Is someone else trying to reduce the belly?

Hi. Ive just joined. Im 58, female and border between being in weight and overweight on the bmi scale on a daily basis. My concern is that my belly is bigger than my normal size 14. I eat a pretty healthy diet, in small portions, drink water regularly, rarely eat chips, crisps, chocolates. Do a weekly personal training exercise, along with daily short bouts of planks and stretches. Normally a busy 'on the go all the time' type of person. I want to loose about 12lbs in weight but 6 inches around the waist! So I know my goals and have been trying for a quite few months but no luck so far. What can I be doing wrong? Has anyone else overcome a similar problem? I thought I would join this program to see if I could achieve my goal in 12 weeks. 🤔


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37 Replies

  • Yes I am the same so will follow this post to hopefully get some answers :-)

  • Thanks. Ive just come back from the doctors who diagnosed a throat and chest infection, so I might have to wait to do full blown exercise until Ive finished the antibiotics - hooefully next week. 🤒

  • Hi, it may be your stomach muscles. After I had triplets, mine were quite far apart (you can tell when you are lying on your back by feeling). So I had to do very gentle stomach exercises at first to bring them together. After that, I could do more strenuous stuff like sit-ups etc. But it may also simply be due to your posture. Are you doing specific exercises to reduce your waist at the moment?

  • Hi,

    Ive had 4 children but I was unable to lose weight and stomach size after the last one who is now almost 19.

    I do planks, sit ups, lifting legs off the floor, separating. I did do skipping. But my son-in-law, who does fitness training, has been doing personal training with me most Thursdays for a few weeks now. Ill try massage the muscles to see if that helps. Thanks.

  • I found that I can't control where my body takes fat from and that stomach fat is sometimes the last to go. Even after losing 4 stone I would say the biggest part of me is my belly, although I have shed some inches. Tartget exercise has nil effect in my opinion. All you can hope for is to keep eating healthy and exercise regularly and that eventually your tum will slim down! :)

    Good luck and well done on all those healthy ways!

    Sazkia :)

  • Hi Sazkia,

    Thank you.

    I often wondered if it is partly to do with genetics and we're naturally meant to be big bellied (obviously the chosen ones 😂😂). Still, eating healthily and exercising AND sleeping properly will help enormously to help us feel better about ourselves and we are motivated enough to do something about it.

    Min 😃

  • I like that thought...we're special with big bellies hahaha! :P

  • Target exercises for fat loss don't work. People think that they can lose the fat on a specific part of the body which is impossible. Fat burns off in layers not lumps.

  • Yeah, that's pretty much what I meant. Inches have come off my tum but that's after a significant amount of weight loss. No amount of exercise that's suppose to 'target' those areas ever worked. I think the best that can be done is to just continue to eat healthy and exercise regularly and eventually belly fat will shed but there's no way of targeting that area to encourage the body to shed there first.

  • Yes that's it, spot on. Eat healthy, do some exercise and it will eventually fall into place.

  • Hello and welcome to the weight loss forum Minlf

    The first place to look is at the Pinned posts section to the right of your screen (bottom if you're using a mobile), read the Welcome Newbie thread first and move through to the challenges, where we hope you'll find at least one that will appeal to you ☺

    Move down to the Topics, to find a variety of threads, collated into specific topics for ease of access and we ask that you also 'file' your own threads, so that others won't miss your important news ☺

    Have a look at the NHS 12 week plan, as many people have had success with it. Also use the BMI checker to find your target calories, it's important to eat enough. This was a major turning point for me, realising I could eat anything I wanted as long as the calories are accounted for ☺

    Don't forget to take your starting measurements and a 'before' picture, as they can be very motivating on days that the scales refuse to co-operate ☺ With regards to purchase middle-age tummies, it's a difficult one. I find I need to eat less carbohydrates, and also target the exercise. But if you hear of anything else let me know! ! ☺

    The forum also have group weigh-ins every day if you wish to take part. The posts can always be found in the Events section on the 'home' page ☺

    You'll notice a grey box next to people's names, these are achievement badges, and as a new member you may have a 'Newbie' badge. If you have any questions or would like a Newbie badge please just ask ☺

    We've found that to get the best out of this community, we need to be active on the forum, as it's where we exchange information, get motivation and inspiration and make friends. We hope that you'll join us here, regularly, too ☺

    Best wishes


  • Hi Anna,

    Thank you for your help. Yes, a 'Newbie' badge would be great please (I have to start somewhere🤔). I'm not one for joining groups or doing the Facebook thing but I do realise the importance of supporting each other through something that bogs you down. So I'll do my bit to encourage my fellow health-seekers on. (Do you think we should think of a name to call ourselves? ).

