Why Bodyfat Seems to be
Stored In the Stomach Area

Client Question: I would like to tone my body all over, but I would particularly like to focus on my stomach. It seems that all my extra weight is stored there. I used to have a nice, flat stomach—I don’t know what happened!

Gina’s Answer: Excess weight accumulating most in the stomach area could be due to genetics, hormones, foods that aggravate your digestion, or toxins accumulating in your digestive tract. Also, people go through shifts in hormonal levels over the years and sometimes find weight creeping onto their stomach that they have never had before. However, by improving the quality of your diet and exercising, you can make great improvements in the appearance of your stomach. Here are the top three problems that might explain why your stomach doesn’t look the way you want it to, and what you can do to make improvements!

Problem #1: Bodyfat Stored on Your Abdomen. If you can pinch a thick layer of fat around your abdominal area, you have some excess fat to lose that you can only take off through good old-fashioned diet and exercise. You will get quicker results with fat loss in the abdominal area if you limit saturated fats and refined carbohydrates such as sugar and white flour, and products made with them.

For exercise, a combination of full-body resistance training and cardio works best. Unfortunately, while abdominal exercises are great at firming the muscles in your stomach, they will not burn off fat from your abdomen. They will, however, improve the firmness of the underlying muscle, and usually result in a stomach that looks tighter, but still is “squishy.”

Problem #2: Digestive Difficulties Lead to a Bloated Stomach. If your stomach protrudes forward so that it looks almost like you are pregnant, you probably have some intestinal issues going on. One problem might be food allergies. Many people are allergic to dairy and wheat in particular, and find symptoms flare up most when they have more servings of these products. In some cases, you might be able to have one or two servings a day with no problems, but more than that might result in perpetual bloating of the abdomen. The only way to know for sure if this is happening to you is to reduce or eliminate these items and see if your symptoms improve. Note: You may need to supplement vitamins and minerals if you eliminate certain foods from your diet. Consult with your nutritionist.

Problem #3: A Diet That Includes Too Many Processed Foods With Too Little Fiber. A diet that includes many packaged and processed foods increases the likelihood that toxins from the chemicals in the foods will accumulate in your body. These chemicals are typically stored in your fat cells, which can make fat appear “puffier” and also makes it harder to burn off that bodyfat. Sometimes the chemicals are stored in your intestines, which contributes to the bloating that makes your stomach appear larger and will prevent you from achieving a flat stomach. Shifting your diet to include more fresh foods, and high-fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, and increasing your intake of pure water, and possibly doing a liver and/or colon cleanse can help. Gina can recommend some time-tested options if you are interested.

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