Why Can't I Lose My Lower Belly Fat?

Losing weight can be a difficult task, especially when trying to eliminate stubborn lower belly fat. Chances are, you are already in the gym and eating right, which is the right way to start, since spot reduction is not possible and you must lose fat all over in order to target that belly. However, there are modifications you can make to your diet and exercise plan to ensure optimal results. If your results are still minimal after several months of diet and exercise, it may be time to seek professional help from a registered dietitian.

Increase Your Fiber

Always being hungry is a common obstacle in dieting. To combat your growling stomach, increase the water content of your recipes -- by adding fruits and vegetables -- to help reduce energy intake and enhance satiety. Additionally, the added vegetables and fruits will increase your dietary fiber, which slows energy and nutrient absorption leading to lower blood glucose and lipid levels following a meal. The Dietary Reference Intakes recommend 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories consumed. Common examples of high-fiber foods include apples, cereal and beans.

Focus on Protein

During dieting you may focus on limiting all calories, including protein. However, doing so can result in suboptimal losses in lower belly fat. A study published in "The British Journal of Nutrition" found appetite suppression and fat oxidation to be higher for those consuming a high-protein diet. Choose lean animal sources of protein such as skinless chicken breast, turkey or low-fat dairy. Plant sources of protein such as nuts and beans should also be a staple part of your diet.

Keep It Short

Fat loss is bound to come to a screeching halt if you only perform steady-state cardio such as walking or jogging. Instead of spending hours performing moderate-intensity exercise, perform high-intensity intermittent training. According to a 2011 issue of the periodical "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise," four to six sets of 30-second sprints burns more fat than 60 minutes of incline treadmill walking. The boring and long hours of steady-state exercising are over. Try performing four to six sets of all-out 30-second sprints separated by a couple of minutes of rest three times a week.

Avoid Fads

There are instances where you cannot get those last few pounds off and you are ready to try anything promising a quick weight loss fix. However, it is imperative to avoid fad diets which claim rapid weight loss in addition to improved health. Doing so subjects you to "yo-yo" dieting -- causing you to gain and lose weight resulting in negative health effects. Seek professional help from a registered dietitian, who can work with you to create a personalized meal plan tailored to your individual needs and lifestyle.