10 simple Scientific reasons why belly fat is hard to lose

why belly fat is hard to lose

Do you know why belly fat is hard to lose? 

Well, when belly fat won’t go away, it has something to do with you.

Anyone can lose belly fat. It’s just a matter of putting in the work.

However, it’s easier said than done.

1. Why belly fat is hard to lose: mental fortitude

You have no mental fortitude.

You can learn how to lose belly fat on this website and everywhere on the internet.

However, no one can tell you what to do.

Heck, probably your own mother can’t tell you what to do.

You’ll go to the gym, you’ll watch your diet, for a week or two. 

Then you’ll regress. Something will trigger you back to your usual ways.

Whether someone criticizes you, mocks your efforts, and you fold.

Having the right attitude and not caring what anyone else thinks will get you through the toughest of times. And you will get tough days ahead.

You need to have a tough skin and a thick face to match.

Who gives a crap about 1, 2, or 3 person’s opinion anyway?

2. Why belly fat is hard to lose: laziness

You are lazy.

Oh man, this is a good one. 

I had a friend who always used to tell me he had no time to exercise and that he is too tired after work.

He is a supervisor at a metal fabrication company. I don’t know how labor-intensive his work is, but I worked at a distribution warehouse carrying 10 – 20 kg of boxes onto a pallet, all day. 

And right after work, I head to the gym for 1 hour.

My friend comes home from work, eats, has his shower, sits on the couch, and binge on Netflix from 6 to 10 PM. 

Don’t be lazy. Your belly fat won’t go anywhere if you are stuck on the couch.

3. You’re doing crunches

You are doing crunches.

Do you know how many health sites I’ve come across telling you to do thousands of crunches to lose belly fat?

Thank god there’s not that many anymore, but there are still some, as mentioned in this article.

Therefore, be careful where you get your information from and run away when your PT tells you to do hundreds of crunches daily to get rid of your belly fat.

Look, I’m not against crunches, but it does not burn fat. What crunches do is tone your abs and give it some more “oomph,” shall we say.

4. You’re an alcoholic

You might think that alcohols are OK to drink because they are low in calories. Well, think again. 

1 shot (45 ml) of 94 proof vodka contains 116 calories. 

[source: Calorie count – Alcoholic beverages]

Since you’re an alcoholic, you won’t stop at only 1 shot of vodka. You’ll most likely do 10 shots. 

10 shots of vodka can equal to 1,160 calories. That’s 2 meals!

Moreover, if you like mixed drinks, you’ll likely be doubling or be tripling the calorie count. The added sugars from fruits in cocktails can add a significant amount of calories.

So, going out for drinks can easily add another 500 calories into your daily count. Double or triple that number if you love those sugar-laden mixed drinks.

5. You love junk food

I get it. I used to love junk food, but then I realized how damaging it was to my health. 

Do you know how much sugar, fat, and heavy preservatives are in junk food? Too many.

Let’s define junk food. Junk food is a type of food that contains a significant amount of sugar, saturated fat, and provides little amounts of nutrients (fiber, vitamins, minerals).

[source: Junk Food]

McDonald’s has come a long way from adding heavy preservatives to their burgers to fewer or no chemicals added.

It was a different story, not too long ago. McDonald’s Big Mac burgers contain ingredients that may cause cancer, allergies, diseases, developmental problems, and reproductive issues.

I commend McDonald’s in recognizing the need for healthier food in our society and lessening the number of preservatives they use in their food. It is a good step towards bettering our community’s health.

McDonald’s removed preservatives in 2018 in most of its offerings. Burger King decided to follow suit and letting everyone know about it with this moldy ad campaign.

“The beauty of no artificial preservatives.”

Now, how do preservatives affect belly fat? 

Numerous study reveals, preservatives are inadvertently making us fat or worst, increase our risk of cancer. 

Certain types of additives and preservatives can increase our appetite and induce metabolic changes.

[source: What Are We Putting in Our Food That Is Making Us Fat? Food Additives, Contaminants, and Other Putative Contributors to Obesity]

Preservatives aside, junk food carries an enormous amount of fat or sugar.

A Big Mac has 30 grams of fat, with 1320 mg of salt and calories amount to 540 per serve.

1320 mg of salt? Meh…

You may “meh” about that amount. Still, the American Heart Association is making a plea to change the sodium intake guideline to 1500 mg a day because the analyses were flawed in determining a healthy amount of sodium consumption.

Recent studies by AHA found a high correlation in excess sodium consumption to renal failure, cardiac arrest, and costly hospitalization.

[source: Sodium, Blood Pressure, and Cardiovascular Disease]

A Big Mac at 540 calories may not make a significant change to your daily calorie intake. However, a combo meal might.

Just adding a medium fries and a medium coke, the total calories hikes up to 1080.