    I'm sure someone has adjusted my scales so that when I get on them they stop at exactly the 70kg mark at night. I can do the Fitbit thing of 17,600 steps in one day and still it goes to the same mark (how devastating - I worked so hard to achieve that and it didn't move). So maybe, I should get a digital set of scales - what an excuse to buy buy a new pair😜! Or maybe I need to go to Specsavers.........

    Anyway, thank you for your help and advice. Look forward to keeping in touch.


  • Hi I am the same. I am middle ages and the first place I lose weight is from my boobs where I can least afford it. The last place I lose it from is my belly which is where is where I need to lose it from most. I think it is harder when you get older to lose the middle aged spread so maybe exercise is the best thing to do as well as eating healthily.

  • Hi lilaclil,

    I used to be a 34b but now am 38dd (depending where you buy your attire from, of course 😳). So a little bit less up top would help, but I find bending down to put my socks on, and all the little things I used to do without thinking about, are restricted by the belly. But as Terry Wogan used to say "we'll fight the flab!" together. So let's see how we do at the end of the 12 weeks - I'm sure we will feel better for it.

  • Most people take a deep breath in when they are about to bend down. Try breathing out first as there will be more space in your lungs.

  • Ok I'll give it a try. T.U.

  • Lovely. I have mild lung disease and I was given that advice and it works a treat.

  • If you are not shifting the body fat it is more likely to do with your diet, not the exercise. Exercise does help but diet is 80% of your weight loss so you need to adjust your eating. You might not be eating enough calories or you might be eating to much, you need to do a food diary then work out how many calories you are eating and take it from there.

    Planks will help you to strengthen your abs but won't burn belly fat they are not an intense enough exercise. Can you not take some off the exercises that you do in your pt sessions and do them during the week. Or could you manage a bit if walking during the day.

  • Hi Jimtom,

    Thank you for your advice. I will try it out.

    I have been pretty strict with my diet recently and tend to avoid cakes, biscuits,crisp, chips. Halved my portions and eat mainly veg (often 5 different sorts) with a small portion of meat, or sometimes none at all. I have started eating a lot more fish and avoid potato if possible because of the starch and white bread (in fact, I select seeded malt bread if I have any at all). I drink lots of water and herbal tea. Occasionally have a chocolate for a treat - don't do bars only bites! I have tried to keep a food diary but after a few days it falls behind and until now I found the calorie counting rather difficult because I cook my own food, and the family's, rather than buy off-the-shelf. But now Ill be more vigilant with my diary write-up.

  • You seem to be on the right track, maybe a bit of tweaking with the diet will do the trick.

    I hope it works out for you.

    Good luck.

  • Thank you. I am determined to get some results. I only need to lose a few pounds to be nicely inside the bmi range but the belly has to go!😳

  • It will go just keep at it.

  • Calories counting for home cooks can be a bind for the first few weeks. I cook everything from scratch. Most people tend to eat the same meals maybe every couple of weeks though (we all have our fave 'go to' food). I made the effort to calculate each recipe and wrote them in a little book. Now I only have to do the odd one when I try something new. It's worth the effort, I learnt so much about calories of different foodstuff, it was an eye opener. It also enabled me to plan my meals for the day better. I.e. If I'm having fajitas for dinner they are high in calories so I'd choose a lighter lunch option so I can still have my favourite foods. Worth the effort 🙂

  • Hi Marie,

    Yes, I must write down the calorific values in my book. I used to be organised with a set weekly meal plan when the children were younger but that vanished long ago.

    I use thyme, sage, parsley and rosemary in most of my meals. Do you know what sort of calorie values they have?

