When you can see your ribs, it indicates that you are at a healthy weight. However, what if you have lost weight and still have belly fat? It is possible to lose weight but not see any change in the size of your stomach.
There are many reasons for this. A couple of them is that an individual may have more visceral fat, or they may need to work on their diet and exercise routines.
This article will outline the most popular reasons people still have belly fat even though they can see their ribs. If one of these reasons sounds like you, then it is time to take action!
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Types of Belly Fat
Subcutaneous fat is the most common type of fat in the human body. This type of fat is found under the skin and can be easily pinched or measured.
Visceral fat, also known as organ fat, is a much more dangerous type of fat that surrounds vital organs such as your heart and liver. This type of fat can cause metabolic disorders that make it challenging to maintain a healthy weight.
Visceral fat is also referred to as “deep belly fat” or “organ fat.” This belly fat can be located within the abdominal cavity and is found around the internal organs. This type of belly fat is known to raise blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
How Do You Know If You Have Visceral Belly Fat?
The easiest way to tell if you have more visceral belly fat than subcutaneous (surface) belly fat is by looking at your waist/hip ratio. A waist/hip ratio over 0.85 for men or 0.80 for women means that you are more likely to have more visceral belly fat than subcutaneous (surface) belly fat.
If you want a better idea of your body composition, then step on a scale and look at your weight in proportion to how tall you are in comparison with others
This fat is found around the kidneys and spine. This type of fat is more dangerous than visceral fat because it breaks down the immune system. It can also cause necrosis, which is the death of tissue.
Factors That Contribute to Belly Fat
There are many different factors that can contribute to having belly fat. It is important to understand what these contributors are so that you can make changes to your diet or lifestyle if need be.
Diet and Exercise Routine
The way you eat is a huge contributor to your belly fat, and it is the biggest factor that causes visceral fat to build up. You must have a healthy diet, which means eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and limiting foods high in saturated fats and sugar.
Eating foods high in saturated fats can cause your body to store more fat around the abdominal area. It is also vital that you are physically active and maintain a healthy weight to not have an excessive amount of belly fat.
Exercise helps burn calories and prevents the body from storing too much fat around the abdominal area.
For the most part, the reasons for having belly fat are linked to your diet and exercise routine. This is why everyone needs to adopt healthier habits early on in their lives.
Genetics can play a significant role in how much belly fat you gain if you are overweight or obese. Suppose someone has family members who are overweight or obese. In that case, they are more likely to be overweight or obese themselves since they have genes that make them vulnerable to gaining weight when they overeat.
Stress can contribute to belly fat because it causes you to overeat, especially on high-calorie foods like sweets, processed foods, and alcohol. The more stressed you are, the more likely you will be to eat these foods since they are not as filling as healthy foods.
Sleep deprivation can also cause belly fat by increasing the levels of stress hormones in your body. When you are sleep-deprived, your body produces higher amounts of cortisol and ghrelin (hormones that tell the brain you are hungry) than when you are well rested.
This causes your appetite to increase, which means that when you wake up in the morning, your breakfast is likely to be bigger than normal.
During pregnancy, your body converts calories into fat more efficiently than at any other time in your life. You add about 30 pounds of fat to your body during pregnancy. This is the key to understanding how you develop belly fat during pregnancy.
The good news is that after delivery, most women will lose their baby weight within 6 months or less. The bad news is that about 2/3 of new moms post-delivery will still have some belly fat hanging around on them.
The adrenal gland is a vital endocrine gland located on top of the kidneys. The adrenal gland plays an essential role in regulating blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, and the release of stress hormones.
When cortisol levels are high, it means that the adrenal gland is working hard to maintain a normal balance. If cortisol levels remain high for an extended period, it can cause chronic stress and lead to weight gain around the belly area.
Adrenal fatigue or hypoadrenia are terms used to describe a state of chronic stress that has taken its toll on the adrenals. Chronic stress can be caused by many factors such as poor diet, high sugar intake, lack of sleep, sedentary lifestyle, etc.