[source: McDonald’s]

Junk food is not limited to McDonald’s, Burger King, or famous fast-food chains. Junk food can also come from different cuisines. 

A kebab can be considered junk food, or a roast pork belly, donuts, or milkshakes. When you limit your intake of junk food, your belly fat will dramatically decrease, and your body will thank you for it.

6. You’re given a less ideal body type

My less ideal body is a body that packs on fat quickly and has a hard time building muscle, just like me.

My body type is in between Ectomorph (hard time gaining muscle) and Endomorph (gains fat quickly).

Speaking from experience, although not impossible to lose belly fat, it is damn near.

So, if you are an Endo or Endo/Ecto, it’s not the end of the world. You just need to put more effort than those that are lucky, the Mesomorphs (touches dumbbell and gets huge).

7. There is something physically wrong with you

PCOS, an underactive thyroid, Cushing syndrome, syndrome X, and if you’re a woman, hormonal changes may play a part in you not losing belly fat.

  • PCOS
  • Underactive thyroid
  • Cushing syndrome
  • Syndrome X
  • Hormonal changes in women


PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, and it is an imbalance of hormones in women. Unusual symptoms of PCOS is the ability not to lose weight.

Underactive thyroid

Or Hypothyroidism is when your body is unable to make enough thyroid hormones to help burn stored fat.

Cushing syndrome

You produce too much cortisol, which can make your body gain fat in the face, upper back, and abdomen.

Syndrome X

Syndrome X increases your resistance to insulin. High resistance to insulin leads to your metabolism go out of control.

Hormonal changes in women

Women’s hormones may change in times of puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Some of those hormonal changes can lead to weight gain

Get tested and address the problem.

8. There is something mentally wrong with you.

Now, the mental problem is different from mental fortitude. Mental fortitude is more about being tough psychologically. Having none is not necessarily a psychological problem.

Having a mental problem is detrimental to your health—issues such as depression and stress.

I’m not talking about occasional stress but chronic stress. Stress elevates your cortisol levels significantly and the more you cortisol you produce, you will get fat, especially in the midsections.

[source: Stress, cortisol, and obesity: a role for cortisol responsiveness in identifying individuals prone to obesity.]

Depression leads to overeating comfort foods such as ice cream, donuts, and crisps.

[source: Obesity and Weight Gain in Relation to Depression: Findings from the Stirling County Study]

Depression can be hard to recognize but according to Beyond Blue, you might be suffering from it if you have the following symptoms:


  • not going out anymore
  • not getting things done at work/school
  • withdrawing from close family and friends
  • relying on alcohol and sedatives
  • not doing usual enjoyable activities
  • unable to concentrate


  • overwhelmed
  • guilty
  • irritable
  • frustrated
  • lacking in confidence
  • unhappy
  • indecisive
  • disappointed
  • miserable
  • sad


  • ‘I’m a failure.’
  • ‘It’s my fault.’
  • ‘Nothing good ever happens to me.’
  • ‘I’m worthless.’
  • ‘Life’s not worth living.’
  • ‘People would be better off without me.’


  • tired all the time
  • sick and run down
  • headaches and muscle pains
  • churning gut
  • sleep problems
  • loss or change of appetite
  • significant weight loss or gain

If you think you or someone you know is suffering from depression, complete this checklist to see if you are affected.

9. You’re too comfortable

Don’t get complacent when things get easy. Make sure you are always pushing yourself, each workout. 

You will get fitter, and your workout will get easier. After a week of jogging at 3 mph, your heart, lungs, and body will adapt to the stress, and it will become a piece of cake. 

Don’t get too comfortable.

To improve and further burn belly fat, you need to dig deep and go harder than yesterday.

10. You’re not getting the right amount of sleep

Do you know that if you are 40 y.o. or under, and you don’t sleep enough or often oversleep, you are potentially helping your body gain fat?

Studies have shown that there is a correlation to increased body mass, subcutaneous fat, and visceral fat to not getting the right amount of sleep.

The ideal sleep duration, which recorded no significant changes to fat and weight was between 6 – 7 hours.

[source: Sleep Duration and Five-Year Abdominal Fat Accumulation in a Minority Cohort: The IRAS Family Study]

Why belly fat is hard to lose – The short version

Let’s recap. The following are the reasons why you are having a hard time getting rid of your belly fat:

  1. You have no mental fortitude.
  2. You are lazy.
  3. You are doing crunches.
  4. You’re an alcoholic.
  5. You love junk food.
  6. You’re given a less ideal body type.
  7. There is something physically wrong with you.
  8. There is something mentally wrong with you.
  9. You’re too comfortable.
  10. You’re not getting the right amount of sleep.

And that is why belly fat won’t go away. Once you fix all 10, you are well on your way to six-pack ab you’ve always wanted.