normally. It will feel weird at first and you will have to take sallow breaths, but you will get used to it.

At first, I tried to do them for 30 seconds at a time. After awhile, you can change the duration or how you do them. For example, do them in a "plank" position on the floor or do them kneeling on the floor.
January 27, 2010 8:41 AM
samseed101 - top answer mate! thanks very much.

I work in an office - long periods sitting down. I've heard of stomahc vacuums before - will be doing them regularly from now on.

Guess I need to work some cardio into my routine and keep up the core and ab exercises as the other suggestions didn't really relate to my situation.

Cheers guys...



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