Why Can't I Lose Weight From My Stomach?

Having a thick midsection can be discouraging, especially when you've started to exercise in an attempt to burn away the fat. If you're having trouble shrinking the size of your stomach fat, don't give up -- excess fat in this part of your body increases your risk of high cholesterol, insulin resistance and even stroke and heart disease. By making a few changes to your fitness regimen and diet, you'll soon have reason to be proud when you pose in front the mirror.

Look at Your Calories

The simplest answer for your inability to lose your stomach fat is that you aren't putting your body in a caloric deficit. You can reach this deficit by burning a higher number of calories than you consume. If your calorie burn and intake are equal, your weight will remain constant. If your caloric intake is more than what you burn, you'll gain weight. Failing to reach a caloric deficit can be the result of factors relating to your exercise regimen, diet or both.

Choose Your Exercises Wisely

Performing exercises that have little effect on weight loss can lead to no results, even if you spend considerable time in the gym. People who seek to lose belly fat might fall for the myth of spot reduction, given its prevalence in the fitness community. This theory, which is untrue, suggests that you'll burn fat in a chosen area by exercising the surrounding muscles. Don't be drawn to exercises such as crunches; while crunches strengthen your abdominal muscles, they burn calories extremely slowly and can't precisely burn off your stomach. Instead, fill your workout routine with cardiovascular exercises, such as swimming, biking and dancing, which have a significantly higher caloric burn.

Spend Enough Time Sweating

The nature, length and frequency of your workouts plays a role in whether you're able to successfully burn fat. A 15-minute workout twice a week, for example, isn't apt to burn enough calories. The exercises you choose should influence the length and frequency of your workout. In the case of up-tempo activities, such as running or swimming laps, your goal should be 150 minutes per week. Lower-intensity activities such as walking or water aerobics often require around 300 minutes per week.

Diet is Part of the Equation

After a vigorous workout at the gym, it's easy to develop an appetite. Making the correct dietary choice can often be the difference between losing weight and gaining it. Improving your diet is part of the fat-burning equation. It's difficult to sustain a caloric deficit without reducing your intake of calories, and especially of those that are unhealthy. Seek to cut back on your calorie consumption by making such changes as increasing your intake of vegetables, limiting your intake of high-fat items such as cheese and crackers, reducing your alcohol intake and eating fruit for dessert.