When your body is constantly in a stressed state, it will produce high cortisol levels, which will lead to increased abdominal fat storage – even if you manage to maintain a healthy calorie intake!
Hyperthyroidism, also called overactive thyroid, is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism is a medical emergency because it can make you feel tired, weak, and sick.
However, some people with hyperthyroidism have no symptoms and are unaware they have the condition.
Fat cells release fat into the bloodstream when they become larger or smaller in size. The hormone known as TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) stimulates your thyroid gland to release more or less of this hormone depending on how much fat is floating around in your bloodstream.
Therefore, if your body is releasing too much TSH, then it will release more of this hormone than usual into the bloodstream. This means that fat cells will release more fat into the bloodstream to be used by other parts of the body to produce energy.
If this happens, you might put on weight around your belly or find it hard to lose weight.
Side Effects of Medication
In addition to the above, any medication or drugs used to treat diseases can also contribute to belly fat. This is because these medications and drugs can have side effects that are not always noticeable at first.
However, it is important to know these side effects to avoid them. Some of the common medications and drugs that can have side effects that lead to belly fat include steroids and blood pressure medications.
Reasons Why You Still Have Belly Fat Even Though You Can See Your Ribs
Metabolism That Slows Down When You Are Not Active
If you are sedentary, you will gain weight in your mid-section. In fact, research shows that the less active you are, the more fat is stored in your abdomen.
Inactivity also causes your body to produce a chemical called cortisol. Cortisol prevents you from burning fat, and it encourages your body to store fat around your midsection.
Increased Insulin Levels from Overeating Sugar and Carbohydrates
Eating excessive amounts of sugar and carbohydrates causes a rapid rise in insulin levels, making it very difficult for the body to burn fat or use it for energy.
Insulin also encourages fat storage around the midsection because that is where insulin has the greatest effect on cells.
Slower Metabolism Due to Aging
As we age, our metabolism slows down by about 5% each decade; so at age 50, our metabolic rate is about 25% slower than when we were 30 years old!
This means that if you were able to burn 3,500 calories per day when you were 30 years old, you would only be able to burn about 2,900 calories per day when you are 50 years old.
This is why it is so important to continue to eat a healthy diet and exercise if you want to maintain your current weight or lose weight.
Too Much Stress in Your Life
When we are stressed, our body releases the hormone cortisol, which increases our appetite and causes us to crave foods with a lot of sugar and carbohydrates. These foods cause an increase in insulin levels, which causes us to gain weight around the midsection.
A Slower Metabolism Due to a Lack of Sleep
Research has shown that people who sleep less than 6 hours per night have a 30% higher risk of being overweight and obese than those who get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
Sleep deprivation suppresses the hormones leptin and ghrelin, which regulate hunger and feelings of fullness (satiety). A lack of sleep also causes people to eat more because the lack of sleep makes them feel tired, and they eat more to give them energy.
You Have a Thyroid Problem
The thyroid controls how fast your metabolism is. If you have a slow metabolism, you will burn fewer calories than someone who has a faster metabolism. A slow metabolism can be caused by an underactive thyroid gland, an overactive thyroid gland, or taking certain medications (like lithium).
You Have a Gut Microbiome That Is Not Balanced for You
This causes poor digestion and absorption of calories in food (if you do not believe me, do an internet search on the “gut bacteria”). The gut microbiome is the collection of bacteria in your gut.
Your gut microbiome is unique to you and can be determined by a simple stool test. You can also check if you have a balanced gut microbiome by doing a urine test for the toxin D-lactate. This toxin is produced when certain types of bacteria ferment undigested wheat, dairy, or starchy vegetables in your colon.
If you have chronic fatigue or low energy despite eating enough calories, it could be due to a gut microbiome that is not balanced for you.
You might also consider the Best Shapewear for Belly Fat for your belly fat reduction goals.
