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Lower belly - is it just fat or something more?

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  • #31
    Next update! Had my yearly check-up yesterday. Everything was normal, though she is testing my thyroid just in case. I have also decided to try even more exercise, so inbetween my c25k days I'll be doing the elliptical (which I actually enjoy more). Weekends are rest days.

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    • #32
      Running will only strip your body of muscle, causing to to add more fat so you stay near your set-point. If you want your belly to disappear, you need to grow muscle, not destroy it. Stop running (for the most part - I'm sure indulging twice a week won't do too much harm at all, and it's probably fun for you!), start doing plenty of bodyweight exercises and then lifting the heaviest weights you can 5x5. Simple as that. Eating lots of protein is obviously mandatory, but not as much protein as you might think. As your body lays down muscle, your fat likely will disappear. Simple as that.
      Crohn's, doing SCD

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      • #33
        Running in itself does not strip your body of muscle. Crash diets, bad nutrition, and over-training do.

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        • #34
          Adding an elliptical to running everyday? All that cardio is not going to help.

          Dear Mark: Chronic Cardio | Mark's Daily Apple
          Depression Lies

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          • #35
            I'm with knifegill. Stop running, start using weights and walking. I too tend carry my weight arond my stomach. When I was losing weight after first starting primal, I started running thinking it would speed up the process, and my weight loss stopped and then started to reverse. Luckily, I noticed after about 2 weeks (it all happened quite quickly), so I hadn't done too much damage. I went back to walking, and the weight started to fall again. I'd cut out the running for the most part if I were you! It doesn't seem like you've noticed it helping, so I'm not sure why you are continuing unless it is fun. Which it might be for you, but I know I hate it :P

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            • #36
              I love running as much as anyone but I agree that you need to stop. Walking and recreational biking will help way more than running will if you want to get outside and move. Read this and google around with regards to cortisol and belly fat. I changed from running to walking just a few weeks ago and have already seen a major difference in my lower abdomen, and I never thought it would be flat again after 2 c-sections.

              So do try "moving slowly for long periods of time" with a few sprints thrown in once a week or so. You should see some nice changes.
              Last edited by little vase; 06-06-2013, 08:07 AM.
              be the hair that knots with my hair
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              • #37
                Originally posted by little vase View Post
                I love running as much as anyone but I agree that you need to stop. Walking and recreational biking will help way more than running will if you want to get outside and move. Read this and google around with regards to cortisol and belly fat. I changed from running to walking just a few weeks ago and have already seen a major difference in my lower abdomen, and I never thought it would be flat again after 2 c-sections.

                So do try "moving slowly for long periods of time" with a few sprints thrown in once a week or so. You should see some nice changes.
                That was super-informative lil'vase -- i've bookmarked it because it had some fantastic info I need to reread and incorporate!
                thanks

                “you aren't what you eat - you are what you don't poop.” Wavy Gravy

                Today I am Fillyjonk. Tommorow I will be Snufkin.

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                • #38
                  I would say normal and agree with previous poster - women naturally have lower abdominal fat in order to help make babies. Working on posture -ala Kelly Starrett really helps. Also make sure your diastis recti muscles are together as that can cause a pooching. And be proud! We are women and we can make babies. That's pretty damn amazing
                  Home birthing legal mama. Unschooler. Jewish Intactivist (step away from the foreskin!). Full-term breastfeeder. Kettlebell padawan.

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                  • #39
                    I was just noticing this, too; I've gotten very close to my goal weight, and when I turn sideways my lower tummy still sticks out a little bit. I think it's a female thing.
                    Stumbled into Primal due to food allergies, and subsequent elimination of non-primal foods.

                    Start Gluten-Free/Soy-Free: December 2012; start weight 158lbs, Ladies size 6
                    Start Primal: March 2013, start weight 150lbs, Ladies size 6
                    Current: 132lbs, Ladies size 2
                    F/23/5'9"

                    26lbs lost since cutting the crap.

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                    • #40
                      I don't think there's anything wrong with your abdomen that good posture and a slimming undergarment can't fix
                      Sandra
                      *My obligatory intro

                      There are no cheat days. There are days when you eat primal and days you don't. As soon as you label a day a cheat day, you're on a diet. Don't be on a diet. ~~ Fernaldo

                      DAINTY CAN KISS MY PRIMAL BACKSIDE. ~~ Crabcakes

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                      • #41
                        weight training and planks.
                        there will always be a little soft area, because your uterus is under there....
                        but strengthen the muscles should help.

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                        • #42
                          It looks like diastasis to me...if it was bloat it doesn't seem like you would be able to suck it in. Do you have kids? If so, it's really common after pregnancy but it's also one of those things that can just happen if you have bad posture/weak core, etc. Regular ab workouts will make it worse if that's what it is but if you google it you can find how to tell if it is in fact, diastasis and what exercises to do to help correct it.

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                          • #43
                            Hmm I just compared my belly and it doesn't seem to protrude as much as yours although I'm definitely fatter (and yes I carry a lot of fat around my middle). (And for reference I am the same weight but 6" shorter).

                            Honestly it looks more like bloat or perhaps weak stomach muscles than pure fat. Yes, there is some fat there but I don't think enough to make it as protrusive as it is.

                            I am wondering if more core strength would help hold it in a bit more?? I definitely agree that weight training is the way to go rather than more cardio!

                            And honestly I have a huge roll of lower belly fat happening and yet I don't get that protrusiveness at all, and I'm wondering if that's just due to my muscles holding everything in more! (Hard to explain as my belly isn't flat... It's just a different profile... If the fat on me was all gone my abs would be flat without sucking them in and yours doesn't look as if that would be the case).

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                            • #44
                              Just chiming in...

                              If it IS fat... high levels of cortisol (stress hormone) leads to buildup of more body fat in certain areas, especially belly area. Chronic cardio such as tons of running would definitely lead to tons of stress signals being released.

                              Ways to help reduce cortisol and thus belly fat: cut cardio and increase strength training like many have already suggested, take at least 1000mg vitamin C, and take tons of high quality fish oil (at least 6 a day). Apparently Lecithin granules also help with belly fat but I personally didn't see much of a difference.
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                              • #45
                                I know Chronic Cardio is a big thing here, but I just started adding in elliptical a couple weeks ago. Started the running program, which is more like sprinting since it's run/walk/run, 2 months ago. My schedule is basically the C25K running program, 30 mins, 3 days a week. Elliptical (which I enjoy) for 30 mins 2 days a week. 2 day of rest.

                                My belly has been like that for years. Before that, I mostly stuck to yoga, walking, and bodyweight exercises and recently decided to kick it up a notch to see if that would help. So far I have noticed my legs are more toned, but the tummy is still there.

                                It has been a more stressful year (ended a relationship, cancer in the family and then death, unemployment for a while) but I also started meditating about 6 months ago. I am fairly relaxed now, and have a wonderful new job that I love. On the weekends, when it's nice, I try to find a nice trail or park to go on long meandering walks.

                                I was taking a good handful of supplements for a long while (2 years or so) but didn't notice much of a difference except for Mag which is very relaxing and Calcium which helps with cramps. Formerly I was taking Fish Oil, A, K, Cal, Mag, Zinc, D, Bs, and a Multi. Last month I decided to just stop and give my body a break since I hadn't really noticed any real gains. When I went for my yearly exam the doctor wanted to put me on the Pill to "balance" my hormones but I don't really want to go down that route unless I really have to. So, for the next month or so the only supp I am going to take is Female Balance by NOW (b6, folic acid, wild yam, vitex, dong quia, borage oil) to see if that does anything.

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