Stubborn belly "pooch" right under belly button in women?
Hi all! This is my first post here, though I've been lurking on MDA for about 2 years now!
I've been Primal since Spring 2012, and I lost approximately 25 lbs doing so, cleared up my asthma and "chronic" bronchitis. My question is with regards to a belly pooch under my belly button that WILL NOT BUDGE. I have read various threads and comments on various blogs with regards to this and have tried several different things in an attempt to get rid of this annoying pooch. I have tried to go higher on the carbs, low carb, no carb, more starch, no fruit (fructose), intermittent fasting, no fasting, weights, bodyweight exercises... all to no avail. I do consume cheese and yogurt, but that's it for dairy. Currently, I eat about 60% fat, 30% protein, 10% carbs and I am in ketosis. I eat plenty of good fats (tons of sardines per week and eat coconut oil by the spoonful).
I feel like I am borderline underweight at 5'5 and 115 lbs - I can see my ribs and clavicles and my hip bones are jutting out like crazy... but I just have a layer of fat from about right underneath my breasts to about an inch or two under my belly button (but curiously it disappears right above my pubic area). I know, I know... women are supposed to carry fat in certain areas for childbearing etc (I have no kids), but the reason that this bothers me so much is that I KNOW that it was flat before I gained the 25 or so lbs. I just don't know what to do at this point and it's seriously frustrating me. Is this a hormonal thing? I have been on birth control since I was 16 (I'm 23 now).
Does any one else have this experience? Has any one found anything that worked for them? Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
Whether you're underweight, normal weight, overweight, ex-overweight, had babies or never had babies...the lower belly just will not do what you want it seems. At my smallest my hip bones stuck out, but I still had that lower belly pooch.
I wish I had some good advice for how to get rid of it, but I'm afraid I don't. All I can do is assure you that you are not alone in your struggle. We feel your pain.
Welcome to the forum, Kelly.
There was a very similar thread recently:
There are many different views presented in the thread. Some say to just eat at a defecit until the fat is gone. Others say to forget about it; it's simply part of being a woman to carry a certain amount of fat. Personally, I find a nice curve in that area quite attractive as I stated in that thread. But you can reach your own conclusions based on all the information of course. Good luck!
Edited to add: After reading your post more closely, I would not really recommend losing weight since you are already pretty small and lean elsewhere on your body. Maybe you are experiencing the FILO (first in, last out) effect. Most people notice that the first place they gain fat is also the last place that it leaves. If you aren't already, maybe try staring weight/resistance training. Lifting barbells can do amazing things.
Last edited by yodiewan; 03-01-2013 at 11:52 AM.
Reason: Read OP more closely
Thanks for that link! Very informative. I've just started (day 3) PB and started exercising 3 weeks ago. I was pushing myself to do situps and it killed my back. I worked in nursing and hurt my back and since then my back cannot handle that stress. Glad to have seen this so I can move on to things that will help now.
Originally Posted by yodiewan
Krsn89: good luck! I have 4 kids and have an awful pooch so I feel your pain.
Try pilates instead of sit ups or something similar. It srelaly works your trunk beautifully. I've been doing pilates with an awesome teacher -- even just mat pilates -- and it's awesome.
Originally Posted by SugarSugar
I've been doing postural work (realigning my posture), and it makes a huge difference on that area (and on back pain). Pilates and yoga really facilitate this, but for you, I would start with pilates.
Personally, I think on a woman that little belly looks cuter than rock hard abs - women are meant to be a bit soft!
Thanks yodiewan, and the other posters here. I hope it doesn't sound like I'm being petty fretting about something so minor but it really, really bothers me. And it's reassuring to know that I'm not alone. I'll try some of the suggestions in the other thread... Yes, I'm pretty scared of losing weight considering I am PAST my goal weight (120 originally). I guess I should try no dairy for a bit as well - I never really thought about giving that up because it didn't affect me like other foods but obviously it's worth a try. I'm hoping to start Crossfit soon as well!
Originally Posted by yodiewan
Ah, yes. The pooch. My dad (who was quite thin) also had one so i'm on the verge of giving up. However, the one thing i am about to try that you may want to as well, is cutting dairy. I know you don't eat a lot of it, but it may make a difference.
BUT given how you said you are almost underweight I'm a little apprehensive about suggesting that. If you do cut dairy make sure you sub the calories. That will be the best way to figure out if it's dairy.
I'm going off the stuff until March 18 when i have to go out of town...we shall see!
But the only time I lost some of the pooch was post=breakup and i barely ate for a month. Not exactly healthy and i'm totally not willing to kill myself over a little pooch! Starting to just like it there to be honest!
Originally Posted by krsn89
115 is at the low end of the scale for your height. You're probably low in muscle mass which would otherwise give that (and all areas) some structure and shape. I'd suggest a heavy lifting program focusing on the compound lifts. Check out the fitness section here, or even the female section on bodybuilding.com.
Also yeah, situps won't do much besides hurt your back... I second the link posted above, lots of good advice in there.
Thanks for your post. I know, I have already surpassed my goal weight unintentionally. I'm hoping to start Crossfit soon so I hope that helps!
Originally Posted by Nivanthe