Exercises for Reducing Stubborn Belly Fat
If you have been working to reduce your stomach fat but have not seen any results, it is time to revisit your exercise routine. You may need to be more rigorous with your workouts to see a difference in the size of your stomach.
Start by doing cardio for at least thirty minutes, four days a week. This will help you burn body fat and lose weight.
To target the stubborn fat on your stomach, incorporate a workout that focuses on this area as well as other areas like your thighs and butt. One exercise that targets this area is crunches. However, many exercises can help burn stubborn fat from the belly area as well as the rest of the body.
Crunches are an excellent way to work out abdominal muscles while also targeting some of the lower back muscles. Hold each crunch for 30 seconds while keeping both feet on the ground for maximum benefit.
Try doing them 20-30 times per set for three sets total before resting or moving on to another exercise targeting different areas of your body.
The Fitlaya Fitness Ab Machine is for anyone who needs to add afresh twists to any workout routine – for comfort-ability, versatility, and toned abdominal muscles.
Below is a video on how to do crunches correctly.
What to Eat to Reduce Belly Fat
The first thing to do when you think you may have lost weight but still have belly fat is to take a look at your diet.
Did you know that if more than one-third of your daily caloric intake is from processed foods, you will end up carrying some weight around the stomach area? The quick fix for this is to focus on fresh and whole foods.
By decreasing processed food intake, we can reduce visceral fat. You should also try to get in some protein and fiber for optimal results!
When it comes to increasing the amount of protein and fiber in your diet, it is important to find out what is best for you. If you are someone who does not eat meat, then there are many protein and fiber-rich alternatives that could help.
- Plant-based protein sources like lentils, beans, tofu, and tempeh
- Nuts and seeds
- Leafy greens like spinach and kale
- Fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, and bananas
What to Do Next If You Still Have Belly Fat After Weight Loss?
If you have lost weight but are still dealing with stubborn belly fat, it might be time to change your diet or workout routine.
If you eat a lot of processed food, that could be the reason for your stomach fat. Processed foods are typically high in sugar to make them taste good. Too much sugar is not only bad for your waistline but also for your blood sugar levels and overall health.
A healthier choice is eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, which will keep you fuller longer and lower the risk of heart disease.
Another thing to consider is that your workouts may need to be adjusted if they are not working for you anymore. It may be time to work out more often, take up a new activity, or try a new exercise routine all together!
While losing weight is difficult, getting rid of stubborn belly fat can be even harder. But if you stick with these helpful strategies and start feeling healthier than ever before!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why can’t I see my ribs?
Maybe you have not lost enough weight yet. It takes about a year for your body to start seeing the difference in fat loss, so be patient!
How do I know if I have visceral fat?
Visceral fat is located around organs and not easy to see because it wraps around them. It may be easier to spot on the back of your body or on the sides of your waist.
What should I do if I still have belly fat even though I can see my ribs?
Include cardio into your exercise routine, eat fruits and vegetables daily, drink lots of water and consume protein.
How much belly fat is too much belly fat?
There is no such thing as a set amount of weight that is too much. Weight loss will depend on multiple factors, including age, gender, and health status.
Can I still have a flat stomach if I eat less?
A person can lose weight by eating less. Still, it is recommended to keep an eye on your calorie intake to avoid regaining any weight you lost.
Visceral fat is different from the fat you see on your body. Visceral fat is located deep within your abdomen and surrounds your organs. This type of fat is often referred to as “hidden fat” because it can’t be seen just by looking at a person.
It’s more common for people who are overweight or obese to have a lot of this type of fat. And even if you lose a lot of weight through exercise and diet, you can still have a lot of visceral fat left on your body.
If you’ve been doing the right exercises and eating healthy but still can’t see your ribs, it could be because you have a lot of visceral fat.
You may want to consider using a non-invasive treatment to help reduce visceral fat or consult with your doctor for further advice.