The Real Reason Why You Can’t Lose Your ‘Beer’ Gut

You may be shedding weight but not inches around your stomach. And it’s natural to be depressed when you don’t see your hard work paying off. Witnessing the scale go down, you are probably feeling good. But then seeing your stomach stay the same, this can be very demoralizing. Are you doing something wrong?

While we want to see those changes and get quick results, it’s also vital to not base everything on looks and instead think about how you’re feeling in terms of other factors like mood, sleep and energy.

But with that in mind, what are some reasons for this waist-line plateau that many man come up against?

1. Visceral Fat

Visceral fat is especially dangerous. It’s the kind of fat that forms around your internal organs and drives up your chances of stroke and heart disease, according to the CDC. It is not the fat that is right underneath your skin.”

Initially, you might be losing this visceral fat as you shed your weight. And that’s great!

2. Losing Muscle

Where is the majority of your weight loss occurring: from your muscle, fat or water?

“If you are losing pounds but not inches, you’re potentially losing water and muscle,” Gabbi Berkow, RD, CPT, a certified personal trainer says.

Losing muscle rather than fat can happen if you go too quickly. Losing over 1 to 2 pounds per week can lead to other problems, including gout, gallstones and lower bone density. You will also more likely gain your weight back if you go too fast.

3. Deep Core Exercises

If you’re doing nothing but crunches, it might be time to rethink your routine.

You want to train your transverse abdominal muscle, which are the deeper core muscles that bring your abdominals inward.

Pilates-based exercises can cause the most difference in this muscle area. And that includes popular exercises like V-sits and planks.

You can also do this training during your day. For example, when standing in line, contract your ab muscles in and hold for a time.

4. Fiber

Eating more fiber gives you many health benefits, and it’s a huge help for weight loss too. But there is an adjustment time. Increasing your fiber using cruciferous veggies like broccoli can lead to water retention.

We recommend increasing your fiber slowly, by around 5 grams every day. With the eventual goal of eating 25 to 38 grams each day. And try to only reach for whole-foods, such as veggies and fruits, rather than fiber-enriched foods that have ingredients like chicory root and inulin.

5. Sugar Substitutes

You may be turning to foods that have sugar substitutes such as sorbitol, erythritol xylitol, and mannitol in an effort to lower your sugar intake and calories. Some people report that these cause bloating and water retention.

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