  • Search Herb and Spice Calorie counter online. As a rule of thumb I count 10 cals per teaspoon of herbs and spices that I use.

  • Thanks Marie,

    I will add the calories to my home made soup recipe of today. Out of the 250+ cooking books I own, I could not find one on counting calories (I'm sure I had one somewhere...). Still, it made me re-discover some lovely books and recipes. For my birthday a few weeks ago, my son bought me the Tom Kerridge book Dopamine diet. He's a chef who was 30stone and lost 11stone over the last 3 years on his own recipes. Quite an achievement. I only want to shed 12lbs!

  • I like Tom Kerridge as a chef. He did A recipe for carrots cooked in a whole block of butter with star anise, I bet that's not in his new recipe book (giggling) I once made them for Christmas Day as a treat they were awesome. I calorie count my ingredients online, I simply google "how many calories in 100gm roquefort" etc.

  • His foreword was very interesting but some of the recipes have ingredients I never even heard of 😱. The first recipe I made didn't reach the soup bowls (not my family's liking) but I was going to try a turkey snitznel next week - that looked good. Also the lavender puffs.

    Thanks for the info on the calorie count.......Ive just made pizza from scratch (family favourite) and written all the ingredients down - just need the calories. Then I can work out my total daily food intake today😳

    BTW is there somewhere on this site you log your record, or do you just keep it yourself?

  • I have a brilliant 'mum diary' which I plan my meals for the week on and write the calories at the side of it, i also write my to do list, my planned workouts and appointments. Everything is on one page. I keep it on the kitchen worktop, open so it keeps me focused about what is really happening. I'm totally truthful with it. If I've had a bad day, it's there to remind me (not haunt me, just simply a true account of what happened, I don't get hung up on it) good days are also there to remind me but it's a true account and my weight loss reflects it. I've learnt a lot about pattern and how they affect me and my food choices by doing this and developed better habits this way. It may not work for everyone but it works for me. 🙂

  • Gd mng Marie.

    Yes good idea. Ive got little notes everywhere - all need collating. Thanks for that.

    Ive just downloaded a netdiary app. Looks easy to follow but maybe time consuming.

  • Hi I have an apple shape too my legs aren't to bad but my problem area is my tummy. I was once told that if you are not doing sit ups properly that can cause a rounder tummy but I don't know if that's true. You can ask the gym also a low fat diet may help. Good luck 😊

  • Hi Kim,

    I must have done too many sit ups then as my belly seems huge 😜 I tried doing low fat but no significant reduction. I did notice an improvement though when I stopped eating bread, milk and potatoes. Only thing is sticking to it. Old habits die hard!

  • You are right old habits I mucked up last night but I've done my 10.000 steps and I have a Diet Coke in my hand so hopefully I can do better today have a lovely day 😊

  • Hi I am excactly the same I'm 63 size 14 i have lost just over a stone but my BMi is 26 according to Boots scales but my fat percentage is 42% . I didn't really want to go below size 14 at my age but with that amount of fat I have obviously got to loose more weight.

  • Hi Heidipop,

    I'm a size 14 too but most of my clothes feel tight on me, even with a bmi of 25. Dropping to a size 12 would place me back in my late 30s! Feel younger, think younger and more energetic - what a thought. And, I could have a whole new wardrobe of modern clothes that don't look so mumsy. Try not to link your size with your age. We might be on a winner here y'know 😀

    Seriously though, it's how good you feel about yourself and looking after your health that really matters.

  • BTW, well done on losing a stone - it's a great acheivement in my books.

  • I agree with your comments. I'm borderline normal weight/overweight and my stomach sticks out as though it has a sponge inside.I'm 62 . It's not my abdomen but above it. Also, like you, I cook ,then measure the calories in what I've made.I'm not a crisp/chocolate eater, but in the evenings I ate things I don't particularly like and not even hungry ! I started a couple of days ago and the evening binging was the most difficult to overcome. I agree that eating fruit or chicken in the evening helps to quiet the stomach.

    I've started exercising at home. I asked a doctor about exercises and he recommended exercises without gym equipment. Just hand held weights. For running ,I run on the spot and my knees don't hurt as they used to when using the jogging machine.

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